A notification spotted in the Android P Developer Preview suggests that Android Wear may be rebranded to Wear OS. A Redditor (via Android Police) spotted the Wear OS text recently when pairing an Android Wear device, and it was accompanied by what could be a new logo (here’s the original).
The branding can apparently be seen in the Developer Preview beta version 12.5, though there’s so far no explanation for it. The existence of both the text and the emblem—a “W” in Google’s trademark red, blue, yellow, green colors—however, suggest it’s not simply an error; other Google services have previously been spotted with new names in beta versions of Google products before being officially changed later.
This could be part of a push to broaden the appeal of its products and services, rather than having them tied specifically to the Android system (both Android Wear devices and Google Pay work with iOS products, though support for the former isn’t great). Google’s mobile payments service Android Pay joined Google Wallet to become Google Pay only last month.
When this potential rebrand would happen remains to be seen. It might be rolled out with the final version of Android P, or perhaps at Google I/O in May, or it could be years away.
Whenever—if-ever—it happens, it’s something that the platform could no doubt use: Android Wear’s growth has stagnated, some of its original developers have left the game, and it’s being comfortably beaten by the Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin products in the wearables market. A shot in the arm can’t come soon enough.