Of all the things a smartwatch does, the gentle nudge on your wrist signaling a notification or alarm is probably one of the most important. While it is clear that the haptics on the Pixel Watch 2 are better this time around, it turns out that there are not only improvements in the actual hardware – but in the software that controls it as well.
The OG Pixel Watch had only the simplest toggles for vibration and haptics, allowing users to basically opt in or opt out of vibrations for notifications and alarms. The Pixel Watch 2 takes things way farther and offers up more granular control for the multiple ways you get alerted on your wrist.
The Pixel Watch 2’s on-device settings app now comes equipped with a dedicated vibrations menu, where you’ll find three new sliders for adjusting the intensity for rings, notifications, and alarms on an individual basis. Additionally, touch feedback is now an option as well that gives subtle bumps for different parts of the UI interactions.
Why it matters
Admittedly, this is a small addition, but for something you don’t spend the day staring at, it’s a worthwhile inclusion. When my phone is out of sight, my watch is the primary way I’m alerted to something that needs my attention. Many times, it is the only way I know when higher-value notifications are in need of some sort of response from me.
While I like the ability to calm those buzzes down a notch, I also like being able to crank them up a bit for those times when I know I can’t miss a message. I spend a good amount of time curating what notifications come to my wrist on any wearable, and being able to tweak the actual vibration that I need to make sure I don’t miss out on anything is critical. Good on Google for paying attention to the small details on the Pixel Watch 2.