With the launch of its Pixel phone earlier this month, Google already became a hardware company. But now, the search giant is apparently aiming to expand its business with new smartwatches based on Android Wear 2.0.
Google has been maintaining its Android Wear platform for wearables since March 2014. The operating system so far existed on the hardware offered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony. However, the company led by Indian-American engineer Sundar Pichai is now likely to make a big shift and develop its very first hardware attempt.
Not just one but two models in the pipeline
Prolific leakster and technology journalist Evan Blass has hinted the debut of Google in the world of smartwatches. Blass preferred Twitter recently to suggest that first two Google smartwatches would launch in 2017. “Google’s two smartwatches will be released with Android Wear 2.0 in Q1 2017,” he tweeted.
The new smartwatches by Google are expected to have enough features to counter Apple Watch 2 Series. These smartwatch models could offer real-time GPS tracking to influence fitness enthusiasts as well as come with a new silicon to deliver more power than the current Android Wear range.
Taking open source efforts apart
Foraying into the smartwatch market was not the exact plan when the Pichai team unveiled Android Wear in 2014. But it appears that over time, the company set to take on Apple with its own hardware developments. This consideration would give a hit to the open source community as Apple’s original model is nowhere helping developers leverage offerings like iOS or watchOS for their next projects.
Earlier this month, Google unveiled Pixel phone as its first “Made by Google” device. This smartphone brought the latest Nougat experience with some exclusive features that are not available to developers through Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Notably, Google Assistant, the smarter version of Google Now to rival Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, is also so far limited to Pixel launcher that comes preloaded on the latest smartphone hardware.
Though some recent instances are making Google an as close sourced company as Apple, the former is still trying to persuade developers with various open sourced IT solutions. The company still has the core Android as an open source platform, and upcoming developments like Fuchsia and Andromeda could soon expand its existing community-centric solutions. Moreover, Android Wear 2.0 is also expected to have some goodies right for app developers.