Google's Android Wear mobile operating system for wearables could be set to get a new name as well as new features, according to feedback from Android P beta-testers reported by 9to5Google.
The appearance of a new logo accompanied by the name "Wear OS" when connecting a smartwatch to a smartphone running the first beta version of Android P for developers, got certain testers wondering if changes could be in store.
Android Wear is currently mainly used in smartwatches made by Asus (ZenWatch 2 and 3), Fossil (Q Founder, Marshal, Wander), Huawei (Watch), Lenovo (Moto 360 Gen 2, Sport), LG (Watch Urbane, G Watch R) and Tag Heuer (Connected).
The most recent update to Android Wear in December 2017 brought a "Touch Lock" function for locking the screen to prevent random taps when using devices underwater, as well as improved power efficiency and compatibility with new languages.
But will a rebrand be enough to breathe new life into the operating system, which is struggling to take off with consumers? While the Apple Watch saw record sales in 2017, with around 18 million units shipped, according to researchers IDC, sales of smartwatches running Android Wear are having a tougher time. Apple currently leads the way in the wearables sector, ahead of Xiaomi, Fitbit and Garmin, all products and brands not using Android Wear.
Whether in this form or another, news of the next major Android Wear update is expected at the upcoming Google I/O conference, May 8-10, in Mountain View, the United States. — AFP Relaxnews