Here come the Google Watches

I wrote about this rumor before, and now it’s coming true. Google will launch its own pair of Android Wear watches.

They won’t bear the Pixel name, as Google is instead partnering with a third-party much in the way it did with Nexus phones. The watches will feature Android Wear 2.0, which got kicked back to 2017.

So why is Google doing this? I think it comes down to the need to make a big splash with Android Wear 2.0 and re-introduce the concept to the market.

Smartwatches haven’t been the “must have” gadget that the pundits thought they’d be by now. Why is that?

I think some of it is hype. It’s a small screen that isn’t going to replace your smartphone anytime soon. Plus, Android Wear just doesn’t do a whole lot. There aren’t that many useful apps and it’s something else you need to charge. If you just want fitness tracking, you’re better off with a Fitbit.

However, even with those limitations I do greatly enjoy my Huawei Watch (I’ve also used the Moto 360 second generation). I love not missing calls and that one wearable does tracking and notifications. Android Wear just needs to get better. I liked what I saw at Google I/O this year, as a Googler demoed the new UI, keyboard, and other features. Google has shown it can build fantastic hardware, so a watch that has a better operating system, integration with Android Pay, can take calls, and include the Google Assistant is something worth getting excited about.