With uncertainty having developed over the future of Google’s smartwatch OS, Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang has taken part in a timely interview with The Verge, promising at least two new devices in 2017.
Two Google-backed smartwatches, with the codenames Angelfish and Swordfish, have been rumoured for some time. It is likely that these were the devices that Chang was referring to, although he also confirmed that they will not carry either Google or Pixel branding.
Instead, the two new smartwatches will feature the manufacturer’s branding. As they will be made by a company that has previously produced Android Wear smartwatches, a reasonably-well-educated guess can be made about its identity.
Android Police has speculated that the manufacturer is either Huawei or LG.
Even though there is a long list of companies that have released Android Wear smartwatches, Huawei and LG do seem like the most obvious options, given their recent commitment to the platform.
Brands such has Tag Heuer are not going to want to be involved with what are most likely going to be mass market products, while other companies have only demonstrated a limited interest in Android Wear.
ASUS could be considered an outside bet, although given that it has recently launched the ASUS Zenwatch 3, it is unlikely that the Taiwanese manufacturer would want three Android Wear smartwatches competing against each other.
Out of the three most-likely manufacturers, LG is the most probable, as Huawei has been linked with a move away from Android Wear, to Samsung’s Tizen.
The two new smartwatches will launch with Android Wear 2.0, which is widely seen as a reboot of the platform.
Android Wear has not managed to gain the kind of traction that Google was hoping for, leading to manufacturers becoming increasingly lukewarm about the OS.
It is hoped that Android Wear 2.0 will revive consumer interest in the platform, which will in turn result in a number of third-party manufacturers producing their own hardware.
[via The Verge]