Readers like you help support Pocket-lint. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More.

Wear OS, like so many other device operating systems, is generally never too far away from an update to add new features and redesigned elements - and the next to come is Wear OS 4.

The new OS version is already available to developers, so it should be debuting on watches pretty soon, starting with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic. Here's everything you need to know about Wear OS 4.

What is Wear OS 4?

Wear OS 4 is the next version of Wear OS, Google's own operating system for Android-based smartwatches. While Wear OS has taken a long, long time to move through new versions, things seem to be speeding up.

Apple updates its watchOS pretty much every year with a new numbered version to add new features and support new models, and it looks increasingly like Google could be moving to a system that gets closer to this frequency of major updates.

What's new in Wear OS 4?

Wear OS 4 brings with it a few new features, some of which will simmer away in the background - including better efficiency that should make for improvements to battery life and performance on some watch models.

There will be new versions of Gmail and Google Calendar for watches, making it easier to organise yourself without having to pick up a smartphone or laptop, while Google also says that it'll be easier to move from one watch to another thanks to a refreshed backup system for its smartwatches.

Another addition is Watch Face Format, a new system that lets you make custom watchfaces fairly easily and also frees up that option to developers more simply, so we could see more interesting custom watch faces once it launches properly.

Similarly to moving watches, it will also seemingly be easier to now move from one phone to another without having to completely wipe and reconnect your watch, with a Google account now acting as a link between devices. This is great since you're likely to update your smartphone more frequently than you do your smartwatch.

When will I get Wear OS 4?

This is the million dollar question, in some ways - it'll take some time for developers to implement Wear OS 4 on their existing smartwatches, and there will be plenty of models that never get the upgrade for a variety of reasons.

Wear OS 3, after all, and 3.5 like it, both took quite a while to actually get implemented onto watches, with many developers finding it a more challenging process than you might think.

So, while we know that Samsung's newest watches will have it, and that Google says the OS will launch fully this Fall, there's still plenty of unknowns about exactly what existing devices it'll run on. You'll have to keep an ear to the ground regarding your particular model to get an ETA from its manufacturer about when it might be updated with Wear OS 4.