IS GOOGLE MAKING A WEARABLES "COMEBACK"?

By Wares July 17, 2018 Industry news

Updated: Rumours of Google's own Pixel-branded products, Samsung Galaxy Watches and new LG smartwatches suggest Wear OS may be fighting back in anticipation of an Apple Watch 4 launch.

Are smartwatches (except for those made by Apple!) a thing of the past?

Not according to rumours of Google's own Pixel branded Wear OS products, of Samsung launching a Galaxy Watch brand and of new LG smartwatches, both of which are said to sport Wear OS (the operating system formerly known as Android Wear).

All of which suggests that Google and associated brands, armed with faster more powerful new chipsets and battery saving changes within the latest Wear OS, may be fighting back in anticipation of an Apple Watch 4 launch later this year.

Then, of course, there's the Google-Assistant-versus-Siri factor - you could see wearables, after all, as just another battleground for voice assistants...

Talking of which - who's up for a smartwatch with Alexa built in?

 

Whither Google's Wear OS?

In terms of Google's own product, there is much to suggest that we'll be seeing a Google Pixel Watch this year.

The event at which it (or they) may be launched could be the reveal of the next Google smartphone flagship products, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

At this point, Google could certainly use a flagship wearable to show off its Wear OS to best effect, just like it uses Pixel smartphones to promote Android OS.

A quicker and more powerful Pixel Watch, with Google Assistant, longer battery life, even if it sits at the top end price-wise, would go a long way to attract attention away from Apple Watch, which is the de facto market leader right.

Plus a Pixel smartwatch would simply plug right into the Pixel family.

See a decent summary of all this here.

 

Samsung says what's in a name?

With various Samsung product launches planned for the coming season, news/speculation is rife about the Korean manufacturer abandoning its Gear S wearables brand in favour of simply Samsung Galaxy Watch.

The pundits are split about this and it could equally be that Samsung Galaxy Watch may be a second wearables brand, with a Gear S4 still to be launched... Save and publish

It is also being said that the new wearables will sport Google's Wear OS, rather than Samsung's own Tizen OS, which will both allow access to the key Wear OS apps (eg Google Maps, Spotify and Google Assistant) and broaden the Samsung watches' appeal substantially.

Another major Wear OS plus, and not just for Samsung, is that it works with both Android 4.4+ phones and iPhones rocking iOS 9.3+...

UPDATE: Since this article was posted it has been widely reported that Galaxy Watch will instead be rocking Tizen OS and Bixby. Be that as it may, the prospect of an August launch will reveal all...

 

Is LG launching this month?

It's rumoured that LG could launch new Wear OS smartwatches as soon as this month.

A pair of LG Watches with different pitches, probably style and sport, as with LG's previous smartwatches. One may even be an analogue/digital hybrid.

Check out the LG gossip here.

What about Apple Watch 4?

Of course, the elephant in the room amongst all this optimism around Wear OS is Apple Watch 4.

Pundits are saying the fourth generation Apple Watch could share a launch event with the highly anticipated new iPhones in September and bring with it a big watchOS update to boot.

As with a new generation of Wear OS wearables, Apple Watch 4 will probably offer more screen, better battery life, more health-related software and of course already brings Siri to the party. 

Check out Techradar's insights on Apple Watch 4 here.

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