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Home / Features / Wear OS 5 preview: everything we know (and what we’d like to see)

Wear OS 5 preview: everything we know (and what we’d like to see)

All you need to know about Google’s upcoming wearable OS refresh

Wear OS 5 preview

Wear OS 5 looks set to launch this year, if online rumours are anything to go by. Set to make its way to some of the best Android smartwatches, we thought it would be useful to round up everything we know about it so far, ahead of its official reveal.

Wear OS 5 release date

Wear OS 5

The current consensus is that Wear OS 5 is likely to make its debut on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7, which, in turn, is expected to be announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event (rumoured to be in July). That’s a lot of ifs, buts, and maybes, but it’s far from being a crazy or unexpected prediction.

Google itself has officially confirmed that Wear OS 5 is incoming, thanks to the title of a session slated for Google I/O which kicks off on 24 May. Titled “Building for the future of Wear OS”, the session description clearly lists Wear OS 5 as its main focus.

But while Samsung’s smartwatch will more than likely be powered by Wear OS 5, you can expect a Samsungified version in the form of its One UI Watch overlay. Android fans looking for a purer Wear OS experience will have to wait a little longer — probably until October — when the Google Pixel Watch 3 is expected to be released.

Whether or not this means that Google will finally be serving up yearly wearable OS updates like Apple remains to be seen. But considering how long its Wear OS platform was neglected for a fair few years, we certainly hope that this marks the beginning of annual wearable updates.

Wear OS 5 smartwatches

OnePlus-Watch-2-teaser-lead

As mentioned, it’s a very safe bet that the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 and Galaxy Watch 7 Pro/Classic will be the first devices to debut Wear OS 5, followed by the Pixel Watch 3 later this year. We’d also expect to see Wear OS 5 roll out to other more recently released smartwatches, like the OnePlus Watch 2, Pixel Watch 2, and other Android smartwatches. This is all at the discretion of individual manufacturers, mind, so nothing is guaranteed, especially at this very early stage.

Features (and what we’d like to see)

Google Pixel Watch 2 rear glass

There’s little to no information currently available on Wear OS 5, beyond the fact that it exists and is likely to launch soon. We’ll be updating this feature with more leaks and information as we get it, but for now, there’s nothing stopping us from making a cheeky wish list:

  1. Fitbit for all: Currently, Fitbit functionality remains a Pixel Watch exclusive, but we’d love to see it opened up to all WearOS 5 devices.
  2. Better battery life: An increase in OS efficiency that results in a noticeable, real-world increase in battery life would be amazing, for obvious reasons.
  3. Play it safe: The Pixel Watch (currently with Wear OS 4) has a feature called Safety Check which lets you set a check-in timer on your watch, which will then automatically share your location with emergency contacts if you don’t confirm you’re ok after a predetermined amount of time. It also has a feature called Emergency Sharing which shares your location with selected contacts. Both of these features are exclusive to the Pixel Watch, and we’d love to see them opened up to all devices running Wear OS 5.
  4. Recovery: We’d love to see recovery insights make their way to Wear OS 5, as currently Wear OS users are limited to having to pay for Fitbit Premium to access its Daily Readiness Score. If Google wants to tempt people away from services like Garmin Connect that offer in-depth recovery insights as standard, then this could be a big (and very welcome) move indeed.
  5. Powerful AI: Seeing Google’s Gemini AI features brought directly to your wrist could be game-changing for those who want to incorporate more AI into their daily lives.
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About

Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.

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