Put on OS: What’s new and what’s coming quickly



James Martin/CNET

At this yr’s Google I/O, Google’s smartwatches aren’t invisible like Daydream VR, however they’re undoubtedly laying low. One domed demo area has quite a few Put on OS watches operating the most recent software program characteristic, Tiles, which I had an opportunity to lastly use. However that is not what issues had been like final yr.

A yr in the past, Google appeared to have large plans for Put on OS. Software program updates introduced a brand new, improved interface. New Qualcomm processors promised higher efficiency and sports activities modes. A wave of latest watches began to look. 

There have been 21 Put on OS watches from 17 manufacturers during the last yr, which is quite a bit. Most of the watch designs look good. However Put on OS hasn’t taken a large leap into new territories. The improved OS is healthier, and Tiles seems to be helpful, nevertheless it’s not a stunning addition. In actual fact, should you’ve ever seen a Samsung Galaxy Watch, it is downright acquainted.

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What’s new with Google Put on OS? Tiles, that’s what


Tiles really feel like a brand new sort of app

Tiles are like quick-glance information panels you may swipe by way of from the primary watch face. They’re extra informative than little problems on watch faces, however lighter and simpler to launch than apps. The Samsung Galaxy Watch has a ton of most of these swipeable panels, however Google’s solely launching seven for now. 

They’re all for Google’s personal apps and companies. There are health Tiles for coronary heart charge, headline summaries for information, one with climate information and a timer. Tiles will be re-ordered, added or eliminated.

However builders cannot make their very own Tiles, but. Google’s Put on OS executives say that is seemingly coming subsequent, after Google releases extra Tiles this yr. But it surely’s unusual, at a developer convention, for a characteristic to be proven that builders cannot do something with.

Tiles might be useful for devoted health apps, like ones that faucet into particular units of knowledge reminiscent of blood strain, weight and so forth. The included units of Tile capabilities in the mean time, nonetheless, have limits.

It is attention-grabbing that Tiles can work like apps, at the very least. The timer Tile is a full timer.

Will Tiles imply a brand new sort of watch design?

I could not assist marvel if Tiles and their quick-access really feel would imply customary apps would diminish. Or might this imply a doable wave of smaller, “lighter” wearables that would not really feel so large and… nicely, watch-like. Google appears enthusiastic about Tiles. I believe they’re higher to have than not have.

However whereas the Apple Watch retains getting higher, Samsung and Fitbit preserve aggressively reducing costs. Will Google change up its Put on OS technique to compete?

What concerning the Pixel Watch?

We nonetheless have not heard a factor about Google’s personal rumored watch, one that will be a part of its personal Pixel model of merchandise. Possibly one thing continues to be within the works, however proper now issues appear awfully quiet for Put on OS.

Tiles are good, however extra helpful health monitoring advances, teaching and additional assistant capabilities could be even nicer. These options nonetheless aren’t right here.


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