Google has always been rather flighty when it came to branding. With little to no press, they’ve renamed many of their core services with what seemed to be a drop of the hat at the time. Gtalk became Hangouts, Chromecast became Google Home, and Android Pay was rebranded to Google Pay (after first being Google Wallet). All this brings us back to this post, and the official announcement this week that Android Wear is now Wear OS.
Similar to the new monikers of Pay and Chromecast, Google has actively been removing platform-specific branding from their services over the last couple of years. The intent is for all their users, even on iPhones, to see the same app and mostly the same features. Old names surrounding Android just don’t line up with the aesthetic Google wants on other OS platforms.
With that, the move to rename their wearable OS to just Wear OS makes perfect sense following the push to get Andriod Wear on iOS last year. Google made the move official with a blog post announcing the new name. They even made note that one out of every three Android Wear users in 2017 were iPhone users. Official iOS support dates back to 2015 and Google has always made a point to have their services available to iPhone users throughout the years and Android Wear was a glaring branding issue within the rest of the Google umbrella on the OS.
“We’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all—the people who wear our watches. We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone.”
The blog post also informs current users that their Android Wear apps and watches are set to see an update that will bring with it the new Wear OS branding. There doesn’t seem to be any new features in line with this update, however. Google makes no mention of the software change to bring anything other than the new OS handle. I’m sure we’ll see new information in the coming weeks, but what do you think of the change? Comment below!