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Google is rebranding Android Wear because a third of new users have iPhones

Google is rebranding Android Wear because a third of new users have iPhones
[Photo: Flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns]

Google’s smartwatch platform has a new name. Instead of Android Wear, it’s now called Wear OS by Google. The explanation for the rebrand is simple enough: Android Wear has supported the iPhone since 2015–albeit without some of Android’s notification actions–and Google says a third of its new users last year were tethered to an iPhone.

Google also says Android Wear sales grew 60% year-over-year last holiday season, and included a statement from Fossil Group claiming $300 million in wearable sales last year. Still, the wearable market remains dominated by Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Garmin–none of which support Google’s platform. Google says new features  and improvements are coming to Wear OS to buttress the name change in the coming weeks and months. But the platform’s biggest issue is out of Google’s hands: The wearable chips inside every modern Wear OS watch are now more than two years old.

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