Google has never released a smartwatch of its own, however, the business has been involved in the field since 2014, when it announced Android Wear, but it has never gone so far as to create its own product. Given how hot the market has been for as long as it has, the news is just mind-boggling.
At the company’s annual hardware showcase this fall, all of that will change. Google will unveil the Pixel Watch alongside the Pixel 7, which was previously teased. The truth is that Google has a poor track record when it comes to consumer electronics. The Pixel 6 from last year was a significant stride in that approach.
This is the point at which Google will cash in all of its chips. This includes its $40 million purchase of Fossil’s smartwatch technology in January 2019 and its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit last year. Fossil’s Misfit purchase, as well as Fitbit’s acquisitions of Pebble and Vector, are all part of the wearable Katamari Damacy.
The Pixel Watch isn’t precisely a make-or-break product for Google’s wearable fortunes, but there’s a lot riding on it
It’s natural that the corporation is working hard to keep the excitement cycle going for the next few months, especially given that the product’s debut date will almost certainly coincide with Apple’s Series 8 launch.
Although the specifics are still sparse, we do know a few things about the impending wristwatch. To begin with, the leaks look to be mostly gone. It’s more or less what we’ve seen in renders and lost devices from a design standpoint. This item is rather circular, in contrast to Apple and Fitbit’s hardware designs, which it may have inherited from the Fossil acquisition. The glass watch face looks to have a small convex curve to it.
It has a physical crown, similar to the Apple Watch, which is likely used to supplement touchscreen navigation. The recycled stainless steel watch frame is attached to what look to be custom bands. The device will run the most recent version of Wear OS, making it the company’s ailing wearable operating system’s main offering. It’ll be fascinating to see how it compares to the Tizen hybrid that Samsung has been running on its newest Watch.
In its press material, the company writes, “The new Wear OS experience is designed to feel fluid and easy to navigate. It’s more glanceable than ever with refreshed UI and rich notifications, so you can stay present at home, at work, or on the go. And it delivers the apps you love, like your favourites from Google and others for download in Google Play, made for your wrist.”
The Assistant demo on the Google Pixel Watch which shows the weather has a splash of colour
The watch face, on the other hand, is plain black and white and has a lot of Fitbit-inspired components. “It takes time to integrate a company with all the technology and people that Fitbit has,” Google hardware head, Rick Osterloh, says. “This is the first time you see it come to market. We’re really excited about the combination. I’ve personally been a Fitbit user for several years, so I’m thrilled to see this come together. I think it’s going to be a perfect combination.”
The company adds, “Get insights into your health with continuous heart rate and sleep tracking, see your Active Zone Minutes when you’re working out, and track your stats and progress against your personal fitness goals.”
Fitbit’s acquisition propels the device to the forefront of the health-focused consumer wearables market. In the hardware and software divisions, the company has made significant progress, including the recent release of an always-on A-Fib detection. It will be interesting to see if that is included in the final result.
The device includes the typical Google suite of apps, such as Assistant, Maps, and Wallet, which will be accessible without a smartphone thanks to an optional LTE connection. The product will be engineered to operate better with the Pixel 7, which will be presented alongside it. It won’t function with iOS devices, which is odd but not surprising.
The new Watch from Google has a nice-looking piece of hardware and a tonne of software resources from Fitbit and Google. But, in order to make a splash in the already mature smartwatch market, all of this and more will have to come together in a very appealing way. And I do sincerely hope that Google won’t disappoint us.