Wear Weekly: What to Expect from Google I/O 2016

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It's May, which means that not only is Summer very close, but also that Google I/O is near. Next Wednesday, May 18th, Google I/O takes underway, with the big Keynote Address happening at 10AM PST. We've taken a look at what Google I/O overall is likely to show off, but here, we're going to focus on Android Wear specifically. The platform has come a long way since it was first introduced back in 2014, and there are more watch choices out there than ever before, but the platform has, for the most part stayed much the same. Is this year the year we see a massive change in Android Wear?

Considering that the rumors have been quiet, and there aren't any specific sessions dedicated to Android Wear on the I/O Schedule, we might have to say no to the above question. That Keynote is going to be a long, long session, and there's definitely going to be some time spent on Android Wear. Whether or not that's just an update on how many Android Wear apps are in the Play Store or how many units have been sold or something more than that is something we're not sure on. However, we'd assume that Google has something in store for Android Wear for the rest of the year. With the Apple Watch apparently selling quite well, and a new version likely to launch before the end of the year, Google and their partners have a lot to worry about.

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There's rumor of TAG Heuer putting together a second smartwatch model, and what better place than Google I/O for them to announce it. The TAG Heuer Connected is of course an expensive smartwatch, but it's something that a lot of people will see as a sign of credibility and maturity in the Android Wear platform. Google needs more of these partners, and perhaps this is what Google I/O will be about where Android Wear is concerned more hardware partners from the watch world?

A new version of Android Wear is practically guaranteed to launch later this year, as Android N will be final later this year, and Android Wear will be updated in line with it, just as it has been with Marshmallow and Lollipop before it. Not since the introduction of the three-pane menu and emoji update have we seen any big updates for Android Wear, so I/O might be the place that Google have something to tease us with. Sadly though, with no dedicated sessions on the Google I/O schedule, it could be that Google is saving Android Wear for a separate event later on in the year. Either way, we'll be there during Google I/O next week, and we should find out regardless next Wednesday.

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Former Editor-in-Chief

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.

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