Google is partnering with Samsung to make the Wear OS much more better than it currently is. The news of the partnership was announced during the Google I/O event on Tuesday where the tech giant stated it will collaborate with Samsung to redesign the smartwatch’s operating system.
Best of all, smart fitness tracker maker Fitbit made it know it will also be making Wear OS apps as well as making the operating system available on its own future smart watches too.
Samsung uses its Tizen OS on some of its devices already and the fact that the South Korean tech giant is moving towards embracing the Android ecosystem in its entirety is a good one for its customers.
Another reason this news should be important to you is the fact that Samsung, Fit and Google all collaborating is a big deal and that could push the future Android smartwatches towards Apple Watch in terms of capabilities thanks to the refined software.
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CNET reporter stated that the collaboration is to enhance the end product at the end of the day when they finally debut later on this year.
New wearable platform from Samsung and Google
According to reports, the collaboration between Samsung and Google will not end with the upgrade of the Wear OS only but also the technical capabilities of the software which will includes its sensory support and chipsets in the future.
“We’re seeing apps start up to 30% faster, and the performance is allowing us to add animations and transitions that are super smooth that we didn’t have before, all of this powered on the latest chipsets,” Bjorn Kilburn, director of product management for Google Wear, said on a Google Hangout call.
It’s also worth noting that the next-gen smart watches will be cellular-ready and offer other nice features like better battery life and have health-tracking features.
There are reports that some Google apps are being ported to the future Android Wear OS so the dependence of future smart watches running on this operating system will be more independent. Think of apps like Google Maps or YouTube music all being used without an actual smartphone.
The partnership also looks like it could once again open up electronics partners to make Wear OS watches. “It will enable the entire Android ecosystem of device-makers to bring their cutting edge hardware and software experiences to the wearable space like Android has done for phones,” Kilburn said. That suggests that other Android phone OEMs that used to be active in the Wear OS space could end up coming back.
Even though Kilburn didn’t point out what chipsets these watches will utilize but he stated that “we’re very focused on using the latest chipsets for wearables. And a lot of the choices around what chipsets are actually used will be down to The OEM’s choice,” he said.
It’s not all the smart watches running the Wear OS will be able to make the leap to this premium arena. “Whether those existing devices get upgraded or not, will be a function of a few different things. It will depend on whether the hardware itself can support the upgrade, and it will be a function of whether the OEM chooses to do the upgrade,” said Kilburn.
Samsung’s next watches will all run Google software
Also its worth noting that the next-generation Samsung smart watches will run on the Google Wear OS and they will all use apps from the Paly Store.
Google made it known that the Samsung’s watch-face creation tool will also be part of the new Wear OS and Samsung confirmed this story stating that a select number of its apps and services will be made available on the Play Store.
According to Samsung, the next Galaxy watch with Wear OS will still have its rotating bezel design, and have enhanced battery life and more accurate health and fitness tracking.
“Future Galaxy Watch devices will be based on the new, co-created unified platform,” said Samsung in a statement to CNET.
“In addition to the new unified platform, Samsung will continue to offer the great experiences that consumers loved on previous Galaxy smartwatches, such as the rotating bezel UX.”
However, the bad news for current users of the Galaxy Active 3 won’t be getting the Google-based software.
“The new unified platform is not updatable on existing Galaxy smartwatches,” Samsung confirmed in a statement. Existing Samsung watches will get software support for up to three years, but not on the new Wear OS.
Services like the S-Health might be coming to the end of its life time even though it will be possible to export all your data to the Google’s Fit app in one click so you can still maintain your records.
“Beloved Samsung services like Samsung Health will continue to be core to the Galaxy experience and available on Galaxy smartwatches. For the users who have enjoyed Samsung Health service, the service will continue on the new unified platform and data is exportable to the new unified platform. Samsung Health is not part of the new platform,” Samsung confirmed via email.
Building a centralized ecosystem
The word ecosystem might be overused in the media nowadays but it’s somewhat true to some point if you consider the fact remains that Google making the Wear OS the new Android for smart watches will further centralize the system whereby a single Google account can be used across multiple connected products and services.
But this won’t be the first time Google and Samsung will be in partnership as so was the case back in 2014 with the Gear Live. Both tech giants have also had their tough relationships in the past as well but things seems to be alright between the pair right now as far as making the next-generation smart watch better in terms of hardware and software capabilities.