Android Wear: Should Google Make a Pixel Watch?

Google has been toying with the idea of being a hardware company for years now, and through the Nexus line they've kind of had one foot in the water, and one foot out. Now, with the launch of the Pixel and Pixel XL, it's safe to say that Google is jumping into hardware waters with both feet. Now, Google has the Pixel Chromebook, the Pixel C Android tablet and of course the Pixel smartphones. Add to that the Google Home - anyone remember the Nexus Q - and the Chromecast range of devices and it's pretty obvious that Google is now a hardware company. Google have cool new features like the Google Assistant they want to show off, and their own hardware is the best place to do it. With Android Wear 2.0 delayed into 2017, and representing something of a revamp for the entire platform, could Google produce and launch their own Pixel Watch? Should they even bother?

Unlike the Apple Watch as well as other options like the Pebble line of smartwatches, Android Wear has been all about being a watch first, and a gadget second. That's perhaps debatable, but a Huawei Watch is very nice-looking watch, it tells the time, the display is always on and it feels like you're wearing a watch. In that vane, Google and their partners have offered a number of different watches, including the now-priced ZenWatch 3 from ASUS, that not only look like watches, but behave like them, too. What Google desperately needs to add into Android Wear are compelling and genuinely useful fitness features. Google Fit has been something of a curiosity more than anything else since it was first launched back in 2014, and while there will be die-hard users that enjoy the platform, it is nothing compared to the fitness features inside of the Apple Watch, or the Fitbit Blaze, for instance. These are coming in Android Wear 2.0 and it all look very promising, but Google has something of a problem on their hands; the big technology names don't seem all that keen to make any new Android Wear watches.

In 2016 we have not seen a single launch from Huawei, LG, or Motorola running Android Wear, and while it's easy to argue that last year's models are more than good enough, there's nothing wrong in supporting new and old alike. So, why doesn't Google just make their own Pixel Watch and show the others how it's done? It's clearly what they're looking to do with the Pixel pair of phones, and Microsoft has been doing the same with the Surface line of tablets to great effect. The Moto 360 was definitely the smartwatch that put Android Wear on the map, and it perhaps made people more aware of Motorola's return to the market than any of their smartphone releases did. The man currently in charge of Google's hardware efforts, the same man that introduced the Pixel this week, used to be in charge of Motorola's product development. As such, it wouldn't come as much of a surprise if Google did make a Pixel watch, given that Osterloh will have seen the effect on the Motorola brand the Moto 360 had.

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About the Author

Tom Dawson

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.