Wear OS might not be in the strong position that makes it a go-to for Android owners, but there is a lot to love and plenty to be disappointed in if you do end up buying a smartwatch running on Google’s platform – or already own one.
At the upcoming I/O 2021 developer conference, Wear OS has received some much-needed attention, with a likely Material You-style redesign expected and hinted at. On top of that, the announcement that Samsung and Google are working together to fuse Wear OS and Tizen means potential 30% performance gains in the not-too-distant future.
Add in the drawn-out acquisition of wearable stalwart Fitbit and confirmation that future Fitbit watches are set to adopt Wear OS is a clear sign that wearables are to be a bigger focus for Google moving forward. We’re finally going to see a dedicated YouTube Music app, after the death of Google Play Music too. Long-time complaints look to finally be addressed.
Does it mean you should run out right now and buy a Wear OS watch? Well, that’s a tougher question to answer as poor performance is one area that still plagues the current crop of watches running the smartwatch software and you’re not guaranteed to get the new updates when available later this year. Sure, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ chipsets are huge performance and battery life leaps – showcased by the solid Mobvoi Ticwatch Pro 3 – but even the wealth of designs are not enough to make it hard to recommend a Wear OS watch over Tizen-powered wearables.
The entire smartwatch market is dominated by the Apple Watch, while Wear OS is dominated by Fossil and Mobvoi. The platform is barely a blip on the global sales maps. This is disappointing for a number of reasons, especially as the wealth of designs and hardware options means you can pick up a wearable that feels more like a traditional watch than an outright piece of tech. Plus, smartwatch sales have jumped by almost 20% YoY from 2019 to 2020. Clearly, people simply are not buying Wear OS watches, even despite global market growth.
Now that Samsung is set to ditch its own internally developed Tizen OS for Wear OS, the Galaxy Watch 4 is going to be a major player powered by Google’s wearable platform. App support is one cited reason, which is a strong area of the Google Play Store. For some, it’s easily one of the core reasons to buy a Wear OS watch over a competing option from the likes of Huawei or indeed Samsung.
With all of that in mind, we want to know how you feel about the platform especially with the I/O 2021 announcements. Would you consider buying a Wear OS if these major improvements are acted upon and further OEM options are available? Or do you already own a Wear OS-powered watch and love the experience? Be sure to drop your answer down in the poll below and then let us know why down in the comments section below.
More on Wear OS:
- Gboard for Wear OS hands-on: Tiny touchscreen typing done right [Video]
- Hublot’s Big Bang e UEFA Euro 2020 runs Wear OS, costs $5,800, and includes an NFT
- Wear OS PIN keypad redesigned and resized with new Gboard
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