Google has always been pretty freewheeling with Android, but it looks like that won’t be the case for Android Wear. The company’s already made it clear that hardware-makers can’t modify the new software in any major way, and now the search giant is clamping down on just who can build Android Wear devices as well.
Com 1 was supposed to be the first crowd-funded Android Wear device. It also could have been the cheapest choice on the market, starting at just $125 for a bare-bones model or $170 for a metal design. Unfortunately, Google didn’t approve of the device and quickly shot down the new Indiegogo campaign with a notice of copyright infringement. The campaign page vanished from Indiegogo last week even though the company is still promoting the smartwatch on its official website.
Sorry for the lack of updates today guys, refunds should be completed by tomorrow.
— Com (@ComWatches) September 29, 2014
For now it looks like Com 1 is dead—at least on Indiegogo—though the company claims to have a backup plan in place. Meanwhile, Google appears to be reserving Android Wear for major industry players like LG, Samsung and Motorola. That’s too bad. Opening up the new OS to smaller companies could help the software evolve while pushing down hardware prices.
We understand why Google is keeping such a tight grip on Android Wear in its early stages, but hopefully the company will loosen up in the future. Some of the best features on Android exist thanks to third-party developers and OEMs, and we’d hate to see Android Wear miss out on that same opportunity for growth.