Image source: Google

Future Google Wear OS updates could focus much more on health

A recent Wear OS user survey points to a much bigger emphasis on health and fitness for future iterations of Google’s operating system.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Since its rebranding exercise in 2018 from Android Wear, Wear OS has received quit a few updates. But there still are some features that are missing such as native sleep tracking. All this may change in the future.

As originally spotted by Droid Life, the survey was sent out via the search giant’s User Experience Research program. Amongst possible upcoming features were sleep analysis, sleep apnea detection and smart alarms that would wake a user based on their circadian rhythm. This is in addition to SpO2 tracking, heart rate alerts, automatic workout detection, counting stairs climbed, breathing exercises, elevation tracking, compass, rep detection, manual activity logging, recovery time and more.

Each of the items was accompanied by two questions. The first on how a user would feel if the feature was included and the second on how they would feel if it wasn’t included. Participants were also asked on their level of satisfaction with their current watch and the top 3 Wear OS improvements they would like to see.

It is a little disconcerting that pretty much all of these features can be found on other platforms such as the one provided by Garmin. This goes to show that Google is a few steps behind with its operating system compared to some other players on the market.

There are some less common features on the list, too. This includes medical device pairing, gym equipment pairing, indoor air quality, micro-logging (logging how you feel and what you are doing), water-intake tracking and more.

It is interesting that Google has primarily chosen to include health and fitness features in the survey. Most likely, this points to the direction it is looking to take for future updates. Of course, the search giant may or may not take on board results from its survey.

Google is in the process of acquiring Fitbit. So a bigger health and fitness focus to its operating system is the next logical step. Despite anti-trust and privacy scrutiny by the regulators, the deal is expected to go through in the months ahead.

It is likely we’ll here more on the future of Wear OS at Google IO 2020. The developer conference will be held May 12-14 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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