- Google is finally developing its own in-house wristwatch, which will be available in 2022.
- The device would be more expensive than a Fitbit and will compete more directly with the Apple Watch.
- Google was close to releasing a “Pixel Watch” in the past but the plan was scrapped because it “didn’t seem like it belonged to the Pixel family.”
Google to launch its own smartwatch
According to a recent story, Google is finally developing its own in-house wristwatch, which will be available in 2022.
While Google has been producing its own smartphones under the Pixel brand for years (which has since expanded to include other accessories such as wireless headphones), the company has never produced its own smartwatch, despite the fact that Google has had a companion wearable platform for Android since 2014.
Direct competition to Apple watch
The watch (codenamed “Rohan”) is being developed separately by Google’s Pixel hardware department from Fitbit, which Google purchased for $2.1 billion earlier this year. According to sources, it’s unclear whether Google will actually call the new upcoming Google watch a “Pixel Watch” — will serve much the same role as the Pixel phones do for Android: an instance for both customers and hardware partners of what Google’s software is truly capable of when given the right hardware. The device would be more expensive than a Fitbit and will compete more directly with the Apple Watch.
The watch will contain basic fitness monitoring functions, such as step counting and a heart rate sensor, and Google is apparently planning on launching a Fitbit integration into Wear OS (codenamed “Nightlight”) alongside the new watch when it releases.
Google is now in the process of reinventing its wearable platform with Wear OS 3. Unlike previous versions of Wear OS (or Android Wear), Wear OS 3 was created in collaboration with Samsung, incorporating the Tizen platform into Google’s own. However, Wear OS 3 has only been released on Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, which runs a substantially modified version of the new operating system that foregoes most of Google’s services and applications in favor of Samsung’s own.
Google’s scrapped plan from the past
Google was close to releasing a “Pixel Watch” in the past. The LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style, which were introduced in 2017, were intended to be promoted as part of the Pixel brand, but a staffer told that Google hardware leader Rick Osterloh scrapped the plan because it “didn’t seem like it belonged to the Pixel family.” When they first came out, neither device impressed us.
The announcement of a Google-built wristwatch isn’t entirely unexpected. Osterloh previously stated that an in-house Wear OS wearable was in the future, noting that Google’s acquisition of Fitbit was still “very early in the integration.” Osterloh did say that “you’ll see them [the Fitbit team] construct wearables on Wear OS in the future,” with the team already “hard at work on it,” but it’s unclear whether he was talking to the Rohan watch or another, future device.