Wear OS isn't great. That's an opinion that seems to be fairly universal (with the usual exceptions), especially when you start comparing Android-powered wearables to those from Samsung, Fitbit, and of course, Apple. Google knows this, and they're working on it. Never has that been more apparent than at today's Google I/O developer conference keynote.
Wear OS has been in need of a fresh coat of paint for... well, always. Every time Google tried to fix Wear OS, it seems like it just made things worse. Wear OS has been languishing for the last few years, but today Google has announced a major shift. It has partnered with Samsung on a new wearable platform that combines "the best of Wear OS and Tizen." It's still called Wear OS—at least for now.
Google is refocusing its efforts on wearables today, bringing several of its apps to Wear OS either for the first time or with fresh and updated experiences. Among the software finally arriving on your wrist is the long-awaited YouTube Music app.
Ever since Google bought Fitbit in 2019, we've been waiting to see what kind of effect that combination would have on both Fitbit's fitness-focused wearables and Google's own Wear OS. Today we know. At Google I/O, a Fitbit representative said it flat out: future Fitbit wearable devices will be running Wear OS.
Wear OS isn't quite in a place to compete directly with gadgets like the Apple Watch and Samsung's wearables, but it's not time to throw in the towel just yet. For the first time in years, Google is bringing an all-new app to its smartwatch lineup, designed to improve communication from your wrist. Gboard is finally coming to Wear OS, complete with a fresh design and multi-language support. We've also got a link to download it at the bottom of this post.
If you've been shopping for a new smartwatch to pair with your Android phone, one name has probably kept appearing over and over again. Mobvoi's entire TicWatch lineup is routinely called the best wearable tech for fans of Google's mobile OS, but with one major catch: the price. If you're looking for a quality fitness tracker for your phone but don't want to break the bank, two of Mobvoi's gadgets are on sale today for under $100.
The Apple Watch is ubiquitous among iPhone owners: it's the go-to for iOS devices. Android, on the other hand, doesn't have any such singular, easy-to-recommend smartwatch — we've got all kinds of options from tons of different manufacturers. Here's a quick guide to some of your best options across categories.
Google pushed live its schedule for Google I/O just yesterday. Of course, we may see the events listed change over time — Google does like to keep a handful of subjects secret until they're announced — but there are already a few must-watch events. I've taken a look at the full list, and while you should keep that schedule open for additions, here are my recommendations.
We're all desperately looking forward to the upcoming (white boy?) summer, and Google has just given Wear OS a new feature that will help you stay a little bit safer as you chase the sun. The platform's official Weather app will now show the UV index for your location.