Google's Android Wear now has a new name. Blame the iPhone

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Google’s already launched a new website under WearOS.

Google/Screenshot by Alfred Ng/CNET

It’s a real name-changer. 

Google announced Thursday that it’s got a new name fo Android Wear, its software that powers a wide-ranging lineup of wearables like smartwatches. From here on out, you’ll know it as Wear OS, and reminder, it’s not connected to Google’s mobile operating system.

A big part of the reason for the change: One-third of new Android Wear watch owners also use an iPhone, according to Dennis Troper, director of product management at Wear OS.

“We’re announcing a new name that better reflects our technology, vision, and most important of all — the people who wear our watches,” Troper said in a statement.

My colleague Scott Stein says this gives Google an opportunity to rethink what a Google-powered smartwatch can be. It’ll certainly take more than just a name change.

It was just a year ago that Google unveiled Android Wear 2.0, saying “Android Wear is not a hobby for us” and holding out the promise of big changes for its technological answer to the Apple Watch. The company certainly had plenty of big-name partners, from LG and Huawei to Casio, Fossil and Tag Heuer. But Apple’s smartwatches dominate the field — the company sold a record 8 million of them in the fourth quarter.

Google said people can expect the name change to start appearing on their devices over the next few weeks.

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