• Wear OS 5 will bring the long-awaited grid-based app launcher to the Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2.
  • Many Wear OS smartwatches already offer a grid view for their app launcher, but this feature isn’t part of the stock Wear OS experience.
  • Wear OS 5 will also add the privacy dashboard feature from Android 12.

During Google I/O 2024, Google unveiled a ton of updates to the Android operating system, including a new version of its wearable platform. Wear OS 5 will be coming later this year, so in preparation for its release, Google shared a preliminary Developer Preview build that offers early access to the platform’s new features and APIs. While we were exploring the first Wear OS 5 Developer Preview build, we discovered that it has several new features not mentioned in Google’s blog post announcing the update.

The first of these features is a new grid-based app launcher, a feature we previously spotted and enabled in Wear OS 4. The Wear OS 5 Developer Preview adds a grid view for the app launcher that you can toggle by going to Settings > General > App view or by scrolling down to the bottom of the app list. The previous list-based app launcher is still provided as an option, of course.