Samsung Galaxy Watches will soon be getting new accessibility features that aim to improve the usability of the device.
Being billed as the “full viewing experience”, A Watch UI4.5 (opens in new tab) it will offer new communication options, add tools for the visually impaired, and simplify menus for easier navigation. Samsung claims the update will roll out sometime in the “third [fiscal] quarter.” This translates into the next three months.
Getting a page from the Apple manual, Galaxy Watches will have a full QWERTY keyboard for writing messages along with current dictation and handwriting methods. Swipe functionality will be added to make typing on a small screen easier. Samsung claims that users can easily switch between the three methods to whichever is most convenient.
Samsung is also adding dual SIM support to its Galaxy Watches. This feature only works if the Galaxy phone connected to the Watch supports dual SIM cards, such as certain Galaxy S22 Plus models (opens in new tab) for example. In the Watch interface, you can select which card you want to use, SIM1 or SIM2. You can sync a SIM with the Galaxy Watch or have the device always ask which card to use whenever a call is made.
For the visually impaired, Samsung is adding the ability to adjust the watch face to show a specific color hue, such as grayscale or a red-green filter. Other visuals include increasing the font contrast for readability, reducing transparency and blur effects, and stopping all animations.
As for audio, Galaxy Watch owners can, via the watch, adjust the sound balance of the Bluetooth headset. But it looks like the tool is only for listening to music or video as it is not compatible with phone calls as per the fine print.
Menus are also being streamlined, with all these accessibility options being rolled out on a single settings page. And if you don’t want to deal with menus, you can map your most used resource to the home button.
There aren’t many new customization changes in this update, but it does add the ability to save watch face styles to a favorites list.
Review: Setting up the Galaxy Watch 5
Recent leaks suggest Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 may arrive in August 2022, around the same time as this One UI update. This would mean that Galaxy Watch 4 users and would-be Watch 5 owners can have a similar experience.
We’re currently eagerly awaiting the announcement of Samsung’s upcoming Unpacked event, where we hope to see the Watch 5. Even if August doesn’t work out, September isn’t too far off. If you are interested in purchasing a smartwatch, be sure to check out our list of best android smartwatches for 2022.