Google has been offering the Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) operating system for smartwatches for years. Unfortunately, it is clear that Google’s operating system is struggling to establish itself in this Apple Watch-dominated market. In addition, this has already been abandoned by some of his partners.
This year, however, Google intends to correct this situation and introduce the “biggest update” of all time for the operating system. Mountain View has teamed up with Samsung to improve Wear OS.
Apple Watch competitors have a new operating system from Google and Samsung
Samsung and Google have long been partners as the Korean giant uses the Android operating system on its smartphones. On the other hand, Samsung preferred its own Tizen operating system for connected watches.
This week, however, Google announced the unification of the two platforms Wears OS and Tizen at the Google I / O conference. “Samsung and Google have been working together for a long time. Now we’re bringing the best of Wear and Tizen onto a single, unified platform. Working together, we were able to leverage each other’s strengths and combine them into an experience that offers faster performance, longer battery life and more apps you love for the watch, ”says Björn. Kilburn, Director of Product Management, Wear OS.
Through this collaboration, connected watches can gain in performance. On the latest chips, apps boot 30% faster and users should experience smoother animations. To improve the autonomy of the watches, Google and Samsung have optimized the lower layers of the operating system by using components that consume less power.
This optimization of autonomy is important as it is one of the main flaws of watches on Wear OS today. If this new platform is developed jointly by Google and Samsung, it can also be used by other manufacturers.
With the introduction of a new API for the tiles, which application developers can use to create their widgets, the user experience is evolving with Wear OS watches as well. On the other hand, these developers can also use the dialing editor offered by Samsung. Also note that future products from the Korean giant will allow users to use Google apps and services.
Upcoming watches will also benefit from Google’s acquisition of Fitbit (which cost $ 2.1 billion).
In addition to this partnership with Samsung, Google is beginning to integrate Fitibit’s solutions into its connected watch operating system. This was mentioned during the I / O conference.
“Health and fitness monitoring is critical to wearable devices. With the latest update from Wear, we welcome Fitbit’s many years of health expertise. The best of Fitbit, including features like tracking your health progress throughout the day and celebrating goals on your wrist, will keep you motivated on your journey to better health, ”says Bjorn Kilburn.
This important update, set to usher in a new era for smartwatches that rival the Apple Watch, will be available later this year.
In any case, Google is announcing this update at a time when more and more manufacturers of Android smartphones (especially Chinese manufacturers) are introducing networked watches. In addition, the demand for this type of product is expected to increase further this year.
“The normalization of economies coupled with a growing interest in health and fitness will help the smartwatch market grow. We expect weak double-digit growth over the medium term – possibly higher if average selling prices are falling rapidly, ”said Sujeong Lim, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, in a report earlier this year.