The website Android Police is reporting that Google is getting ready to ship a pair of Android Wear smartwatches under its own brand. This bodes ill for the health of Android Wear.
The whole point of Android Wear was to create a software platform that OEMs could basically plug into hardware, but only about a half-dozen companies — all of them pretty big, but at least one of them captive at the time — bit. In the past year, Google teamed up with Intel (which also is famished for market share in the mobile market) to build a hardware platform to go along with the software. That helped; more companies built devices on the combined platform.
But it’s not like Android Wear has lit the world on fire. It’s clearly gotten better over the last couple of years, to the point that the user experience matches or surpasses the iOS/WatchOS combo. Look at the numbers, though: Apple and Samsung lead the smartwatch market, the former with WatchOS and the latter with Tizen. Android Wear may be the OS for all the vendors lower on the power curve, but the curse of a power curve is that the top couple of vendors are the ones with all the market share.
The watches that Android Police write about will have fully circular displays (no “flat tire” on the interface and be integrated with Google Assistant. One model will have LTE and GPS capability, and will therefore be larger than the other due to power needs.
No pricing or availability was leaked.