Google Said to be Readying Pair of Own-Branded Smartwatches

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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 Roundup: Apple Watch Series 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
56 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
56 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
56 months ago
Care as long as they are circle round.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
56 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
56 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
56 months ago
Googlerumors.com?
Androidwear.com?
Techstuffthatcompeteswithapple.com?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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