In March 2018, Google rebranded “Android Wear” to “Wear OS,” with the next biggest change since then being the planned acquisition of Fitbit. Curiously, the company has now quietly renamed its wearable platform to “Wear OS by Google Smartwatch.”
[Update: The “smartwatch” descriptor has always been present in the app name on store listings. In the Android Wear days, it was appended as “- Smartwatch.” We apologize for this error.]
Officially, the platform has always had “by Google” appended to its name, with that reflected in software and on packaging. It’s now — fully — “Wear OS by Google Smartwatch,” with the change first observed (via Reddit, TizenHelp) yesterday evening on the Play Store listing of the Android companion app needed to set-up devices.
We’ve also spotted the change to the iOS client — though the App Store calls it “Wear OS by Google – Smartwatch” — as well as on the page name of the official website. Oddly, the last one is actually “Wear OS by Google Smartwatches.”
As far as we can tell, this is only a name change and has yet to be reflected on product logos, help documents, or the on-device boot screen. “Wear OS by Google” is still present in most places, including the support forum and the body of app store listings.
Plausible reasons for “Smartwatch” being added include providing a differentiator when the Fitbit deal — pending regulatory approval — closes. That acquisition will bring over both Fitbit trackers and smartwatches. At the time of that announcement, Google said the deal was an “opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS.”
Another could just be that this optimizes for SEO, while making explicit — if the first part of the name wasn’t — what Wear OS is.
More about Wear OS:
- Wear OS now sends a reminder to wash your hands every few hours
- Google Fit rolling out step-focused Android & iOS redesign, new Wear OS Tiles
- TAG Heuer’s latest Wear OS watch brings Snapdragon Wear 3100, $1,800 price
- Montblanc Summit 2+ adds LTE as Wear OS app can now activate eSIMs
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