Google’s revamped Wear OS sounds like a clean break from the old version

Enlarge / A Put on OS watch.

Ron Amadeo

At Google’s I/O 2021 convention, the corporate introduced what feels like a complete re-launch of Put on OS, with Samsung as a significant accomplice. The largest remaining {hardware} vendor for Put on OS is trend firm Fossil Group, and in a weekend interview with CNET, the corporate shed a bit extra mild on the challenge.

“Premium” appears to be the secret for the revamped Put on OS. Fossil is presently charging $350 for the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, whereas an LTE-equipped Apple Watch prices nearer to $500. When the brand new Put on OS comes out, we’ll most likely see watches extra in keeping with Apple’s pricing. CNET got here away from the interview saying, “The upcoming wave of Android-compatible watches will likely be completely new, with new chips centered on sooner efficiency and higher battery life.”

Many sites concluded that present watches wouldn’t be up to date from the previous Put on OS to the brand new Put on OS. Fossil responded by sending out an announcement that did not deny the hypothesis and solely mentioned that “future improve plans are nonetheless being developed.” Samsung has mentioned that Tizen watches will not be upgraded to Put on OS, however that is a very totally different working system.

It will not shock me to listen to that the brand new Put on OS will likely be a clear break from the previous Put on OS. If the brand new Put on OS, supposedly developed “collectively with Samsung,” is concentrating on a contemporary {hardware} spec, it will be difficult to deliver the prevailing units ahead. Put on OS has lacked a top quality SoC choice for a while, and whereas present Fossil and different Put on OS watches may appear to solely be a number of years (or a number of months) previous, the Qualcomm chips they use have been out of date for years.

Qualcomm’s seven-year SoC hole

Even units just like the Fossil Gen 5 LTE, which launched a number of months in the past, have the Snapdragon Put on 3100, which makes use of Cortex A7 CPUs and a 28 nm manufacturing course of. Qualcomm’s gross neglect of the wearables area means this 2021 watch options state-of-the-art know-how from 2014, so think about working round immediately with a Snapdragon 801-powered Galaxy S5 and anticipating updates.

However, Samsung’s Exynos division has not fully deserted the smartwatch SoC market, and the upcoming Galaxy Watch 4—anticipated to be the launch machine for the revamped Put on OS—is rumored to return with a 5 nm Samsung SoC. If we’re courting these chips by the manufacturing course of, there are seven years of know-how enhancements between them. That is the form of {hardware} change that will not result in many units being upgraded, since designing for one thing that gradual would maintain the platform again.

In 2020, Qualcomm did supply its first important smartwatch improve in six years, the 12 nm Wear 4100, however producers have mostly ignored that chip. The 4100 will likely be a 12 months previous on the finish of the month, and it appears like this was a one-off replace from Qualcomm and never the beginning of a yearly improve cycle that might result in a viable smartwatch {hardware} platform. Fossil says it has “some fairly main {hardware} upgrades” coming for the brand new Put on OS; hopefully, the corporate is speaking about greater than the Put on 4100.

Over the previous six years, we have seen Put on OS hardware-makers slowly starve to dying because of a scarcity of entry to high quality SoCs. Samsung getting into the ecosystem with its personal chips solves that drawback for the corporate, however will every other hardware-makers get entry? Samsung has occasionally sold Exynos chips to competing distributors, however it has by no means made an actual enterprise out of it, and it has by no means bought smartphone chips. Google says Put on OS continues to be open to {hardware} producers, but when Samsung will get solely Samsung chips and different Put on OS OEMs like Fossil get Qualcomm chips, the competitors would possibly as nicely shut up store now. That is how Samsung bought Tizen watches previously, so possibly Samsung and Google are OK with it.

Source link
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart