With the final release of Android 11 set for September 8th – following the end of the 11 Weeks of Android that the Google developer relations team is running – we are starting to hear more about Android on devices other than phones. This week during an AMA, the Google team all but confirmed that Wear OS will be jumping to Android 11.
Currently Wear OS is still running on Android 9 with a H update being pushed out to Wear OS devices mid cycle. With Google’s purchase of FitBit as well as unspecified technology from Fossil and the announcement of the Snapdragon Wear 4100 it’s safe to say we are daring to be hopeful that Google may release a competent competitor into the Wearable space.
There weren’t a lot of specifics given and we couldn’t call the comments the team made iron clad, however through out the AMA they gave consistent answers about the platform being updated, future access to new feature such as access to the Android 11 APIs, Jetpack and Kotlin for developers.
The team also made reference to their excitement at Home Controls making their way onto Wear OS, as user of Google’s smart home automation this is something I’ve been crying out for. Perhaps Wear OS will become a first party citizen with other Google services?
In their answers, the Development team referred to their wearables as smartwatches and fitness trackers. It’s unclear if Google is referring to the inclusion of FitBit into their platform or if perhaps they plan on extending their ecosystem onto the lower powered fitness tracker space.
It seems that more details will be released August 10 – 14 during the ‘Android Beyond Phones’ week as part of the 11 Weeks of Android. While that feels like a long way off, on the scale of how long we have waited for Google to take Wear OS … seriously: it’s only a blink.