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Google's Wear OS is the new name for Android Wear, so if you were expecting to see Android Wear 3.0, please reset your smartwatch software expectations.
Google's official reasoning for the name change is to prepare for the diverse future of smartwatches.
There are more than 40 Wear OS watches today that launched with Android Wear software, but many have already been given the new name and logo in a software update.
That has been an easy change for Google to make. New features, however, are the bigger story, and we fully expect whatever Google had planned for Android Wear 3.0 is in fact coming in a Wear OS update later in 2018.
Rumors suggest Google is working on its own Pixel Watch range to show off the software's full potential, so we can expect to see lots of new Wear OS watches throughout 2018.
Why the new name? Google's official announcement on March 15, 2018 pointed to the fact that one in three Wear OS users owns an iPhone. Android Wear as a name is rather limiting.
"We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone," said Google in an official statement.
"We’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all—the people who wear our watches."
Wear OS smartwatches are due for an update, way more than Google changing the name from Android Wear. That's really not all we wanted from Android Wear 3.0.
"You’ll begin to see the new name on your watch and phone app over the next few weeks," said Google in March and that has been the case for most modern Android Wear watches. We're thinking that's just the start though.
Before Google IO 2018 kicked off on May 8, Google announced a number of improvements coming to the platform. We'll explain these in greater detail below, but we know that Google Assistant is now far more useful on the platform.
A significant Wear OS update was long overdue. Android Wear launched in June 2014 after being announced in May of that year. It did see a sizable Android Wear 1.1 update roughly a year later in March 2015, but then Google stuck to minor tweaks between then and the jump to Android Wear 2.0 in February 2017.