Connected watches and their ecosystem could take center stage at the next Google I/O 2022 conference, the opening conference of which will take place on Wednesday. A persistent rumor and leaks indicate that the search giant’s first smartwatch, supposedly the Pixel Watch, could finally debut this week. Google should also mention updates to Wear OS which was revamped last year in collaboration with Samsung. Announcing a Pixel Watch would be more than a new product, it would deliver Google’s take on the ideal Android watch experience.
The Pixel Watch approaching?
Google hasn’t said a word about its plans to launch a watch, but that might be its worst-kept secret. Articles from Business Insider, Jon Prosser and supposed photos of the watch indicate that a Pixel Watch is in the works. Google I/O seems like the perfect event to make such an announcement. However, Jon Prosser suggests that Google could only provide a preview of the watch without revealing all the details. The Pixel Watch would launch in the fall alongside the Pixel 7.
Recall that Google took a similar approach last year with the Pixel 6, revealing certain aspects of the smartphone before its launch in October.
New for Wear OS
Google will likely have announcements to share on Wear OS as well. In 2021, Google announced a new version of the smartwatch operating system developed in collaboration with Samsung. So far we’ve only seen Wear OS on the Galaxy Watch 4 which still relies heavily on Samsung’s apps and services. It is still difficult to say what differences this new version of Wear OS brings. Google Assistant is known to be coming to the Watch 4 in a future update, but no specific date has been announced.
Wear OS is also expected to arrive on Fossil watches and Mobvoi’s TicWatch in mid-2022. Google I/O could be an opportunity to discover new features and other improvements for Wear OS.
Projects for Fitbit
Will Google I/O 2022 tell us more about Fitbit’s integration into Wear OS? It is known that a Wear OS version of the Fitbit app is planned, but the timeline is unclear. A Google spokesperson said the company is working to bring the Fitbit experience to Wear OS this year and will share more details closer to launch.
Fitbit’s integration into some Google products has already found a foothold with the Nest Hub’s second-generation sleep tracking features that will require a Fitbit Premium subscription in 2023.
While the Fitbit acquisition was an important step in Google’s expansion into the wearables market, Apple and Samsung are still leading the industry. According to Counterpoint Research, Apple accounted for 30.1% of the global smartwatch market in 2021, with Samsung coming in second with 10.2%. Google I/O may give us some information on how Google intends to shake up this established order.
CNET.com article adapted by CNETFrance
Image: Jon Prosser/Front Page Tech