For now, if you are switching to a new smartphone and stick to the same Wear OS smartwatch, your only (officially supported) option is to reset your watch and start from scratch. It’s not an ideal scenario, but it looks like help is on the way.
As noticed XDA Developers (opens in a new tab)there’s now code in the Google Play Services app for Android that references the ability to back up Wear OS data on the Google One to the cloud before syncing it back to the wearable (presumably after switching phones).
There is now a text line “Back up your device with Google One” along with the option to select a Google account to back up. From the code seen earlier, it looks like it will be a select function.
The game is waiting
From what we know so far, there is no indication of when this feature might find its way to users. Google hasn’t said anything officially, and it’s unclear how much of a priority this is for Google engineers working on Wear OS.
However, the imminent arrival of the Google Pixel Watch, expected around September or October, will be a great opportunity to add some important new features to Wear OS. We’re guessing most smartwatches running Wear OS, or at least those released in recent years, will get the update.
Samsung recently released Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Proand Apple Watch 8 expected before the end of the year, so competition in the smartwatch space is getting tougher as Google prepares its first product in the category.
Analysis: Google gets it right after all
It’s nice to see that Google is finally working on cloud backup for Wear OS, but given the company’s track record in all things web, it’s disappointing that Google took so long to add this feature.
Google hasn’t been in a hurry to get Android backups sorted either: transferring your phone data to a new device has been a hassle for years before Google finally released official apps and services (including Google One) to make the process much easier.
Now you can back up data from your Android or iOS device to Google One and it doesn’t count against your storage either (so it doesn’t matter if you pay for more space or not). It’s likely that the Wear OS version will work the same way.
Don’t hold your breath, though: According to code spotted on Google Play, the feature is still in its early stages, so it may be a while before you can seamlessly move your Wear OS smartwatch between phones.