Google has confirmed the launch of two new flagship smartwatches running on Android Wear 2.0 in the first quarter of 2017. Jeff Chang, the product manager of Android Wear at Google, has confirmed the news in an interview with The Verge.
The confirmation of the upcoming Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches is said to be part of the wider initiative to convince consumers that smartwatches, and wearable devices in general, are still in demand.
The smartwatches will be made by a currently unnamed manufacturer, but Chang stated that Google is collaborating with that company on both the hardware design and software integration. He added that the watches won’t have the Pixel branding, but will be branded by the company that’s manufacturing them. The specific hardware details on these two devices are yet to be revealed.
The new smartwatches will be the first devices to launch with Android Wear 2.0, which is currently in its fourth developer preview. Once the two new smartwatches are out, all other devices powered by the operating system will receive the update to the latest version. Android Wear 2.0 brings features like standalone apps that don’t require a smartphone, support for Android Pay, and also Google Assistant.
According to earlier reports, the two smartwatches are codenamed Angelfish and Swordfish. The Angelfish is supposedly the bigger and more feature-rich of the two watches, while the Swordfish is smaller and cheaper.
Chang also said that more new Android Wear 2.0 watches from third-parties will be released in 2017 and some may be announced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas in early January. It will be interesting to see if Google’s flagship smartwatches can compete with Apple Watch. Stay tuned for more updates!