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Thread: Wear OS Turns 5

  1. #1
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    Post Wear OS Turns 5

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    Wow, time flies... Five years ago today I posted about Wear OS (then Android Wear) for the very first time. A tip of the hat to Android Police for reminding me of this.

    As a fan of smartwatches I'm unfortunately not a fan of Wear OS. If it works for you, then great—for me, I've been spoiled by cheaper hardware that I don't have to charge nearly as often. Even the crew at AP seems to be struggling to find nice things to say about it; in an anniversary write-up offering five perspectives on Wear OS, two of the contributors have moved on to Tizen, while a third mirrors my own opinion of it:

    It has fitness and exercise-related features, but it isn't very good at it. It has app support and the full Play Store, but it's too small and fiddly to provide a very good UX. Devices include pretty high-end hardware with things like fancy round AMOLED displays and reasonably fast SoCs, but battery life is terrible. Every platform and hardware advantage comes with a corresponding and deal-breaking weakness.
    Even more telling is a recent AP round-up of Wear OS apps and watch faces. Scrolling through the article I immediately noticed two things: (1) most of the apps featured come from a single developer and (2) a surprising amount of watch faces are carry-overs from the Pebble.

    It's certainly encouraging that traditional watchmakers like the Fossil Group have embraced Wear OS, but I'm unsure if that's enough to call the platform a success. There's plenty of stock in stores but, from what I've observed, very few on people's actual wrists.

    Sources: Android Police (1) (2)
    My mobile memoirs — free ebook available here.
    My HoFo feedback... is that still a thing?

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    I'm with you here...from Tizen to Tizen to Pebble to WearOS (3 watches) I find the latter sucking big time.
    No wonder the Apple watch outsells Android watches 10:1

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