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Google, Samsung & Fitbit join forces to take on Apple

Samsung Watch, Google Tizen Watch OS

Google’s I/O developer conference dropped something special for all those of you who are into wearable tech because Samsung has come on onboard with Google on a new smartwatch OS which is a convergence of Wear OS and Tizen. The motivation behind this is pretty simple if you ask me. Google and Samsung’s partnership is a merger that will see them take on the very popular and desired Apple Watch.

What should you expect?

To start off with the move looks academic because Google and Samsung’s relationship is pretty well storied when it comes to mobile devices. Basically, they have come together to redesign Google’s Wear OS which has been in need of an overhaul. This facelift will be aided by all the lessons that Samsung has learned with its Tizen operating system.

“The great experiences that consumers loved on previous Galaxy smartwatches will continue on this unified platform. Samsung implemented our best technology to provide optimized performances, and advanced sensor batching and low power display technology to ensure an efficient and long-lasting battery”

Janghyun Yoon, Samsung’s Executive Vice President and Head of Samsung’s Software Platform Team (via Android Authority)

And it looks like Fitbit, which was recently acquired by Google, is coming on board as well with an app. Not quite what some were expecting because there were rumours of a deeper integration with Fitbit but it looks like it’s just going to be an app for now.

The Google x Samsung x Fitbit link up is said to be dropping this fall, which for us in the Southern Hemisphere falls between September to November. So if you were in the market for an Android smartwatch you might want to hold off until then because those who are patient should expect:

  • Better battery efficiency
  • Google says that apps will open 30% faster
  • Enhanced customisation
  • Smartwatches will be able to get a look and feel that is similar to smartphones.
  • A first-party Fitbit app
  • Google apps like Maps, Assistant and Pay will be getting a makeover with Google Pay becoming available in more countries yet to be announced.

The cherry on top of all this is that YouTube Music will be making its way on to Wear OS smartwatches. This follows Google’s decision to discontinue Google Play Music some time ago.

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