Exploring Android Wear OS: What It Is and How to Use It?

With the growing popularity of smartwatches, operating systems for them are making their presence felt. And Wear OS from Google is currently the leading operating platform for such smartwatches.

Let’s find out what it is, how it works, how to start using it, and more-

1. What is Wear OS?

Android Wear OS was introduced as Android Wear back in 2014 by Google. Since its launch, the search engine behemoth has constantly updated the OS and made it more powerful and efficient.

Several smartwatch brands have adopted the Wear OS for their products, including Samsung for its range of Galaxy watches. Google has also introduced the Pixel Watch powered by Android Wear OS 3. 

2. What is the Use of Wear OS?

Like Android is a popular OS for mobile phones, the Wear OS is an OS for smartwatches. Just like Google has made the Android platform available for other smartphone manufacturers, its Wear OS can also be used by other smartphone manufacturers.

The primary objective of Wear OS is to make the usability of Android smartphones available for smartwatches. For instance, it can be used by developers to build apps for smartwatches. A Wear OS-powered smartwatch comes with a host of features, including mobile notifications, reading and replying to messages received on mobile, contactless payments, and more.

3. What Apps Can Be Downloaded to a Wear OS Smartwatch?

Many of the Android apps are now available for smartwatches too. You can download and use such compatible apps on your Wear OS-powered smartwatch. Moreover, one of the primary uses of a smartwatch is health tracking. Many smartwatch manufacturers have teamed up with other companies to offer this functionality.

For instance, while Samsung smartwatches use the Samsung Health platform, Google Pixel has partnered with Fitbit to offer fitness and health tracking capabilities. More importantly, as you can easily download various apps to these smartwatches, you have complete freedom to choose any health-tracking app you like.

4. What is the Latest Version of Wear OS?

Google released Wear OS 3.5 in 2022. However, currently, only a handful of smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Google Pixel Watch come with this latest version of the OS. The majority of the smartwatches are powered by Wear OS 3 which was launched in 2021.

It is also worth noting that Wear OS is also compatible with iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system. So, you can pair an iPhone with iOS 13+ and above with any Wear OS-powered smartwatch. But note that the Wear OS works more efficiently with Android devices.

5. How to Start Using Wear OS?

You can start using the Wear OS by purchasing any smartwatch powered by this operating system. Apart from the Pixel watch and the Galaxy range of smartwatches, there are plenty of other brands like Skagen, Fossil, Diesel, Montblanc, Michael Kors, etc. offer smartwatches with Wear OS.

Some of the notable features of this OS are as follows-

  • Compatible with Google Assistant and Smart Suggestions
  • Send texts, emails, and check who’s calling directly on the watch without pulling the phone out
  • Access a host of Google Apps, including Google Maps, Google Pay, Google Calendar, Google Translate, YouTube Music, and more
  • Download apps from the Google Play store
  • Store favorite music and play directly from the watch

(Note- The features can vary depending on the smartwatch you purchase)

Features of an Android Phone Now on a Smartwatch with the Wear OS

As can be seen, the Wear OS effortlessly converts a smartwatch into a full-fledged Android smartphone. Look for the latest range of Wear OS-powered smartwatches and choose one to start experiencing the features of a smartphone right on your wrist.

Roberta A. Long