Today, we’re sharing the biggest update to Wear ever – built with your preferences in mind. We’ve been hard at work in three areas: building a unified platform with Samsung, delivering a new consumer experience and providing updates to your favorite Google apps.
A unified platform
Samsung and Google have a long history of collaboration. Now, we’re bringing the best of Wear and Tizen into a single, unified platform. By working together we have been able to take strengths of each and combine them into an experience that has faster performance, longer battery life and more of the apps you love available for the watch.
For performance, our teams collaborated and made apps start up to 30% faster on the latest chipsets with smooth user interface animations and motion. To achieve longer battery life, we’ve worked to optimize the lower layers of the operating system – taking advantage of low-power hardware cores to enable better battery life. That includes handy optimizations like the ability to run the heart rate sensor continuously during the day, track your sleep overnight and still have battery for the next day. Finally, our unified platform will make it easier for developers to build great apps for the watch.
This isn’t just for Google and Samsung. All device makers will be able to add a customized user experience on top of the platform, and developers will be able to use the Android tools they already know and love to build for one platform and ecosystem. And because of these benefits, you will have more options than ever before, whether it’s choosing which device to buy or picking which apps and watch faces to display.
A whole new consumer experience
We’ve made it faster than ever to get things done. From anywhere in the watch, you can access shortcuts to important functions, like switching to your previous app.
And there are more ways to customize your home screen carousel with Tiles from your favorite apps like Calm, Sleep Cycle and Flo. You can easily choose what information you want at a glance, and which actions you want to have just a swipe away.
The best of Google on your wrist
Google Maps and Google Assistant are being redesigned and improved. Google Pay will also be redesigned and add support for 26 new countries, beyond the 11 countries currently available. YouTube Music will also arrive on Wear later this year, equipped with features like smart downloads for subscribers to enjoy music while on the go.
Health and fitness tracking is essential for wearables. With the latest Wear update, we welcome Fitbit’s many years of health expertise to the experience. The best of Fitbit, including features like tracking your health progress throughout your day and on-wrist goal celebrations, will motivate you on your journey to better health.
More and better apps
We are also making it easier for our developer community to build great apps (including new Tiles!) for the platform, and reach millions of consumers all over the world through the Google Play Store.
New tools, like a Tiles API and a watch face design editor built by Samsung, make it a breeze to develop new experiences on wearables. New and rebuilt apps from developers like Strava, adidas Running, Bitmoji and many more are coming to the platform. Be sure to check out our developer keynote and technical session “Now is the time: what’s new with Wear” to learn more.
These updates will begin rolling out later this year. From a unified platform with Samsung, to a new consumer experience, and a world-class fitness service from Fitbit, this is a new era for the wearables ecosystem.