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The Google Pixel Watch 3 could have UWB for Watch Unlock

The next Pixel Watch could pick up an increasingly important connectivity feature.
By

Published onMarch 7, 2024

A Google Pixel Watch 2 displays the watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • A teardown of the Play Services app suggests that the Pixel Watch series might gain UWB-based Watch Unlock capabilities.
  • Current Pixel Watch models don’t have UWB, though, which means this might be restricted to the Pixel Watch 3.

The Pixel Watch series offers Watch Unlock functionality, allowing your Bluetooth-toting phone to unlock your wearable. It seems like Google will upgrade this feature when the Pixel Watch 3 comes out.

9to5Google dug into a recent version of the Play Services app and found references to “UWB ranging” for Watch Unlock. The outlet also found a few references to UWB-based Watch Unlock not working in countries that don’t allow the connectivity protocol.

“Ultra-wideband is unavailable in this country. You can still use Watch Unlock but may experience a slight delay and less accuracy,” reads one excerpt.

The Pixel Watch 3 slowly takes shape

Needless to say, Google clearly seems to be using UWB for faster and more accurate unlocking via your phone. But there’s just one problem, though, and that’s the fact that UWB isn’t available on the Pixel Watch or Pixel Watch 2. This suggests that the Pixel Watch 3 could gain UWB-enabled Watch Unlock, instead.

A UWB-enabled Pixel Watch could also deliver more than just Watch Unlock. The standard is also used for digital car keys, improved smart home controls, and smart door locks. So it stands to reason that a Pixel Watch 3 with this protocol could offer some of these features too.

This wouldn’t be the only Pixel Watch 3 tidbit we may have learned in recent weeks. The outlet previously reported that the Pixel Watch 3 could be available in a larger, 45mm size.