Google Said to be Readying Pair of Own-Branded Smartwatches

by

One week after news emerged that Google is working on its own smartphone hardware to compete with the likes of Apple's iPhone, a separate report this week claims the company is also set to enter the wearable market with a pair of Google-branded smartwatches.

As with its Android mobile operations, the company has traditionally focused on developing its Android Wear OS while relying on third-party manufacturers to come up with the hardware.

Moto 360

Motorola Moto 360 watches running Android Wear

However, on Wednesday Android Police cited "reliable" sources with knowledge of Google's wearable hardware project, which is said to involve two smartwatches codenamed "Angelfish" and "Swordfish", both with circular displays.

The Angelfish model will reportedly bear similarities to the Motorola Moto 360, with a design that features visible lugs and a housing that curves at the point where the wristband meets the device's body. A 43.5mm diameter accommodates a larger battery and LTE chip that will let the watch connect to cellular networks.

A large circular button at the center of the watch's right side and a pair of smaller circular buttons above and below it will provide physical interaction. While there's no information on what functions the buttons offer, the device is said to feature GPS and a heart-rate monitor, which in addition to LTE capabilities, will make it a true standalone device.

The second, smaller Swordfish model is said to resemble a Pebble Time Round watch, sans the large screen bezel, offering a more rounded look. A single button at the center of its right side will function similarly to the Apple Watch's Digital Crown, but the device won't have GPS or heart-rate monitoring capabilities.

Both devices will have Google Assistant integration and support contextual notifications, with the potential of other unique features not found on third-party watches running Android Wear OS. No information on price points was offered for the devices, while Google declined to comment.

Unlike the company's phones which are said to be coming this year, it's not clear when Google plans to release the watches, although they could potentially appear alongside Google's next range of Nexus smartphones slated for 2016, or with the launch of Android Wear 2.0 this fall.

Apple meanwhile is said to be launching a second-generation Apple Watch later this year, possibly in the fall, putting it on the same upgrade cycle as the iPhone.

For the Apple Watch 2, Apple is said to be working on implementing cellular network connectivity and a faster processor. Built-in cellular capabilities would allow the Apple Watch to place calls, send messages, and access data without the need for an iPhone, while a faster processor would result in speed improvements when accessing apps.

watchOS 3, also debuting this fall, brings a dedicated Breathe app, instant-open apps, a new dock housing favorite apps, a new Control Center, and more.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, watchOS 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago
I can't believe Apple hasn't opened a watch face store or allowed third party watch faces or made even more than they recently announced.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Hey look, it's the Moto 270. I wonder who's still rocking one of those. OK, I really don't, the answer is no one. I'd go Pebble Round before one of those pieces of garbage.

I don't know why everyone gets all excited about round smart watch faces. It's a mechanical constraint/convention shoe-horned onto a digital device. A rectangular display makes waaaaay more sense for a smart watch, for both efficiency and functionality.

Let it be what it is. This is the same mistake the rest of the phone industry made when the iPhone arrived. They kept thinking of it as a phone with a touchscreen, when in fact it was a pocket computer that could make phone calls. Stop thinking about smart watches as watches with a touch screen, they are touchscreen computers on your wrist that also happen to tell time.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Care as long as they are circle round.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago


If Apple wants to really pierce the "fashion" watch segment that is a must. The AW design is really rather inelegant unlike a classic round watch. The only rectangle watches I've see that look nice are ladies dress watches. Men's analog rectangle/square watches just look dated from the 50s/60s. Cool if it's an actual watch from that era. Not so much if it's a modern approach. I give you all the fugly digital watches from the 80s.

Apple already has had strong appeal among the fashion watch segment. And it has done so in part because it was not content to imitate traditional watches. Rather, it chose the shape that best serves the device's purpose. That's what design is all about.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

Pretty interesting strategy Google has, to be a supplier and competitor with their partners at the same time - seems to be working out okay with the nexus devices compared with the other brands, but still

Not much different than what MS decided it had to do regarding tablets. I think Google recognizes wearables are becoming necessary extension of the the OS market and the current crop of Android watches is lacking. Apple isn't too far ahead of the pack so Google sees an opportunity to get in and produce something more viable using Android.

Question is, can they. Google design isn't usually the prettiest, handsomest, or even coolest around. Usually its kinda clunky. But I look forward to seeing what they have in mind. I'm not yet "committed" to AW like I am iPhone. I don't think I'm alone, esp. those tens of millions of consumers that don't own a wearable or just an activity band. I'm seeing a ton of Fitbit wearers these days. A few AW wearers. But nothing else in the way of electronic bands.
[doublepost=1467982702][/doublepost]

I suspect Apple may eventually release a round version of the Apple Watch.

If Apple wants to really pierce the "fashion" watch segment that is a must. The AW design is really rather inelegant unlike a classic round watch. The only rectangle watches I've see that look nice are ladies dress watches. Men's analog rectangle/square watches just look dated from the 50s/60s. Cool if it's an actual watch from that era. Not so much if it's a modern approach. I give you all the fugly digital watches from the 80s.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Googlerumors.com?
Androidwear.com?
Techstuffthatcompeteswithapple.com?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

2020 iMac Teardown Reveals Internal Changes and Similarities

Saturday August 8, 2020 12:44 pm PDT by
A teardown video, shared by OWC, reveals the internal changes in the new 2020 27-inch iMac. The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, up to 8TB of storage, a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, higher fidelity speakers, and...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Camera Lens Supplier Experiencing Quality Issues, But May Not Affect Launch Schedule

Thursday August 6, 2020 9:30 pm PDT by
One of Apple's camera lens suppliers for the upcoming non-Pro iPhone 12 models is having quality issues, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. The issues are, however, unlikely to have an impact on Apple's shipping schedule, presuming that Apple's other main supplier can make up the difference. Kuo says that Genius Electronic Optical has discovered...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise-Canceling Headphones Now Available for $350

Friday August 7, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
Sony's flagship WH-1000MX3 noise-canceling headphones have been among the best on the market for some time, and this week Sony released its fourth-generation WH-1000XM4 headphones boasting some notable improvements on the previous model. The XM4s feature the same basic design as the XM3s, but are one gram lighter at 254 grams due to slightly larger ear pads and some subtle tweaks to the...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...