TECH

Google To Launch Two Smartwatches Next Year With Google Assistant Support

The smartwatches won't have Pixel or Nexus branding.

23/12/2016 12:26 PM IST | Updated 23/12/2016 3:16 PM IST
Steve Marcus / Reuters

It has been a while since anything significant took place in the Android Wear world. But Google has now confirmed that it is going to launch two smartwatches in 2017. In an interview given by Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang to the Verge, he said that Google is going to release two new smartwatches early next year.

It was reported in July that the search giant is making its own smartwatches with Android Wear 2.0 support. Some days later, a few images of the watch had emerged with code names Angelfish and Swordfish. It is to be seen whether, after more than six months, the design has stayed the same or whether Google has modified it.

While the watches won't carry Pixel or Nexus branding, Chang compared their hardware and their software hand-off with the Nexus program. He also mentioned that the new smartwatches will carry the logo of the company manufacturing them, just as Android Wear watches in the past.

The devices will support Android 2.0, Android Pay and also Google Assistant which was only recently introduced in Google Pixel phones. The new software includes standalone apps, better notification support and fitness-related features.

"We've enabled a lot of diversity with our hardware partners to target different types of consumers and preferences," Chang said. "This is a marathon, not a sprint. This category of product is here with us to stay."

Notably, Apple refreshed its smartwatch lineup by introducing Apple Watch Series 2 in September. The smartwatch series has GPS support and waterproofing, along with the new WatchOS3 software. Apple Watch Series 2 is priced at ₹32,990 and above in India. Google has also indicated that a clutch of partners will be releasing smartwatches with Android Wear 2.0 in the coming year. The year 2016 was a dull one for smartwatches, as fitness bands continued to rule the wearable space.

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