Wear OS 5 will bring major upgrades to battery life, fitness, and watch faces

What you need to know

  • Google announced the Wear OS 5 Developer Preview launch at Google I/O 2024. 
  • Wear OS 5 watch faces will get “Flavors” and exclusive Complications. 
  • Android Health will add new running data and goals, plus Health Connect upgrades.
  • Wear OS watches will now last 20% longer during tracked workouts. 

To no one’s surprise, Wear OS 5 will arrive “later this year,” Google reported at I/O 2024. Battery life enhancements are “central” to the update, which you can test today via the Developer Preview. But Google also emphasized health and fitness tracking with this future update — more unexpected and certainly welcome. 

Google announced the Wear OS Hybrid Interface and Watch Face Format (WFF) earlier this year, both of which made Wear OS 4 more efficient. Wear OS 5 piggybacks on these updates, improving watches’ efficiency and adding more exciting watch face tricks. 

On the battery front, Android developers Kseniia Shumelchyk and Garan Jenkin explained in a blog post how “running a marathon consumes up to 20% less power on Wear OS 5 than on Wear OS 4” with default settings.

(Image credit: Google)

That’s merely one example; all workouts that sample heart rate and GPS should run more efficiently. However, Android Health upgrades are a significant portion of Wear OS 5’s updates. For starters, the new OS will add four advanced running form measurements: Ground Contact Time, Stride Length, Vertical Oscillation, and Vertical Ratio. 

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