Wearables are a tough space to figure out, and Google’s learned that the hard way. Android Wear hasn’t panned out to be a success despite numerous partners stepping forward a few years ago to give the platform an early push. Now it looks like fashion brands, not tech ones, are left to sell smartwatches to a very small audience. But Google is not giving up. In fact, it could be rebooting Android Wear this year with a new name.
Wear OS could be the next phase for Android on wearables. The app for Android Wear mistakenly sent a notification to one user who realized that, in addition to having a different logo, the operating system was called something entirely new.
Over on Reddit, user H3x0n posted a screenshot from their phone. It shows an unknown name and logo offering to walk them through the setup processor for an Android Wear device. Rather than saying “Android Wear” anywhere on the notification, it says “Wear OS.” It’s definitely the first time anyone’s seeing Wear OS referenced to by Google.
The logo might look recycled, and that’s because it matches that of Warner Music Group. Google’s difference appears to be changing the colors and adding two dots to represent its digital assistant.
It may not seem obvious, but Google could be interested in rebranding Android Wear to Wear OS since the latter is neutral. Smartwatches based on the operating system work with Android and iOS devices; however, those with an iPhone are likely a little hesitant to buy something with a rival’s name attached. The company recently did a similar rebranding with Android Pay, merging the mobile payments service with Google Wallet and creating Google Pay.
Assuming that the transition to Wear OS is happening, it’s likely to be announced at I/O 2018. Google’s annual developer conference is just a few months away.