Sad news for Google hardware fans, and it's not notch-related. Rumors of a Google Pixel watch have just been quashed, with the company officially confirming that Google will not be releasing a smartwatch this year. Meanwhile, Google's rivals in Cupertino appear to be stealing a march on Mountain View.
Miles Barr, Google's director of engineering for Wear OS, confirmed in an interview with Tom's Guide that Google is not planning to launch a smartwatch this year. That may be a disappointing news, but Mountain View isn't sitting idle. Instead, Google is focused on improving the Wear OS software, which will appear on smartphones by partner manufacturers such as Fossil and Casio.
Wear OS is improved for all manufacturers
Google has been adding a lot to Wear OS as in the past months, making various improvements and planning to make Google Assistant a more useful addition to your wrist. If Google is laying the foundation for the first in-house smartwatch, then it is playing a long-term game.
Four new swipe gestures have been added to the main screen of the smartwatch to give users easy access to various functions. By swiping down, the quick settings continue to open, which now also include Google Pay and the function to find your own smartphone. Swiping upwards opens the notifications, which can now also be answered quickly with the help of the so-called "Smart Replies".
Also new are the lateral swiping gestures, with which so far only changed the watchfaces. A swipe gesture from left to right now opens the Google Assistant. Aside from listening for your commands, it also provides information about the weather, upcoming dates, the traffic situation as well as upcoming flights or your hotel reservation like Google Now. The recently revised Google Fit will open by swiping to the left.
The Apple Watch Series 4 will be the one to beat
We already know the story from the smartphone world. Of course, many manufacturers make great phones with Android, but Android fans that crave the most elegant integration of hardware and software prize Google's own Pixel devices, often painted as the iPhone's true rivals when it comes to user experience. So naturally, a Pixel Watch will have the Apple Watch in the crosshairs.
The upcoming Apple Watch, rumored to be called Apple Watch Series 4, boasts a bezel-less edge-to-edge display and a new watch face with eight information points around the time and within the clock hands. The side shows a button redesign and possibly a new microphone. The device is expected to be shown on September 12 along with the iPhone XS.
Even if we won't see a Pixel Watch this year, it's good to see that the smartwatch market is still very much alive, with the various brands refining their watch lines for more exciting offerings in the future. Could a new smartwatch Made by Google be in store for 2020?
Do you want to see a Pixel smartwatch soon? What features do you think it should have?