There are no active ads.

Advertisement

We Didn’t See the Pixel Watch This Week, Thankfully

by Justin Herrick | October 11, 2018October 11, 2018 10:30 am PST

In a few weeks, Google will have fresh products distributed worldwide. The Pixel 3 might be getting the most attention, but the Home Hub and the Pixel Slate are anything but snooze-worthy. All that was announced on Tuesday morning in New York City makes an impact on Google’s desire to hit it big in hardware.

From mobile to home automation to computing, it was a busy day for the Mountain View-based company. Google rolled out a flagship smartphone, a brilliant smart display, and a versatile tablet. Together, Google’s ecosystem gets fuller and more complete than ever.

There was still something very, very notable missing at the ‘Made by Google’ bonanza. Google didn’t mention Wear OS, and by turn the long-rumored Pixel Watch stayed in the dark. You shouldn’t be worried, though. Actually, it gave me a sigh of relief. I don’t want the Pixel Watch, not today at least.

Here’s why we should be fine with the Pixel Watch remaining behind the curtain.

The Pixel Watch wouldn’t stand a chance in the existing environment. Between Wear OS’ lacking enthusiasm and the Apple Watch’s dominance, Google chose wisely to hold off on releasing its own wearable. Here, more time spent in development can only be positive.

Apple sells more smartwatches than its competitors. To no surprise, the Apple Watch is also the best choice if you have an iPhone. On the Android side of life, the options aren’t nearly as attractive. Wear OS devices are boring, and Samsung’s Galaxy Watch doesn’t have enough well-known, reliable apps. With the Apple Watch Series 4, the wide lead was expanded.

Frankly, smartwatches don’t allow for many exterior advancements. Yet the very successful Apple Watch has a square-shaped display and doesn’t resemble a traditional timepiece. Apple won consumers over with its software. watchOS has first-party and third-party features that make Wear OS seem useless. Unfortunately for Google, its digital assistant cannot solve this problem.

The platform’s current state seems disastrous, even after Google rolled out a hefty software update. Wear OS, which has been rebooted in varying degrees throughout 2018, lacks a feature set capable of giving Apple’s watchOS a run for its money.

LG announced a smartwatch that looks like a literal mess, and Huawei refuses to use Wear OS. Of course, there are fashion brands showing their unwavering support with the Snapdragon Wear 3100. But the serious names are treating Wear OS like the plague. Rightfully so, too. If partners aren’t given a complete toolkit, they shouldn’t be offering assistance.

Android got the attention of hardware manufacturers because of its flexibility. Companies are able to put their own skins on, add features, and be unique. Wear OS, though, doesn’t have that. The smartwatches between dozens of brands are identical in terms of software.

The lesson from this for the Pixel Watch should be that a smartwatch needs a whole lot more than exclusive watch faces to stand out. When it’s official, the Pixel Watch must have hardware and software features that you can’t find elsewhere. That’s what made the Pixel phones recognizable, mind you.

Google’s shown significant interest in hardware, and thus we’re not leaning on the side of the Pixel Watch’s cancelation. It seems like, at some point in the future, this smartwatch will make its global debut. Maybe that’ll be in the first half of 2019, but it’s more likely the Pixel Watch goes official at the end of next year. Then it could join the Pixel 4 and other devices.

Think about the groundbreaking products and services of our time. Few were born out of the blue. Instead, most of them came from what already existing but had room for innovation. Will the Pixel Watch be revolutionary? Doubtful, but more time allows more possibilities.

It’s better the Pixel Watch experiences a delay. No one wants to purchase something that was rushed through development, only to ship with numerous bugs. As for its brand, Google also can’t afford to trot out subpar products. If wishes to Google play in this space against Apple, there’s no margin for error.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

Advertisement