Google Ditches the Android Wear Brand

Android Wear is failing, and Google is getting rid of the Android Wear brand this week. The company is introducing a new name and look for its smartwatch software platform, simply called Wear OS.

The new brand will be available with a new software update on the companion apps for Android and iOS, as well as on your watches in the coming days. Google isn’t really saying the reason behind the changed, though it’s pretty clear: the company doesn’t want to tie the platform to Android, as it works with iPhones, and so the change will help address the problem. “As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone,” the company said in a blog post.

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It’s possible the company is gearing up for more of a consumer-approached strategy with Wear OS as it’s failed to keep up with Apple which has been aggressively pushing Watch as a fashion product.

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Conversation 21 comments

  • beatnixxx

    15 March, 2018 - 1:37 pm

    <p>So if/when this fails, the headlines will be "Where OS?". You don't have to write your self-own into your product name, but so many companies do.</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    15 March, 2018 - 1:44 pm

    <p>This isn’t good. /understatement </p>

  • MikeGalos

    15 March, 2018 - 1:47 pm

    <p>That sounds like Google has decided that the Android brand is a negative.</p>

    • Jorge Garcia

      15 March, 2018 - 8:43 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#253501"><em>In reply to MikeGalos:</em></a></blockquote><p>To most normal people, it IS a negative brand. They only see it as a rip-off version of iOS that is clunkier and harder to use. The "app-drawer" concept and the free-wheeling home screen are usually the main culprits. IMO Google should "rebrand" Android immediately, and make Android function 99% like iOS out-of-the-box by simply relegating all the various customizations to "settings" that can be switched on by those advanced users (like myself) who enjoy having all those those home-screen freedoms. In my experience, most normal people just can't handle the freedom of Android, and sour on Android itself as a result, even though THEY are the issue, not the software.</p>

  • Stooks

    15 March, 2018 - 1:56 pm

    <p>Android powered smartwatches have started to dry up. No new products because they all depend on a now 2-3 year old Qualcomm chip with no updates in site.</p><p><br></p><p>Smartest move Apple ever made was to design their own chips.</p>

    • Nicholas Kathrein

      Premium Member
      15 March, 2018 - 5:22 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#253515"><em>In reply to Stooks:</em></a></blockquote><p>Can't agree more than the real issue with Android Wear was the Qualcomm chip. There's no money in it as even Apple's sales of watches hardly would entice Qualcomm to spend the money required to invest in generation after generation of an SOC for watches. Google has to figure that out. They really should have watches equally as compact as Apple can make otherwise they won't sell. I really do believe that Google will release a Pixel watch this year. They need it to round out their echo system and show they can be equal to Apple. How they get their with the SOC I don't know. Maybe they pay for all the development to Qualcomm or maybe that's the first step in them making their own processors. Not sure but why re brand unless you have a new product coming? </p>

  • lvthunder

    Premium Member
    15 March, 2018 - 3:00 pm

    <p>So out of the 6 people who activated a Wear watch 2 of them used iPhones. Interesting. In all seriousness though when is the last time there was a new Wear watch. I haven't heard about them in a while.</p>

  • Bats

    15 March, 2018 - 3:32 pm

    <p>Oh people….of the community. (lol)</p><p>The reason for the re-branding is simple. If people ever paid attention to the company (not firm…because a firm is defined as&nbsp;a "partnership"), Google is emphasing it's AI, aka Artificial Intelligence aka The Google Assistant.&nbsp;</p><p>Not just that, but it appears that Google is readying a world without Android and Chrome as they are preparing for a convergence of everything with it's central figure being The Google Assistant.&nbsp;</p><p>Google has said that it's all about the Google Assistant.&nbsp;</p><p>Plus, Android Wear was never all about smartwatches. It was also about smartclothes, like the Levis jacket.</p><p>Whether you like WearOS or not, it's not going anywhere. Google has always been about integrating it's services into people's lives and maximizing their revenue by trying to sell products of their own to go with it. It makes sense and do you now why? Think "Star Trek."</p>

  • thalter

    Premium Member
    15 March, 2018 - 3:37 pm

    <p>The problem with Android Wear/Wear OS isn't the software. It's the clunky hardware. </p><p><br></p><p>Apple is the only company that gets that smart watches are as much about fashion as they are technology. I see no better proof than the fact that (anecdotally) about half of all Apple Watches I see are being worn by women. Every Android Watch I have every seen, without exception, has been worn by men.</p>

  • wolters

    Premium Member
    15 March, 2018 - 3:41 pm

    <p>I actually like Android Wear. It can use a heck of a lot more refinement but it is far, far from the dog people make it out to be. There have been some small, subtle and positive changes lately with rolling out AW updates via the Play Store now. I'm hopeful it will continue to get better. </p>

  • Jorge Garcia

    15 March, 2018 - 8:22 pm

    <p>This is a good sign. Slowly but surely, Google must pretend that Android doesn't exist. While nerds like myself adore Android, the truth is that most "normal" people simply view it as a "rip-off" iOS that is clunkier and much "harder" to use. A lot of Chinese OEMS have already figured this out, but future versions of "Google Mobile OS" should NOT have an App drawer "on" BY DEFAULT. The existence of an App drawer befuddles an alarming amount of people, and while you should be able to turn it on in the "advanced" settings, the App drawer itself should always be off by default on every new phone. Also, Android, I mean, Google Mobile OS should copy the iOS feature of somewhat organizing your app icons, and never allowing you to put duplicate app icons on the same home-screen. Of course, you should be able to turn those "helpful" features off and on in the settings. I really dislike picking up someone's Android phone who has no idea what they're doing….what you almost always see is a total mess of scattered icons all over the multiple home screens…and the same app appearing over and over again on each panel…and not intentionally. The ability to super-customize the home-screen should be there, but OFF by default. That would go a long way to winning over some converts from iOS.</p>

    • boots

      15 March, 2018 - 10:32 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#253636"><em>In reply to JG1170:</em></a></blockquote><p>iOS not only allows the same app icons to appear over and over again on each panel, it makes it impossible to not do so. The Dock shows the same app icons over and over again on every home screen page. What is the purpose of the Dock? There are no apps that are so important that you need constant access to them no matter what page you are on. Android allows you to download a different launcher that allows you to disable the Dock, this is not possible with iOS. I have the dock disabled and my 5 most used apps on the bottom row of my first home screen page. If I need instant access to them, they are only ever one press of the home button away.</p>

      • Jorge Garcia

        16 March, 2018 - 1:39 am

        <blockquote><a href="#253665"><em>In reply to Boots:</em></a></blockquote><p>For the record, I personally love how Android works, and I think iOS is absurd…but the fact is, the Apple interface is the least common denominator and it's what people have come to associate with a "standard" phone interface. I'm not arguing against the choices that Android makes possible, I'm just saying that ALL the defaults should behave a lot more like iOS does.</p>

  • Jeffery Commaroto

    15 March, 2018 - 9:24 pm

    <p>Hopefully Wear has amazing Google+ integration… /snark</p>

  • EraseYourself

    15 March, 2018 - 10:35 pm

    <p>Will this resolve the limitations than if you use this with an Iphone? My biggest issue with their wearables is all the asterisks of what works on an Iphone. </p>

    • curtisspendlove

      16 March, 2018 - 1:36 am

      <blockquote><a href="#253667"><em>In reply to EraseYourself:</em></a></blockquote><p>To be fair, most of those restrictions are caused by Apple’s limitations. </p><p><br></p><p>I’m actually pretty impressed how well my Galaxy Gear worked with my iPhone. </p>

  • curtisspendlove

    16 March, 2018 - 1:34 am

    <p>I think the “pretty clear” part is that Google is increasingly using their own brand as differentiation. </p><p><br></p><p>I dont buy the “happy cross-platform unicorns” reason. </p><p><br></p><p>Good news for them is that it doesn’t matter. They don’t need to care where the data comes from, just that it does. </p><p><br></p><p>But it make no mistake, Google is trying to brand *their* Android offerings as more premium than the others. And I think that is a good strategy. </p><p><br></p><p>It worked for Apple, it has mostly worked for Microsoft (minus some Surface brand quality dissonance), and I think it will work for Google…if they can beat Samsung at that game. </p>

  • Sherlitt

    16 March, 2018 - 1:36 am

    <p>&nbsp;Emini S&amp;P Trading Secret is so great they help me a lot in trading and making money, unlike the forex it disappoints me a lot. I will never trade back to forex again!&nbsp;</p>

  • Tony Barrett

    16 March, 2018 - 7:41 am

    <p>Despite the re-brand, Google must be doing something right with Android – it has more than 80% market share. The Wear side is tricky though. Wearables still aren't 'must have' devices – there's nothing about them that says 'buy me'. Apple worked this out, and sell their watch almost as a fashion accessory relying on blind loyalty and word of mouth. Google tried to sell Wear on it's merits alone, and rely on partners to come up with attractive hardware, but this doesn't seem to resonate with a lot of people.</p><p>Don't get me wrong, Wear has matured into a very usable OS, and it's way more configurable that Apple's device ever will be, but if anyone ever sees a smart watch, they immediately assume it's an Apple Watch, which is really, really annoying (I suppose in the same way any tablet is automatically an iPad!).</p><p>I still love my G Watch R, even after over 3 years of ownership, but it still lacks that killer feature. I think wearables with built in LTE/4G and things like video calling on your wrist and better AI might help.</p>

    • wolters

      Premium Member
      16 March, 2018 - 9:37 am

      <blockquote><a href="#253699"><em>In reply to ghostrider:</em></a></blockquote><p>Wear is a usable OS now. It may not be perfect and it needs refinement but I enjoy using it. I use the <span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(84, 84, 84);">Huawei&nbsp;</span>Watch 2 Classic but I've also used the Ticwatch E and it is a very capable Smartwatch for about $130. </p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    16 March, 2018 - 10:39 pm

    <p>This could be a great thing to lure people out of the Apple eco system. If the Wear OS watch works with iOS as well as android then I would happily ditch my apple watch to get the flexibility to change ecosystems if I wanted. </p>

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