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[Update: Already available] Wear OS 2.37 prepares new tile for hand washing timer

While some areas are beginning to re-open, COVID-19 continues to be a major concern around the world today. One of the best ways to fight the spread of diseases of all kinds is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. With the latest update to Wear OS, it appears Google is preparing a new tile with a timer to help you wash your hands thoroughly.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Earlier this year, Wear OS, by way of an update to its Clock app, launched new recurring reminders to wash your hands. Every three hours, the Clock app will ping with a notification to wash your hands, which, if tapped, immediately brings you to a 40-second timer.

Today, version 2.37 of the Wear OS app is rolling out via the Play Store, and with it, we find that Google may be integrating the hand washing features more deeply into Wear OS. Specifically, we find what looks to be a new card in the Wear OS app for your phone encouraging you to add a hand-washing tile to your watch’s list of tiles.

<string name=”hand_wash_card_subtitle”>Quickly set a 40 sec hand-wash timer. <a href=””>World Health Organization advice</a>” “</string>

<string name=”hand_wash_card_title”>Hand-Wash Timer</string>

<string name=”hand_wash_card_add_tile_button_text”>Add Tile</string>

The card will include a link to a World Health Organization brochure explaining the benefits of “hand hygiene,” and will display the World Health Organization’s logo, as seen below, alongside a preview of the same hand washing timer UI that launched on Wear OS back in April.

The tile makes for an excellent compromise for those folks who want to do their part to reduce the spread of diseases, but don’t necessarily want to be bothered about it every three hours.

Update 6/2: We’ve updated the article above to reflect that, according to reader reports, this tile has already been live on Wear OS since a Clock update in April. That being the case, the only thing new is that Google may soon encourage folks to put the tile onto their watch using this promotional card.

Of course, beyond just washing frequently and for the right amount of time, it’s equally important to use a good technique to make sure you’ve washed your hands thoroughly. For that, you can check out a recent Google Doodle that shows an easy to remember strategy to use when washing up.

More on COVID-19:

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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