The smartwatch industry has grown in the first period of the year, and wearables with watchOS dominated the market. Unfortunately, Wear OS lost in Q1 2020, not managing to positions itself in the first five operating systems. Even more, earlier today, at the Apple's WWDC keynote, Apple presented new features for watchOS and Apple Watch.
Cupertino-based company's operating system for wearables is top-notch at the moment, outperforming Google's equivalent, Wear OS. But Wear OS has just received an improvement, which is the implementation of hardware acceleration for watch faces. That leads to some improved features.
While Android 11 is just around the corner, as it's expected in Q3 this year, Wear OS operates on Android 9. Accordingly, improvements to the Google's operating system for smartwatches are required. The recent update for the Wearable Support Library comes with hardware acceleration for watch faces, which brings smoother animations. The benefits will be visible to the users, not only the devs.
Google Added Support for Hardware Acceleration for Watch Faces
Thanks to the new Wearable Support Library 2.7.0, detailed on the Android's Developers page, via GSMArena, Wear OS can now render all the animations at higher frame rates. Until now, hardware acceleration was only possible in the apps designed for the operating system. Hardware acceleration for watch faces also enhances the UI performance.
To check if your system allows hardware acceleration for watch faces, go to Settings > Developer Options. Then, turn on the Debug GPU Profiling feature. If the hardware acceleration is on, then a new bar that moves from right to the left will appear on the watch face. With this new addition to the Google's operating system for smartwatches, the devs have to improve their watch faces to focus on enhanced canvas and battery life.
The Future of Google's Wear OS
The new Wearable Support Library 2.7.0 update is an interesting one. It might be a signal that Google will start focusing more on its OS for smartwatches. There are many stylish wearables that run on Google's OS, and it would be a shame for the giant company not to bring a major update to the system soon. Note that the last Wear OS update rolled out in 2018.
In conclusion, Google has just brought hardware acceleration for watch faces. The new feature leads to smoother animations that run at high frame rates. Enhanced battery life and UI performance are also available via the new Wearable Support Library 2.7.0 for Wear OS.