|Written in||C (core), C++, Java|
|Source model||Open source with closed source components|
|Initial release||March 18, 2014|
|Latest release||Wear OS 4.0 (based on Android 13) / 5 October 2023|
|Latest preview||Wear OS 4.0 (based on Android 13) / May 2023|
|Package manager||APK via Google Play|
|Platforms||32-bit ARM, MIPS, x86|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (modified Linux kernel)|
|Userland||Bionic libc, shell from NetBSD, native core utilities with a few from NetBSD|
|License||Apache License 2.0, Linux kernel patches under GPLv2|
Wear OS (also known simply as Wear and formerly Android Wear) is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables. By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 6.0 "Marshmallow" or newer, or iOS version 10.0 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application, Wear OS integrates Google Assistant technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor.
Wear OS supports Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, 3G, and LTE connectivity, as well as a range of features and applications. Watch face styles include round, square and rectangular. Hardware manufacturing partners include Asus, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, New Balance, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, Skagen, Polar, TAG Heuer, Suunto, and Mobvoi.
In the first six months of availability, Canalys estimates that over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped. As of 15 March 2018[update], Wear OS had between 10 and 50 million application installations. Wear OS was estimated to account for 10% of the smartwatch market in 2015.[needs update]
History and compatibility
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. 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.
The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live started shipping in July 2014, while the Motorola 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, the Sony SmartWatch 3, and the LG G Watch R. As of March 2015[update], the latest Wear OS devices are the LG Watch Urbane, and the Huawei Watch.[needs update]
On August 31, 2015, Google launched a Wear OS app for IOS version 8.2 or newer, allowing limited support for receiving iOS notifications on smartwatches running Wear OS. As of September 2015[update], only the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch are supported, but Google announced support for more smartwatch models.
In March 2018, Android Wear was rebranded as Wear OS. It was stated that the renaming "better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all — the people who wear our watches." In September 2018, Google announced Wear OS 2.0, which made the personalized Google feed (replacing Google Now) and new fitness tracking platform Google Fit accessible from the watch face, and redesigned the notification area to use a scrolling pane rather than pages, and support automatically generated smart replies (as on Android Pie). In November 2018, the underlying platform of Wear OS was upgraded to a version of Android Pie.
In January 2021, Google completed its acquisition of wearables manufacturer Fitbit; upon its announcement of the purchase in November 2019, Google's head of hardware Rick Osterloh stated that it would be "an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market."
In May 2021 at Google I/O, Google announced a major update to the platform, internally known as Wear OS 3.0. It incorporates a new visual design inspired by Android 12, and Fitbit exercise tracking features. Google also announced a partnership with Samsung Electronics, who is collaborating with Google to unify its Tizen-based smartwatch platform with Wear OS, and has committed to using Wear OS on its future smartwatch products. The underlying codebase was also upgraded to Android 11. Wear OS 3.0 will be available to Wear OS devices running Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 4100 system on chip, and will be an opt-in upgrade requiring a factory reset to install.
Wear OS can synchronize notifications from a paired device, and supports voice control with the "OK Google" hotword along with gesture-based input. Wear OS integrates with Google services such as the Google Assistant and Google Mobile Services (including Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Wallet), as well as third-party watch apps from Play Store. From the watch face, the user can swipe up to access their notifications, down to access a quick settings panel, from the left to view their personalized Google feed, and the right to view Google Fit. Via Google Fit and similar applications, Wear OS supports ride and run tracking, and devices containing heart rate sensors can perform a reading on-demand, or at intervals throughout the day. The watch can control media being played on streamed on paired devices.
|Android Wear version||Android OS version||Release date||New features||Notes|
|4.4W1||4.4 KitKat||June 2014||
||Announced at Google I/O 2014|
|4.4W2||4.4 KitKat||October 2014|
|1.0 (5.0.1W)||5.0.1 Lollipop||December 2014||
||This version changed the numbering scheme to be independent from the underlying Android OS version.|
|1.1 (5.1.1W1)||5.1.1 Lollipop||May 2015||
|1.3 (5.1.1W2)||5.1.1 Lollipop||August 2015||
|1.4 (6.0.1W1)||6.0.1 Marshmallow||February 2016||
|1.5 (6.0.1W2)||6.0.1 Marshmallow||June 2016||
|2.0 (7.1.1W1)||7.1.1 Nougat||Feb 2017||
|2.6 (7.1.1W2)||7.1.1 Nougat||Nov 2017||
|2.6 (7.1.1W3, 8.0.0 W1)||8.0 Oreo||Dec 2017||
Brings Android 8.0 Oreo features to smartwatches
|2.7 (7.1.1W4, 8.0.0 W2)||8.0 Oreo||Dec 2017||
|2.8 (7.1.1W5, 8.0.0W3)||8.0 Oreo||Jan 2018||
|2.9 (7.1.1W6, 8.0.0W4)||8.0 Oreo||Feb 2018||
|Wear OS version||Android OS versions||Release date||New features||Notes|
|1.0||Android 8 Oreo||March 2018||
||Version number reset to "1.0".
Wear OS App version: 2.10
|1.4||Android 8 Oreo||July 2018||
||Wear OS App version: 2.14|
|2.0||Android 8 Oreo||September 2018||
||Wear OS App version: 2.18|
|2.2||Android 9 Pie H MR1||November 2018||New features for System version H MR1:
||Wear OS App version: 2.20|
|2.6||Android 9 Pie H MR1||May 2019||
||Wear OS App version: 2.24|
|2.7||Android 9 Pie H MR1||June 2019||
||Wear OS App version: 2.25|
|2.9||Android 9 H MR1||July 2019||
||Wear OS App version: 2.26|
|2.17||Android 9 Pie H MR1||April 2020||
||Wear OS App Version: 2.35|
|2.23||Android 9 Pie H MR2||December 2020||Changes in System H MR2:
||Wear OS App version: 2.41|
|3.0||Android 11||August 2021||Brings Android 11 features to smartwatches
Health features to Google Fit:
|Incompatible with Wear OS App.|
OEM companion app required
|3.2||Android 11||February 2022||
|3.5||Android 11||October 2022||
|4.0||Android 13||July 2023||
- "Android Code Analysis". Archived from the original on September 14, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- "Philosophy and Goals". Android Open Source Project. Archived from the original on 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2014-12-19.
- "Full OTA Images for Google Pixel Watch Devices". developers.google.com. Retrieved 29 October 2023.
- "libc – platform/bionic – Git at Google". Android.googlesource.com. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- "android / platform/system/core / master / . / sh". android.googlesource.com. Archived from the original on 2013-09-22. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
- "toolbox – platform/system/core – Git at Google". Android.googlesource.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
- "Licenses". Android Open Source Project. Open Handset Alliance. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
The preferred license for the Android Open Source Project is the Apache Software License, 2.0. ... Why Apache Software License? ... For userspace (that is, non-kernel) software, we do in fact prefer ASL2.0 (and similar licenses like BSD, MIT, etc.) over other licenses such as LGPL. Android is about freedom and choice. The purpose of Android is promote openness in the mobile world, but we don't believe it's possible to predict or dictate all the uses to which people will want to put our software. So, while we encourage everyone to make devices that are open and modifiable, we don't believe it is our place to force them to do so. Using LGPL libraries would often force them to do so.
- Amadeo, Ron (2021-05-18). "Google, Samsung, and Fitbit team up to save Wear OS". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
- "Google just changed the name of Android Wear to Wear OS". 15 March 2018.
- "Google just changed the name of Android Wear to Wear OS". The Verge. 15 March 2018.
- "Android Wear—Android Developers". android.com. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "Google reveals Android Wear, an operating system for smartwatches". The Verge. Vox Media. 18 March 2014.
- Al Sacco (31 August 2015). "Android Wear for iOS gives iPhone owners more smartwatch options". CIO. Archived from the original on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- "OK Google, tell me about Android Wear". CompareSmartWatches. 26 June 2014.
- "Android Wear gets cellular support, still needs to be paired with a phone". Ars Technica. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
- "Android Wear". Android Developers. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- Just 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches shipped last year. Engadget. Retrieved 11 FEBRUARY 2015.
- Wear OS by Google Smartwatch (was Android Wear), Google LLC, 2018-03-15, retrieved 2018-03-19
- "Apple Watch Claims Over 50% of 2015 Smartwatch Market in Less Than a Year of Sales—Juniper Research". Juniper Research. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
- "Motorola, LG announce upcoming Android Wear smartwatches". The Verge. Vox Media. 18 March 2014.
- Amadeo, Ron (10 December 2015). "Android Wear gets Lollipop update, adds watch face API, new features". Ars Technica. Conde Nast. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "LG introduces G Watch, first smartwatch running on Android Wear". Androidos.in. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- Jeffries, Adrianne (25 June 2014). "This is the Gear Live, Samsung's $199 Android Wear smartwatch". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Moto 360: It's Time.—The Official Motorola Blog". Motorola-blog.blogspot.in. 2014-03-18. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Phones – ASUS ZenWatch (WI500Q)—ASUS". Asus.com. Archived from the original on 2015-03-16. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- "SmartWatch 3 SWR50". Sony Smartphones (Global UK English).
- "LG Newsroom". lgnewsroom.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-22. Retrieved 2014-09-05.
- "LG Newsroom". lgnewsroom.com. Archived from the original on 2015-05-07. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
- Kellex (1 March 2015). "Huawei Makes the Huawei Watch Official, Other Wearables and a 7-Inch Phone Too". Droid Life. DRD Life Inc. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
- "Android Wear on iOS: A hobbled, Google-centric smartwatch experience". Ars Technica. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
- "SmartWatchCrunch". smartwatchcrunch.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
- Welch, Chris (2018-03-15). "Google just changed the name of Android Wear to Wear OS". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
- "Google breathes new life into Wear OS smartwatches with today's update". The Verge. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
- Amadeo, Ron (2018-09-28). "Review: Google's Wear OS 2.0 can't fix its obsolete smartwatch hardware". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
- "The Wear OS H update brings Android Pie to smartwatches". xda-developers. 2018-11-18. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
- Bursztynsky, Jessica (January 14, 2021). "Google closes its Fitbit acquisition". CNBC. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
- Porter, Jon (2021-01-14). "Google completes purchase of Fitbit". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
- "The biggest Wear OS update in years has arrived: Here's what it looks like". xda-developers. 2021-05-19. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
- Welch, Chris (2021-05-18). "Google and Samsung are merging Wear OS and Tizen". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-05-19.
- Amadeo, Ron (2021-07-23). "Google's Wear OS 3 update plans will leave most existing devices behind". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
- Paul Lamkin and Hugh Langley (September 11, 2017). "Android Wear tips and tricks: The ultimate guide". Wareable.com. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
- "Wear OS: Your complete guide to Google's smartwatch OS". Pocket-lint. 2019-10-01. Retrieved 2021-07-24.
- "Android Wear software review: Smartwatch software that doesn't suck". Ars Technica. July 2014. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
- "Google Fit to curate steps, calories, heart rate, other biometric data". Ars Technica. 13 June 2014. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
- "[Android Wear 4.4W2 Feature Spotlight] This Is Offline Music Playback Over Bluetooth In Android Wear Using Play Music". Android Police. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "GPS on Android Wear Devices". android-developers.googleblog.com. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "[Android Wear 4.4W2 Feature Spotlight] Here Is The New Music Control UI For Wear, Now Including Volume Buttons". Android Police. 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "Android Wear's massive update: Official watch face API, new display modes, app features and more!". Android Central. 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "Google Groups". productforums.google.com. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- "Android Wear: Stay connected with interactive watch faces".
- "Android Wear: Designed for your wrist". 4 February 2016.
- Li, Abner (2016-06-06). "Android Wear 1.5 rolling out to the Gear Live with some minor changes [Update: more watches]". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Statt, Nick (2016-05-18). "Google announces Android Wear 2.0 with standalone app support and tiny keyboard". The Verge. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Android Wear 2.0: Make the most of every minute". 8 February 2017.
- "Android Wear 2.0 is a major overhaul of Google's smartwatch OS". Ars Technica. 18 May 2016. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
- "Android Wear v2.6 includes a Recent app complication, network status indicators, download progress card, and more [APK Download]". Android Police. 2017-11-21. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
- "Oreo for Android Wear is starting to roll out today". The Verge. 2017-12-07.
- "Android Wear 2.7 update".
- "Android Wear 2.8 update".
- "Android Wear 2.9 update".
- "Wear OS on TW-E won't update beyond 1.2—Wear OS by Google Help". support.google.com. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Android Wear, it's time for a new name". Google. 2018-03-15. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- "Introducing Wear OS by Google - Wear OS by Google Help". support.google.com. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- "Wear OS update adds quicker Google Pay, time zone bug fix, and more". Android Police. 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Wear OS by Google Smartwatch (was Android Wear) 22.214.171.124045974.gms APK Download by Google LLC—APKMirror". APKMirror. Retrieved 2018-08-21.
- "Swipe for more: Tiles on Wear OS by Google". May 2019.
- "A Performance Boost for Wear OS by Google! - Wear OS by Google Community". support.google.com. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
- "Google rolls out Wear OS H-MR2 with better performance and battery life". xda-developers. 2020-09-10. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
- "Set up your watch". Retrieved 26 October 2022.
- Schoon, Ben (2022-02-22). "Google releases latest Wear OS 3.2 developer preview with some very minor tweaks". 9to5Google. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
- Fischer, Denny (2022-02-10). "Neues Wear OS 4 basiert auf Android 13: Erste Neuerungen bekannt". Smartdroid (in German). Retrieved 2023-05-11.