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Google plans major health and fitness updates for Wear OS

User experience survey produced by Google itself sheds light on future features

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Wear OS, Google's smartwatch operating system, could soon receive a major update with numerous new health and fitness features. The news comes as Google is completing its acquisition of Fitbit, which began in November 2019 and should conclude soon.

Although the new features aren't guaranteed to appear in the next version of Wear OS, their appearance in a customer survey produced by Google itself is a strong indication that at least some will be along soon.

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The survey was spotted by Droid Life at the end of February and came from the Google User Experience Research program, where the company asks participants for feedback on how Wear OS could be improved, and if the features mentioned would be welcome. Participants were asked about how they'd feel of each of the features was or wasn't included in a future version of Wear OS.

With a strong focus on health tracking, the survey includes mentions of new features like SPO2 tracking (oxygenation in the blood), sleep apnea detection, granular sleep analysis, irregular heartbeat alerts, and the ability to pair a Wear OS smartwatch to a medical device.

Fitbit fitness tracker Google is in the process of acquiring Fitbit fort $2.1 billioniStock

Exercise was also a cornerstone of the survey, with features like automatic workout detection, rep detection, and gym equipment pairing all mentioned. The latter is something the Apple Watch has offered for a while now, and should mean future Wear OS devices will wireless pair to gym equipment to more accurately log your exercise.

Further features mentioned in the Google survey include indoor air quality, water intake tracking, food and calorie tracking, breathing exercises, a compass, elevation tracking and the ability to share your vitals with the emergency services if the device detects you have been in an accident.

With Google falling behind rivals Apple and Samsung in the smartwatch space - and mostly due to a lack of health and fitness features in Wear OS - this survey suggests the company wants to get itself back into the race.


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