Google and Samsung Team Up on Wearable OS

Tizen and Wear OS get together

Google and Samsung are merging their operating systems for smartwatches, the companies announced this week. 

The tech giants will improve Google’s Wear OS and Samsung’s Tizen-based software platform, they said at the Google I/O conference on Tuesday. The merged OS will feature improved battery life, 30% faster loading times for apps, and smoother animations.

A group of app icons with the Google Play logo overlaid on top of them.


"At Samsung, we have long focused on creating the best possible connected experiences between Galaxy smartwatches and smartphones, working in perfect harmony together," Janghyun Yoon, an executive vice president at Samsung, wrote on the company’s website.

"This new platform is the next step in that mission, and we’re looking forward to giving consumers the best mobile experience."

The unification of the two rival operating systems should make life easier for developers to create new apps for wearables. As a result, Google said there will be a greater selection of apps and watch faces than ever before.

"New and rebuilt apps from developers like Strava, Adidas Running, Bitmoji, and many more are coming to the platform," Bjorn Kilburn, Google’s director of product management for Wear, wrote on the company’s website

The merged OS will feature improved battery life, 30 percent faster loading times for apps, and smoother animations.

Google OS users will notice a wide variety of tweaks to the new operating system, the company said. Google Maps and Google Assistant are being redesigned. Google Pay is getting a new look and add support for 26 new countries beyond the 11 countries currently available. YouTube Music will also arrive on Wear later this year, with features like downloads for subscribers for music on the go.

Social media users reacted with enthusiasm to the news.  "At last!" wrote Reddit user L0lil0l0. "They will completely revamp Wear OS with the help of Samsung, who had developed a way better OS before. These are great news for smartwatch users as we need a good competition to the Apple Watch."

See all our coverage of Google I/O 2021 here.

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