- Google has confirmed it has no plans to launch its own Wear OS-based smartwatch this year.
- The report comes after posted rumors earlier this year, claiming the company was preparing to release a Pixel-branded smartwatch.
- The story says Google will focus on improving Wear OS while working with third-party smartwatch makers.
If you were hoping Google was finally going to get into the smartwatch hardware business on its own very soon, you will be waiting a while longer. A new report from Tom’s Guide, based on an IFA 2018 interview with Miles Barr, Google’s director of engineering for Wear OS, says that the company has no plans to release its own smartwatch this year. The story said the company later confirmed that piece of news, via a statement from an official Google PR representative.
A few months ago, some rumors posted by VentureBeat writer Evan Blass, and then later by WinFuture, strongly suggested that Google was indeed developing as many as three smartwatches and that they would use the same Pixel branding as their smartphones. The watches were reportedly targeting an official reveal alongside the upcoming Pixel 3 phones later this fall.
However, according to Barr, Google’s current smartwatch focus is on helping its many third-party device makers create products that use Wear OS. That includes companies like Casio, which announced a new Wear OS-based sports watch, the Pro Trek WSD-F30, at IFA 2018 this week. Another Wear OS partner, Diesel, also announced the Full Guard 2.5 smartwatch at IFA, with a big 1.39-inch display. Barr did hint during the interview that a future Pixel Watch could feature a heavy emphasis on Google Assistant to support AI and machine learning features.
It’s very possible that Google was indeed working on smartwatch devices behind closed doors, but that the team behind them might have decided they were not yet ready for a launch at the same time as the next Pixel phones. Google did announce a major update to Wear OS earlier this week at IFA, which should begin rolling out to most Android Wear-Wear OS devices in the next few months.