Wear OS

Wear OS (previously known as Android Wear) is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables. By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 6.0 or newer, or iOS version 10.0 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application, Wear OS integrates Google Assistant technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor.

Wear OS supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE connectivity, as well as a range of features and applications. Watch face styles include round, square and rectangular. Released devices include Motorola Moto 360, the LG G Watch, and the Samsung Gear Live. Hardware manufacturing partners include Asus, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, New Balance, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, Skagen, Polar, TAG Heuer, Suunto, and Mobvoi.

In the first six months of availability, Canalys estimates that over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped. As of 15 March 2018, Wear OS had between 10 and 50 million application installations. Wear OS was estimated to account for 10% of the smartwatch market in 2015.

In December 2017, Google started to roll out a major Wear OS update based on Android 8.0 Oreo bringing new features before rebranding it to Wear OS.

In November 2018, Google rolled out a major update to its Wear OS system called H MR1 bringing Android 9 Pie to smartwatches and multiple new features like Tiles.

As of September 2020, Google announced two upcoming updates for Wear OS. One minor Wear OS update called H MR2 supposed to bring new performances and UI improvements in Fall 2020. One major one supposed to update the core of Wear OS to Android 11 sometime in 2021 bringing new features, improvements and newer APIs to the platform.

For more information visit wearos.google.com

Related glossaries: