Google Announces Much-Needed Wear OS Revamp

Posted on August 29, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Google, Hardware with 14 Comments

After rebranding Android Watch to Wear OS, Google is finally introducing a much-needed redesign for its smartphone OS. The announcement of the major redesign comes just ahead of the launch of Google’s rumoured Pixel Watch that’s set to arrive in October.

With the new Wear OS revamp, Google is making it easier for users to access important things. Swiping right on the watch will now take you to a new Google Assistant feed where you can get all the latest updates from your assistant. Assistant will also provide you with smart suggestions for things like the weather, or help you find a restaurant near your hotel.

Swiping left will take you to all the fitness related things, and that’s where things get a little interesting. Google has obviously included the new, redesigned Google Fit with the updated Wear OS, which comes with things like activity recommendations and proactive notifications. But the company is reportedly building a health and fitness assistant called Google Coach to possibly go along with the launch of Pixel Watch, and this new screen could be its home.

And now, we wait for the Pixel Watch.

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Comments (14)

14 responses to “Google Announces Much-Needed Wear OS Revamp”

  1. wolters

    This is good news indeed...that said, I've demoed a Galaxy Watch recently and I have to say that I like it a lot, even if I'd rather stay in the WearOS ecosystem. I've waited too long for WearOS and the watches to match Apple Watch and Fitbit (health tracking) and after using WearOS for several years, I can say the Galaxy Watch is the best, all round smartwatch for Android. But it will be interesting to see where WearOS goes and if the Pixel Watch is going to blow us away. It may be hard to beat the rotating bezel.

    • Jeffery Commaroto

      In reply to wolters:

      I gave up having any faith Google would ever stick with any of this and see it through to maturity. I feel like this is another press release announcing their commitment to a project they will lose interest in.

      I like my Apple Watch. Much of what they did at the start with apps and having multiple controls was a mess. They have done right by the core features though like telling the time, notifications, health tracking. I find each is exactly what they need to be and the way they handle coaching/incentives is the right bit of helpful without being overbearing. It is a product I forget I rely on until I am not wearing it which is exactly what I want this kind of tech to be.

      If Apple incrementally adds new health sensors over the next few years and keeps the relative simplicity I will be happy.

      • wolters

        In reply to Jeffery_Commaroto:

        I actually do agree with your comments. Google has had Android Wear/WearOS for many years, even before Apple Watch and they are just now giving it attention. I know we are just a few weeks away on seeing where WearOS goes but I think, as an Android user, that Galaxy Watch is just too good to not use right now.

        I mean, how hard was it to get my WearOS watch to let me know I need to move? My Microsoft BAND did this. And the Galaxy Watch is doing an outstanding job of it.

        Google reminds me a lot of Microsoft. They make a good project, we embrace it, they forget it and then dump it.

        • nicholas_kathrein

          In reply to wolters:

          Problem is all the SOC. It's 3 to 4 years old. It's slow and big. There is much it can do. All your complaints stem from there being no new Arm SOCs till this October which meant the watches were huge and didn't have many quality sensors that is needed to make Google fit an accurate device which is why everything on the software side has been in quick sand. We don't see all the work they do and all the work that the teams find out that in the lab it works but on shipping hardware it won't. Until Google designs it's own ARM chips for watches they are at the mercy of ARM designers. Apple's been making yearly updates on their watch chip and that is why the apple watch was so much better than Google's whole line.

      • cheetahdriver

        In reply to Jeffery_Commaroto:

        Agreed. while my Pixel2xl makes a good backup phone, it will never achieve primacy over my iPhone simply because of the force multiplier the Apple Watch is. Using your phone for business, taking 75 calls a day and maybe 100 emails? Not taking your phone out of your pocket to see who is calling or see if an email is important or spam may save you an hour a day. Add in Apple Pay and other advantages, it would take quite a bit of a phone advantage (like voice controlled AI) to get me away from my Apple Watch.

        • wolters

          In reply to cheetahdriver:

          I can't go iPhone but I can admire how this all works.

          I have to say that the Galaxy Watch is as close to the Apple Watch that an Android user can get at this point in time. I've answered calls from my watch more on the Galaxy Watch in 4 days with it than I ever did on my WearOS watch because it was so hit and miss and often messed with my Bluetooth in my car.

          And Samsung Pay (even without MST on the Galaxy Watch) still works better than Google Pay.

  2. jimchamplin

    Do they have any models available that aren’t the size of the Sun? I’d love if they had one roughly the size of the classic Casio 5600 G-Shock. That would be just about perfect to me.

  3. Chris_Kez

    This will all be more meaningful when Qualcomm finally updates the SoC that all these Android Wear devices are built on. Until then we'll continue to see limited improvements in physical design, battery life and sensor options. In the short term Apple Watch is going to lap these guys once again.

  4. dcdevito

    I come to this site for my daily anti-Google fix in the comments, always entertaining. Thanks guys.

    In all seriousness, this is a massive UI change and it's welcomed. Google has a huge opportunity with its Assistant, which is the perfect UI for small screens.

  5. Winner

    Meanwhile, I'm still noticing both a "Settings" and a "Control Panel" in 3 year old Windows 10. And when I choose many settings, they give me an old-style Windows 7 or earlier dense menu underneath. Such as the file explorer viewing options.

    I would have thought 3 years would be long enough to get the UI fully cleaned up for the Windows 10 appearance standards.

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