May 12th, 2021

If you take one look at the schedule of events for Google I/O 2021, you’ll likely notice a few more Wear OS-focused sessions than in years past. This could all be part of a new push within Google to make Wear OS a more viable smartwatch operating system, and it could be tapping Samsung to help with that push.

We’ve seen rumors and reports suggesting the Samsung will be ditching TizenOS in favor of Wear OS for the rumored Galaxy Watch 4. Now, a new report from MT (via 9to5Google) suggests that not only will the Galaxy Watch 4 be running Wear OS, but Google’s wearable OS will be coming to the Watch Active 4 too.

The report claims that Samsung and Google are working together on Samsung’s next flagship smartwatch, claiming that Samsung is benefitting from the switch because Wear OS apps are simply easier to develop. From Google’s side, it could help invigorate the Wear OS market, which has grown rather stagnant in recent years. For example, the only smartwatch to run the latest Snapdragon Wear processor is still the TicWatch Pro 3. Of course, this isn’t entirely Google’s fault, but it’s clear that the mobile processor is too expensive for other smartwatch makers to really consider when you factor in the poor performance of Wear OS smartwatch sales.

The Galaxy Watch 4 is rumored to leading the way in an “expansion of Wear OS”, suggesting big things are on the horizon. It’s possible that the launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 in August (alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3), could pave the way for a successful Pixel Watch launch in the Fall. Rumors suggest that we could finally see the fabled Pixel Watch released alongside the Pixel 6, and could be powered by Google’s first SoC in WhiteChapel.