December is turning out to be a busy month on the Android Wear front. Just last week Google released developer preview version 4 of Android 2.0, the company acquired Cronologics to help with development, and we just covered the list of existing smartwatches that should get the Android Wear 2.0 update when it is finally released. Before anyone gets it though, Google says their own smartwatch devices will hit the market running Android Wear 2.0.
In an interview today, Google’s product manager for Android Wear Jeff Chang confirmed that the company will be releasing two smartwatches and they will be the first devices on the market to use Android Wear 2.0. Rumors of a pair of Google smartwatches first surfaced last summer. However, in perhaps a bit of a surprise move, Chang says the devices will not be branded as Pixel or Google smartwatches, but will instead carry branding from the unnamed manufacturer. This will make the watches somewhat similar to the now defunct Nexus line of smartphones.
As far as development of Android Wear 2.0, things are still on track for developer preview 5 to be released in January, followed by the official, final release on board the new Google smartwatches. This likely puts the release sometime in February or March unless Google hits another delay like what happened this past year.
After that, the update is expected to roll out to existing products on the market. Chang also indicates the big manufacturers will resume development and production of new smartwatch models during 2017 after virtually all of them pulled back on new products in the latter half of 2016.
The smartwatch market is in a bit of turmoil at the moment. Many saw wearables and especially smartwatches as being a “next big thing” type of market and it was definitely hot for the first year or two. However, things quickly fizzled out and manufacturers have been left trying to sort out their next step. That could include getting out of the market as Apple seems to be making headway at the expense of others or it could include partnering and melding with related items like activity trackers. Chang seems to think there is still a deep potential market out there for pure smartwatch devices, which is why Google is starting to make noise again about being in the premium space.
Is a Google smartwatch a product you are interested in buying when it is released? We assume it’s something most would at least heavily consider.
source: The Verge