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Wear OS 5 watches will keep on running as long as you do

Google has announced Wear OS 5 is coming this year and, although the scale of the updates are somewhat paltry initially, there’s great news for those who love to extend their workouts beyond convention.

The company says running an outdoor marathon will consume 20% less power than watches running Wear OS 4, meaning the battery is less likely to conk out before you do.

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“Central to our release of Wear OS 5 is continuing to enhance battery life,” Google said, upon announcing the Developer Preview of Wear OS 5, which is based on Android 14.

“Wear OS 5 brings performance improvements over Wear OS 4. Tracking your workout is now more efficient; for example, running a marathon consumes up to 20% less power on Wear OS 5 than on Wear OS 4.”

Google also says improvements to fitness apps are coming, thanks to support for data types like ground contact time, stride length and vertical oscillation.

Elsewhere Google is announcing the next iteration of its Watch Face Format creation tools for Wear OS 5, which include more complications when customising the look and feel of the watch.

Wear OS 5 watch faces

Devs will be able to incorporate goal progress (“where the user has a target, but that target can be exceeded. A good example is step count”), as well as weighted elements like pie charts. Weather data will be available in the latest version of Watch OS too, which has been a requested feature by the developer community.

There’ll also be a new Flavors distinction for watch faces, which the company says will “allow the watch face developer to configure useful and attractive combinations of the watch face’s configuration options, and allow the user to visualize and select from these with ease.”

Considering the examples shared by Google for last year’s Watch Face Format developer creations (below), we’re hoping for a little better this time around. Gee whizz!

watch faces format

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