Smartwatches are around for years now, and Apple has managed to stay its spot at the highest despite the amount of Android Wear, now Wear OS, devices within the market. The Apple Watch is arguably before the race in terms of platform features, but Wear OS isn’t that far behind. Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 4 series seems to push Google’s wearable platform to new heights, and it’s getting a long-delayed feature that, somewhat ironically, still leaves Wear OS one step behind.
Admittedly, it’s debatable whether a walkie-talkie feature is that notable, but it’s something that the Apple Watch has and Wear OS doesn’t, a minimum of not officially. Introduced back in 2019, it’s just about a smartwatch implementation of an old push-to-talk system, allowing users to quickly call another Apple Watch user at a press of a button. There are questions on whether Wear OS officially needs such a function, and third-party apps have stepped up to fill the necessity within the meantime.
It seems that Samsung is trying to shut the gap with a politician Walkie Talkie app of its own. Now available on Google Play Store, the WalkieTalkie Wear OS app works a bit like the Apple Watch version, requiring that users pair with another smartwatch to determine a moment of one-on-one connection. It seems to be ready to work without a smartphone, but Samsung recommends using it with a smartphone around a minimum of for the primary time.
Despite being a Wear OS, the app is compatible only with the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch 4 Classic. To some extent, this doesn’t exactly bode well for Wear OS at the end of the day. But, on the other hand, wear OS 3 is the first version to support custom user experiences like Samsung’s One UI, paving the way for an equivalent OEM fragmentation seen on Android phones.
Of course, there have always been brand-exclusive apps and watch faces on Wear OS for years now, but the fragmentation is that big, especially when it involves UIs and aesthetics. It remains to be seen whether this new chapter in Wear OS’ history will change that, but, a minimum of for the nonce, things are looking a touch bright for Google’s wearable future.