Wear OS

Wear OS,[8] also known as Wear OS by Google and previously called Android Wear, is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables.[9][10] By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 4.3 or newer, or iOS version 8.2 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application,[11] Wear OS integrates Google Assistant[12] technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor.

Wear OS supports Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,[13] 3G and LTE connectivity, as well as a range of features and applications. Watch face styles include round, square and rectangular. Released devices include Motorola Moto 360,[14] the LG G Watch,[15] and the Samsung Gear Live.[16] Hardware manufacturing partners include Asus, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, New Balance, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, Skagen, Polar and TAG Heuer, Mobvoi.[17]

In the first six months of availability, Canalys estimates that over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped.[18] As of 15 March 2018, Wear OS had between 10 and 50 million application installations.[19] Wear OS was estimated to account for 10% of the smart watch market in 2015.[20]

Wear OS
Wear OS logo

Wear OS by Google wordmark
Fossil Group, IFA 2018, Berlin (P1070137)
The Fossil Q Venture (Gen 4) with Wear OS
Written inC (core), C++, Java[1]
OS familyUnix-like, Android
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source with closed source components[2]
Initial releaseMarch 18, 2014
Latest releaseWear OS 2.6 / February 15, 2019
Latest previewHematite Developer Preview 2 (PWH1.180422.008) / May 9, 2018
Marketing targetSmartwatches, other wearables
Available inMultilingual
Package managerAPK via Google Play
Platforms32-bit ARM, MIPS, x86
Kernel typeMonolithic (modified Linux kernel)
UserlandBionic libc,[3] shell from NetBSD,[4] native core utilities with a few from NetBSD[5]
Default user interfaceGraphical (Multi-touch)
LicenseDeveloper Preview: proprietary[6]
Apache License 2.0
Linux kernel patches under GNU GPL v2[7]
Official websitewearos.google.com

History and compatibility

Android Wear Logo New
Logo for Android Wear, the previous name of the operating system

The platform was announced on March 18, 2014, along with the release of a developer preview. At the same time, companies such as Motorola, Samsung, LG, HTC and Asus were announced as partners.[21] On June 25, 2014, at Google I/O, the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch were launched, along with further details about Android Wear. The LG G Watch is the first Android Wear smartwatch to be released and shipped. Motorola's Moto 360 was released on September 5, 2014.

On December 10, 2014, an update started to roll out, adding new features including a watch face API and changed the software to be based on Android 5.0 "Lollipop".[22]

The LG G Watch and Gear Live started shipping in July 2014, while the Moto 360 began shipping in September 2014. The next batch of Android Wear devices, which arrived at the end of 2014, included the Asus ZenWatch,[23] the Sony SmartWatch 3,[24] and the LG G Watch R.[25] As of March 2015, the latest Wear OS devices are the LG Watch Urbane,[26] and the Huawei Watch.[27]

On August 31, 2015, Google launched pairing application for iOS version 8.2 or newer, allowing limited support for receiving iOS notifications on smartwatches running Wear OS.[28] As of September 2015, only the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch are supported, but Google announced support for more smartwatch models.[11][29]


Options include a screen always on feature and a "tilt to wake screen" setting,[30] to light the screen automatically.[31]

Users can find directions by voice from the phone, choose transport mode, including bike, and start a journey. While traveling, the watch shows directions, and vibrates to indicate turns by feel.[32]

Via Google Fit and similar applications, Wear OS supports ride and run tracking ("OK Google, start a run"). On devices sporting the needed sensor, heart activity can be sampled automatically through the day or on demand ("OK Google, what's my heart rate"). Step-counting, calorie expenditure etc. are also monitored. These features work within the Fit ecosystem, allowing integration with companion devices and applications. The watch reinforces achievements with cards noting goal attainment, when a goal is near, summaries of heart, and body activity.[33]

Users can use their Wear OS watch to control their phone. Music can be requested (for instance, "OK Google, play Deep Purple"). The screen then shows a card for play-control, volume, skip, media images, allowing music to be controlled from the wrist with the user free to move.[32]

Starting with version 2.16 users can swipe right to bring up an Assistant page with useful information similar to the Android Assistant on phones, or swipe left to display Google Fit information. This replaces the old functionality of swiping left or right to change the watch face.[34]


The vibration engine alerts users about important notifications originating from a user-selectable set of applications. Wear OS provides multiple options for replying, including Google Voice Typing for dictating responses to messages, and spoken or drawn emoticons.

Intelligent notifications from Google Now are supported including traffic, flights, hotel check-in, meeting alerts, location- and time-based reminders, weather and sport, stocks, flight status, boarding passes, restaurant bookings, etc.[32]

Users can receive messages sent to them via Google Hangouts, and respond with a voice message.[35] Users can also set the alarm by using 'Okay Google' on Wear OS. Currently new SMS can be initiated from the watch. Wear OS 5.1.1 supports drawing to reply, which uses AI to interpret the user's sketch as an emoji character. Search by voice is fully supported. Google Now searches such as "How tall is Nicole Kidman" result in Knowledge Graph cards appearing on screen, with options to open the search result on another device.[22]

If the phone's camera app is activated, the screen is relayed to the watch, and the user can control the shutter, and view photos on the watch. Third-party applications support using the phone camera as a streaming device, or more varied camera control.

Events appear as cards on screen. "OK Google, show my agenda" will display the user's agenda. Watch faces also support marking out appointments (for instance with contrasting color to show periods with an appointment, and/or illuminating a lighted "count-down" line for upcoming appointments.[32]

Note taking is fully supported via Google Keep and other note-apps, as is marking-off check lists etc. Via voice commands such as "OK Google, remind me to call Roy at work", or "Remind me to baste the chicken in 25 minutes" the user can create location and time-based reminders, set alarms, timers etc. which appear on the watch at the appropriate time or place.[10]

Many applications have been released, with developers such as Evernote etc. creating new functionality on the watch: for instance, handing off notes to the watch screen when the user turns off their phone screen. Location-based applications like Foursquare show suitable nearby venues, allow check-in etc.

Version history

Android Wear

Version Android base version Release date New features Notes
4.4W1 4.4 June 2014
  • Initial release
Announced on Google I/O 2014
4.4W2 4.4 October 2014
  • Offline music playback over bluetooth [36]
  • Watch GPS support (for watches with built-in GPS)[37]
  • New music control UI [38]
1.0[39] 5.0.1 December 2014
  • Official watch face API
  • Sunlight mode (brightness boost)
  • Theater mode
  • Settings shade from top
  • Battery stats in Android Wear app
  • Recently used actions added to the top in drawer
  • Ability to undo dismissed notification
This version changed the numbering scheme to be independent from the base Android version
1.1[40] 5.1.1 May 2015
  • Wi-Fi support (for watches with built-in Wi-Fi)
  • Drawable Emojis (as response to messages)
  • Heads up notifications
  • Pattern lock screen
  • Ability to change font size
  • Add swipe left from watch face to access app drawer
  • Always on apps
  • More wrist gestures
1.3[41] 5.1.1 August 2015
  • Interactive watch faces
  • Google Translate for Wear
1.4[42] 6.0.1 February 2016
  • More wrist gestures
  • Speaker support (for watches with built-in speaker)
  • Send voice messages directly from the watch
1.5[43] 6.0.1 June 2016
  • Brought back restart watch option
  • Added Android security patch level to About screen
2.0[44] 7.1.1 Feb 2017[45]
  • Revamped UI with Material Design, darker colors, and a more circular user interface for round watches.
  • Standalone apps with Google Play Store on watch
  • Complications for watch faces
  • Built-in keyboard
  • Handwriting recognition
  • Stackable notifications
  • Smarter notifications
  • Cellular Support


Announced at Google I/O 2016
2.6[47] 7.1.1 Nov 2017
  • Text size of notifications adapts to message length
  • New download progress indicator
  • New complication for launching previously-used app
2.6[48] 7.1.1/8.0.0 Dec 2017
  • Touch lock
  • Configurable notification vibration
  • Added languages
2.7[49] 7.1.1/8.0.0 Dec 2017
  • Improved typefaces and font weights
  • Complications now work with Talkback
  • Text size of notifications adapts to message length
  • Swipe down in Quick Settings to see connection type (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile)
  • Download progress notifications
  • Recent App complication
  • Better prevention of accidental side-swipe and long-press gestures
2.8[50] 7.1.1/8.0.0 Jan 2018
  • Improved notification glanceability with a new layout which shows more of the user's message at a glance
  • Darker background for better readability and less battery usage
2.9[51] 7.1.1/8.0.0 Feb 2018
  • New notification preview complication which allows you to preview messages
  • Improved glanceability in notification cards with longer titles

Wear OS

Version Android base version Release date New features Notes
Wear OS 1.0[52] 7.1.1/8.0.0 Mar 2018
  • Rebranding to Wear OS[53]
Version numbers reset to "Wear OS 1.0" (Wear OS App version : 2.10[54])
Wear OS 1.1 7.1.1/8.0.0 April 2018 Wear OS App version : 2.11[55]
Wear OS 1.2 7.1.1/8.0.0 May 2018 Wear OS App version : 2.12[56]
Wear OS 1.3 7.1.1/8.0.0 June 2018 Wear OS App version : 2.13[57]
Wear OS 1.4 7.1.1/8.0.0 July 2018
  • Faster startup of Google Pay
  • More glanceable design for events & appointments
  • Time zone sync bug fix[58]
Wear OS App version : 2.14[59]
Wear OS 1.5 7.1.1/8.0.0 August 2018 Wear OS App version : 2.15[60]
Wear OS 1.6 7.1.1/8.0.0 September 2018 Wear OS App version : 2.16[61]
Wear OS 1.7 7.1.1/8.0.0 October 2018
  • Bolder font in the app launcher
Wear OS App version : 2.17[62]
Wear OS 2.0 7.1.1/8.0.0 August 2018
  • Swipe actions for faster access to Google Assistant and Google Fit[63]
  • Google Assistant feed with proactive personalized information
  • New design for quick toggles and notifications stream
  • New music controls with physical button support
Wear OS 2.1 7.1.1/8.0.0 September 2018
Wear OS 2.2 7.1.1/8 see the .0.0/9.0 November 2018 Runs on both Android 7.1.1 Nougat, Android 8.0 Oreo and Android 9.0 Pie;

Notes only specific to Android 9.0 Pie:

  • Brings Android 9.0 Pie to Smartwatches
  • This update extends your battery life even further by turning on Battery Saver to only display the time once your battery falls below 10%.
  • You can now easily pick up where you left off across all apps on your watch.
  • After 30 minutes of inactivity, your watch will go into deep sleep mode to conserve battery.
  • You can now turn off your watch in two easy steps. To turn off your watch, simply hold the power button until you see the power off screen and then select ‘power off’ or ‘restart’
Wear OS App version : 2.20[64]

Android 9.0 Pie referred to as System version H

Wear OS 2.3 7.1.1/8.0.0/9.0 January 2019
  • Wear OS App update via the Google Play Store
Wear OS App version : 2.21
Wear OS 2.6[note 1] 7.1.1/8.0.0/9.0 February 2019
  • Only Wear OS App update via the Google Play Store
Wear OS App version : 2.22
  1. ^ Wear OS 2.4 and 2.5 didn't exist.

See also


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External links

Asus ZenWatch

The Asus ZenWatch is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced on September 3, 2014 at IFA and released by Asus on November 9, 2014. It uses Android Wear, a modified version of Android designed specifically for smartwatches and other wearables. ASUS also provides a custom app manager for this watch called the ZenWatch manager.

For health tracking, you can use the ASUS ZenFit app as well as other health apps including Google Fit. It is compatible with all smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher that support Bluetooth LE. Android Wear features a notification system based on Google Now technology that enables it to receive spoken commands from the user.The ZenWatch has IP55 certification for resistance to water jets. It has a user-replaceable buckle-based strap. The watch has a small power key but an always-on display.

The original ZenWatch was succeeded by the ZenWatch 2; both are square-shaped. On November 11, 2016, ASUS released the ZenWatch 3 that has a round face. One feature that distinguishes the ZenWatch 3 from many smartwatches is that you can charge it to 60% charge in only 15 minutes.

Google Fit

Google Fit is a health-tracking platform developed by Google for the Android operating system and Wear OS. It is a single set of APIs that blends data from multiple apps and devices. Google Fit uses sensors in a user's activity tracker or mobile device to record physical fitness activities (such as walking or cycling), which are measured against the user's fitness goals to provide a comprehensive view of their fitness.

Google Play Services

Google Play Services is a proprietary background service and API package for Android devices from Google. When first introduced in 2012, it provided simple access to the Google+ APIs and OAuth 2.0, but since then it has expanded to cover a large variety of Google's services, allowing applications to easily communicate with the services through common means. As of April 2018, it has been installed more than five billion times on Android devices.

Huawei Watch

The Huawei Watch is an Android Wear-based smartwatch developed by Huawei. It was announced at 2015 Mobile World Congress on March 1, 2015, and was released at Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin on September 2, 2015. It is the first smartwatch produced by Huawei.

LG G Watch

The LG G Watch (model W100, codenamed Dory) is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced and released by LG and Google on June 25, 2014. It was released along with the Samsung Gear Live as launch devices for Android Wear, a modified version of Android designed specifically for smartwatches and other wearables. It is compatible with all smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher that support Bluetooth LE.

G Watch is, as of June 2014, only available in the United States and Canada at US$229 or in the United Kingdom for £159 on the Google Play Store. As of July 2014 the G Watch was also made available in Australia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.The G Watch R is a variant featuring a round face and an OLED screen.

LG G Watch R

The LG G Watch R (model W110) is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced and released by LG and Google on October 25, 2014. It is the second round-faced smartwatch after the Motorola Moto 360 but, unlike the 360, it is the first to feature a full circular display. It is the successor to LG's original LG G Watch, which features a rectangular display.

LG Watch Sport

The LG Watch Sport is a smartwatch released by LG Corporation on Feb 09, 2017. The device is one of the first smartwatches to ship with Android Wear version 2.0 with LTE (telecommunication) and Android Pay support.

LG Watch Style

The LG Watch Style is a smartwatch released by LG Corporation on 9 February 2017. The device is one of the first smartwatches to ship with Android Wear version 2.0.

LG Watch Urbane

The LG Watch Urbane is a smartwatch released by LG Corporation on April 27, 2015. There are gold and silver models, each with a 22mm-wide interchangeable strap. The watch has IP67 dust and water resistance.The LG Watch Urbane was equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC, 512MB of LPDDR2 RAM, and 4GB of eMMC storage. The OLED display is a POLED variant, with an equivalent resolution to a square display of 320x320, with capacitive touch input.

The watch communicates with its companion Android phone or iPhone using Bluetooth v4.1LE, and has 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi for synchronizing Google Services data.

The watch has 9 axis movement sensors (gyro, accelerometer, compass), barometer, and heart rate sensor. The watch has a microphone which is used with Google Assistant's speech recognition. Unlike newer Wear devices it doesn't have a speaker, it can only vibrate for alerts.

The watch charges through contacts on its back, which connect via sprung "pogo" pins to a magnetically clamped puck, and the puck has a microUSB connector and thus requires an external power source.

List of Google apps for Android

e Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.

List of Wear OS devices

The following is a comparative list of wearable devices using the Wear OS operating system.

Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a computer program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users' notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network.

Previously, OneNote was available as a part of the Microsoft Office suite. Microsoft abandoned this version in favor of a feature-reduced and touch-optimized Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform application (UWP-App) version. Microsoft also publishes versions of OneNote as a free, standalone application for macOS, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS and Android. Microsoft also provides a web-based version of OneNote as part of OneDrive and Office Online; this version enables users to edit notes in a web browser.

Moto 360 (1st generation)

The Moto 360 is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced by Motorola Mobility in 2014. It was announced on March 18, 2014 and was released on September 5, 2014 in the US along with new models of the Moto X and the Moto G.

Moto 360 (2nd generation)

The Moto 360 (2nd generation), also known as the Moto 360 (2015), is an Android Wear-based smartwatch. It was announced on September 14, 2015 at the IFA.

Samsung Gear Live

The Samsung Gear Live is an Android Wear-based smartwatch announced and released by Samsung and Google on June 25, 2014. It was released along with the LG G Watch as launch devices for Android Wear, a modified version of Android designed specifically for smartwatches and other wearables. Gear Live is the 5th device launched in the Samsung Gear family of wearables. It is compatible with all smartphones running Android 4.3 or higher that support Bluetooth Smart.

Gear Live was initially available in the United States and Canada at US$199 on the Google Play Store, and from Google's Play Store in the UK for £169. As of July 2014, the Gear Live was also available in Australia, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.

Sony SmartWatch

The Sony SmartWatch is a line of wearable devices developed and marketed by Sony Mobile that connect to Android smartphones and can display Twitter feeds, SMS, among other things. Different versions are compatible with different Android devices.

The Weather Network

The Weather Network (TWN) is a Canadian media company. It delivers weather information on television, digital platforms (responsive websites, mobile and tablet applications) and TV apps. Currently, The Weather Network is available in Canada, the U.S. and the UK. Additionally, The Weather Network has successful weather counterpart brands which include MétéoMédia (French-Canadian), Eltiempo (Spain), Wetter Plus (Germany) and Clima (Latin America).

The company is owned by Pelmorex Media which is headquartered in a 100,000 square foot media centre located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The company continues to grow on a global scale, while maintaining its status in the Canadian market.

Their specialty television networks are among the most widely distributed and frequently consulted television networks in Canada, theweathernetwork.com is among Canada's leading web services, and their mobile web property is ranked #1 in the weather category and the second largest mobile website in Canada.


Trello is a web-based list-making application originally made by Fog Creek Software in 2011, that was spun out to form the basis of a separate company in 2014 and later sold to Atlassian in January 2017. The company is based in New York City.


Wunderlist is a cloud-based task management application. It allows users to manage their tasks from a smartphone, tablet, computer and smartwatch. Wunderlist is free; additional collaboration features are available in a paid version known as Wunderlist Pro (released April 2013). Wunderlist was created in 2011 by Berlin-based startup 6Wunderkinder.

The company was acquired by Microsoft in June 2015, at which time the app had over 13 million users.In April 2017, Microsoft announced that Wunderlist will eventually be discontinued in favor of To-Do, a new multi-platform app developed by the Wunderlist team that has direct integration with the company's Office 365 service.

Wrist computer
Wrist communicators
Wrist data unit

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