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Google's faster, simpler Wear OS update starts rolling out
- Google has started delivering its fall Wear OS update.
- The upgrade boosts performance, extends battery life, and makes pairing simpler.
- It’s only available on the Suunto 7 to start, with other smartwatches coming later.
Google is making good on its promise to deliver the fall 2020 Wear OS update now that Android 11 is here, although you’ll likely have to be patient depending on the smartwatch you own. The upgrade has started rolling out, and focuses more on improving fundamentals like speed and longevity than a rethink of the interface.
Most notably, performance should be better across the board. Google claims app launching and boot times are up to 20% faster. You can also expect longer battery life, although the company wasn’t ready to commit to specific figures — that likely depends on your particular model.
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There are a few more conspicuous changes. The pairing process is faster and more reliable, potentially giving you a better introduction to your new wristwear. Other changes coming this fall will bring an easier-to-understand weather experience, a handwashing timer to cope with the pandemic, and “more intuitive” controls over watch modes and workouts.
Just don’t expect to get the Wear OS fall update right away. The new software is reaching Suunto 7 smartwatches first, and will come to other devices in the “coming months.” It could be a while before your watch gets those speed and battery boosts.
The 2020 release is low-key even compared to some smaller Wear OS updates. Whether it’s due to the pandemic cutting resources short or Google focusing on Fitbit, it won’t be large enough to make you reconsider a Galaxy Watch purchase. It will wring more out of a Wear OS watch you already own, though, and could be particularly appealing when watches with Qualcomm’s speedier Snapdragon Wear 4100 arrive.