It seems that Wear OS is returning to an annual refresh. To recap, Google showcased Wear OS 4 based on Android 13 last May during I/O 2023. Before that, the company revealed Wear OS 3 two years earlier, with Wear OS 2 debuting in 2018 using the same underlying Android 8 Oreo code as Wear OS 1.0. While there have been various other Wear OS version changes in intervening periods, all have been interim updates like Wear OS 3.5.
According to 9to5Google, Wear OS 5 will be based on Android 14. Additionally, the website adds that Samsung is already ‘working to support’ Wear OS 5 for Exynos 5535, a codename for the chipset that will underpin the Galaxy Watch7 series. In other words, it appears that there is a degree of co-development in place, with the Galaxy Watch7 series likely arriving this summer as the first smartwatches running Wear OS 5 before the Pixel Watch 3 series surfaces in early autumn.
Unfortunately, it is unclear how Google will distinguish Wear OS 5 from current Wear OS 4 builds. However, we would expect the company to present the update at its next I/O conference, which it has held in May in all but two years since 2008. Ultimately, it is encouraging that Wear OS looks to be receiving more development attention than it has in recent years, even if the likes of the Pixel Watch 3 will run an older Android version than its Pixel 9 series counterpart.
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
Jessica Irvine is a tech enthusiast specializing in gadgets. From smart home devices to cutting-edge electronics, Jessica explores the world of consumer tech, offering readers comprehensive reviews, hands-on experiences, and expert insights into the coolest and most innovative gadgets on the market.