Posted by Karen Ng, Director of Product and Robert Simpson, Product Manager
This blog post is part of a weekly series for #11WeeksOfAndroid. For each week, we’re diving into a key area and this week we’re focusing on Android Beyond Phones. Today, we’ll share what’s happening with Wear OS by Google.
Wearable technologies help people lead healthier lives and connect with important, timely information. Today, we're sharing our areas of investment focusing on the fundamentals, bringing even more helpful experiences to more watches, and giving users more choice in a device ecosystem.
Focusing on fundamentals
Wearables are designed to instantly connect people with what's important throughout the day. That's why we're focused on fundamentals like performance and power.
In the next OTA update coming in the fall, we’re improving performance by making it faster to access your info and start your apps. We’re simplifying the pairing process to make onboarding easier. You’ll see improvements to our SysUI for more intuitive controls for managing different watch modes and workouts. And with CPU core improvements, you’ll also see up to a 20% speed improvement in startup time for your apps.
Finally, we continue to support advancements in technology to bring new functionality, such as LTE, and expand levels of performance with the new Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 4100 and 4100+ platforms. We are excited by the kinds of wearable experiences that can be enabled in the future.
More helpful experiences
Wearables showcase important information at a glance. Some of the most used features of Wear OS by Google are hands-free timers and tracking fitness metrics. In response to COVID-19, we built a handwashing timer that helps ensure users practice good hygiene.
And later this year, you’ll see a beautiful new weather experience for Wear OS by Google. It aims to be easier to read while on the go, with an hourly breakdown of today’s weather to help you plan ahead and provide information about important weather alerts in your area.
We’re always imagining new ways wearables can help people stay healthy, present and connected. Stay tuned for more in 2021!
More choice than ever
We’re excited to welcome new watch OEMs to the Wear OS by Google family -- Oppo, Suunto, and Xiaomi. This means new watches that fit your style and needs -- such as the Suunto 7 with rich sports capabilities, or the new LTE watches from Oppo that will keep you connected on the go.
Bringing the best of Android to wearables
We’re also working to bring the best of Android 11 to wearables. Many of the things you’ve seen in modern Android development -- from Android Studio, a great language with Kotlin, and Jetpack libraries to make common tasks easier will be part of what you can expect as a developer building wearable apps. We’ve just released a release candidate for androidx.wear 1.1.0, and would love feedback on things you’d like to see as you get started building a wearable app.
We can’t wait to see what helpful experiences you’ll build!