Google has just confirmed it will enter the smartwatch industry in the first quarter of 2017 with two new products. Furthermore, these two smartwatches will be the first devices to run Android Wear 2.0.
According to Mr. Chang, these new devices will not carry the Pixel branding, but it’ll instead be OEM branded. What this tells us is that the two Google devices are going to made in close conjunction with their OEM partners, much like now-defunct Nexus program. Mr. Chang reports that the Google collaborated with the manufacturer on both the hardware design and software integration for the two smartwatches, and their partners have had prior experience in making Android Wear smartwatches.
The two flagship smartwatches will be powered by Android Wear 2.0, so they’ll fully take the advantage of the new OS that Google has delayed until next year. Google plans to release a 5th and final developer preview of the OS next January. This version, will bring support for two core features, Google Assistant and Android Pay.
Devices Expected to Receive Android Wear 2.0:
- Moto 360 Gen 2
- Moto 360 Sport
- LG Watch Urbane & 2nd Edition LTE
- LG G Watch R
- Polar M600
- Casio Smart Outdoor Watch
- Nixon Mission
- Tag Heuer Connected
- Fossil Q Wander & Marshal
- Fossil Q Founder
- Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch
- Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch
- Huawei Watch
- Huawei Watch Ladies
- Asus ZenWatch 2
- Asus ZenWatch 3
The good news is that after the launch of two flagship smartwatches, other companies will also release new devices with Android Wear 2.0 throughout the entire year.
Throughout the year a number of manufacturers chose to launch fewer devices, and with Motorola saying that they will not be coming with anymore smartwatches, it was enough to highlight current status of wearables. However, Chang’s optimistic comments should give a boost to the Android smartwatch market.