When it comes to Android Wear, I'm starting to feel a little bit like Homer Simpson chasing the spit-roasted pig around Springfield, holding onto a false hope that it's salvageable from its inevitable doom.
"It's just a little airborne! It's still good, it's still good!"
The trouble is, I've been beating the "Android Wear is a work in progress" drum for ages now. When it launched, back in June 2014, that was a pretty easy thing to do. It was simple enough to drawn comparisons between the first two Android Wear smartwatches out of the blocks – the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live – to the first commercially available Android smartphone – the HTC Dream/G1.
I reminded people that the Dream was more than a little rough around the edges and that, within two years, the heavy-hitting Nexus One had arrived and was being touted as an "iPhone killer".
The trouble is, with Android Wear, we've had no knight in shining Nexus armour to drag the platform out of its slump.
All we've had is a few, mediocre-at-best, updates and some different-on-the-outside / same-story-on-the-inside hardware launches: the Tag Heuer Connected and the Casio Smart Outdoor WSD-F10 come to mind.
There is hope though (It's still good, it's still good). Android Wear 2.0 is clearly a major update – and it's obvious that Google thinks so too; not only did it get the distinguished 2.0 moniker (touted unofficially for previous Wear updates) but it also dedicated a fair chunk of its I/O 2016 keynote to detailing its features.
The smartwatch market is still in such an incipient state that no-one is really sure if the world wants a Dick Tracy-esque wrist-based phone replacement. But what we have discovered so far is that people don't want their smart wearables to be entirely reliable on their smartphones. There needs to be a semblance of separation between the two.
Therefore, standalone apps and Android Wear devices that can work independently of smartphones are obviously a big deal. And these are two of the biggest selling points of Wear 2.0.
Android Wear in-depth
- Android Wear 2.0: Ultimate guide to the updateWhat's new for the next-gen Google smartwatch OS?
- Android Wear missing manual super guideEverything you were too afraid to ask about your new smartwatch
- Best Android Wear watch faces to download nowChange up your smartwatch with one of these fun watch faces
- The best Android Wear smartwatchOur top picks from an ever growing group of Google powered wearables
- Top Android Wear appsSupercharge your wrist with this selection of must-have apps
But that's not enough. We need physical hardware proof that Google is all-in on its smartwatch bet. Getting brands like Tag, Casio, Nixon and Fossil on board is one thing. Laying down a quality marker is quite another. In the same way that the Nexus range of smartphones paved the way for the likes of the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S and Sony Xperia Z ranges and, more specifically the purer Android devices like the Moto and OnePlus devices, we need a physical sign post from Mountain View.
And we could be about to get one, if the Android Wear Nexus smartwatch rumours ring true. But while the Nexus handsets upped the ante in terms of build quality and design for Android smartphones (amongst other things), I'm hoping the purported Nexus smartwatch duo usher a new era for Wear's internals. The smartwatch OS needs a huge UI boost if it's to keep pace with what Apple is doing with watchOS 3.
With Google Assistant, rumoured to be the key ingredient on the new Nexus watches, I'm hopeful it will.
In the last couple of years, one of my key reasons for keeping faith with Android Wear (It's still good, it's still good) is the power of Google Now. Sure, it's clunky and clumsy as balls, but it is so, so clever. When it gets it right, it really is a tech-wow moment. Sports results from three days ago are a bore you have to endure in order to receive gems such as travel time to your next meeting, and flight delay details when you're making your way to the airport.
Google Assistant, from what they showed us at I/O, is Google Now after chugging a Big Gulp Steroid smoothie. It's Alexa and Siri in-one, with the might of the world's biggest search engine thrown in (with emojis packed in for good measure). It's Scarlett Johansson in Her on your wrist.
It's the saviour of Android Wear, you just wait and see (It's still good, it's still good).