In what can only be defined as itself, Google has released YouTube Music app for Apple Watch … before creating an equivalent version for its own smartwatch platform, Wear OS.
This is astounding for a number of reasons. For starters, Google is working on a number of YouTube Music integrations. Earlier this week, YouTube Music on Android TV received some major improvements. Back in August, Google also did it so you can play personal playlists from YouTube Music via Google Assistant. As you might expect, in both cases Google gave priority to its own platforms first. But this is not the case with Wear OS.
Usually, Big Tech tends to introduce new features and updates to its own platforms first. For example, Android users are the first to receive a more stable set of third-party integrations with Google Assistant. IOS users will have to wait. And Apple is, ok Apple. You know it is will give priority first its own ecosystem—to hell with everyone else. That’s why Google pushes the YouTube Music app for the Apple Watch first is a big departure.
But Iis not super surprising given the state of the smartwatch market. On the one hand you have the Apple Watch. This is the most popular smartwatch, with somewhere between 50-55% of the market, depending on it which research agency does math. This is often surprising given 74% of the phones globally continue Android and Apple Watch only support iOS. In the first quarter of 2020, sales of smartwatches actually reported a 20% increase in sales, with Apple, Samsung and Garmin benefiting the most. Wear OS …not so much. According to 9to5 Google, although more Wear OS watches were sold in 2020 than in 2019, its market share actually fell from 23.7% to 22.6% in the first quarter of this year.
However, this really means that iOS users are more likely to choose the Apple Watch, because it’s really the best smartwatch option for them. The same cannot be said for Android users. The Smartwatch options for Android are much more fragmented, and for years there has been no real alternative to the Apple Watch that Android users could really put together. Samsung came closest and its latest flagship, Galaxy Watch 3,, it’s probably the only Android smartwatch that can go heel to toe with Apple. The thing is, it doesn’t work with Wear OS. It runs Samsung’s own OS, Tizen, and it retains its best features for Samsung users, leaving non-Samsung users at a disadvantage.
This means that, more often Android users are divided between Samsung and more focused smartwatches, which also run their own OS, including options from Garmin and Fitbit. In fact, the only thing Another Android-friendly flagship smartwatch that can compete with the Apple Watch is the Fitbit Sense, which, again not working on Wear OS.
While 2019 was a bit vague about the new flagship smartwatches, 2020 was a completely different story. Samsung came out strong with its Galaxy Watch 3. Fitbit also seemingly brought a miracle out of nowhere with Sense, Versa 3 and Inspire 2. Both companies managed to catch up with Apple and win the US Food and Drug Administration. clearance for clinical electrocardiogram Characteristic. Garmin released on Forerunner 745and Polar is updating its Vantage line and released a pretty great entry-level smartwatch with Unite. Wear the OS, by comparison, completely break the bed.
Despite the introduction of Qualcomm new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipwhich is expected to improve the experience of the Wear OS watch, there is only one smartwatch powered by it, which is available this holiday season: On Mobvoy TicWatch Pro 3. Fossil, which is the most famous manufacturer Wear OS launches a slightly cheaper version of its range of Gen 5 watches powered by the latest generation processor, Snapdragon Wear 3100. This means that at the earliest we will see real progress in Wear OS watchesnext year. tit updated Google, released for Wear OS this fall were astounding, focusing more on streamlining the interface than to activate more advanced features that we expected in the leading smartwatches.
Not that Google doesn’t see the value of wearable devices. The company acquisition Fitbit is proof of this, as is the entire lip service he pays for. “environmental calculations. “It’s just that any real improvement on Wear OS will take time. Hell, at this point it might even be easier to discard it and start over. should regulators approve A deal for Fitbit.
Meanwhile, it seems that even Google knows it won’t make much money by putting Wear OS first. This is sad because it simply means that Android users, especially those without Samsung phones, have the least choice when it comes to a great smartwatch. Uunfortunately, this does not seem to be changing any time soon.