Home Gadgets I really want an Oura app for Wear OS

I really want an Oura app for Wear OS

In the early days of Wear OS, all Android-powered smartwatches managed health and fitness features through Google Fit. Now that Fit’s taken a backseat and every modern Wear OS watchmaker has its own fitness platform — Samsung Health on Galaxy Watch, OHealth on OnePlus Watch, Fitbit on Pixel Watch — I’m less inclined to use my smartwatch for fitness tracking. I don’t want to relearn my wearable’s health features if I happen to switch smartwatch brands.

But I’ve been wearing an Oura Ring for a couple of years now, regardless of what watch I’m sporting — Google, Samsung, or Timex. If we can’t have a universal, full-featured health platform across Wear OS, the next best thing for me, personally, would be an Oura app for Wear OS.

I’m not big on smartwatch health-tracking

Who wants their health data locked into one ecosystem?

The Fitbit app showing a summary of Fitbit Premium benefits, next to a Google Pixel Watch

I don’t have a problem with any particular smartwatch health platform; I think they’re more or less all fine. Smartwatches also make great workout companions, with their wrist-mounted screens capable of showing real-time data about your activity.

But I like having historical health and activity data to reference. Long-term trends say a lot more about your health than how many steps you took this week. Given the best Wear OS watches come from various manufacturers, and that my job here at AP sees me swapping wearables at least a few times a year, smartwatches make for kind of a crummy long-term health-tracking experience.

A smartwatch on a wrist, showing exercise tracking options.

The Oura Ring I wear can stay on my finger while I’m using any smartwatch and even other smart rings. Its unobtrusive footprint and long battery life make it easy to actually keep it on all day, every day — something I find hard to do with smartwatches, regardless of which I’m using at any given time. It’s just a better health-tracking solution for me. Even if I didn’t review smartwatches for a living, I don’t like the idea of my health data being tied to a particular watch brand.

Smart rings have their drawbacks, too

Watches and rings can work together

A hand wearing a smart ring, touching a plant

I’m more willing to settle long-term with a single smart ring brand. I like Oura’s approach to health tracking — it prioritizes trends over weekly periods and accounts for metrics like heart rate variability — and if I need to test another smart ring for work, wearing two at a time looks a lot less silly than strapping a smartwatch to each wrist.

But smart rings are naturally limited. They don’t have displays or any hardware inputs, which means viewing your health data or manually tracking a workout requires interacting with your phone. That’s where an Oura app for Wear OS could come in. Smartwatches are great for glance-able information and quick interactions, and a wrist-based Oura app could easily show Oura’s tracked data like active calorie burn or steps taken, or let you start tracking a run without fishing your phone out of your pocket.

My circumstances as an editor at a tech publication are pretty unique, but I think plenty of typical Oura users would benefit from a wearable companion app, too. Anecdotally, everyone I know who wears an Oura Ring also rocks a smartwatch; the target markets for the two product segments have a lot of overlap. I’m sure they’d all like to be able to manage Oura’s software interactions from their wrists, or at least to add screens showing Oura’s health data to Wear OS’s Tiles carousel.

Oura clearly sees the benefit in watch apps, too: the Apple Watch has an Oura app already, complete with watch face complications for stats sleep and activity scores and ring battery level. All I’m asking for is the same treatment on Wear OS.


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