It sounds like Google is getting serious about smartwatches. Today at Google’s annual developer event, the company announced a partnership to join forces with Samsung by combining the “the best of Wear OS and Tizen.” Essentially combining Samsung’s far better watch operating system with Google’s in an effort to take on the Apple Watch.
Honestly, for most people, it’s either the Apple Watch, Samsung Watch, or a Fitbit if you have Android. Google really dropped the ball when it comes to the smartwatch. However, when you combine this move with Google’s recent acquisition of FitBit, things could shape up rather nicely in the months ahead.
So far, we’re not really sure how cozy Samsung and Google are getting here, as they didn’t share too many details on the collaboration. That said, we do know the next Galaxy Watch will finally come with Google apps and services. It looks like Samsung will blend Tizen OS into Wear OS, and both sides will help each other. For now, they’re still calling it Wear OS.
Google is working on a slew of optimizations and tweaks to make apps better, improve battery life, and generally improve Android watches. The company announced a suite of watch-optimized first-party apps for the new Wear OS.
Some of those include turn-by-turn navigation in Maps, offline music downloads to your watch in YouTube Music without a phone, and more. All of which are long overdue. Google says it’ll make tiles and interfaces easier to create for developers with a new Tiles API and a bunch of improved shortcut options to build into those apps.
And finally, Google will continue to integrate its acquisition of Fitbit by utilizing its premium health and fitness services. Several of Fitbit’s best features will come to Google’s new wearable operating system it’s building with Samsung, but they didn’t say which ones. Furthermore, Fitbit will launch new Wear OS-powered fitness watches later this year.
This news just broke, so we don’t know too much yet, but expect plenty of details in the future and ahead of the all-new Wear OS launch later this fall.
via Google Blog