Meet the new unified ‘Wear’ smartwatch platform from Google and Samsung


Ever since Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset that we thought would revolutionize the Wear OS experience we’ve been left wondering why we have a solitary option in the form of Mobvoi’s excellent TicWatch Pro 3. And with Wear OS getting no love in the intervening time period, thoughts were beginning to drift to holding a deadpool game on when, not if, Google was going to call it quits. Thanks to the announcement today during Google I/O however, we finally know why the Wear OS space has been so deathly quiet and that reason is that Samsung is riding in to save the day, or rather, merge its Tizen OS platform with Wear OS into a single unified smartwatch platform.

All those rumors about Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 switching over to Wear OS were both correct and utterly wrong at the same time. Instead, it will run on the unified platform that will simply be known as ‘Wear’ for the time being, until a permanent name is announced.

So, this unified platform will show off the best of both worlds in theory, with apps starting up to 30% faster on “the latest chipsets” that may be the Snapdragon Wear 4100 silicone. We can expect longer battery life, better performance, and more popular apps thanks to it being easier for developers to build apps for.

You can expect to get things done quicker than ever before with shortcuts to important functions such as switching to the previous app.

There are new ways to customize the home screen carousel with Tiles from apps such as Calm, Sleep Cycle, and Flo and as you might expect, Google apps are front and centre with redesigned Google Pay, Google Maps, and Google Assistant apps being developed with support for 26 countries instead of just 11. Google is even promising the debut of the long-awaited YouTube Music app on the OS, to which we say ‘Finally!’.

With the Fitbit deal being done, you can expect the best features such as health tracking and on-wrist goal celebrations being present. New and rebuilt apps from Stava, Adidas Running, Bitmoji, and more are said to be coming to the unified platform in the months ahead.

Well, it isn’t what we were expecting, but the optimist in me hope that its even better than we’d hoped. We now have Samsung driving the support and development of this new ‘Wear’ platform that will hopefully spur the segment on to greater heights, which is admittedly a very low bar presently, TicWatch Pro 3 notwithstanding. What are your thoughts on the announcement?

He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

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