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Google and Samsung team up to make Android smartwatches better

Let’s face it: Smartwatches for Android haven’t been really great.

I used to be all in on smartwatches, but after constant disappointment as an Android user, I gave up on the idea altogether. Wear OS devices are usually too bulky, slow, and/or have sucky battery life. And while Samsung largely addressed the battery life problem by going with its own Tizen OS devices, app support for Galaxy Watches has been lackluster.

Now the two companies are joining forces to create a better, faster, and more efficient Wear OS, “bringing the best of Wear and Tizen into a single, unified platform.” Though the companies didn’t unveil any new hardware today, there’s hope Android smartwatches can finally take on the Apple Watch.

Google says it’s been able to make apps start “up to 30% faster” on the latest chips and optimized the software to allow you to “run the heart rate sensor continuously during the day, track your sleep overnight and still have battery for the next day.” The proof is in the pudding, but a man can dream.

Speed optimizations aside, Google has made several improvements to the user experience, including shortcuts for accessing recent apps, and more ways to customize your home screen. Key to this are new Tiles that are able to show information from your favorite apps at a glance.