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Is Wear OS 5, the next-generation smartwatch software based on Android 14, coming soon?

Major Wear OS updates don’t come around often, and if you happen to own a Pixel Watch or a Galaxy Watch, you likely already know it. However, the next generation of Wear OS seems to be on its way.

As per insights from 9to5Google, the buzz is that Samsung and Google are gearing up for Wear OS 5, based on the latest Android 14. Word has it that Samsung is working on ensuring compatibility with an Android 14 build for its upcoming Galaxy Watch 7.

If we follow the trend of the past few years, the upcoming Galaxy Watch 7 series this summer will probably debut with Wear OS 5. Following this, in the fall, we might witness the unveiling of the Pixel Watch 3, rumored to be available in two different sizes, with the Wear OS 5 on board.

The interesting aspect here is the timing of Wear OS 5’s emergence, sparking speculations that Google aims to establish an annual update cycle for wearables akin to the regular updates seen in smartphones.

Bringing annual software updates to Wear OS would not just align it with Apple’s watchOS thus making it more competitive but also sync it up with Android’s yearly cycle. This could make it easier for Google and Samsung to share features between Android and Wear OS regularly, giving users a smoother and more connected experience across their devices.

Over the past few years, Wear OS has often missed out on aligning with Android versions, receiving updates like versions 9, 11, and 13. For instance, Wear OS 2.2, based on Android 9, was introduced in 2018 and remained largely unchanged for several years, with only a few feature additions like Tiles.

The introduction of Wear OS 3 in 2021, built on Android 11, marked a new era for smartwatches running on Google’s software, starting with the Galaxy Watch 4 series. The subsequent year saw the debut of Google’s first Pixel Watch, which brought Wear OS 3.5 with Fitbit integration and an overhauled Google Assistant experience.

In 2023, the Galaxy Watch 6 introduced Wear OS 4, incorporating Android 13, backup capabilities, and several enhancements for supported watches. Despite these updates, it didn’t significantly differ from Wear OS 3.5. The anticipation is that Wear OS 5 will bring a fresh experience and extend compatibility to a broader range of devices beyond those from Google and Samsung.

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