Right now, if you switch to a new smartphone and you’re using the same Wear OS smartwatch, your only (officially supported) option is to reset the watch and start from scratch. This is not an ideal scenario – but it looks like help is on the way.
as seen by XDA developers (opens in new tab)there’s now code in the Google Play Services app for Android that references the ability to backup Wear OS data to Google One in the cloud, before syncing it back to the wearable (presumably after a phone swap).
There is now a text string “Back up your device with Google One”, for example, along with the option to choose a Google account to use for the backup. From the code that was seen before, it looks like this will be an optional feature.
the waiting game
From what we know so far, there is no indication of when the feature might reach users. Google hasn’t said anything officially and it’s unclear how much of a priority it is for Google engineers working on Wear OS.
However, the imminent arrival of the Google Pixel Watch – scheduled for September or October – would be the perfect opportunity to add some major new functionality to Wear OS. We’re assuming that most smartwatches running Wear OS, or at least those released in recent years, will get the update.
Samsung recently launched the Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and the Apple Watch 8 is expected before the end of the year, so competition in the smartwatch space is fiercer than ever as Google prepares its first product. in this category.
Analysis: Google gets there in the end
It’s encouraging to see that Google is finally working on cloud backups for Wear OS, but given the company’s expertise in all things internet, it’s a disappointment that Google took so long to add the feature.
Google was also slow to sort out Android backups: transferring your phone data to a new device was a pain for many years, before Google finally released official apps and services (including Google One) to make the process a lot smoother. easy.
You can now backup data from an Android or iOS device to Google One, and that doesn’t count towards your storage space either (so it doesn’t matter if you pay for more space or not). The Wear OS version is likely to work the same way.
Don’t hold your breath though: according to code that was seen on Google Play, this is a feature that is still in its early stages, so it might be a while before you’re moving your Wear OS smartwatch between phones.