Update #2: According to Hoi Lam, a Googler who works for the Android Wear team, has confirmed on Twitter that the Google Store is in fact only selling Google-made products.
Don’t be sad! ? The Google Store team made a change that they will only stock Google made hardware. 1/
Our team knew the plan for a year now and invested in custom store fronts with online retailers, e.g. https://t.co/ARBUBReHbq 2/
Together with all our partners (online / offline), we will reach more people all over the world than ever before!?️?⌚ 3/
When I visited partner stores in London and Shanghai, they couldn’t be more excited about our line up this fall!?https://t.co/pCMtnDWl64 4/
On the technical front, I have more to share about how we think about updates – stay tuned!?⌚ end/
Update #1: It looks like the changes were a little more drastic than we first thought.
Android Police points out that after a quick glance over the Google Store, we don’t see much besides products that fall under the “Made By Google” or “Made for Google” programs. The Made by Google branding was introduced last year when Google started pushing its own in-house products like the Pixel and Pixel XL. In fact, the program just rolled out and features products from third-party companies that have been certified by Google.
The only products we can find that aren’t made by Google or for Google products are Nest Thermostats. Google owns Nest so it makes sense that it would keep them around, even if it has hidden them in the “Home and Entertainment” section. With this move, it looks like Google is transitioning the store from a website that sells devices running one of its operating systems to only selling its own hardware.
Original coverage: Between all of the new Google product announcements yesterday it was easy to forget about Android Wear. Google didn’t reveal any new smartwatches for its wearables platform at the San Francisco event, though it updated just about everything else.
Not only was Android Wear absent from the show, however, but its dedicated section has actually disappeared from the Google Store page.
This was typically one of the main sections on the Google Store, but 9to5google noticed that it had been pulled yesterday during the launch of the new devices. The thing is, the Android Wear part of the site is still in operation, you can access it here, but the smartwatches there are now listed as “no longer available.”
This isn’t the same as the “out of stock” listing, which would indicate that the watches would be available again, so it looks like the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style (Google’s smartwatch pair that arrived earlier this year) may not be coming back.
Though it would be quite the scandal if Google had quietly dropped Android Wear while we were all dazzled by the lights of its product releases yesterday, this probably isn’t the case. Google recently rolled out its first Android 8.0 Oreo beta for Android Wear, so it appears to be still in development. But what exactly this means for its future, and Google’s future smartwatch products, we can’t yet say.
It could simply be that Google only wants to focus on its new, own-brand products at the store (as is now the case) rather than older devices with other manufacturers’ names attached to them. Further, Google has been particularly careful with the colors and designs of its new lineup so that they are unified — perhaps it had decided that the LG-made smartwatches just don’t fit in?
What are your thoughts on Google’s removal of the Android Wear page? Let us know in the comments.