Wear OS has been in turmoil for some time now and it looks like Google has found a way to finally save it. The American tech giant took to the stage at the I/O 2021 virtual event to announce its new partnership with Samsung to work on a new improved smartwatch OS. Both firms will essentially combine Google’s WearOS and Samsung’s Tizen-based software to create something referred to as “Wear”. At least that’s what Google kept calling it but we don’t that’s the final name…hopefully.
This joint effort is set to see a new software platform with huge improvements to battery life, app performance and smoother animations. This is also expected to simplify life for developers as they will be working on apps for one central smartwatch OS for the Android platform. Google also promised a greater selection of apps and watch faces than ever before.
We’re combining the best of @wearosbygoogle and @SamsungMobile Tizen into a unified wearable platform. ⌚ Apps will start faster, battery life will be longer and you'll have more choice than ever before, from devices to apps and watch faces. #GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/vj2aYZD81x
— Google (@Google) May 18, 2021
“All device makers will be able to add a customized user experience on top of the platform, and developers will be able to use the Android tools they already know and love to build for one platform and ecosystem,” Google’s Bjorn Kilburn wrote in a blog post.
According to a report, Samsung will be sticking with its popular rotating bezel on future devices— but it’s finished making Tizen-only smartwatches. Google Maps will also have its own Wear OS standalone app while YouTube Music and Spotify add support for offline downloads on Wear smartwatches.
Samsung also added to the announcement stating that its next Galaxy Watch will run on this unified platform. Fitbit, which is now owned by Google, will also have its future “premium” devices running on the software. Users of this software platform will benefit from easier multitasking from their watches between wrist and apps. Additionally, some of Fitbit’s “most popular” fitness tracking features will also be included to help the platform evolve as a health tool.
More details about the upcoming system will be shared in the months to come.