Smart watches. They do everything smartly!
Samsung has released a software update One UI 1.5 for their Wearable line. Is it now actually smart? The update is not the biggest (only 120MB) but surprisingly they still managed to tweak a lot of things. The exact changes may differ depending on your device model, country, and service provider. So what are they?
There are a few aesthetic changes such as larger selection of custom watch faces with integration to workouts and breathing exercises.
There is a new “my style” watch face in which you can take a picture of what you are wearing and it will generate patterns in relevant colours to match. It’s pretty neat but doubt it will be used that much.
There are now more emoticons with variety of skin tones. We live in an inclusive world so good job Samsung!
Feature that I am constantly using is indicator for background running apps such as workout tracking and music. Now it’s more convenient to skip songs through the watch.
Other user interactions that have been improved:
Always On Display screen is easier to read while on charging or in battery saving mode
Customising the order of icons in quick panel is easier
Timer and Stop Watch app is now more convenient
Watch indicates sleep mode more intuitively
Samsung Health improvements:
Lap time tracking has been improved for running and cycling activities
Daily Activity feature added which shows user’s daily activity (move, workout, hourly activity)
Data sync via NFC with Technogym workout equipment
Added new auto tracking for ‘Swimming’
Added additional alert for low heart rate (I guess that had to be stolen from apple at some point)
Lastly, but possibly the most important update is Bixby.
Samsung says that the new Bixby helps you get tasks done more easily.
We asked several questions like:
Hi Bixby, what is the weather outside. Hi bixby, remind me to buy milk and bread tomorrow Hi Bixby, turn on power save Hi bixby, tell me a joke
Check out the video to see how it went.
It is still a long way away from being useful for the general public. There are some hard core fans who know all the exact commands and have productivity advantages, in my case it more often causes frustration.
Maybe with some luck in the next few years Bixby will become more of a companion than it is now, time will tell. To sum it all up, I am glad that Samsung keeps pushing updates to their devices and bringing more functionality. The watch certainly still has its appeal and functional value.
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