Google announced its biggest update to Wear OS ever during its I/O 2021 keynote.
The tech giant is partnering with Samsung and its Tizen wearable platform to build a unified experience for its watch users. Working together, Google and Samsung aim to merge their strengths to deliver faster performance, longer battery life, and bring more applications to Wear OS.
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
Together, they have made apps start up to 30 percent faster with “smooth user interface animations and motion.”
The two tech giants have also collaborated to refine the operating system’s lower layers to take advantage of low-power hardware cores, improving battery life. This involves useful enhancements such as using the heart rate monitor constantly throughout the day, monitoring sleep overnight, and still having enough juice for the next day.
Google revealed that its collaboration with Samsung will help other developers design “great apps” for Wear OS users.
New updates to Wear OS will allow users to navigate apps faster than ever with shortcuts, and the ability to add tiles from your favourite apps to the Wear home screen will make the OS highly customizable.
Additionally, Google Maps and Assistant are being improved and redesigned to work better with Wear OS along with the release of YouTube Music, which will arrive on Wear later this year. In addition to the 11 countries currently supported, Google Pay will be revamped and will now be available in 26 new countries.
We also learned at I/O that Google will be bringing Fitbit’s many years of health expertise to its Wear OS experience, including features like “tracking your health progress throughout your day and on-wrist goal celebrations.” Google acquired Fitbit back in 2019, and this is the first announcement we’ve heard from the purchase.
The updates to the Wear OS will start rolling out later this year. More information regarding what’s new in Wear can be found here.