Google desperately needs to make its own smartwatch. We’ve seen many leaks of Google working on a “Pixel Watch” but it always seems to be delayed. It needs to come out, and come out now. Why? Because Google desperately needs something to compete with the Apple Watch.
There are currently over 100 million Apple Watch users around the world. That’s a pretty big number. By context, that’s about a third of the US population. And Apple is singlehandedly cornering the smartwatch market. Sure, we others available from Samsung, TicWatch, Amazfit and others. But none of them are really any good, and that is also Google’s fault. Google keeps changing up Wear OS, and doesn’t really know what it wants to do with it.
Google needs to release its Pixel Watch, even if it is not good on the first attempt. It could then get feedback from reviewers and purchasers of this first-generation product, and make it better. Let’s explore some reasons why Google needs to release a Pixel Watch ASAP.
The leaked Pixel Watch is way better looking than the Apple Watch
Earlier this year, Jon Prosser leaked the Google Pixel Watch. Which was originally set to debut this October with the Pixel 6. But ultimately got delayed, again. And it looks, stunning.
I mean just look at that. That looks 100x better than the Apple Watch and it’s square display. There’s no flat tire there like the Moto 360 had many years ago, and it’s super thin. If Google released this, it would likely sell better than every Pixel it has ever released, combined.
And if Google could promise that this would last more than a day on a single charge, they might even get some Apple Watch users to switch over. Remember that Wear OS is available to Apple users, but Apple Watch is not available to Android users.
Many Android journalists and YouTubers use an Apple Watch
I’m going to let some of you guys in on something, a lot of people that cover Android for a living – use an Apple Watch. Linus from Linus Tech Tips uses one. He rarely has anything nice to say about the iPhone and usually is daily driving a Samsung phone, but wears an Apple Watch. Why? Because there’s nothing good on the Android side.
Here’s another example, Austin Evans who is pretty well-known for carrying around the Galaxy Z Flip (I think he uses the Flip 3 now), also wears an Apple Watch.
There are a number of others that also wear an Apple Watch, including myself. Now, I carry both a Pixel 6 and an iPhone 13, largely to be able to communicate with people on iMessage. So I tried out the Apple Watch last year, giving up my Fitbit. And I haven’t looked back. And it makes sense as to why so many people carry both phones from both platforms around.
The way that the Apple Watch works with the iPhone is incredible. It all just works. Unlike with Wear OS and Android, where things might work, or they might not.
Sure the design of the Apple Watch isn’t the best, I’d definitely like a rounded watch, rather than a square, but it works. Which is what I want.
I made the decision to give up on Fitbit because there were times where my Fitbit just wouldn’t sync with my phone, even though it synced with it multiple times that same day. This was an issue that persisted for many years. And I finally gave up on them ever fixing it.
The Apple Watch isn’t crazy about apps
I think Google’s biggest problem with Wear OS is that it is trying to hard to make apps on your wrist a thing. We don’t need every single app that is on our phone, on our wrist. It’s not needed, at all. Some apps would be nice to have on our wrist, but we don’t need things like Twitter or Facebook on our wrist.
However, things like Google Fit, Uber, maybe even Gmail to filter out those emails you immediately delete as soon as they arrive. Some apps are good, but all apps, not good.
This is where Samsung really thrived with its Tizen OS on its Galaxy smartwatches (until Galaxy Watch 4). As it mostly served as a fitness tracker and as a notification screen. Telling you when you get notifications, so you know if you need to deal with it right away, or if it can wait. Without pulling out your phone.
If Google just focused on how to make Wear OS better, it would make a huge difference. And I’ll give them a hint, more apps is not the way.
It would help Google make a better Wear OS
This will probably sound weird, but Google releasing a Wear OS smartwatch would help it make Wear OS better. We saw the same thing once it started releasing its own smartphones, with Android. This is because it will be in the R&D process of making the hardware, and be able to see what it can do to make Wear OS a much better platform.
Of course, Google does get feedback from its manufacturing partners, like Samsung and TicWatch. But it’s not quite the same as Google going through the process itself.
The Pixel Watch could be the best smartwatch ever made
With the leaks we’ve seen of the Pixel Watch, it could be the best smartwatch ever made. It just looks so stunning. Now, of course, the other part of that equation is going to be the software. If Google can give up on apps, and focus more on fitness and notifications, like Samsung was doing, that would make Wear OS way better.
And an added benefit to axing all of these apps would be, longer battery life. That is a big reason why a lot of companies moved away from Wear OS. In fact, Huawei even stated this a few years ago. It moved to its own software on its smartwatches, because it was annoyed by the 24-hour battery life of Wear OS. Whereas its newer watches can last around 24 days or longer.
The bottom line is, Google is late to wearables. Yes, it has been making wearable software for about six years now, but now it needs hardware. It needs a Pixel Watch that can show its partners what is possible with Wear OS. Similar to what Nexus and Pixel does for Android.
Apple has already eaten a large chunk of the smartwatch market. But many analysts still say there’s room to grow in this market. And Google needs to grab a nice chunk before it is to late.