Rumors have suggested that Google intends to launch its own smartwatches at some point in the future, with signs pointing to a release date coinciding with the public release of Android Wear 2.0 in 2017.
Now we know that that is indeed the case. Jeff Chang, Product Manager of Android Wear at Google, confirmed to The Verge that Google has two new “flagship smartwatches” in the works which will launch sometime in early 2017. They will be the first devices with Android Wear 2.0 on board.
Google is taking cues from its Nexus initiative, and the new smartwatches will feature branding from the company that manufacturers them, not Google branding. Unfortunately, Chang would not divulge which company is building the devices, but did say that they have released Android Wear devices in the past.
The release of Android Wear 2.0 release on Google’s smartwatches will also see the floodgates open, so to speak, as other companies will then update existing smartwatches and release new hardware throughout 2017 with the software pre-installed.
The report states that Google will release the fifth and final Developer Preview for Android Wear 2.0 in January of next year, and that it will add support for Android Pay. On top of that, Google Assistant will be available on future wearables, too.
Chang added that Android Pay with Android Wear 2.0 will work with iOS devices as well. He did caution that there will be differences between Wear 2.0 on iOS and Android, but what that means right now remains a mystery.
It’s worth noting that not all the old Android Wear devices will get updated to Android Wear 2.0, and supporting Android Pay on a wearable means NFC has to be available, but the original report does include a list of devices that will be getting upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 at some point in the future.
Are you looking forward to the arrival of Android Wear 2.0?