Wear OS by Google™ smartwatch operating system has had quite a storied evolution. It first appeared on very tech-focused and expensive smartwatches that were made by smartphone manufacturers. ASUS, Motorola, Sony, Samsung, LG and others competed on features and style while pretty much running the same operating system.
There were limitations in the earlier versions, mostly limited battery life, app integration and speed. Plus, many of the earlier “Android Wear” watches looked like shrunken down smartphones, which put off some users.
Shifting tides in the smartwatch market
The smartwatch market has declined somewhat in the succeeding years, mostly because of the success of lower-priced yet similarly capable fitness trackers. The advantage of many of these fitness bands is that you can wear them along with mechanical or digital watches, which most users seem to prefer over smartwatches that need to be charged daily.
Wear OS by Google™ has also been co-opted by various fashion brands looking to offer capable but reasonably priced connected watches. These brands like Fossil, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Movado, Diesel and others already have loyal brand following and have been making watches for ages.
The Widest Choice of Watches
The biggest benefit of Wear OS by Google™ on fashion timepieces has been the wide range of choice. In the past, a company like LG or Sony had one line of smartwatches and they all looked alike. Today, if you like Hugo Boss’ aesthetic and want to have a timepiece connected to your Android phone or your iPhone, there’s a whole world of choice. Fashion brands are all about the new look, too, so there’s endless variations and designs to choose from.
This also solves the problem many consumers have of wanting the functionality of a smartwatch but not the looks of a geek’s tech gadget. Let’s face it, earlier and some current smartwatches don’t look appealing to many people. Consumers want to match their timepieces with their clothes, they want to look professional and stylish. Smartphone makers who create smartwatches may not have that range in creating compelling fashion.
Pricing is also a huge consideration and many of the Wear OS-powered fashion smartwatches have a wide range of models for gentlemen and for ladies, which also means that there is a range pricewise, more than ever before.
A wide range of functionality
What do these new breed of Wear OS smartwatches offer? Unprecedented optimization thanks to the latest Android Wear which allows for the widest variety of watch-faces and complications.
Google fit, which is a comprehensive fitness tracking application in included with Android Wear.
The ability to track walks, runs, rides and strength training from Google Fit and your favourite apps. These watches can offer fitness coaching, measure your heart rate and even stream music, right from your wrist. Wear OS by Google™ watches with mobile connectivity lets you use your favourite apps, even when you leave your phone behind provided you sign up with a carrier for the data.
Let’s not forget Google Assistant which is the all-encompassing AI for Google services which is also now residing on these devices.
This brings functionality beyond the buttons and the touchscreen on these devices and ensures that you can run searches, invoke navigation and turn-by-turn directions, trigger Google Play Music or Spotify music playback as well as respond to messages and even manage calls (where available) without reaching for your phones.
Let’s look at a great example of an Wear OS by Google™ enabled smartwatch.
Fossil Q Explorist Gen 3
This Fossil Q Explorist Gen 3 smartwatch keeps you connected wherever the road takes you. You can customize the full-round display, receive notifications on the go from your smartwatch, and automatically track your daily activity. Powered by Wear OS by Google™, the Fossil Q Explorist is compatible with phones running Android 4.3+ or iOS 9.0+.
This smartwatch features Fossil’s rugged good looks, it has Integrated activity tracking records daily accomplishments, like steps, calories burned and automatic updates for local time and date when travelling, so you don’t have to figure out what time zone you’re in.
Built-in lithium-ion battery offers up to 24 hours of life, depending on use. I like that the Inductive charging magnet provides wireless charging in about 2 hours. Do not that using the GPS as well as music playback and heart rate monitoring while running will burn through your battery in no time, good thing it only takes 2 hours to recharge. One of my favourite features is pairing wireless Bluetooth headphones to use with music playback in the gym. I can totally leave my smartphone behind.
Fossil includes customizable watch faces that let you choose a design, adjust the colors, and add flare to show off your unique style and personality. A useful feature is Integrated the LED flashlight lets you illuminate the inside of your bag, dark hallway, or other small area.
Stainless steel case has a IP67 rating for water resistance and is dustproof Stainless-steel band offers a modern, handsome look that’s easy to match and works as a rugged watch as well as a fashion statement, all you need to do is change the watchface accordingly.
Interchangeable watch straps (sold separately) allow you to customize the look of your watch to accent your changing style needs. You don’t even need tools to change straps which is super convenient.
Smartwatch buyers now have a wide range of fashion-forward watches created by stylish brands that have a history of watchmaking. With Wear OS by Google™, these watch match great fashion sense with unprecedented functionality and connectivity.
Best of all, there’s a wide range of looks and designs to choose from, a range of pricing based on functionality and materials and superb customization. Here’s hoping we get even more fashion brands bringing their distinctive look and style to Wear OS which can only mean wider choice for users as well as a great selection of smartwatches people will be happy to wear.