Google’s operating system for wearables, dubbed Wear OS, is getting a shot in the arm. During the company’s Google IO developer conference, Google has announced it was teaming up with Samsung to work together on Wear OS, which will now replace Samsung’s home-grown Tizen OS on future models of Galaxy smartwatches. This means that Samsung is now ditching Tizen OS in favor of the Google-developed operating system.
Google promises that users can experience faster performance on wearables that run Wear OS VS the competition. They claim that apps can start 30% faster than current chipsets with smoother UI animations and motion. Wear OS also plans to take advantage of its lower-power hardware cores that should result in longer battery life. In use, this could mean you can run power-hungry processes like a heart rate sensor 24/7, a sleep tracker, and still have enough juice the next day.
Wear OS will allow a “customized user experience,” embracing the same level of customization that Android users enjoy on their phones. What this means is that Samsung is likely to come up with a Wear OS Galaxy Watch that runs on One UI. Gestures like double-tapping watch buttons should enable shortcuts for important functions like switching to your previous app, for example.
Google is also optimizing its Maps and Assistant for future wearables. This could mean smartwatches can log GPS coordinates using both apps which ideally should allow you to do more without having to lug your smartphone on a quick jog.
It is without a doubt that Google and Samsung teaming up for Wear OS opens up a whole lot of possibilities for the future of wearables. These improvements may edge out the Fitbit’s features such as tracking your health progress throughout your day, and on-wrist goal celebrations.
New tools are also underway for developers such as Tiles API and a Samsung-built watch face design editor, tools that should make it easier to develop new experiences on wearables. All of these improvements are expected to come later this year.