Google's Wear OS will see its biggest update yet with a partnership with Samsung. Wear OS will launch this year as a unified platform co-developed using Samsung's Tizen OS, which the company uses for its Galaxy smartwatches.
"Wear" as Google calls it now will integrate select features from Tizen OS while adding more of its own apps and updating the existing apps, providing an enhanced experience. Samsung's future smartwatches will run on this unified platform along with some of Fitbit's premium devices.
We’re combining the best of @wearosbygoogle and @SamsungMobile Tizen into a unified wearable platform. ⌚ Apps will start faster, battery life will be longer and you'll have more choice than ever before, from devices to apps and watch faces. #GoogleIO pic.twitter.com/vj2aYZD81x— Google (@Google) May 18, 2021
Moreover, Google will include Fitbit's "most popular" fitness tracking features in the update, further improving the platform's stance as a health tool. The update was announced at the Google IO, the company's annual developer conference which also saw the launch of the Android 12 beta.
“We think this will be great for the overall ecosystem,” says Björn Kilburn, Google's lead project manager on Wear. “It'll be good for all devicemakers; it'll be good for developers that we bring these two things together.”
Google says that the collaboration brings battery life improvements, faster app loading speeds, and a wide choice of watch faces, devices, and apps. The new update offers manufacturers more flexibility with hardware and software, providing a homogenous experience.
“All device makers will be able to add a customized user experience on top of the platform, and developers will be able to use the Android tools they already know and love to build for one platform and ecosystem,” Bjorn wrote in a blog post.