The smartwatch market is reportedly declining with the passing of years. However, tech giant Google still continues to support the smartwatch ecosystem. Long time leaker Evan Blass (evleaks) first revealed Google’s plan to launch new smartwatches in October this year. He tweeted the expected date alongside pictures of the supposed watches codenamed Angelfish and Swordfish.
Now there is an official confirmation made by the company. According to Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google, the company will be launching two new flagship smartwatches in the first quarter of 2017. In an exclusive interview with The Verge, Chang said that the new watches will be the flagship Android Wear 2.0 devices and will be the first ones to launch with the new platform.
However, these two flagship smartwatches won’t be branded by Google or Pixel. They will be branded by the company that is manufacturing them. “Chang says that Google collaborated with the manufacturer – which he wouldn’t name, but said has produced Android Wear devices in the past – on the hardware design and software integration for the watches,” The Verge report. “He likened the partnership to Google’s Nexus smartphone program in terms of collaboration and goals,” the report added.
The existing Android Wear watches will be receiving an update to Android Wear 2.0 following the launch of the new devices. Here is the list of all the Android Wear watches that will be upgraded to Wear 2.0 next year: Moto 360 Gen 2, Moto 360 Sport, LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, Polar M600, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Nixon Mission, Tag Heuer Connected, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Founder, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch, Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch, Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies, Asus ZenWatch 2 and the Asus ZenWatch 3.
The new update is expected to bring numerous new features including support for standalone apps such as Android Pay, Google’s voice-controlled assistant and others.
“Google will release the fifth and final developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 in January, and it is expected to include support for both Google Assistant and Android Pay (on supported devices) in it. It will also work with iOS devices, and Chang confirmed that while there will be differences between Wear 2.0 on Android and iOS, Android Pay will work on both platforms,” The Verge report further added.