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[Update: ‘Mi Watch’] Xiaomi might be making a Wear OS device [APK Insight]

According to the Wear OS companion app for Android, Xiaomi might be working on a smartwatch powered by Google’s wearable platform. Wear OS 2.28 today features a string that references a “Mi Wear” companion app.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Wear OS manufacturers are able to offer their own companion clients on Android. This was a more common practice during Android Wear’s early days. For example, the Huawei Wear app “helps you manage your Huawei wearable devices,” like the Huawei Watch and Huawei Watch 2. The Mobvoi companion app features the company’s health and activity suite.

Evidence of Wear OS adding support for another companion app first emerged in July with Wear OS 2.26. Development was codenamed Baiji — an extinct dolphin that has significance in Chinese mythology — up until today. The line in version 2.28 was updated to “Mi Wear,” with such a Xiaomi app not currently existing, though there is Mi Fit for the popular Mi Band line.

Wear OS 2.26

<string name=”baiji_companion_name”>Baiji Companion</string>

Wear OS 2.28

<string name=”xiaomi_companion_name”>Mi Wear</string>

Given that the spotted Xiaomi app is named in a manner similar, it suggests that a Wear OS device from the Chinese maker is possibly coming. Baiji could either be a stand-in for the brand, or the actual codename for Xiaomi’s Wear OS device. To date, all watches have internally been aquatically-themed.

Update: Further digging into Wear OS 2.28 reveals “Mi Watch” as the possible name for this Xiaomi device.

This would be the first new OEM for Google’s wearable platform in quite some time, with Fossil and Mobvoi’s TicWatch being the major players today. Motorola, LG Sony, and Samsung left the platform years ago.

The evidence for a Xiaomi Wear OS watch comes amid reports last week that Google abandoned two possible Pixel Watch projects since 2016. According to another source, there will be no Pixel Watch at Made by Google 2019.

With Kyle Bradshaw

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: