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Google confirms it will launch two smartwatches early next year

by Brandon Russell | December 22, 2016December 22, 2016 12:23 pm PDT

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard about Google’s rumored smartwatches, the last report claiming they’d launch early in 2017. Now, Google has come out of left field to confirm the search giant is indeed planning to introduce two flagship Android Wear watches next year.

The news comes courtesy of Jeff Chang, product manager of Android Wear, who said both devices will be the first to launch with Android Wear 2.0. Curiously, Chang would not confirm the manufacturer Google is working with to build these devices, only to say it’s a manufacturer that has released Android Wear devices in the past.

According to Chang, via The Verge, the partnership is similar to Google’s Nexus program in terms of collaboration and goals. The devices will apparently not have Google or Pixel branding and instead be branded by whichever company is manufacturing them.

Recently, Motorola took its name out of the Android Wear market, so perhaps Google tapped the Lenovo-owned company to pitch in. Considering Google launched its own branded smartphone this year, it’s odd the company isn’t doing the same for the upcoming smartwatches.

google-nexus-smartwatches-002

More watches to come

According to Chang, the upcoming Google smartwatches will lead a pack of brand new wearables to promote the release of Android Wear 2.0, which was delayed from a 2016 release to 2017. Google’s wearable platform has hit a major snag this year and it’s clear Google doesn’t want to go down without a fight.

The next developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 is expected to hit in January with support for Google Assistant and Android Pay, according to Chang. Among the watches that will support Android Wear 2.0 include the second generation Moto 360, LG G Watch R, and the Asus Zenwatch 3.

It’s unclear if Google will hold an event to unveil these watches but it shouldn’t be much longer until we see them in the flesh.

TheVerge

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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