Google, Samsung, and Fitbit team up to save Wear OS

Enlarge / Put on OS: It is coming again.

Put on OS has been uncared for for a lot too lengthy. Google has been lifeless within the smartwatch house, and Samsung cannot get an honest app ecosystem along with its smartwatches based mostly on Tizen. The 2 firms, together with Fitbit (which was lately acquired by Google), are teaming up. Google says it’s constructing “a unified platform, collectively with Samsung” that may mix “the very best of Put on OS and Tizen.” The brand new platform has been quietly renamed “Put on,” dropping the “OS” suffix.

This announcement was only a tease, with no screenshots of the brand new OS aside from a take a look at a couple of issues made with the prevailing Put on OS “Tiles” API. So it isn’t clear what we’re getting right here. We do have some quotes, although. Executives from Google, Samsung, and Fitbit commandeered the stream to speak about their components in all of this.

Samsung says it’s bringing the very best of Tizen (is there a best of Tizen?), however actually what we’re desirous about—as ordinary—is the corporate’s {hardware}. Samsung says the subsequent model of Put on will run on “the subsequent Samsung Galaxy Watch,” presumably the Galaxy Watch 4. Samsung may even be bringing its Exynos system on a chip alongside for the experience, which implies Put on OS will lastly break freed from Qualcomm’s halfhearted wearables help. Samsung is not nice at competing with Qualcomm relating to goodcellphone SoCs, but it surely does flip in competent smartwatch SoCs that improve year over year, which is greater than Qualcomm has been prepared to dedicate to wearables.

With no viable SoC vendor, Put on OS hasn’t even had an opportunity to compete with the Apple Watch, which will get comparatively dramatic {hardware} enhancements yearly. Put on OS has had loads of its personal issues, however the {hardware} is the muse of any gadget, and Put on OS simply hasn’t had a viable basis. It is arduous to see how this does not lead to a Samsung monopoly over Put on OS, however not less than Google can have some sort of SoC vendor dedicated to the platform.

Google guarantees that the subsequent model of Put on OS can have “quicker efficiency, longer battery life, and a thriving developer neighborhood.” There shall be a “entire new shopper expertise” for Put on OS, together with updates out of your “favourite” Google apps. Google Maps, YouTube Music, and Google Pay all obtained shoutouts.

Fitbit promised to deliver “the very best of Fitbit to Put on,” with a predictable nod to well being monitoring. Fitbit additionally says, “Sooner or later, we’ll be constructing premium smartwatches based mostly on Put on.” So would the smartwatch out of Google headquarters be branded a “Fitbit Watch” as a substitute of the long-rumored “Pixel Watch?”

Possibly we’ll be taught extra concerning the venture within the “What’s new with Put on” presentation, however for now, that is it. Google says updates shall be rolling out later this 12 months.

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