Google's Wear OS 5 promises better battery life


Google has unveiled Wear OS 5 at its I/O developer conference today, giving us a glimpse of new features and other improvements coming with the platform. The company isn’t quite ready to roll out the final version of the wearable OS, but its developer preview already features enhanced battery life. As an example, Google said Wear OS 5 will consume 20 percent less power than Wear OS 4 if the user runs a marathon. Wear OS 4 already brought battery life improvements to smartwatches that support it, but it could still be a lot better at managing a device’s power. Google also provided developers with a new guide on how to conserve power and battery, so that they can create more efficient apps.

In addition, Google has launched new features in Watch Face Format, allowing developers to make more types of watch faces that show different kinds of information. It has enabled the creation of apps that can show current weather information at a glance with this update, including the temperature and chances of rain. The company is also adding support for new complication types. They include “goal progress,” which suits data wherein the user has a target but can exceed it, and “weighted elements,” which can be used to represent discrete subsets of data.

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Wear OS 5 could give rise to new apps and new functionalities in old apps, as well. Google’s Health Connect API for the platform will allow apps to access user data even while they’re only running in the background. It will also enable them to access health information over the past 30 days, though users will have to give their explicit permission before apps can take advantage of both features. Finally, Wear OS 5’s Health Services API supports new data types for running, such as ground contact time and stride length.

Google didn’t announce when Wear OS 5 will be available, but its predecessor, Wear OS 4, launched with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 in August 2023. Based on the timeline and the devices that support the current platform, Watch OS 5 could launch with the Samsung Galaxy 7 or the Pixel Watch 3 later this year.

Catch up on all the news from Google I/O 2024 right here!



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