GOOGLE APPEARS to be planning to rebrand its wearables operating system Android Wear as Wear OS in a future update.
With Android Wear usage way behind that of the Apple Watch and notably no major tech brands launching wearables at this year's MWC something needed to happen, but this wasn't necessarily what anyone expected.
The discovery was made by a Redditor using the 'Nearby' feature of Google Play Services. It can be used to help set up other Android devices near the phone, and it clearly shows 'Wear OS' and a new logo with echoes of the Google Assistant design.
Little is known beyond this but there are a lot of theories, because Reddit, with some users pointing out that the reputation of Android Wear devices doesn't really reflect where they are today (some of the early ones were bobbins), and perhaps more importantly that devices can be used with iOS devices too, and so the 'Android' part of the name may be confusing people.
It also looks from the new logo like there will be a keen steer toward Google Assistant as the centerpiece feature.
As such, this doesn't seem to mark the beginning of the end of Android or even Android Wear, but perhaps a way of separating the associations of the past - something that will be welcome news to the increasing number of fashion brands who have adopted the operating system for their wrist-wear and have no particular affiliation with Android.
In fact, it's probably as likely that the hipster designer watch brigade have got iPhones.
Most likely, we'll see this take effect properly with Android P which is currently in developer beta. If that's the case, an official announcement is likely when the Google I/O conference happens in May.
This could also explain in part why Huawei is happy to confirm that there is a Huawei Watch 3 ready to rock, but there are no plans to release it. They're probably waiting to tie up with this.
Meanwhile Android 8.0 Oreo continues to trickle out to devices, though it's an incremental update. µ
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