Is it still possible to hide the permanent overlay notification on wearos 3 or 4?

Please share:

Yes and no. In the emulator Wear OS 4 works like this:

But Pixel owners tell me Google blocked this setting on the physical watch. Samsung has blocked it too, but it is possible to hide the notification in their phone companion app:

Hide overlay warning on Galaxy Watch

Well, sort, of, because in true Samsung fashion their phone companion app doesn’t work half the time. And the setting doesn’t stick between reboots, but at least on Samsung there is a chance that it works for half the users.

On TicWatch in Wear OS 2 and 3 the hiding methods still work. We’ll see if the Wear OS 4 update will still have it. To tell the truth Wear OS 4 takes more away from Wear OS than adds to it, so TicWatch users are better off not updating anyway.

What can you do? I am constantly improving the non-overlay mode of Bubble Cloud. It should work more reliably now than ever. Still there are a few intrinsic limitations in non-overlay mode:

  • no sticky open,
  • no swipe in activation,
  • exit animation which can no longer be disabled in Wear OS 4,
  • no way to keep the app running in the background and hence slower startup
  • and generally less performant operation because of the bigger, unnecessary overhead of starting activities.

The app works well without overlay mode if used as a tile launcher. With the notification icons plugin you can actually use it with the overlay warning, if you just disregard WearOS’s own notification system as a whole. Many Galaxy Watch users use it this way. They turn off all notifications in Wear OS, so only the useless permanent notifications are in the notification area, which they never have to access (they right swipe for the app drawer anyway), and they can rely on the notification icons and peek cards for a more customizable notification experience which is also more reliable than Samsung’s own.

Unfortunately Samsung watch owners are now struggling with other problems Samsung introduced in their Wear OS 4 update, because of the watch face complication update issues in 3rd party watch faces, but at least for that error we have Samsung’s promise to fix it in the future.

This is the state of things now. Not too rosy, but it has never been in the long and troubled history of Wear OS.

Update: Good news!

Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 and updated TicWatch Pro 3 keeps this user-friendly operation 👍. Only Pixel and Samsung watches are user-hostile 😈

TicWatch Pro 3 and Pro 3 Ultra upgrade left this setting intact, so there are still good Wear OS brands producing well functioning watches.  Mobvoi watches not only have amazing battery lives, but they preserve the Wear OS functionality.

Author: greg

the dev