Google updates the first-gen Pixel Watch with health monitoring features

Watches running Wear OS 3 and above are also getting public transit directions.


Google is releasing new features for the first-gen Pixel Watch, and they include the health-monitoring capabilities that launched with its successor. The older wearables will now be able to detect whether you're working out and can automatically start tracking your activity and then stop when you're done. In particular, it works for running, walking, elliptical training, spinning, outdoor biking and rowing.

You'll also be able to track the time you spend in different heart rate zones, which could help you optimize your workouts. Plus, you'll be able to set a goal pace for your exercise sessions to get a notification for when you're not performing up to par. In case you want your first-gen Pixel Watch to help you feel more relaxed instead, simply fire up the Fitbit Relax App on the device to guide you through some breathing exercises.

For travelers, though, Google's most exciting update for watches isn't just for its Pixel line. The company has rolled out public transit directions for devices running Wear OS 3 and above, which means you can check what kind of public transportation you can take right on your wrist — it will even display your public transit options' real-time departure schedules. You'll now also be able to navigate an unfamiliar location without taking out your phone through a compass-enabled map view on your watch.

The company is releasing features for different devices under its Pixel line, as well. Pixel phones will now be able to share 10-bit HDR videos directly to Instagram Reels and will be able to upload Ultra HDR Photos to the app. In addition, the Pixel 8's "Circle to Search" feature is coming to Pixel 7 and Pixel Pro phones, giving you a quick way to do Search queries without having to switch apps. All you have to do is draw a circle around or highlight an image, a video or a piece of text to look up the information you need. Finally, a "Call Screen" feature will give you access to a "hello" chip you can tap while a call is being screened. Google Assistant can ask the caller to speak, so you can get an idea of why they're calling, and it can also ask them to wait a bit longer if you can't pick up their call just yet.