Wear OS is getting a new battery saving mode

Qualcomm talks new smartwatch chip

Qualcomm talks new smartwatch chip

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), announced that it has worked with Google to implement its next generation operating system, Android P, on select Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platforms.

The rebrand of Android Wear to Wear OS in March was just that, a rebrand. With the introduction of Google Assistant for the WearOS platform, Google has tried improving the user experience.

More than 50 watches running Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) are on the market, Google said, although many are from fashion brands using two-year-old technology. Part of this can be attributed to the ageing Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipsets used by many of these devices. Users will only be able to wake up the screen by pressing the side button and a long press will switch back to normal mode.

Qualcomm will launch new smartwatch chips later this year, two year after the popular Snapdragon Wear 2100 chipsets.

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We're also being promised longer battery lives since the transition to smaller manufacturing processes should lead to a reduction in energy consumption. "The next platform will be the first with purpose-built chips", said Kedia.

Alternatively, if you ask the Assistant about an upcoming flight, it can provide little buttons right on the watch, so you can tap on one to learn about an airline's baggage policies, a list of connecting flights, and what time your check-in is. OEMs including Xiaomi, vivo, Sony Mobile, OPPO and OnePlus have announced plans to make the developer preview of Android P available on their devices.

Kedia said that the Snapdragon 2100 is based on 28nm and was presented in February 2016, so it is a somewhat old processor.

Kedia also mentioned that the new chip is going to be "designed from the ground up for a no-compromises smartwatch experience", which should in theory enable OEMs to develop smaller smartwatches with improved battery life. The SoCs will come in different variations, all with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and some with Global Positioning System and LTE. The integration is deeper than ever before, as Wear OS powered smartwatches can now be leveraged to control smart devices.

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