Wear OS smartwatches look set to get a great Material You upgrade

Code found inside Android OS suggests dynamic colours are coming to your smartwatch

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Google)

Many of the best smartwatches use Google's Wear OS operating system, making any updates to the platform important for most smartwatch fans. And, according to code found in the adjacent Android operating system, Wear OS could be set to get a decent new feature upgrade.

Material You has been part of the Android phone experience for a few years now, offering users the ability to theme their entire handset around one colour. It's even been extended out to Android Auto users. Now, according to 9to5Google, code found within the Android operating system suggests this functionality is coming to Wear OS in a future update.

They found a new wearable related function in the Android code called “DYNAMIC_COLOR_THEME_ENABLED." Given that this option is found in the Android operating system, it's reasonable to assume that the feature would link up with the Material You selection made on a compatible Android handset, though there is nothing to officially confirm this.

There is also no clue as to when this will be made live. The current version of Wear OS is built on Android 11, which predates the Material You functionality – that didn't arrive until Android 12. And while it's possible that a new version of Wear OS might be being built on Android 13, it's arguably more likely to be waiting for the next generation, Android 14.

Whenever it does crop up though, it will be a great boost for Wear OS enabled smartwatch users. While they serve a multitude of other purposes – like health monitoring, sleep tracking, and time telling – smartwatches are still very much a fashion accessory. Being able to match your watch and your phone is great for aesthetics, and feels like a much overdue addition to the system.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.