Google recently acquired the team behind tech startup Cronologics, in what seems like a move to push the development of its Android Wear OS. Now, the company is reportedly planning to launch two flagship Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches next year but without Google or Pixel branding, contradicting previous reports.
Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear at Google, said that the upcoming new smartwatches from search giant will be the first smartwatches to feature Android Wear 2.0, as per a report by The Verge. Interestingly, these smartwatches will not come with Google or Pixel branding but the branding of the manufacturing company.
Although Chang didn't share the name of the manufacturing company, he said that the company has worked on Android Wear devices in the past. Other smartwatches will reportedly be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0 post the launch of these two flagship Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches by Google. The search giant is also set to release the final developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 in January, Chang said.
Although not all smartwatches will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0, the search giant said that most of the recent models will be upgraded - and listed these models: Moto 360 Gen 2, Moto 360 Sport, LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, Polar M600, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Nixon Mission, Tag Heuer Connected, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Founder, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch, Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch, Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies, Asus ZenWatch 2, and Asus ZenWatch 3.
Among the new features that come with Android Wear 2.0, there is support for Google Play, standalone apps that don't require phone to work, and support for Google Assistant. Some features that are hardware-dependent, like Android Pay, will be made available for the supported phones.
Chang further confirmed that even though there might be a difference between the platforms, Android Pay will work on both Android and iOS, as per the report. He further said that company's partners are expected to make announcements regarding Android Wear 2.0 throughout 2017 post the launch of Google's smartwatches.
"We've enabled a lot of diversity with our hardware partners to target different types of consumers and preferences," Chang was quoted as saying in the report. He went on to clear that Google is optimistic about the prospect of smartwatches and said that the competition in this category is a marathon and not a race.