Category: Wear OS

The Survival of Wear OS Depends on a Pixel Watch

The rebranding exercise last week from Google on Android Wear was an important one, if nothing more than superficial.  Now known as Wear OS by Google, the flavor of Android designed to run on watches, the name change reflects many things that have been changing with the Android naming convention over the past few months.

But the problems for Wear OS are far deeper than a simple name change can fix.  Sure, Google can address the iPhone user market who, they report, is one out of every three Android Wear user today. The fact is, a premium Wear OS watch experience needs to happen and it needs to come from Google.  Just as they have done with phones and Chromebooks, a Google “Pixel Watch” would unleash all the potential of Wear OS to the masses.  But there are big obstacles in the way that have to be addressed.  If there is a company that can sort it out, it is Google.  The question is if they want to do it.

Google Releases List of Watches That Will Be Updated to Wear OS

With all of the rebranding efforts of Android Wear to Wear OS by Google, and an update to the Wear OS app for Android, the next question is which watches will get updated to reflect the new branding.  Well, it seems, a fair number of them.

Google has taken to the renamed Android Wear forum to announce which watches will get updated.  While the time frame of a “the coming weeks” was provided, there was no further timeline provided or which watch will receive the update first.

Wear OS App Update Brings A Much Improved User Experience

With Android Wear being rebranded Wear OS today, Google has taken the opportunity to update the Android Wear app for Android.  The app update, however, is not just a rebranding exercise.  The company took the opportunity to revamp the user experience of the app and make it far more friendly than previous iterations.

The new app build is version for those keeping score at home and has been released to the Play Store.  It may take a few days to get to everyone.  Once it does, you will find that settings for your watch are not front-and-center on the home page of the app.

Android Wear Officially Rebranded Wear OS

After finding indicators in the latest beta of Google Play Services, it looks like the branding of Android Wear has officially moved to Wear OS.  Google launched a new site this morning for the platform, removing the Android Wear name in favor of the new one.

Wear OS by Google Site

Wear OS by Google Site

As indicated before, this rebranding makes a lot of sense.  Google has been slowly separating things from the Android name, instead making them Google branded or generic.  The best example of this is the recent change from Android Pay to Google Pay.  For Android Wear, this makes sense because Wear devices have long been compatible with iPhones thanks to the Wear app.

Android Wear Looks to be Getting a Name Change – Wear OS

It looks like Google is once again set to rebrand an Android named product or service to something more Google generic.  In the latest beta of Google Play Services, version 12.5, references to Android Wear have been changed to Wear OS, complete with a new “W” icon and everything.

New Wear OS References in the Google Play Services Beta

New Wear OS References in the Google Play Services Beta

The change was first spotted in name only in the version of Play Services that came in the Android P Developer Preview.  But a new beta rolled out to those in the beta channel for the app and you get the above changes when using the Nearby feature of Android.

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