Google announces Pixel Watch at I/O

weeks after Rumors And leaked PicturesGoogle has finally confirmed that the Pixel Watch is real. Today’s announcement is more exciting than the full reveal, with the watch arriving later this fall alongside the Pixel 7.

Given that the Pixel Watch is the worst wearable in 2022, there wasn’t anything too surprising in terms of design. As expected, the Pixel Watch has a circular, domed design and features a “touch” crown and side button. It is made of recycled stainless steel and has interchangeable proprietary straps. It will also run on “improved” Wear OS 3 featuring an “updated user interface” with better navigation and smart notifications. You will also have the option to choose a cellular version of the device for standalone connection.

Pixel Watch is Google’s first smartwatch.
Image: google

Software-wise, Google says the Pixel Watch will have the native Google apps you’ve come to expect, as well as a shiny new Fitbit integration. This includes core stuff like Google Maps and the Assistant but also new Wear-OS apps like Google Wallet and Google Home. Another feature coming to Wear OS is Emergency SOS. We’ve seen this feature on other smartwatches, and the gist is that you can use your watch to call a trusted friend or family member, as well as call emergency services. For Fitbit integration, you’ll be able to view insights into your heart rate, sleep tracking, and active zone minutes.

Google Home is a new addition to Wear OS 3.
Image: google

Fitbit integration is the most important collaboration between the two companies we’ve seen since it bought Google Fitbit for $2.1 billion. (Technically, the addition of Google Assistant to the Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense was a first.) According to Rick Osterloh, senior vice president of devices and services at Google, this Fitbit integration will go beyond customizing watch faces and “saturating all over” the Pixel Watch experience. Users will be able to sync their data with their Fitbit account, which means they will be able to view it within the Fitbit app and on the web. The watch will use all of Fitbit’s state-of-the-art health and fitness algorithms.

On data privacy, Osterloh said in a nutshell that Fitbit and Google data will remain private and separate due to the promises they made to regulators during the Fitbit acquisition, meaning that any health data collected on the Pixel Watch will remain within Fitbit’s jurisdiction, separate from Google. Osterloh also added that while the Fitbit team has been deeply involved with the Pixel Watch, Fitbit still has plans for its own Wear OS watch and will continue to make its own products.

Rick Osterloh shows the Pixel Watch on stage
Screenshot: Edge

And that relates to it in terms of the concrete details that we have now. In terms of cost, Google says it will be “a premium product”. Another potential hitch is that the Pixel Watch will require a phone with Android 8.0 or later, and you’ll need a Google account. So, like Samsung Galaxy Watch 4The Pixel Watch will not be compatible with iPhones as previous Wear OS watches were. Otherwise, the company has been tough on the specifications of the watch, including what chip it will be working on, whether it will come in different sizes or colors, etc. The company says these details will be released in the coming months.

So while there’s a lot we still don’t know, the most notable takeaway is Google’s attempt to push the Pixel ecosystem — much in the same way it uses the Apple Watch. The addition of apps like Google Home and Fitbit integration makes the Pixel Watch an attractive option for longtime Fitbit users and anyone investing in Google’s smart home offerings. Of course, a lot of this will depend on how the Pixel Watch performs in real life, its specifications, and whether it makes all the hype. We’ll have to wait for the watch to launch later this fall for any kind of verdict. But, on paper at least, it looks like Google has a game plan ready – which is more than we can say about it The latest attempt at making a smartwatch.

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