Skipping the 2nd generation of Android Wear smartwatches this year, Google has now confirmed that it will bring in two smartwatches in 2017. In an interview with The Verge, Jeff Chang who is a product manager of Android Wear at Google, claimed that both the new smartwatches will be flagship Android Wear 2.0 devices and will be the first one to run on the new platform. Also, both the smartwatches are expected to launch sometime in Q1 2017.
Interestingly, Google will not extend the Pixel branding to its smartwatch line up. As Chang confirms, Google has collaborated with a manufacturer to produce the new Android Wear devices. Also, though he didn’t reveal the name of the manufacturer, he did hinted that the manufacturer has produced Android Wear devices in past. Further, Google is expected to announce the partners for its upcoming smartwatch devices at the CES 2017 and the Baselworld trade show to be held later in 2017.
Talking about the Android Wear 2.0, the new smartwatch OS will bring in a bunch of new features including support for Android Pay, support for Google’s AI Voice Assistant, standalone Android Wear apps etc. Moreover, as we expect, not all current Android Wear smartwatches will be updated but most of the recent ones like Moto 360 Gen 2, LG Watch Urbane and 2nd Edition LTE, ASUS ZenWatch 2, ASUS ZenWatch 3, Huawei Watch, Fossil Q Wander etc. will be updated to Android Wear 2.0 platform. As for the timeframe of the update, it is likely to happen post official launch of the new upcoming smartwatch devices from Google.
For those who don’t know, Google has been testing the Android Wear 2.0 for quite some time now and is expected to release the final and fifth developer preview in January next year.
Briefing about the two smartwatches, the larger of the two named Angelfish will be a sporty variant coming with the screen diameter of 43.5 mm and 14 mm of thickness. It will support LTE, GPS and heart rate tracking and is expected to come in matte dark gray colour variant. On the other hand, the other smartwatch named Swordfish is tipped to be a lot similar to Pebble Time Round and with a screen diameter of 42mm being 10.6 mm thick. Further it is likely to come in Silver, Titanium and Rose Gold colour variants.
2016 hasn’t been a great year for smartwatches with various research statistics claiming a significant decline in over all sales of smartwatches. It will be interesting to see if 2017 can lift the lost traction for the smartwatches or not.