The Galaxy Watch4 turned a lot of heads recently, both for being a pretty darn good watch in its own right and the first model that uses the third-gen version of Wear OS, infused with Samsung's Tizen software. But early reviews indicate that the watch is, well, very Samsung: you'll have to dig deep to find the Wear foundations. A new leak from Fossil might catch the eye of anyone excited for a new generation of Wear OS hardware — admittedly, expected to run older software.
Remember the original Galaxy Gear? It was among the very first Android Wear devices, released way back in the halcyon days of 2013. A huge experiment in wearable tech, it was every inch a first-gen product, including an oddball 1.9MP camera mounted on the proprietary wristband. In the years since Samsung switched from Wear to its internal Tizen OS, eventually sending an update that completely overwrote the original OS in 2014.
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 is far from being the most praised smartwatch operating system, an issue Google is well aware of. Thankfully, the company worked on improving it and introduced widget-like tiles in May. Sadly, these were capped to just five, a restriction that's now being lifted.
Google announced a pretty substantial Wear OS update last month, stating that it would be coming in the fall. We're still a couple weeks out from fall, but Finnish brand Suunto is already pushing this performance-improving update to its Suunto 7 watch.
Just as many people are getting a bit stir crazy from staying indoors, the Google Fit team is delivering some long overdue attention to the Android app and Wear OS. Over the next week or so, several enhancements to the interface are set to roll out, meant to make information more visible while streamlining the interface so users can quickly pull up the most important bits of data.
Possibly frustrated by leaks, more companies seem to be going ahead and leaking upcoming products themselves — Google did so yesterday with the Pixel 4, and now Mobvoi has published (and then taken down) a landing page which revealed a new LTE equipped TicWatch Pro.
Wear OS has gone through quite a few evolutions over the last five years as it adopted apps, watch faces with custom complications, changes to notifications, and so on. The next big change is coming soon as Google prepares to take another step on the path it began with the last major update, and it's going to be called Tiles.