We'd heard as early as July of this year that Google would bring two smartwatches of its own, running Android Wear (of course), to market after its Fall smartphone announcement. The Pixel and Pixel XL announcement this Fall confirmed for us that Google was now aiming to craft devices bearing its own branding (alone) instead of cooperating with OEMs to bring Nexus devices to market that were branded with the cooperating OEM branding in addition to Google's.
Several weeks ago, we heard that the smartwatches (called "Google's two smartwatches," not Pixel) would see a market release in Q1 2017. At the same time, Android Wear 2.0, teased by Google at this past summer's I/O 2016 conference, was delayed from a Fall release due to quality control requirements. Apparently, Google needed to squash bugs and continue baking some necessary features of the new major Android Wear update.
Well, we now have official confirmation behind the delay of Android Wear 2.0: in addition to improving the software experience, Google has been prepping its two new smartwatches (codenamed Angelfish and Swordfish). In an interview with The Verge, Google says that its upcoming smartwatches will be the first to feature Android Wear 2.0 and will neither be called "Pixel" nor have any Google branding whatsoever. What this means is that you won't see the same experience as that of the Pixel and Pixel XL.
Google did not name the partner behind the new smartwatches, but said that the manufacturer has partnered with Google in Android Wear in the past. Could it be that Huawei has finally gone back to Android Wear instead of considering Tizen? We don't know for sure, but Google's Android Wear 2.0 update list shows the men's Huawei Watch and the women Huawei Watch Jewel and Watch Elegant smartwatches are getting updated to Android Wear 2.0. Why would Huawei maintain the update support for these smartwatches if it had decided to abandon Android Wear? The fact these smartwatches will advance to AW 2.0 signals that Huawei is not yet done with Google's wearables platform. Google has said in its interview with The Verge that "Google collaborated with the manufacturer...on the hardware design and software integration for the watches." Perhaps Google has appeased Huawei and decided to go a more "skinned" route than the usual vanilla path.
We don't know much else, but Google has officially confirmed what has been rumor up until now. As always, it's now a matter of waiting until press releases leak.
Do you want a new Android Wear smartwatch? Do you think this new smartwatch could help motivate consumers to purchase Android Wear smartwatches and pick up sales for the platform, or do you think Android Wear is a dead horse?