Android Wear has been the operating system of choice for many smartwatch producers, and Google’s newest version, the Android Wear 2.0 is just around the corner. However, it seems that the company has decided to follow the release of their Pixel phone, with the launch of two flagship smartwatches in 2017.
Since the reveal of the Google Pixel smartphones, rumors were started to spread regarding smartwatches. As such, Jeff Chang, the Google product manager for Android Wear has confirmed in an interview with The Verge, that the new flagship smartwatches will arrive in 2017, and will be the first devices to receive the new Android Wear 2.0 platform update.
However, Chang also said that the new flagship smartwatches will not receive the Pixel or even Google’s branding at all. Instead, they will be named by the company that will produce them. He didn’t specifically name the manufacturer but said that the company has previously released Android Wear devices. Overall, the flagship smartwatches will be similar to the Nexus phones, in terms of both collaboration and goals.
A partnership similar to the ones that led to the release of the Nexus smartphones may be just a way for Google to prepare for a possible release of their own smartwatch, under the Pixel brand. However, no details at this point have been confirmed.
Chang also discussed about the eventual release of the Android Wear 2.0 and the devices that will receive the update. He stated that although not all smartwatches will be eligible for the new platform, the vast majority of newer models will be. However, features like Android Pay, which requires specific hardware will only be available on devices equipped with the NFC technology.
Google is ready to release their final developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 in January, which will include support for both Android Pay as well as the Google assistant. After the release of the two flagship smartwatches, other companies will start releasing a number of smartwatches with the new operating system. There will surely be a slate of announcements for upcoming smartwatches at the Consumers Electronics Show in 2017.
What do you think about Google’s flagship smartwatches? Were you looking forward to a Pixel watch?
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