Two years later, Google I/O revealed a series of new thinking results of this company on working methods, social responsibility, frontiers and applications of artificial intelligence, and smart phones. It also brought a series of results that not many people expected but quite Unexpected news: its wearable smart platform has been renamed again, welcoming the support of Samsung and more device manufacturers, and will have a more modern and power-saving experience.
After going through the Android Wear and Wear OS stages, Google officially changed the name of the operating system for smart watches to Wear, without emphasizing the OS identity or revealing the Android brand. The technological evolution is not small– It merges with the watch version of Samsung’s Tizen system into a unified platform and inherits their respective advantages. In the future, Samsung and Fitbit smart watches will use Wear.
Developers have made many promises to the features of this new platform: while maintaining smooth motion and interaction, the application startup speed is increased by 30%; the power consumption is improved from the underlying core part, and the watch’s frequent happy rate tracking can also accompany sleep. There is also a remaining battery in the second day; it provides developers with a more relaxed and powerful watch application development environment, and device manufacturers can customize the experience in depth. Wear has made many experience improvements, such as the double-click button that is not unfamiliar on mobile phones but is the first time on Android watches to quickly switch applications; and for example, the Tiles card interface that slides horizontally is open to third-party developers, giving users self-help There is more room to define the shortcut functions of the watch; Google Pay and Google Assistant have been redesigned, and Youtube music will also come to the watch. In general, Google presents a smart watch platform that is in line with the current development of wearable devices. It’s just that before this conference, it tends to be very low-key and slow. , It’s not like a platform that can drive devices to rival Apple Watch or other best-selling wearable devices. Woke up early, but I haven’t caught up with the episode The road to Google’s smart watch originated seven years ago. On March 19, 2014, Google I/O revealed Android Wear, which was a branch of Android that was making a big stride at the time. At that time, the entire wearable market was in the ascendant. Whether it was the high-end representative Apple Watch or the popular Xiaomi bracelet, it would take another six months to officially debut. This shows the long-term vision of Google. The first smartwatch to use Android Wear is the moto 360, which has an almost complete circular dial that astounds the audience. At the same time, Samsung and LG, the main manufacturers of the Android camp, also released their own products. Unlike Android’s full openness, this ultra-small screen platform does not allow manufacturers to customize the interface and functions, and the experience between different products and different brands cannot be widened. However, the product experience and sales were not satisfactory. Motorola and LG withdrew from the smart watch market in just a few generations, while Samsung replaced the follow-up watch with its own Tizen system. Although there are continuous, small-scale iterations, and it was renamed Wear OS in March 2018, the watches equipped with this platform in the international market are often luxury brands or niche brands, and there are no large-scale products shipped. Apple once again completed its market education, integrating data from multiple research institutions, The Apple Watch series has gained about 40% of the global market size of 90 million units , Samsung, Huawei, and Fitbit adopt independent platforms with nearly 10% each, and there is no Wear OS camp among the top manufacturers. It was so weak that it was almost forgotten in the public eye. It was not until the merger and name change were announced that it could not find a sense of existence. What has Google done wrong on the current Wear platform, and what opportunities for smart watches and wearable devices have been missed? It is worth learning a lesson from Google, all vendors in the Wear camp, and other competitors. Endurance and experience that are difficult to balance From an industry perspective, wearable devices are composed of true wireless earphones, smart watches, smart bracelets and other categories. Although it is a huge market of nearly 450 million units by 2020, up to 80% of them belong to other than smart watches. product. Smart watches are now divided into two schools, “large bracelets” and full-featured watches, which represent two completely different product ideas. Under the small size of the watch form, it is often difficult to provide high performance and long battery life, so the “large bracelet” chooses to add on the smart bracelet, the main attack can be used for about two weeks of long battery life, and the pre-installed weather, Limited experience in sports, health, payment, etc. From the market feedback, consumers agree with this route, and it is a good product if the common functions are well done without frequent charging. As a representative of a full-featured watch, Apple Watch is fully self-defeating: the pursuit of installable applications and fluency, and the battery life is so short that the previous generations cannot monitor sleep, and the LTPO screen can display the time for a long time. The positive effect is that it is excellent in high-end functions such as health, efficiency, and independent communication. It also has a good texture based on high pricing. Fully grasp the high-end market under the luxury goods. Currently, watches equipped with Wear OS cannot find a balance between the above two routes. Two-day battery life is the limit of most products, and advanced functions such as application ecology, connection experience, and intelligent interaction are not so easy to use. Among them, the hardware platform performance is not strong enough, but it is enough to show that Google’s work on software is not sufficient. The merger with Tizen on the watch side is regarded as a major benefit for the Wear platform because Samsung has built a more harmonious smartwatch experience with its own efforts after Apple. Samsung continues to use the One UI interface on the watch that is consistent with that of the mobile phone. It is beautiful and has a highly customizable space. Health, sports, reminders, and interaction are all in the first echelon, but third-party applications are pitiful. Assuming that Wear’s existing ecological foundation and Google services can be organically combined with Tizen’s excellent visual interactive experience, Then we may see an ecosystem that can be on the same line as Apple Watch’s watchOS on the full-featured watch route. Not very limited by Android’s system customization As mentioned earlier, although the bloodline of the Wear platform is differentiated from Android, Google has not allowed manufacturers to customize the watch system as highly as mobile phones for a long time, but uses its designated native interface. Regardless of whether the watch screen is square or round, users have to face almost the same experience, and must be connected to the phone with the Wear app outside of the manufacturer’s app. The reason why the Android camp can develop into the largest camp in the mobile phone market is that the open system customization permissions give various manufacturers room to play their abilities, and they can step on the shoulders of Android’s giants to provide more advanced performance at the same time. The closed and conservative watch has restricted the ideas of all manufacturers in the past few years. As long as Google does not update, it will not be able to make more progress. Children’s watches led by Xiaotiancai can be regarded as a “mirror mirror” in this direction. Most high-end children’s watches use similar chips and hardware specifications to Wear watches, but these manufacturers choose to customize their watch experience from Android. So with positioning, children’s social interaction, watch taking pictures, etc., it is enough to cut the function of children and parents, and the sales are so high that it can even be among the best in the market report. Wear OS cannot use Google services in China, and the localization experience is quite awkward, but it has become a “test ground” for leveraging the open customization of the platform. Products such as Mi Watch and OPPO Watch add interface designs and functions with their own brand characteristics on the basis of the original functions. The differentiation and advantages and disadvantages of the products are not limited to the appearance of the watch, but also complement the unfinished work upstream. Obviously, with the announcement of the opening of custom permissions on the Wear platform, various manufacturers can highly customize the experience, making the collaboration of watches and mobile phones more in-depth, and a turning point may be in sight. I haven’t seen a “leader brother” so far In addition to the system customization rights, the cooperation model between Google and manufacturers on the watch system is also quite different from that of mobile phones. It has never personally built a watch product in the past seven years . In the mobile phone and tablet market, the Nexus and Pixel branded mobile phones and tablets, which were originally positioned for developers to use phones and then turned to the high-end market, have always been the most talked about Google products, and they also have technical representations. Just when we thought that smartwatches are quite special, Google officially announced the acquisition of Fitbit, a wearable device company that has never had Android Wear or Wear OS products, but its smart watches and smart bracelets have a large share of overseas . Then it was silent. In the past two years, Wear OS has rarely changed, and Fitbit has not launched related products. Until the acquisition was approved at the beginning of this year, this I/O conference announced that Fitbit would use the Wear platform in subsequent products, and Google finally realized that there was such a thing, and the ecological leader began to build products in person. This is also accompanied by a regret: After the formal completion of the acquisition, Fitbit officially announced its withdrawal from the Chinese market. In the past, Fitbit products mostly took the route of fashion, technology, and people-friendly. After joining the Wear camp, can it take the product to the height of Pixel, whether it can be like Pixel’s imaging technology route, system optimization strategy or Microsoft Surface industrial design In that way, launch a better smart watch to guide the whole camp forward? Will be the biggest attraction. Conclusion So far, we have summarized the past and present of Wear, the “new” wearable device platform. We have seen the different attempts of Google and its partner manufacturers in this field, and we have also concluded the reasons why it has always been little voice in the market. Wear may not be successful enough, but in the joint promotion of Google and Samsung, Fitbit will personally build the equipment and open more permissions to third-party manufacturers. In the future, we will be expected to see more results. Is this the path to success for Wear? We don’t yet know the answer, but it needs to go on firmly and continuously.