Google teamed up with LG in a Nexus-style partnership to produce the first devices powered by Android Wear 2.0, which originally features Apple Watch-like Digital Crown. It seems like the South Korean electronics plans to try and find a space within the smartwatch market, but additional details about those products have started to filter into the public domain. Also important to note that the 2.0 update will likely be rolled out for these upcoming watches throughout 2017, rather all at once.
LG, the company, which is manufacturing the smartwatch hardware on behalf of Google, has limited taken its own direction when it comes to the overarching design of the smartwatch hardware, but it also seems has taken more than a little inspiration from Apple’s Digital Crown by integrating a rotating hardware button which is rumored to function in much the same way as seen on Apple Watch.
Google although confirmed previous rumors that the company would release its first smartwatches, with Android Wear 2.0 installed, sometime in early 2017. Has also revealed the current list of smartwatches those to get the Android Wear 2.0 update via OTA.
- Moto 360 (2nd Gen.)
- 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
- Asus ZenWatch 3
To many of the very first Android Wear smartwatches that launched in 2014 are not on this update list, such includes the first generation Moto 360 and LG G Watch, along with Samsung Gear Live and the foremost Asus ZenWatch. It’s important to note that the 2.0 update version will likely be rolled out to those aforementioned watches this year. While Google released the fourth developer preview of the Watch OS earlier this month, and the fifth pre-release is due out in January.
The additional features about the new LG/Google Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches has once again been brought to the table by prolific technology leaker Evan Blass, adding that he believes the devices will launch at the same time as Android Wear 2.0 on February 9th.
Taken into account the earlier rumors, it looks as though the devices won’t be Pixel branded, but shows up a Nexus-style collaboration with LG – the watches being released to market under the “LG Watch Style” and “LG Watch Sport” naming conventions. But it’s really this potential Digital Crown iteration that will garner the most public attention, which is very interesting as there’ll also be compatibility with Apple’s iOS platform:
Along with iOS compatibility, the two watches also share another commonality with the Apple Watch: a digital crown button that serves to facilitate navigation. The displays are touch sensitive as well, and boast handwriting recognition.
Considering all traditional watches have this type of setup, which it makes perfect sense that companies looking to build intelligent timepieces will have some sort of similar integration look-a-like. Indeed, Apple was the first to bring this kind of alteration to the Apple Watch, and as such, has heavily patented the digital version of the standard and accepted crown component.
Android Wear 2.0 Features
On smartwatches with this version 2.0 will support other things, such as standalone apps that won’t need a smartphone to work. Google also plans to add full support for its Google AI Assistant and Android Pay. Additional details on the watches are a little thin on the ground at the moment.
Nevertheless, we’re like to welcome in a “Sport” watch which is 14.2mm thick, with a 1.38-inch 480-by-480 circular P-OLED display, 768MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. It will be IP68 certified, and available in titanium and dark blue shades.
The smaller “Style” will be basically the cheaper variant at 10.8mm thick, with a 1.2-inch 360-by-360 display, 521MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. With IP67 certification, the wrist wearable will come in titanium, silver, and rose gold colors.
Google’s own smartwatches will be made by a currently unnamed manufacturer, and other third-party smartwatches will launch in 2017 with Android Wear 2.0 on top.