Google's plan to take down the Apple Watch? A new health and fitness assault planned for Wear OS

Google customer survey sheds light on upcoming smartwatch features

Google's plan to take down the Apple Watch? New health and fitness assault planned for Wear OS
(Image credit: Google)

Although we still don’t know exactly what will come of Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit, some light has just been shed on what the company has planned for its Wear OS smartwatch operating system.

Thanks to information shared by Google in a customer survey, we now know the company has plans to bring a whole host of new health and fitness features to its Wear OS system. The updates should bring Google back into the race with Apple and Samsung - a race it has struggled to keep up with recently.

First spotted by Droid Life, the survey came from the Google User Experience Research program. It listed a wide range of future smartwatch features, then asked participants how they feel if the feature were or weren’t included in future Wear OS products.

The features included blood oxygenation (SPO2) tracking, sleep apnea detection, sleep tracking and analysis, smart alarms, stress tracking, and even a way to pair Wear OS products with medical devices.

Exercise-focused features in the survey included automatic workout detection, rep detection, and the ability to pair with gym equipment. The Apple Watch has included the latter feature for a while now, but it’s still good to see Google experimenting with ways to share exercise data between gym equipment and wearables.

(Image credit: Google)

Other features mentioned by the survey included water, food and calorie tracking, breathing exercises, a stress tracker, a compass, indoor air quality measurements, and a way to share your vital information with the emergency services if you are in an accident.

As you can see, it’s a huge range of potential new features for Wear OS, and shows that Google is keen to close the gap to Apple and Samsung by turning its smartwatch platform into one packed with health and fitness functions.

With this survey and Google’s purchase of Fitbit, which should conclude later this year, we’re excited to see what the future holds for Wear OS. The system might not get every feature mentioned above, but it’s highly likely that at least some will find their way onto future wearables soon.

All of this could also mean Google is finally edging closer to revealing its first (and long-rumoured) Pixel Watch.

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Alistair Charlton

Alistair is a freelance automotive and technology journalist. He has bylines on esteemed sites such as the BBC, Forbes, TechRadar, and of best of all, T3, where he covers topics ranging from classic cars and men's lifestyle, to smart home technology, phones, electric cars, autonomy, Swiss watches, and much more besides. He is an experienced journalist, writing news, features, interviews and product reviews. If that didn't make him busy enough, he is also the co-host of the AutoChat podcast.