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Google rebrands Android Wear as Wear OS

It's about selling Google wearables to iPhone owners.
Daniel Cooper
Daniel Cooper|@danielwcooper|March 15, 2018 12:15 PM

Android Wear, Google's big attempt to get into the wearables space, hasn't been the runaway blockbuster hit the company had banked on. In order to give the platform a much-needed shot in the arm, the company has sought to rebrand the software as Wear OS by Google.

The news has dropped in the run-up to Baselworld, the biggest trade show for the watch industry, which takes place in Basel next week. It's likely that a number of new timepieces that run Google's software will make their debut at the show, coupled with the new push.

Google's Dennis Troper hints to the reasons behind the change in his blog post, pointing out that one in three new Android Wear users own an iPhone. By pushing Google's wearables ecosystem away from Android, it could help clear up any implied confusion that the devices don't work with rival platforms.

That sentiment was echoed by Fossil's Greg McKelvey, who said that "many of our smartwatch customers are iOS users." The rebrand should, therefore, ensure that everyone knows that Wear OS is a broad, and welcoming church.

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Not now

A new name may not be enough, however, for Google and its numerous partners to reclaim ground on Apple in the watch space. In September of last year, analysts believed that 33 million people had purchased an Apple Watch -- compared to just 10 million that run Android Wear.

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Google rebrands Android Wear as Wear OS