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(Pocket-lint) - As previously rumoured, Google has partnered with Samsung to produce a completely redesigned Wear OS. 

Announced during the Google I/O opening keynote address, the new version of the smartwatch operating system has a different design language to before. There are new watch faces, improved apps, and a dark theme.

"We're driven by wearable technology's positive impact on people's lives and are excited to share our new, unified platform with Samsung," said Google in a statement on its press site.

The new sofware has been built with Samsung, utilising the Korean firm's development and experience with Tizen. Indeed, Wear OS and Tizen have effectively been combined for the new system, with the "next Samsung Galaxy Watch" confirmed to run the new software when it launches later this year.

The new OS also utilises Google's Fitbit acquisition for health and fitness features. Fitbit functionality is now baked into the smartwatch OS.

Fitbit will also be building its own smartwatches based on Wear OS going forward.

In terms of other features, switching between apps and navigation have each been improved. Google's own Wear OS apps have also been enhanced, including Google Play, Maps and YouTube Music.

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We'll bring you more on the new Wear OS as we find out.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 18 May 2021.