Yesterday, Google announced in a blog post that Android Wear was changing its name to Wear OS, a rebranding designed to reflect the fact that one in three Android Wear users also uses an iPhone. The company hopes to make it more obvious that devices running the wearable operating system are compatible with Apple devices as well, something which has been the case since 2015.
“As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users,” Wear OS Director of Project Management Dennis Troper wrote in a short blog post announcing the name change. “In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. So as the watch industry gears up for another Baselworld next week, we’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all — the people who wear our watches. We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone. You’ll begin to see the new name on your watch and phone app over the next few weeks.”
According to both Wareable and Android Central, however, a much bigger change is coming for those who use AndroidWear for fitness tracking: a version of the Google Fit app for iOS.
When Android Wear launched for Apple in 2015, it proved to be an unsatisfactory partnership for fitness junkies since Android Wear devices only send activity data to Google Fit, which can’t be downloaded on an iPhone, and not to Apple Health, which aggregates data from most other connected health devices. According to Android Central and Wareable, that’s due to change within the next few weeks.
Wareable spoke to Troper and got a little more out of him about planned updates to Wear OS’s health and fitness features, which will likely roll out as part of a major OS update many are expecting to coincide with the Google I/O developer event in May. Troper told the publication that Wear OS is very interested in the health and fitness space and plans to step up its offerings around “proactively coaching and motivating users to stay more active.”