Why This Apple Watch Fan Wants the New Wear OS

New apps, a round form factor, and more battery life make the difference

  • Even though I’m a satisfied owner of an Apple Watch Series 6, I’m eager to try out a smartwatch running the new Wear OS. 
  • The Apple Watch design is getting stale, and I’d love to have a new shape on my wrist. 
  • The key selling point for me with Wear OS is that the watches come in so many shapes and sizes.
Wear OS rendered smartwatches

Google

Google’s Wear OS has burned me before, but I’m willing to take another chance thanks to the changes the company recently announced. 

I owned and loved the first generation Moto 360 watch, which I still think is the most attractive wearable ever made. Unfortunately, it barely worked and quickly ran out of juice. as well. The news that Google is revamping the Wear OS in conjunction with Samsung makes me long for an alternative to the Apple Watch Series 6 that I’ve got on my wrist. 

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the Series 6. It’s a delightful watch that reliably does everything it promises, including counting my steps, taking calls and playing music. But it’s also getting a little stale and boring, and I’m ready for a change. 

Time to Retry Wear OS

I admire Google’s design, and its philosophy is reflected in the Wear OS. Wear OS’s simple, colorful iconography outdoes Apple at its own game of elegant and friendly appearances. 

The key selling point for me with Wear OS is that the watches come in so many shapes and sizes. I’ve eagerly eyed the Samsung Galaxy lineup of watches that come in a tempting array of hues and feature neat gadgets. Their round shapes also don’t scream “I’m a smartwatch” the way the Apple Watch does. Fossil makes some interesting-looking smartwatches based on Wear OS that I’d love to try if the operating system was improved. 

“The key selling point for me with Wear OS is the fact that the watches come in so many shapes and sizes.”

While wearables have become so common that they no longer make you stand out, they still have an unspoken message. If you’re out to dinner with friends and glancing at your wrist, people wonder if you are checking the time or communicating via text message or email with someone else. It feels rude. 

There’s a case to be made that a less obtrusive-looking smartwatch, such as those that Samsung makes, is the way to go. That way, I’d have all the features I want at hand, but I’m not a walking advertisement for the fact that I can’t stay away from my messages for an average amount of time. 

While earlier generations of smartwatches running Wear OS fell short of Apple’s wearables, there’s cause for hope that they might catch up. 

Wear OS render on smartwatch

Google

Performance has been one of the Wear OS problems. Apps launch far less quickly and perform more slowly than on rival platforms. That could be solved, since Google claims the unified Wear OS/Tizen will bring a 30% increase in performance and loading times of apps.

My Moto 360 had many flaws, but the thing that made me throw it into a drawer in disgust was its miserable battery life. Apparently, I’m not the only one who has complaints about this issue, as Google promises improved battery life with the upcoming Wear OS update.

Time for More Features

While I would love to have more options in wearables than the Apple Watch, the current batch of competitor models just can’t match Apple’s capabilities. But the new release of Wear OS may change all that. 

Fitbit says it will be powering the fitness tracking experience on the new Wear OS. The company said that the new operating system will have “tracking health progress and on-wrist celebrations for motivation,” which sounds great to me. 

Already existing features will be getting a revamp under the new OS, too, Google officials said. There will be an array of “rebuilt apps,” including Strava, Adidas, Running, and Spotify. Google also said it would be reworking Google Pay and Google Assistant, while heralding the arrival of offline syncing for YouTube Music.

I don’t have high hopes that Apple will radically change the design of its Watch anytime soon. It's got too much of a good thing going. But with a dozen or more manufacturers vying to try out the Wear OS on new designs, things should get pretty interesting with the competition. I can’t wait to give Wear OS another try.

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