An Empowered Assistant Is How Wear OS Could Get Back On Track

Saul Franklin
May 10, 2018

The infrastructure supports the Snapdragon 845, 660, and 636 mobile platforms and will see devices powered by these chipsets get Android P up to 3 months earlier than what was obtainable before. However, we're curious to know if Wear OS can match Apple's watchOS in terms of its apps support.

The second big update brings improvements to Google Assistant.

Smartwatches typically don't last as long as we'd like, but Google looks to be improving that situation for devices running Wear OS, as they'll soon have access to a new enhanced battery saver mode. You'll be able to check the time by pressing the side button, while a long press will resume normal activity. "We are excited to work with Google to pre-integrate our software with Android P, making it production ready for OEMs", said Mike Genewich, director of product management at Qualcomm. Alongside this, the up and coming processor will convey unusual move up to the battery life and will bolster all the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi standards.

The chips promise better battery life and will enable smaller watch designs, a company executive said.

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Alternatively, if you ask the Assistant about an upcoming flight, it can provide little buttons right on the watch, so you can tap on one to learn about an airline's baggage policies, a list of connecting flights, and what time your check-in is.

While there is no official update at the moment, Google has released a Developer Preview which is now only available for the Huawei Watch 2. Google reiterated that Wear OS would gain new functionality in smaller, incremental updates.

Back when it was still called Android Wear, smartwatches ran first on a phone processor with most of its CPU cores disabled, then later on Qualcomm's Wear 2100 chip. A Wear OS watch now struggles to make it past a working day, but Qualcomm says this will improve with the new generation chip. The platform will have a bunch of SoCs - dedicated to use cases, as explained by the executive, though features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be standard and some models will include Global Positioning System and LTE connectivity.

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