In some (more) good news today Google and Qualcomm have told Wareable.com that a new, and much improved chipset is on the horizon. Google Fit, the Wear OS workout-tracking app, puts music controls directly inside the app so you can swipe down to adjust the volume or skip tracks instead of switching between the Fit and Music apps.
This joint effort aims to expand global availability, as well as accelerate the availability of key new enhancements to consumers, such as multi-camera support, display cutout support, indoor navigation, HDR, among others. Google had said in its presentation that smartwatches only offer about 10% of battery life when compared to smartphones.
To do this effectively, more than one platform will be developed, so fitness watches can add features required by wearers, and fashion brands don't need to bother. That is one of the reasons why there wasn't any significant improvement in the performance of new smartwatches as the underlying technology remained the same. We were expecting a big revamp at this year I/O developers conference, but all we got was an underwhelming presentation with some obvious updates.
Qualcomm will launch new smartwatch chips later this year, two year after the popular Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipsets. And Kedia is right in that smartwatches look bad when you aren't using them. Google also changed its development schedule to bring more frequent minor updates after criticism of long delays between major releases.
That's going to change in the next generation chip. All the watches will have a similar basic connectivity option such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for paring and other functions.
Knowing that something better is coming down the pipeline, we'd foresee that the market for Wear OS wearables won't be picking up until Q3 or even Q4 when the new chipset and devices are officially announced.