1. When will Wear OS 5 be released?
  2. Five things we want to see from Wear OS 5

Google confirms Wear OS 5 is coming later this year - here are five things we want to see

The latest major platform update will be teased at Google I/O 2024
Wareable wear os 5 google io
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Google has officially confirmed the existence of Wear OS 5, with the next major version of the smartwatch platform set to be teased as part of Google I/O on 14 May. 

As part of the company's preparation for the annual developer event, the schedule notes suggest that the 'new features' of Wear OS will be discussed:

"We’ll discover the new features of Wear OS 5. This includes advances in the Watch Face Format, and how to design and build for the increasing range of device sizes," Google says. 

With Google rumored to be preparing an additional case size for the Pixel Watch 3, it's perhaps no coincidence that building for different device sizes has been teased. 

But what else will Wear OS 5 help enable? We've listed five things we want to see from the next update based on our current time with Wear OS 4.

When will Wear OS 5 be released?

The arrival of Wear OS 5 was first suggested in a report in January, with sources hinting that Samsung and Google were actively building the software for release in 2024.

It remains to be seen, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 & Galaxy Watch 7 Pro are expected to be the first watches to run the latest improvements - in line with what we've seen in previous years. 

Google's official confirmation of the software in the weeks leading up to I/O 2024 has cemented it as an arrival for later this year - the first time since Wear OS was relaunched in 2021 we've had major updates in back-to-back years. 

The question is: when exactly in 2024 will Google actually release Wear OS 5?

At this stage, we grade it as likely to arrive in July on Samsung's next flagship before coming to Google's latest hardware around October - following the pattern we witnessed with Wear OS 3 and Wear OS 4.

However, it's still faintly possible that Google will announce and begin the rollout of new features at I/O on 18 May.

As we saw last year, though, we're likely to only receive a small sampling of what Wear OS 5 will deliver.

Five things we want to see from Wear OS 5

Wareablewear os 5 wishlist

As with every major software update, we're hoping for a speedier rollout, fewer bugs, and improved battery efficiency with Wear OS 5.

Then there are the more obvious things we know Google is likely to apply in the 2024 update - such as AI integration - and the things we can pretty much rule out, like the return of iOS support. 

With that in mind, below we've listed five things we want to see in Wear OS 5 that we think are at least semi-realistic (and also not blindingly obvious). 

1. Debut advanced recovery insights

Google is just as guilty as Apple for allowing other wearable makers to leap ahead in offering recovery insights, and we want to see this rectified in Wear OS 5. 

The only way you can currently access any readiness metric comes from Fitbit, with the company's Premium tier allowing users to access the Daily Readiness Score.

However, Fitbit is also still limited to Google's own Pixel devices. 

If it could introduce a native recovery calculation across the board - and, crucially, one that users don't have to pay extra for - its smartwatches would become more helpful tools.

Wareablewear os 5 wishlist

2. Unite the platform with Fitbit

One of the double-edged swords of Wear OS is the platform's openness.

While this can lead to plenty of neat variations in areas like watch faces, a brand's interpretation can also sometimes lead to six different hubs for relatively minor features. 

Bloatware not only threatens to make the platform overwhelming and disengaging, but it also means there's no standardization in Wear OS.

Google Fit is still a pretty unconvincing package, too, which means there's no reliable, Google-approved you can fall back on when the likes of Mobvoi's TicExercise platform aren't quite cutting it.

We think wider Fitbit support is the answer. It's by far the most polished tracking hub in terms of accuracy and presentation, and the entire ecosystem could benefit greatly from giving users at least the option to use it.

We don't think Google is massively likely to do so, though. It would require tight collaboration between the company and tons of far-flung OEMs, and the Pixel Watch line would lose one of its unique software features.

4. Broaden safety features

The Pixel Watch 2 arrived with Safety Check and Safety Signal, two all-new features that also rolled back to the Pixel Watch 1 devices that upgraded to Wear OS 4. 

The former is essentially an alternative to texting friends or family about your whereabouts, also allowing users to send their location discreetly, and the latter enables the use of emergency calling and location sharing even for those who don't have a cellular plan. 

We think they should become a core element of all Wear OS devices in this year's update. And, in the case of Safety Signal, it would be a great bonus if it no longer required Fitbit Premium, too.

Wareablewear os 5 wishlist

4. Outlaw phone-exclusive features 

The existence of phone-exclusive features is another factor we believe currently limits Wear OS.

Samsung has been the biggest culprit for this over the last few years, fencing off major features like ECG readings and blood pressure syncing on its Galaxy Watch devices to those with one of its handsets. 

Every manufacturer technically offers exclusive features, but these are generally limited to tracking apps and watch faces - not ones dependent on having the right Android.

It's (seemingly) unnecessary gatekeeping that feels out of kilter with the wider openness of Wear OS/Android, and we hope Google uses Wear OS 5 to mark a line in the sand with it.

5. Provide more actionable stress insights

Stress tracking isn't currently a very big of the Wear OS experience, with only the Google Pixel Watch really looking to spot stress responses in real time. 

Even then, we've not massively rated the way Google/Fitbit have attacked the tracking so far; notifications may inform you of a stressful event happening (with varying degrees of accuracy), but there's nothing much to glean from logging your mood at the time of the event.

We would love to see Wear OS 5 - likely with the help of more advanced AI - enable more impactful stress insights and trends.

If Google could take a leaf from Oura's book and begin grading responses, analyzing the impact of other physiological factors, and suggesting specific behavioral changes, Wear OS watches would become infinitely more usable as stress monitors.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor joined Wareable in 2017, quickly making a name for himself by testing out language translation earbuds on a first date, navigating London streets in a wearable airbag, and experiencing skydiving in a VR headset.

Over the years, he has evolved into a recognized wearables and fitness tech expert. Through Wareable’s instructional how-to guides, Conor helps users maximize the potential of their gadgets, and also shapes the conversation in digital health and AI hardware through PULSE by Wareable.

As an avid marathon runner, dedicated weightlifter, and frequent hiker, he also provides a unique perspective to Wareable’s in-depth product reviews and news coverage.

In addition to his contributions to Wareable, Conor’s expertise has been featured in publications such as British GQ, The IndependentDigital Spy, Pocket-lint, The Mirror, WIRED, and Metro.

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