After the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, Google has been long rumored to be launching its own branded smartwatches. In what is a confirmation of sorts, the company has revealed its plans to launch two flagship smartwatches running on Android Wear 2.0 sometime in the first quarter of 2017. This news comes from none other than Jeff Chang, Android Wear’s product manager, who was speaking to The Verge. Chang also mentions how these upcoming smartwatches will be the first to run on Google’s new Android Wear platform. Also Read - Google Play Store announces blanket ban on Sugar Daddy apps over sexual contentAlso Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
The Q1, 2017 timeline revealed by Chang corroborates a recent leak by Evan Blass. It also adds weight to previous leaks by AndroidPolice, which hinted at two smartwatches codenamed — Angelfish and Swordfish. Though Chang, unsurprisingly, doesn’t go into the details, previous rumors claim that the upcoming smartwatches will boast a Moto 360-like circular design. Also Read - Fake Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Lite APK links going viral on the internet: How to spot them
Angelfish will come with a diameter of 43.5mm with three physical buttons on the side, and features like GPS, LTE, and a heart-rate monitor. The Swordfish, on the other hand, is smaller with a diameter of 42mm and only comes with one crown button on the side. This is believed to be the affordable variant and won’t come with features like GPS, LTE or heart-rate monitor.
Both upcoming smartwatches will run on Android Wear 2.0, which will be rolled out next year. Besides improvements and new features, the OS will also bring a dedicated Play Store featuring apps for smartwatches. Users will be able to browse recommended apps in the home view and search for apps using voice, keyboard, handwriting, and recommended queries, basically to facilitate users to find apps easily. By adding a dedicated Play Store, Google is also ensuring that users can opt for smartwatch-only apps, and don’t necessarily need to download the same app on the smartphone too.
If we look back at the year, smartwatches haven’t had the best of time, unless they were the Apple Watch. Besides Apple’s smartwatch, there’s hardly any other wearable that can be highly recommended, and it shows in the sales numbers as well. The delay in rolling out Android Wear 2.0 hasn’t helped either, and most smartwatch makers like Motorola too seem to have given up for the time being. Google has already hit the right notes with its Pixel smartphones, but it remains to be seen if it can do the same with the smartwatches as well.