Google Wear OS Is Now Official
Wear OS is now officially the moniker that Google will use for its smartwatch OS. The new branding will be available on a select number of smartwatches, which were running Android Wear.
Google and its smartwatch OS has been fighting a losing battle with Apple’s watchOS. Apple Watch and its three iterations have helped Apple become the biggest watchmaker in the world. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple shipped more Apple Watches than the entire Swiss watch industry. With such enormous popularity, it feels like it will take more than just rebranding for Google to revive Android smartwatches.
While the rebranding kind of resembles the moniker Apple uses, the features are not similar in any way. Google, so far, has not announced any new features that will hit the market. Prominent non-Apple smartwatch makers like Samsung now use their own OS instead of Wear OS. However, unlike an Apple Watch, a Samsung S Gear watch is compatible with other Android devices.
The exclusivity of the Apple Watch almost plays into its favour. Apple has built a massively impenetrable ecosystem around its devices. Every iPhone owner who wants a smartwatch is automatically no longer a potential Android smartwatch customer. That is solely because an Apple Watch works more cohesively with an iPhone.
Just like the Android OS market, Android Wear OS market is extremely fragmented. From Samsung, Huawei to Fossil, Android Wear smartwatches are made by a lot of manufacturers. This means that the level of customisation and cohesion that an Apple Watch provides, an Android Wear smartwatch simply cannot.
Google, however, is definitely trying to make it work. The smartwatch industry is well on its path to become similar to the tablet industry. Where its either an iPad or nothing. But, for Google to prevent that, it will take more than just rebranding.