As we all know, the most significant announcement of Google I/O was about the Wear OS, apart from Android 12. There will be a collaboration between Samsung and Google, promising a brighter and simpler future for Android smartwatches. Certain factors indicate that they might have the edge to challenge even Apple if everything goes according to plan.
The Google event on day one was a milestone for Google. They mentioned they would be partnering up with Samsung and integrate both their watch OS Tizen and Wear OS into a unified platform. The new software is currently being called just “wear”, but things might change with the first product hitting the shelf.
Benefits Of The New Platform
The unified platform aims to give Android smartwatches a considerable improvement and a much simpler method to use. It will also enable developers to build and redesign their current apps and widgets for a single OS instead of creating multiple. It also expected to bring a lot of improvements and features on the battery end too.
Faster than current OS
One of the first things we look out for in any device is how fast can the system respond. This collab address that problem; the primary focus will be the speed and responsiveness of the new wear platform. The firms are alleging that apps can open up to 30 per cent faster than Wear OS. Google promises a much smoother user interaction with redesigned interface and animations.
Battery life, a game changer
You see, Wear OS was never Google’s strongest suit compared to other competitors in the market. Samsung’s smartwatches have always outlasted Google’s Wear OS products in terms of battery life, which wasn’t a big surprise.
So what’s the surprise, you ask? Samsung is outsourcing its experts to Google to help them improve hardware to increase the battery life. Samsung has always been the best in implementing and optimising their technology to provide outstanding performances and low power display consumption technology to ensure an efficient and long-lasting battery.
On the battery end itself, Google’s member Bjorn Kilburn said consumers could foresee some valuable improvements on the hardware end, which might include the ability to run the heart rate sensor throughout the day, also track your sleep overnight. Despite running such actions all day, there would be sufficient juice left for the next day.
Samsung switches to 'Wear'
Samsung has verified that its next smartwatch and all others in the pipeline will also run on the unified Wear platform. But the company made sure that it will keep some cutting edge developments they made on its hardware aspects like the rotating bezel mechanism.
Enhanced Google Maps
We have seen many changes and features done to the popular maps apps, and it just doesn’t stop until the smartphones are extended to the Wear platform. The new feature for Wear includes a new user interface that will work even if your phone is not with you and there are also hints at cellular data supports, which marks a new phase for Android smartwatches.
New offline music support
Smartwatch is nothing if it’s not about the music. As we already knew, Spotify allows Samsung users to download songs for offline listening in the watch itself, and now that exact amenity will be broadened to Wear as well. Google also verified that their own YouTube Music will be integrated into a whole new level and will also be available on Wear. Similar to Spotify, YouTube Music will also include the support for file listening.
Google has gained its power over one of the largest health tracking companies in the market at the start of this year. Yes, we are speaking about the Fitbit. Now Google will integrate some of the health and activity tracking features of the giant into Wear. It is also confirmed that the future pipeline projects and products will also be running on the unified platform.
Freehand to developers
Google underlined that this platform is built for everyone. All device makers and app developers can add and customise the user experience on top of the forum. This statement certainly gives free hands to many watchmakers like Fossil, Citizen, TAG Heuer, and others to create a new UI on the top of Wear. One of the reasons Google might provide the freehand is that they haven’t launched any flagship smartwatch from their end in the past couple of years, and all these other manufacturers have divulged into Wear OS in recent years.
It is clearly stated that the apps on the Wear will run 30 per cent faster compared to the Wear OS, and all that’s because Wear apps use the latest Android development techniques like Jetpack and Kotlin, which help attain the best feasible performance.
On the other hand, Google is also guaranteeing to make life simpler for app makers with new APIs. All the perks for developers include customizing or creating new cover Tiles, health services, watch faces, complications, and many more. It is also possible that there can be an activity indicator that will show when and what tasks are operating in the background.
No update to existing models
There aren’t a lot of smartwatches from Google. Also, all the watchmakers who use Wear OS are fewer when compared to Samsung, but still, it’s not clear whether the existing Wear OS devices will be upgraded to the new platform or not. But it’s sad news for people who own Samsung smartwatch out there because a Samsung spokesperson mentioned that they wouldn’t be upgrading their existing Galaxy watches to the new unified platform Wear. But they also said it never intends to leave their customers hanging, so they will continue to provide their services to existing Tizen based smartwatches. They also mention they will provide at least three years of software support after the product launch.
Even though the new confined platform will provide developers and companies to create new watch faces, it still good to see that there will be using the current existing watch faces. But Google and Samsung also promise a broad mix of styles. Samsung also mentioned that it would be bringing its design tools to the new platform.
While all this announcement is huge, there are still some questions that need to be answered like
1)When will the first smartwatch with Wear OS launch?
2)Will it be a complete revamp? Or will it be close to any current watch OS platform?
3) What’s going to happen with Samsung Pay and Bixby?
Can this platform compete with Apple?
While it is a good question to ask, it still doesn’t match Apple’s health and privacy features. On top of everything, Wear can never fit the ecosystem. But if Google and Samsung combine their expertise without any differences, it might be trouble for Apple in the long run.