Google launching two smartwatches early 2017


In an effort to try and prove that smartwatches aren’t the basically useless albatross on your wrist that most everybody already thinks they are, Google has plans to release two high-end smartwatches early next year. The news comes from an exclusive interview that The Verge had with Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google. Chang confirmed longstanding rumors that Google would release its own smartwatches in an effort to, among other things, try and convince people that smartwatches are still a thing.

The launch of the two smartwatches will signal the move to Android Wear 2.0, the long awaited upgrade that will bring features like Android Pay, standalone apps, and even Google Assistant. After the release of these two featured smartwatches, the Android Wear 2.0 update will start to roll out to some current devices, though definitely not all. Chances are good though that if you’ve purchased an Android Wear smartwatch in the last year, you’ll have a shot at getting the update. The features that come to existing watches will also obviously depend on the hardware in the specific watch. Watches without NFC, for example, likely won’t get Android Pay access. These watches, as well as Android Wear 2.0, will be compatible with both iOS and Android, as has been the case for some time now. As has also been the case, some features will not be available on iOS.

Possibly the most interesting news gleaned from this interview was that Android Wear will not be following the lead of their Android Phone brethren. The two watches released early next year will still be branded by the manufacturer (though they aren’t currently saying anything about who those manufacturers might be)… kind of like the former Nexus phone line… Google will not be wiping off the manufacturer’s name as they have done with the Pixel and Pixel XL, instead allowing them to receive the credit (or since they’re smartwatches, more likely general indifference) that they deserve.

Following the release of the reference Android 2.0 devices, other new watches will see the light of day. Some will likely be available to peruse at CES 2017 here in a few weeks. If we see anything interesting at the big show in Vegas we’ll be sure to pass it along.

Are you looking forward to see what Google wants to put on your wrist next year? Who would you like to see make these devices? Tell us all about your hopes and dreams for the Google smartwatches in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

[button link=”” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: The Verge[/button]

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