Now more than ever, Google needs to make a Pixel smartwatch

If Google wants Wear taken more seriously, it needs to find a hero

The wearable world went into meltdown this week when, shortly after announcing its latest pack of Google smartwatches, Google quietly removed the operating system's page from its storefront. More incriminating yet, even if you navigate to the Android Wear page another way, the LG Watch Sport and Style are listed as no longer available.

Cue the Android Wear doomsday clock inching closer to midnight, but as one Googler explained, this is just part of a long-planned strategy for Google to keep its shop window exclusively for home-built devices.

Apparently Google has been busy building custom Wear storefronts for other retailers, seeing this as a smarter strategy. Fine, but there's no denying Android Wear is getting less exposure as a result. To me this nicely dovetails with the recent launch of the LTE Apple Watch Series 3, where a lot of people fawned over a feature that Android Wear watches had been offering for yonks.

Did people not care, or did they just not know? I think it's a bit of both, and both are symptoms of the bigger problem: Android Wear isn't being taken seriously enough. But it's OK because I have the solution: Google needs to build a Pixel watch. It needs a smartwatch to call its own, a watch that shows us what Android Wear is all about, and it needs it soon.

Now more than ever, Google needs to make a Pixel smartwatch

By our books the LG Watch Sport is still the best Android Wear smartwatch you can buy right now. Good on LG, but a little damning I think when the shining beacon of Android Wear is one that arrived in February, and doesn't even get the Google name.

When you've paid $350 for one that doesn't have Android Pay, you start to ask questions

It's not like we've been short on Android Wear watches since, but as tech companies like Motorola and Asus have failed to make Android Wear sing, fashion brands have assumed the mantle. Which would be fine if OEMs were all making the most of the platform - but they're not. Naturally, fashion brands don't want to weigh down their smartwatches with too much tech, so that's undoubtedly part of it, and who can blame them when Google's not telling them otherwise? I'll happily tell Michael Kors I think the LG Watch Sport is still top dog, but I wouldn't catch him dead wearing it.

While it's let so many brands step in - and don't get me wrong, I do think that's a smart strategy - Google's leash on Android Wear has fallen too slack. I've asked Google many times about why it doesn't impose some features as minimum, and the response is always that it doesn't want to dictate to OEMs.

It's the smartphone strategy and I get it, but when you've paid $350 for a Michael Kors Android Wear watch that doesn't have Android Pay, you start to ask questions. That's why I think Google needs its own flagship watch to plough the way for Android Wear, because at this very moment it feels like Google has a vision of who Android Wear should be for, but not what it should be.

Meanwhile Apple sucks up the lion's share of the market and Samsung's bet on going it alone with Tizen appears to have paid off. I mean, it's still here in 2017 making good smartwatches, so it's done something right. Right?

Just so we're clear, I think Google's decision to turn to fashion brands was savvy. In fact I wonder where Android Wear would be right now had Fossil and others not stepped in. But at the same time, it needs Android Wear to be taken seriously. If Apple can cram LTE, GPS and everything else into a tiny smartwatch, so too can Google - and now's the time to stamp its name on it.

What do you think?

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  • yogibimbi·

    LTE, Pay, GPS _AND_ waterproofness (50 m), please. A watch without waterproofness is useless in my book.

    • Gadgety·

      "Comment successfully added" but not visible?

  • Gadgety·

    Well the problem is exactly this " this is just part of a long-planned strategy for Google to keep its shop window exclusively for home-built devices." Unless Google brings out their own device, it doesn't inspire confidence in their own platform. 

    Are there any major electronics manufacturers, i e phone makers, still into Android Wear, or is it up to Fossil, which is under financial pressure, TAG, Montblanc, and a few fashion brands to develop the next AW hardware generation? 

  • nportelli·

    I like the Huawei watch 2, it just has a software issue with the fitness app that I couldn't deal with, since I was using it for my running watch.  

  • amir719·


    what s the difference bw these model numbers at LG watch sport???

    W280A and W280 ???


  • amir719·


    I would like to buy LG watch sport at online store , would u pls introduce a good like (seller ) ???


  • Gizmosf·

    Google does need to go "all in" with R&D plus apples enthusiasm to bring a truly competitive smartwatch that not only rivals the iWatch but exceeds everyone's expectations. Making it look like a real watch would be a good start with GPS,, app complications, Google assistant, voice to text for messaging apps, music storage , Bluetooth, operate camera on phone...etc

  • metal321·

    One of the big complaints we always hear about is battery life.

    I like the idea of having a battery that you can swap out for a

    freshly charged one. Also, as I sit here at my computer, I have

    been trying to get my Smartwatch 3 to pair with my Anroid phone 

    for the past hour. Don't remember having this problem before and 

    I can't imagine most people wanting to contend with this kind 

    of headache.

  • forum66·

    Yes! It's a shame Google didn't release a 'Made by Google' watch when it dropped third party branded devices from its store. And yes, they need to make one competitive in size, weight, and battery life to the Apple Watch 3. The LG Watch Sport is simply too big to be worn on the wrists of most people I know. The battery life of not quite a full day drives away the few people I know that like big watches. If they could just zap the LGWS with a shrink ray and optimize battery usage I'd buy one for myself. But seriously, going eSIM only and some other hardware changes could result in a respectable Pixel branded device.

  • Jamnoggin·

    If Google could make a Pixel Watch I would buy in a heartbeat. I've been pure Nexus since the Nexus 4 so I appreciate the whole 'showcase' hardware for a new OS version. So perhaps Google are cooking up Wear 3.0 to release with an in-house watch. A chap can dream.. For now I'll save my cash and get to grips with a hand-me-down Fitbit Charge HR..