It’s been long-rumoured that Google is developing its own smartwatches, mostly because several Android Wear manufacturers have decided not to move forward with new wrist-worn products anytime soon. The rumours are now confirmed by Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google. In an interview with The Verge, he told that Google will be launching two new flagship smartwatches in the first quarter of next year as was previously rumoured.
Google’s wearable platform has been in very obvious trouble in the last several months. Google is still planning to release Wear 2.0 in early 2017 and the watches from Google will be the first with Android Wear 2.0
We have a fair idea of what the smartwatches from Google could look like but its too early to actually confirm it since the rumours weren’t exactly all correct. According to Mr.Chang, these watches will not be carrying the Pixel branding (which previous rumours suggested) but will instead be OEM branded though Chang wouldn’t confirm the company name. He did mention, however, that the company has produced Android Wear devices in the past.
Change said Google is focusing on the hardware design and software integration for the upcoming watches, and he compared the partnership to Google’s Nexus smartphones made by LG, Huawei, and others in the past. Current Android Wear manufacturers include Moto, LG, Polar, Casio, Tag, Fossil, Michael Kors, Huawei, Asus, and others.
Google hopes releasing its own take on smartwatches will convince consumers that these devices are still a priority for Mountain View.
Mr. Chang states that older Android Wear smartwatches will begin receiving their updates to Android Wear 2.0 after these smartwatches are launched. The update to Android Wear 2.0 brings a plethora of changes including Google Assistant integration, in-app billing, better two-factor authentication sign-in support, new gestures, and more. We’ll get Android Pay support finally, as well as more customization of watch faces. There will also be more powerful standalone apps and a keyboard… a tiny one.
The Google official also confirms that while features such as Android Pay require NFC, the same won’t be a requirement for receiving the Android wear 2.0 update itself. So if your Android wear watch doesn’t feature an NFC chip, you will still get the update.
Google is currently on the final developer preview for Wear 2.0 and is expected to finalize the software in the coming weeks, most likely in January. It will also work with iOS devices, but there will be differences.
Source : The Verge