Android Wear is dead, long live Google’s rebranded Wear OS
Three years ago, Google announced the release of a revolutionary operating system called Android Wear, a new OS made with smartwatches and other wearables front of mind.
With Android Wear, Google claimed to have brought the ease of Android platforms to smartwatches. Now today, Google has announced that Android Wear is no more. But don’t fear, it’s not dead – it’s just getting a new name. Meet Wear OS (or Wear OS by Google/WBG).
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Announcing the news in a
Announcing the news in ablog post, Google explained that its vision for Android Wear was always created on “the belief that wearable technology should be for everyone, no matter what style you wear on your wrist or what phone you had in your pocket.”
The move might seem purely cosmetic, but it does make a difference. With the name Android Wear, Google had inaccurately tied any smartwatches running the OS to Android phones, when they weren’t actually Android-exclusive. As Google itself says: “In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone.”
And that’s exactly what it’s hoping to do with Wear OS. iPhone devices might not receive the same features that Android devices do via the wearable software, but they’re still supported.
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Many people caught wind of the name change earlier than expected, after a Reddit user posted a screenshot of a push notification which clearly showed the name Wear OS and the new logo.
Other than the change of name, we’re still unclear about whether Wear OS will bring any new features to the platform. Instead, we expect to find out more at Google’s annual developer I/O conference in May.
The new name will begin appearing on Android Wear watches and apps for the first time over the next few weeks. Unless you’ve already seen it on your phone, of course.