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

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James Martin/CNET

At this 12 months’s Google I/O, Google’s smartwatches aren’t invisible like Daydream VR, however they’re positively laying low. One domed demo house has a variety of Put on OS watches operating the newest software program characteristic, Tiles, which I had an opportunity to lastly use. However that is not what issues had been like final 12 months.

A 12 months in the past, Google appeared to have massive 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 over the past 12 months, which is so much. Lots of the watch designs look good. However Put on OS hasn’t taken an enormous leap into new territories. The improved OS is best, and Tiles appears to be like helpful, but it surely’s not a stunning addition. In actual fact, if you happen to’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



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Tiles really feel like a brand new kind of app

Tiles are like quick-glance information panels you’ll be able to swipe by from the principle watch face. They’re extra informative than little issues 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 providers. There are health Tiles for coronary heart fee, 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 possible coming subsequent, after Google releases extra Tiles this 12 months. However it’s unusual, at a developer convention, for a characteristic to be proven that builders cannot do something with.

Tiles may very well be useful for devoted health apps, like ones that faucet into particular units of information similar to blood stress, weight and so forth. The included units of Tile capabilities in the meanwhile, 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 kind of watch design?

I could not assist surprise 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 massive and… properly, watch-like. Google appears enthusiastic about Tiles. I feel they’re higher to have than not have.

However whereas the Apple Watch retains getting higher, Samsung and Fitbit preserve aggressively decreasing 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 might be a part of its personal Pixel model of merchandise. Possibly one thing remains 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 can be even nicer. These options nonetheless aren’t right here.

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