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Google's fall Wear OS update will speed up your smartwatch
- Google is releasing a fall over-the-air update to Wear OS that focuses on speed and core experiences.
- Apps will load up to 20% faster, and it supports new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chips.
- There’s also a new weather interface, improved controls, and a handwashing timer.
Google is still committed to supporting Wear OS, and its next version will be focused on improving the basics.
It’s releasing an over-the-air update in the fall whose centerpiece is a significant boost to performance. Improvements to the CPU core should see apps load up to 20% faster — important for apps you want to quickly access on your wrist. It should be easier to get started, too, thanks to a simplified pairing process.
Accordingly, the update will support Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ chips.
Don’t worry — there are interface changes as well. A new weather experience arriving “later this year” promises an easier-to-read layout with hourly conditions and key alerts. And since it’s 2020, there’s a handwashing timer to help you keep clean during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You’ll also find “more intuitive” controls for watch modes and workouts, Google said.
Some upgrades will aim at developers. Google will have the “best” of Android 11 for app creators, including Android Studio, the Kotlin language, and Jetpack libraries. You could see more (and more polished) Wear OS apps as a result.
Google didn’t say when the update would first reach devices. Still, it could be reassuring if you’re concerned Google might have left Wear OS by the wayside while it shifted its attention to Fitbit. However, this won’t satisfy people hoping for more dramatic updates. You might be disappointed if you were hoping Google would more directly take on wearable rivals like Apple and Samsung before the year was over.