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Google could finally give Wear OS an annual upgrade cycle with Wear OS 5 based on Android 14

Mentions of Mentions of Wear OS 5 based on Android 14 and Wear OS 6 based on Android 15 have been spotted.
By
January 25, 2024
A user accesses the App Library on their Samsung smartwatch.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6
TL;DR
  • Samsung has been spotted working on support for Wear OS 5 based on Android 14, while Google has been spotted working on Wear OS 6 based on Android 15.
  • This indicates that Google could be switching to an annual update cycle for Wear OS, similar to Android.

If you are looking for a great smartwatch to complement your Android smartphone, Wear OS smartwatches are your best bet. The latest version of Wear OS is Wear OS 4 on watches like the Galaxy Watch 6 and the Pixel Watch 2. Google and Samsung are at work on the next few versions of Wear OS based on Android 14 and 15, indicating that Wear OS could finally get an annual upgrade cycle.

9to5Google reports that Samsung is actively working to support a “Wear OS 5” build based on Android 14 for the Exynos 5535 chip of the next Galaxy Watch 7. Mishaal Rahman then chipped in to note that he independently spotted mentions of Wear OS 6 based on Android 15.

Reading these together, it appears that Google is working on Wear OS 5, based on Android 14, and Wear OS 6, based on Android 15. Wear OS 4 was launched with Android 13 on the Galaxy Watch 6, but Wear OS releases before this skipped Android versions. Wear OS 3 was launched with Android 11 on the Galaxy Watch 4, while Wear OS 2 was based on Android 9.

No further details about Wear OS 5 and 6 are available at this stage. But the more frequent platform update schedule is exciting news. It will help instill confidence in the platform as it gets regular updates across supported smartwatches. This, in turn, will help prop Wear OS better as a rival to Apple’s watchOS releases on the Apple Watch, which gets updated practically every time there is a stable iOS update.

With better OEM confidence in the platform, we can hope more manufacturers adopt Wear OS, which will then foster a more competitive landscape for smartwatches just like it does on smartphones. Once there is plenty of sustained user interest, app developers will also have a better reason to keep their apps supported and updated.