A new tweet of the official Wear OS Twitter account is teasing an update tomorrow at I / O 2021 to Google’s often-forgotten smartwatch operating system. Google has even suggested that the developer conference will feature an all-new version of Wear OS on the I / O Adventure page, the ‘virtual sandbox’ for trying out the products Google will announce at the conference. 9to5Google writes.
Wear OS has taken a long and bumpy journey so far – with new features, but not the dramatic platform rethink it might need. Over the past year, Google has added a new keyboard, support for third-party Tiles (Wear OS’s answer to uncluttered widget-like information), and performance improvements. But the last major design change in Wear OS – other than the addition of Tiles – came in 2018. At least Google’s banter is a welcome sign of life.
Both Google’s acquisition of Fossil’s smartwatch technology in 2019 and plans to acquire Fitbit in 2020 revived hopes that it would also gain renewed interest in wearables as a concept. The process of including Fitbit in particular was outlined due to health data privacy concerns that came with it, but the deal was finally approved in 2021.
In the meantime, Google’s other wearable partners kept the platform on life support. Fossil’s watches – like the 2019 Gen 5 and 2021 Gen 5 LTE – were often limited by the underperformance of Qualcomm’s smartwatch processors. Mobvoi took a different approach with its 2021 TicWatch Pro 3, skinning Wear OS, layering an additional display and populating the watch with a range of custom apps, but still ran into some inherent problems with the Wear OS type.
But back to the hope on the horizon: Google is teasing a new Wear OS version, and there are rumors of hardware to back that up – Samsung reportedly dropped its Tizen OS in exchange for using Google’s software on its next smartwatches. . With a big powerful new partner, its own wearable team, and the possibility of Android 12’s rumored new visual design coming to Wear OS, it suddenly seems like Google has a plan for your wrist. We’ll have to watch this week to see how promising that plan actually is.