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Google dropped UWB support for the Pixel Watch 2, and that's a shame

The Pixel Watch 2 doesn't actually ship with UWB, but it turns out early versions had this feature.
By

Published onOctober 13, 2023

google pixel watch 2 bay blue watch face 4
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

 

TL;DR
  • A leaker has revealed that pre-release versions of the Pixel Watch 2 had UWB support.
  • This comes after the leaker revealed in August that the watch would have this UWB.
  • The final Pixel Watch 2 lacks this support, though.

 

Android Authority contributor and code sleuth Kamila Wojciechowska reported earlier this year that the Pixel Watch 2 would be equipped with UWB support. Unfortunately, the new Google watch lacks this feature.

Now, Wojciechowska has dug into the Pixel Watch 2’s source code, discovering that some early versions of the wearable indeed had UWB support. This feature was apparently removed from the source code in June.

It’s a shame Google dropped UWB from the new smartwatch, as it would’ve opened the door to a number of intriguing features. 

A Pixel Watch 2 with UWB would’ve theoretically supported Android’s Find My network, allowing you to find tracker tags and other UWB-toting devices with your watch. 

The wireless protocol is also used as the basis for features like digital car keys, so it’s not a stretch to imagine a UWB-equipped Google watch being used to unlock cars. Finally, it would theoretically be possible for the Pixel Watch 2 to transfer media playback (such as songs) by holding the watch close to a UWB-equipped speaker or tablet.

So why did Google drop this functionality from the watch? We’re guessing that it’s either due to cost-related reasons or because the company encountered a hurdle of sorts (e.g. battery life concerns or a lack of time to develop features). Nevertheless, we hope the Pixel Watch 3 brings UWB support.