Google Is rebranding its smartwatch operating system, Android Wear to Wear OS by Google. Some Andriod users got an early notification of the new branding and logo. Although the hardware and software remain the same, the first developer preview of Android P refers to the wearables platform as “Wear OS.” Over the next few weeks over 50 Android Wear watches will be getting the new name, Wear OS in a software update.
Android Wear which was first launched in 2014 was introduced to function as an Android-based smartwatch OS which was integrated to just Android phones. But, since it is now compatible with both Android and iOS, the name seems inappropriate. So, Google is rebranding “Android Wear” to a name that is not specifically tied to one mobile operating system and Wear OS fits the bill. Android is not just rebranding its smartwatch platform, earlier it has changed “Android Pay” to “Google Pay.” This is because Android Pay could be utilised on other platforms than just Android.
Google’s name change comes ahead of the Baselworld expo, it is likely we will be hearing of another wave of Wear OS products. Although Google has been quite slow in dishing out updates from the OS side of things, since its release of Android Wear 2.0 about 13 months ago, we are yet to hear of a new version. Even before that, the time lag between its 1.0 and 2.0 versions was 2 and a half years. Qualcomm is not helping matters since it hasn’t produced quality smartwatch SoCs and the current Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip wasn’t even that good at launch. So, we cannot entirely blame hardware for the lack of new versions of smartwatches.
Apple, on the other hand, produces yearly updates of its hardware, software and SoCs for its users which has placed it top on the market. Samsung has also produced SoC for its users with its Tizen-based smartwatches. However, we are anticipating more apps, better efficiency and more support for iOS from Google.