Google's Android Wear now has a new name. Blame the iPhone

From here on out, you can call it Wear OS. Seems lots of people like to mix and match their smartphones and their accessories.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng
2 min read

Google's already launched a new website under WearOS.

Google/Screenshot by Alfred Ng/CNET

It's a real name-changer. 

Google announced Thursday that it's got a new name fo Android Wear, its software that powers a wide-ranging lineup of wearables like smartwatches. From here on out, you'll know it as Wear OS, and reminder, it's not connected to Google's mobile operating system.

A big part of the reason for the change: One-third of new Android Wear watch owners also use an iPhone, according to Dennis Troper, director of product management at Wear OS.

"We're announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all -- the people who wear our watches," Troper said in a statement.

My colleague Scott Stein says this gives Google an opportunity to rethink what a Google-powered smartwatch can be. It'll certainly take more than just a name change.

It was just a year ago that Google unveiled Android Wear 2.0, saying "Android Wear is not a hobby for us" and holding out the promise of big changes for its technological answer to the Apple Watch. The company certainly had plenty of big-name partners, from LG and Huawei to Casio, Fossil and Tag Heuer. But Apple's smartwatches dominate the field -- the company sold a record 8 million of them in the fourth quarter.

Google said people can expect the name change to start appearing on their devices over the next few weeks.

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