Google today made it official that Android Wear is no longer the name for its wearable operating system. A blog post from the company tells us that the platform will heretofore be known as Wear OS.
As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users… we’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all—the people who wear our watches.
The name change is a smart one and comes not a moment too soon. Given that Android Wear added support for Apple’s iOS back in 2015 it clears up any sort of confusion as to what’s compatible. According to Google one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also use an iPhone.
With more than 50 watches powered by Android Wear since its inception, Google saw some 60% growth in year-to-year activations over the the last two holiday seasons. Things are looking up for the smartwatch industry, even if it doesn’t seem to flying off shelves.
If you head to the new landing page of wearos.google.com, you’ll find nearly three dozen models to choose from. Interestingly enough you’ll not be able to purchase any of them direct from Google; instead, visitors are redirected to a watch’s respective brand website.
The latest rebrand
In a similar move, Google recently changed the name and branding of its Android Pay to Google Pay. These sort of changes signal to consumers that there’s no preference to smartphone platform — even though it has a horse in the race with Android.
What happens now?
Google tells us that users will start to see the new Wear OS name and branding on watches and apps over the next few weeks. Moreover, new features and improvements are expected in the coming months. We expect to learn all about the updates and fun stuff at Google I/O in May.