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Google I/O 2021 | Google debuts Wear OS 3.0, confirms new Samsung partnership and Fitbits that will run on the new software

Google touts some advantages of its new Wear OS partnership. (Source: YouTube)
Google touts some advantages of its new Wear OS partnership. (Source: YouTube)
Google I/O 2021 has kicked off with what the OEM calls "the biggest update to Wear OS" in this software's history. It has collaborated with Samsung and Fitbit to bake the better features of their wearable platforms into this upcoming version. It will be available to the next generations of both OEMs' watches, as well as those of other Android manufacturers.

Google's representatives lost little time in getting to Wear OS during the opening keynote to the I/O 2021 keynote, outlining a potentially significant upgrade for the smartwatch platform. For a start, the Mountain View giant confirmed Samsung's involvement in the development of this upcoming version (3.0).

This new collaboration will apparently lead to improvements in battery life, as well as a boost in performance of up to 30% on the "latest chipsets". Google attributed these enhancements to the "thriving developer community" involved in Samsung's existing Tizen OS, as well as its general expertise in wearable technology, particularly as it applies to sensors.

Similarly, Google has credited Fitbit's contribution in generating Wear OS 3.0 - or, simply, Wear - s "world-class" prowess in health-tracking and analysis. Accordingly, the company - now merged with Google - will launch new, premium watches that run this new UI in the near future.

On that note, Google also asserts that the next Wear OS interface has been re-designed to work better than ever before. It will feature new, possibly more intuitive, navigation settings such as double-tapping a watch's screen to get back to the last-used app.

First-party apps such as YouTube Music, Google Pay and Maps for Wear OS have also been enhanced in similar ways. Finally, Google has confirmed that the Jetpack library can be used to make custom Tiles, even if this developer feature is still in alpha.

Wear OS 3.0 should start to become available in the autumn of 2021, and may also ship with new smartwatches from various OEMs in the same approximate time-frame.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 05 > Google debuts Wear OS 3.0, confirms new Samsung partnership and Fitbits that will run on the new software
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-05-18 (Update: 2021-05-19)