Survey shows Google is making health a big focus for Wear OS

Skagen Falster
Skagen Falster (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google seemingly wants to make health a big focus for Wear OS going forward.
  • In a new survey sent out as part of the company's User Experience Research program, the company quizzed users on which health and fitness features they'd like to see on their Wear OS smartwatch.
  • The list of suggested features includes stress, sleep apnea, air quality, and vitals tracking, among others.

It's no secret that Google's smartwatch platform isn't doing too well. Apple is, more or less, dominating the smartwatch market, and Google would love to shake things up — hence its $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit.

Wear OS' lack of health-related features may be one of the things holding it back, and Google's finally decided to fix that, it seems (via Droid Life). In a new survey sent out via the company's User Experience Research program, Google is currently asking users for their opinions on which features they'd like to see in Wear OS in the future. Most of the suggestions are health-related, signalling Google's plans for the future.

Alongside asking for their opinion on how they'd feel if a feature was included, the company is also quizzing users on how bummed out they'd be if it wasn't, in an attempt to identify which features it should prioritize to stop alienating potential customers.

The list of features Google is considering is extensive and includes:

  • SPO2 Tracking
  • Smart Alarms
  • Sleep Apnea Detection
  • Sleep Analysis
  • Heartbeat Alerts
  • Automatic Workout Detection
  • Rep Detection
  • Activity Logging
  • Recovery Time
  • Stress Tracking
  • Medical Device Pairing
  • Gym Equipment Pairing
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Activity/Vitals Tracking
  • Share Vitals
  • Micro-logging
  • Water-Intake Tracking
  • Food & Calorie Tracking
  • Flights of Stairs
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Compass
  • Elevation Tracking
  • Cycle Tracking

That's certainly a long list, and while it might be unrealistic to expect Google to bring all these features to market soon, it's still nice to see the company is casting a wide net to determine what people might want. Some of these features, such as SpO2 tracking — this measures the concentration of oxygen in your blood — are already available on Fitbit devices, and are thus very likely to make it to future Wear OS products.

It's also interesting to see Google looking at enabling the smartwatch to interact with other health gadgets, such as your gym equipment or medical equipment. Such features could significantly broaden Wear OS' ecosystem and functionality, by allowing the smartwatch to simply get the relevant health data from whichever machine is best suited for the task and circumvent the need for all these technologies to be built into the watch itself.

Here's hoping Google's ambitions pay off soon, and we finally get some real competition for the Apple Watch on the Android side of the fence.

Google's Fitbit acquisition will reportedly be scrutinized by the Justice Department

Muhammad Jarir Kanji