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Google Tucked Away a Hidden Drum Machine in Wear OS

A tiny drum sequencer appears.
A tiny drum sequencer appears.
Photo: Victoria Song (Gizmodo)

Google loves its Easter eggs, and apparently one has been hiding right under our noses in Wear OS for quite some time.

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If you happen to have a Wear OS smartwatch, there are actually two little surprises programmed into the default Flashlight app if you double-tap then press. The first is just a colorful swirl of lights—an Easter egg that was spotted as early as four years ago by eagle-eyed Redditors. The second is a mini drum sequencer. Getting either to appear takes some trial-and-error, and it does feel a bit random as to what speed of tapping and holding gets what to appear. That said, you should be able to get it to pop up relatively quickly if you stick to double-tapping and holding. This Easter egg was initially spotted on Reddit about two years ago, but it seems to have largely flown under the radar.

The drum sequencer is a colorful four-by-four grid. You can tap each dot to customize the beat. According to 9to5 Google, the blue dot represents a kick drum, with teal being a snare, purple a cowbell, and red an open hi-hat.

To hear the drumbeat, your Wear OS watch does need to have a built-in speaker or connect to one via Bluetooth. A built-in speaker is a relatively new addition to Wear OS smartwatches, but it’s still not a given. I recently tested the Skagen Falster 3, which does have one. Yet I’m in the process of reviewing the newly released Suunto 7, which doesn’t. I tried out the drum sequencer on the Suunto 7, but had to connect it to a Bluetooth speaker to hear anything. Which you know, is still a pretty neat little party trick.

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Still, this is a pretty rarefied Easter egg. The biggest barrier is that you have to own a damn Wear OS watch in the first place, which let’s face it—even though Wear OS has the most options for Android-friendly smartwatches, they’re not the most popular to find in the wild. That and the sole existence of this Easter egg—although admittedly fun—probably isn’t going to change anybody’s mind that Wear OS lags far behind its competitors.

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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If only the watch would re-do your nails, too.