Google kills Android Wear in favour of Wear OS ahead of Baselworld 2018

Ahead of the world’s biggest watch show, Baselworld 2018, Google has rebranded its Android Wear smartwatch OS as Wear OS.

The announcement was made via a post on the official Google Blog, and suggests that a number of Wear OS devices will be launched at the event, which takes place in Basel, Switzerland between March 22-27 this year.

Aside from the announcement of the new name, Google’s post was frustratingly light on details, and mentioned no major functionality changes or improvements for the operating system, beyond a snappier moniker that looks to be more inclusive.

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Google’s Dennis Troper writes:

“As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. 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.”

Google has been no stranger to rebranding its branding over the years. Its Nexus line of Android smartphones turned into Pixel handsets – see last year’s excellent Pixel 2 – while Google’s self-driving car project is now known as Waymo.

Could Google go a step further and shake up some of its other software products? Android TV, for one, might benefit from a new image – but there are still questions left about the shift to Wear OS.

Namely: will Google reset the version numbering it has been using for Android Wear when it switches to Wear OS? The options seem to be starting over with Wear OS 1.0, or transitioning to Wear OS 4.0, which would be a more natural progression from the current-gen Android Wear 3.0.

Only time will tell but, hopefully, the hands are all pointing towards additional information being revealed next week at Baselworld.

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