26 December 2019
Samsung has announced a new Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active software update that will bring a few key features from the Galaxy Watch Active 2. It is a major software update set for a region-by-region rollout in a phased manner. This simply means that some users will receive the update sooner than others around the globe.
One of the biggest changes included in the update is full Bixby support for the original Galaxy Watch and Watch Active models. Bixby Voice can now be used on these smartwatches for initiating workouts, controlling smart home devices via the SmartThings ecosystem, and checking time zone differences between places.
The update brings the Touch Bezel feature to the Galaxy Watch Active. It is a software-based feature that emulates the rotating bezel functionality we saw on older Galaxy Watch models. Samsung debuted it on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 with the goal of offering an alternative to those users who missed the original implementation.
In terms of visual changes, Samsung has added 24 new sub-dials and complications that users can choose to personalize their smartwatch as per their preferences. It also brings My Style feature that allows users to take a picture of their outfit and match the watchface appearance to the same.
The team has focused on improving user experience as well. All watchfaces will now show small app icons at the bottom to reflect what apps are currently running in the background. The overall UI has been made clearer for easier interaction and there are new emojis with diverse skin tones. For fitness enthusiasts, there is a new Daily Active feature that offers a quick overview of daily fitness goals. The Galaxy Watch has also received Low Heart Rate Alert functionality.