First Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches to Launch Early Next Year
The first Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches will launch in the first quarter of next year, according to Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang, who took part in an exclusive interview with The Verge.
The two new flagship models will not have Google or Pixel branding, but rather branding from the undisclosed company manufacturing them—so one of Asus, Huawei, LG, Motorola, or a few other brands.
Following the launch of the two new smartwatches, the Android Wear 2.0 update will be pushed out for some, but not all, existing Android Wear watches:
• Moto 360 Sport
• LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE
• LG Watch Urbane
• LG G Watch R
• Polar M600
• Casio Smart Outdoor Watch
• Nixon Mission
• Tag Heuer Connected
• Fossil Q Marshal
• Fossil Q Founder
• Michael Kors Access Bradshaw
• Michael Kors Access Dylan
• Huawei Watch
• Huawei Watch Ladies
• Asus ZenWatch 2
• Asus ZenWatch 3
Following the launch of Google's two flagship models, other vendors will release new Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches throughout 2017. The first Android 2.0 smartwatches are expected to be announced at CES in the first week of January. Other product unveilings will follow at the Baselworld trade show later in 2017.
The new Android Wear smartwatches will compete with the Apple Watch, which remains the best-selling smartwatch following the launch of new Series 2 models in September. Google also faces competition from Samsung, which runs its own Tizen software on its smartwatches rather than Android Wear.
Android Wear 2.0 will support native, standalone apps that do not require a paired smartphone to work, in addition to Android Pay and Google Assistant. The new version will also feature Apple Watch-like complications on watch faces and a Material Design makeover. The final developer preview will be released in January.