Wear OS 5: Everything We Know (& Features We’d Like to See)

In Short
  • Google seems poised to unveil Wear OS 5 during the Google I/O 2024 keynote event on May 14.
  • This update could be based on Android 14 and debut with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 series in July.
  • Rumored to arrive later this year, the Pixel Watch 3 could be Google's first Wear OS 5 wearable.

Having only launched Wear OS 4 midway through 2023, Google is now gearing up to unveil the next major update for its wearable platform next week. This could be the first time Wear OS gets a major update within a year. Google partially confirmed this by mentioning “Wear OS 5” for a Google I/O session scheduled for May 16. So, here’s a roundup of everything we know about Wear OS 5 for now.

Wear OS 5: Potential Release Date

With a Google I/O session already scheduled, it’s quite likely that Google will announce Wear OS 5 during the Google I/O 2024 keynote on May 14. We wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a new budget Pixel Watch launch, which recently leaked at the FCC. But we’d suggest you take that with a grain of salt since we don’t know much about the device.

Unless Google comes up with a new Pixel Watch next week, the first wearable that is likely to debut with Wear OS 5 will be the Galaxy Watch 7 and Watch 7 Pro from Samsung. These could reportedly launch at the rumored Unpacked event on July 10 in Paris, where it will also unveil its Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Fold 6 models.

It’s safe to say we can expect Wear OS 5 to come to Google’s smartwatches when the Pixel Watch 3 launches in October, alongside the Pixel 9 series. Google only updated the original Pixel Watch to Wear OS 4 after the Pixel Watch 2 release. So, don’t expect an update to Wear OS 5 to arrive for its existing lineup before October.

Wear OS 5 Expected Features

Unlike Android 15 which is already out in beta, Google has kept the development of Wear OS 5 under the wraps. The biggest change expected to arrive with the upcoming OS is that it could be based on Android 14. Since Wear OS 4 released with Android 13 on board, the chances of an Android 14-based OS are high.

While previous Wear OS versions have skipped Android versions, Wear OS 5 could mark a shift towards yearly, aligned updates.


In terms of features, there are not a lot of details to start with. As mentioned in the description of the Building for the future of Wear OS session, scheduled for May 16, Google hints that Wear OS could see “advances in the Watch Face Format.”

For those unaware, Watch Face Format was announced last year in partnership with Samsung to make it easier for designers to build watch faces for Wear OS watches without writing code. With Wear OS 5, we expect Google to update Watch Face Format with new ways to design watch faces and implement complications along with battery and performance optimizations.

The Google I/O 2024 session also hints that developers could be able to build watch faces for different watch sizes. This could make sense if Google plans to launch a larger sibling to the upcoming Pixel Watch 3. A bigger Pixel Watch could help the brand target audience who prefer watches with larger displays, something the Apple Watch has done for quite some time.

Watch Face Format Wear OS 5
Image Courtesy: Google

Beyond this, expect minor improvements and upgrades to existing Wear OS 4 features. We might see more Google apps and Fitbit-backed health features on Wear OS watches and optimizations to the power consumption and performance.

Wear OS 5 Supported Watches (Expected)

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 series was the first to run Wear OS 4 when it launched last year. This was followed by the Galaxy Watch 6 and Watch 6 Classic. They became the first devices to launch with the (then) major Wear OS update.

Judging by Google’s ongoing partnership with Samsung, we are hopeful that the upcoming Galaxy Watch 7 series could be the first to launch with Wear OS 5, albeit with Samsung’s One UI skin on top. So, we could see Wear OS for the first time when Samsung unveils its next wearable lineup during its Unpacked event.

Wear OS 5 supported devices
Image Courtesy: Samsung

The Pixel Watch 3, which is rumored to launch later this year, could be the first Wear OS 5 device from Google’s camp. Google I/O 2024 might even see a surprise launch of the Pixel Watch 2a (name not confirmed), but its existence remains unconfirmed.

As for compatibility, we expect recent Wear OS 4 watches to receive the Wear OS 5 update later this year. This could include:

  • Google Pixel Watch 2
  • Google Pixel Watch
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 series
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series
  • OnePlus Watch 2

This is just a list of devices that we think could run Wear OS 5. As is the case with any Android update, don’t expect it to arrive on these devices right after launch. The availability and release depends on what Google and other OEMs decide, especially this early in the development stage.

What I Want to See on Wear OS 5

Wear OS 5 What I want to see
Image Courtesy: Google

I love the idea that Google is bringing version updates to Wear OS on a yearly basis. While that promises continuity and improvements to existing features, I would certainly hope it’s much more than that. Wear OS 4 lacked a major leap from its predecessor, so I expect a significant overhaul with Wear OS 5.

Here’s everything I want to see on the next version of Wear OS:

  • Gemini on the wrist: Wear OS already offers users the ability to trigger Google Assistant using the Side button. Now, think about the possibility of Gemini on your wrist. Fascinating, right? It would certainly move Wear OS a step above Apple’s watchOS if that happens.
  • More Apple Watch-like gestures: One nifty feature that Apple introduced to its Watch lineup last year was the double-tap functionality. It allowed users to interact with alerts, calls, notifications, camera shutter, timers, and other apps with one hand. If Google could expand on this with more single-handed gestures, it could revolutionize Wear OS drastically.
  • Crash detection support: Pixel Watch devices already offer Fall detection, similar to the one on an Apple Watch. But it doesn’t include the Car crash detection feature that’s available on the Pixel phone. Adding this to Wear OS could be a welcome change, one that boosts users’ personal safety.
  • Quick settings and notifications from any apps: One thing I like about watchOS is that no matter what app or screen I’m on, I can access the Watch’s Control Center or Notifications Center anytime. Wear OS forces you to return to the home screen for simple tasks like checking the notifications or disabling Wi-Fi. I could only hope that Wear OS 5 solves this problem once and for all.
  • Integrate Fitbit’s tracking tools efficiently: Google and Samsung both offer dedicated sensors to monitor your health and sleep routine. Having acquired Fitbit over three years ago, Wear OS still hasn’t quite implemented Fitbit’s health-tracking tools and insights to their full potential. I hope Wear OS 5 changes this approach and makes it easy for users to access their tracking data from any device.

While there are still a bunch of things I’d like to see Google add, the features I’ve mentioned above alone would make Wear OS 5 a generational update. With only a few days to go until the Google I/O 2024 event, there’s still much to discover about the upcoming update. We will be sure to keep you updated on any new developments, so stay tuned! In the meantime, let us know in the comments below what features you’re most excited about in Wear OS 5.

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