Google and Samsung are merging their operating systems for wearables. The companies jointly announced the move on Tuesday at Google’s Google I / O developer fair. The corporations speak of a “unified platform” that will run on Samsung watches, Fitbit products and other devices in the future.
The connection to Google’s Wear OS apparently means the end of Samsung’s own Tizen operating system, which has so far powered the company’s smart watches and other wearables. In the combined version, the appearance of the previous Wear OS is to be largely retained.
Google emphasizes the technical advantages of the cooperation with Samsung. Thanks to the collaboration, apps should start much faster on current chipsets. The fluency of animations has also been improved in the new version.
In addition, the combination of Tizen and new processors bring improved battery life, explains Google. This makes it possible, for example, to let a heart rate sensor run continuously during the day, monitor the wearer’s sleep at night, and then have electricity left over.
All these advantages should not only be available for Samsung and Google: The new Wear OS will continue to be offered to third parties. In the future, they should even receive better tools to be able to adapt the wearable operating system more precisely to their ideas. In addition to Samsung watches, the new Wear OS will also run on smartwatches and fitness trackers from the Google subsidiary Fitbit.
Google is also planning additional apps for Wear OS, including Youtube Music. A new version of Google Maps should run without a connection to the mobile phone. The application for the Google Assistant is also being renewed. In addition, after the Tizen connection, it should be easier for developers to develop apps for Wear OS – details on this should be made known in the course of the Google I / O developer conference.
New abbreviations such as double-pressing the physical buttons of smartwatches are intended to make it easier to switch between individual applications. These features will become available later this year, writes Google in a blog entry. For software programmers, the Wear OS update brings a number of new programming interfaces (APIs) with it.