back to article One in three Android Wear owners also uses ... an iPhone

LogoWatch Google’s re-branded Android Wear, the cut of Android for wearable devices, as “Wear OS by Google” and added the tag line "make every minute matter". The company’s brief announcement doesn’t really explain why Google’s made the change, other than to say it’s “a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and …

  1. SuccessCase

    Another example of Google moving away from any mention of Android. They have lost full control of what Android means in the market and so can no longer determine what the brand means to users, so now hardly ever mention the brand name. Check out their Pixel phone marketing. Virtually no mention of Android.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Maybe it is because they started developing Android's successor a few years ago - Fuschia or whatever it is called. Perhaps the reason for the Pixel phones to exist is so they have a platform to start selling Fuschia on, and they'll leave Android behind.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Or maybe the market has evolved to the point where they feel that consumers know that Apple have one OS and every other smartphone uses the other one.

      You don't need to tell people what it is if they already assume it is that thing.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Wishful thinking again! Google's control of Android is increasing, not least, through project Treble which will allow Google to push updates to device much faster. Yes, this does required Android 8 and will thus take a few years to bear fruit but Google generally plays the long game.

      Elsewhere Google is pushing its OSes and services (the OS is just the springboard) onto more and more different types of devices and seeing which work. As a data-centric company Google cares less about the OS than the data it can collect via its services.

      As others have noted the odd thing here is I-Phone users with Android Wear devices is a step away from Apple's "halo" philosophy of lock-in to an IOS-only world.

    4. Dr Mantis Toboggan

      No, it implies that Android Wear only worked with Android phones, which to iPhone users used to Apple lockdown was a reasonable assumption. The new name tells you the Google wear OS doesn't care what phone you have (although you get better functionality of paired to an Android phone, mainly due to Apple restrictions bon what Google can do with its Apple companion app)

  2. WibbleMe

    At least Google Play does't give two fingers to small companies release apps unlike other rivals.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      "At least Google Play does't give two fingers to small companies release apps unlike other rivals."

      No - it just lets everybody in.

      1. WibbleMe

        Imagin if Nominet was like Apple and insisted on vetting a product before purchasing a website URL, so everyone who wanted to set up an e-commerce site listing their products would get two fingers.

  3. doublelayer Silver badge

    I don't understand wearable tech companies

    I can see a few, very few, cases for wearable tech, but I can't see why so many companies are going as crazy for it. It's not like a smartphone, where everyone basically needs one, and the shipments show it. I, like many people, don't want a device that is essentially my phone only smaller and harder to use strapped to me all the time. Although I am looking for a watch that does the vibrating alarm thing just to avoid annoying my roommates with my early alarm, and people who are interested in fitness might see this as an efficient way to collect that information, I don't see why the companies think that everyone else will want one too.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand wearable tech companies

      People didn't buy smart phones or PDAs in great numbers for years after their arrival on the market - it took hardware, software, services and cellular coverage to evolve to a certain levels before adoption became widespread. Even now though many people are willing to put up with compromises (extra bulk, fragility and power consumption) for extra functionality. ( Though to be fair, phones have largely replaced the bulk of Minidisc players, iPods, cameras etc).

      The issue for vendors is that it is hard to envisage any functionality for connected watches that can command the prices that smartphones do whilst still being bought in huge numbers. The constraints (and advantages) of a watch form factor limit the functions, and the most useful - notifications, phone paging, etc - can be implemented cheaply. And generically.

    2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand wearable tech companies

      "I don't understand wearable tech companies"

      I completely didn't get this either - couldn't see the value proposition. Then I won a Fossil Q in a competition, and thought I'd give it a go with my iPhone; it's now a permanent fixture on my wrist (well - as permanent as something that needs to be charged every night can be). For me, the killer 'app' is the notifications; it's so useful when driving/cycling to just to be able to glance at a message to see if it needs to be answered "right now". I also love playing with and designing watchfaces.

      Maybe I'll be all played out in a couple of months, but for the time being I love it.

  4. Tromos

    "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

    How many of these are users who already had an iPhone and decided against the Apple watch? It might just be that it is the Apple ecosystem that is losing out.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

      The Apple Watch is overkill (and highly priced) if all you want are vibrating notifications on your wrist or step counting. It's in Apple's interests to define a smart watch of capable of lots of things, and having done so it's not in their interest to undercut that with a simpler 'iWatch Nano' as they did with iPods.

      Beyond those factors, it might be that the iPhone owner prefer circular watches, or enjoys activities that benefit from a more specialised smart watch for outdoor activities (from Garmin or Casio, for example).

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

        "The Apple Watch is overkill (and highly priced) if all you want are vibrating notifications on your wrist or step counting. It's in Apple's interests to define a smart watch of capable of lots of things, and having done so it's not in their interest to undercut that with a simpler 'iWatch Nano' as they did with iPods.

        Beyond those factors, it might be that the iPhone owner prefer circular watches, or enjoys activities that benefit from a more specialised smart watch for outdoor activities (from Garmin or Casio, for example)."

        ^ This.

        In my particular use case, all I care about are immediately-visible notifications without having to get my phone out (when I'm cycling it's a pain to retrieve the phone from wherever it ended up, and I'm always worried about dropping it). I also infinitely prefer the Fossil Q style/format to the Apple Watch.

    2. Lost In Clouds of Data
      FAIL

      Re: "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

      Odd you say that, given that Apple alone sold around 18 million Watches in 2017, with a 50% growth on 2016.

      Meanwhile ALL the Android Wear watch manufacturers managed to get only 5 million punters to buy one of their devices in the same period, estimates in February 2018 have them managing perhaps 6 million in 2018.

      Also remember that Apple Watch pretty much requires the owner to have an iPhone to pair it to, this means that bar a microscopic few, those Apple Watches will quite likely be owned by Apple users.

      Same is not true of Wear OS watches - meaning that you can own a Wear OS watch whilst sporting an iPhone as well (the one third referenced in the article).

      Apple have about 50% of Smartphone sales. If all Wear OS can do with it's combined other 50% of sales is less than (cue back of of a fag packet math performed half awake) 2/9ths of the total market (two thirds of the Wear OS sales of non iPhone users which were themselves less than a third of Apples Watch sales), then that's one hell of a sad state of affairs for Wear OS.

      In the meantime, in all likelihood the Apple ecosystem is doing just fine, thank you very much, your apparent desire to ignore sales of both platforms notwithstanding.

    3. Naselus

      Re: "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

      "It might just be that it is the Apple ecosystem that is losing out."

      That was my first thought on this, tbh - anyone with an iPhone probably bought into the Apple ecosystem a long while back, so these are sales Apple has missed from it's own back yard rather than missed opportunities for Android sales.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: "...users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem"

        Apple is losing out in other areas as well, when the Amazon Alexa was out an avid Apple fan basically gave me two fingers when I said why not wait for the Apple Pod thingie as it can then use your iTunes library. I was ignored and said person now pays for Prime (Which I thought would have made it in the long run way more expensive, especially as I thought the thing is never turned on anyway).

  5. Ralph B

    Will it play nicer with iOS?

    When I looked at Android Wear devices I was disappointed to see that the functionally available when paired to an iPhone was severely limited when compared to use with an Android phone. Will the change to Wear OS change this? Will it play nicer with iOS? Or will it be allowed (by Apple) to play nicer with iOS?

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: Will it play nicer with iOS?

      "Will the change to Wear OS change this? Will it play nicer with iOS?"

      Doubt it very much. Apple's APIs are the limiting factor here, and I can't think of any good reason why they'd want to open them up and basically kill the Apple Watch.

    2. the future is back!

      Re: Will it play nicer with iOS?

      Ralph B - good point. The more seamless iOS ecosystem is a huge drawing point in favor of the Apple watch. Not that I would consider one until battery systems have improved to something like a month, at least, something not likely any time soon.

      I pair my iPhone with my hearing aids for full functionality - phone calls, music, and...hearing tuning control with the app, of course. If the sad state of the comparable app available on Android's platform [for same hearing aids] is an indication of functionality with Google's watch cobbled into iOS, I'll keep my 12 year old Casio, thank you.

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    Android watch and apples

    "“In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. Which tells us plenty of Android Wear users aren’t buying into the whole Android ecosystem,"

    Or maybe, because a "smart watch" is not really vital to existence (cheapo "dumb" casio tells me the time with a battery I replace every several years) and so more likely to have smart watch if you have plenty of disposable income (or like tech toys)

    I'm sure there's reasonable crossover with the decent disposable income / liking a bit of shiny and iPhone users, so I'm not surprised at iPhone users with Android smart watches.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Android watch and apples

      Watches to tell the time aren't so useful these days, the time is everywhere. From where I sit I can see it in 4 places. When I leave I will have it on my car dash.

      Watches are finding a new role, steadily, slowly but surely. The original purpose of a wristwatch remains - it reduces the faff of looking at a pocket watch, or fob watch - as it does now with the phone. But the information displayed is different, and it's information that is personal and not available everywhere.

      1. Bill B
        Mushroom

        Re: Android watch and apples

        Werdsmith. I downvoted you for a number of reasons.

        1). Your post made sense and was thought provoking. Please remember this is The Register.

        2). You made no attempt to diss the opposition. In fact I can’t tell from your post which side if the fense you are on. Please be more partisan in future.

        3). No USE OF CAPS, no speling mistakes, no rants. SAD.

        4). Your first paragraph failed to take into account those people living on a desert island with only a coconut tree and a crab for company. Please be more inclusive in your examples.

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