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Google Wear OS 5: What is it and when it’s coming to your smartwatch

At Google’s recent I/O conference, the firm provided further information about what wristwatch owners may anticipate when the latest version of Google Wear OS 5 arrives later this year.

So, is it worth getting excited about, and how will it affect how you utilize the smart wearable on your wrist? This is everything we know about Wear OS 5 thus far.

When will Wear OS 5 be released?

Wear OS has had a delayed release schedule since Google rebranded Android Wear in 2018.

There have been numerous point releases (2.2, 3.5, etc.) that offered new features, but here’s when the main version made its debut:

  • Wear OS 1 – March 2018
  • Wear OS 2 – September 2018
  • Wear OS 3 – August 2021
  • Wear OS 4 – July 2023

So there isn’t much of a trend there, save that the previous few iterations have appeared around the summer or near the conclusion of the season. So far, Google has only stated that Wear OS 5 will be released ‘later this year’, but we’d be cautiously optimistic that it’ll be available around September 2024.

However, this is simply speculation, as hardware launches may play an essential role. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 is anticipated in August 2024, and the Pixel Watch 3 in October 2024, thus Google may chose one of those devices to ship with Wear OS 5.

Samsung has previously been a launch partner, so it could happen sooner rather than later, with the upcoming Unpacked event largely predicted on July 10th.

Google Wear OS 5

Which devices will be compatible with Wear OS 5?

Google has yet to reveal a list of devices that will be supported by Wear OS 5, so we can only speculate on which watches will be compatible with the new software.

There are the apparent Pixel Watch and Pixel Watch 2 models, which appear to be set to receive the update. Samsung’s recent Galaxy Watch 4, Watch 5, and Watch 6 models, as well as current models from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo, Mobvoi, and other manufacturers, should be kept in mind.

We’ll update this once we acquire more concrete facts.

What new features will there be in Wear OS 5?

At I/O, Google unveiled some of the major new upgrades that will be included in Wear OS 5, however it appears to be a refinement and performance version rather than an overhaul with a slew of dazzling new features.

Here are some highlights:

Battery life improvements

Google revealed on its The Keyword blog that improving battery life will be a top objective for Wear OS 5.

It appears that this will be accomplished through improved performance efficiency, with the post noting that ‘racing an outdoor marathon will consume up to 20% less power when compared to watches with Wear OS 4’.

With some smartwatches struggling to last a day, this is welcome news.

Google Wear OS 5

More advanced fitness tracking features

In the same blog post, Google explained how Wear OS 5 will feature advanced tracking metrics like as ‘ground contact duration, stride length, and vertical oscillation’.

All of this is wonderful news for runners who wish to focus on their technique and style of movement. It’s unlikely to be useful for other fitness pursuits, although Google may unveil upgrades for sports and workout tracking.

Google adds some flavour to watch faces

Wear OS 5 will also include an overhauled approach to how watch faces are designed and set out.

The Watch Face Format, which developers can use to create watch faces for Wear OS, will soon support more complex complications.

This might result in a more engaging and helpful display, as Google states that the complications will support two major new features: goal progress and weighted elements.

These allow the display to show you how close you are to completing the target you’re tracking, or if you’ve already surpassed it. Weighted elements break down the information given into smaller pieces or subsets, similar to a pie chart, allowing you to see your progress in greater depth.

There are also new ‘flavors’ being offered, which provide developers with a variety of preset layouts to pick from when developing watch faces.

Live weather data

Another useful feature is the introduction of live weather data in Wear OS 5, which allows you to see if it’s going to rain soon or if you should put on shorts for the impending heatwave that’s expected to arrive in the afternoon.

That’s all we’ve seen so far, but Google may reveal additional features in the coming months, so we’ll continue to update this piece as new information becomes available.

Achraf Grini
Achraf Grini
Hello This is AG. I am a Tech lover and I have long been a promoter and editor for a shopping company, I have followed smartphones and headphones and others. I covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews.
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