Google made several important announcements at I/O 2O21, and one that we are particularly excited about is the new partnership with Samsung for the new Wear OS.
Google’s Wearable software has remained brazenly neglected for a very long time. The dominant Android phone maker, Samsung, on the other hand, has been adamant about breaking beyond Google’s walled garden with its Tizen OS. All this tussle has left Android users hanging high and dry without a proper smartwatch experience – anything comparable to Apple Watch in the iOS ecosystem. All of that is perhaps about to change – for Pixel and Galaxy users at least.
The unified Wear OS follows Google’s new ‘Material You’ design that works with vivid color palettes tailored to individual tastes and preferences. It also leverages Tizen smarts and optimizations resulting in improved battery life, smoother animations, and 30 percent faster app loading times.
Google is also granting developers more access. The new Tiles API will let third-party apps create their own tiles that users can choose to place in the primary home screen carousel.
Google’s own apps and services are also being optimized for the watch experience. For instance, there will be standalone Google Maps, Youtube music, and Google Pay apps for wearables. Google will further make good use of Fitbit’s software to solidify Wear OS as a fitness tool.
All of these changes sound promising and are likely to elevate the WearOS experience. We will need to wait and watch to see if the end product is compelling enough to be adopted by numerous popular wearable brands that have been peddling their own wearable software due to a lack of proper alternatives.
Google didn’t drop any obvious hints about its own Pixel watch, but the next Galaxy Watch from Samsung is confirmed to run this unified interface.
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