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Pixel Watch: Release date, design and software for Google’s first-party smartwatch

For as long as the Pixel smartphones have been on the market, fans of Google’s devices have long since wondered if the tech giant would ever see its way to making a dedicated Pixel Watch.

After all, with Google finally taking Wear OS seriously thanks to a partnership with Samsung it feels like the time is perfect for Google to have a flagship Pixel Watch to go along with its phones.

It has become increasingly clear over the last few months however is that the Pixel Watch is real and its release date could be sooner than you’d think.

Here’s the full rundown of all the information currently available about Google’s long-awaited Pixel Watch, including a look at what is coming next for Wear OS.

Given that an official announcement of the Pixel Watch was first predicted back in 2018, any ‘leak’ at this point should be treated with a grain of salt, but the latest estimation – according to serial leaker Jon Prosser – is that the Pixel Watch will be released this October.

While Google’s I/O developer keynote conference came and went without a specific mention of a Pixel Watch, we did learn a lot more about the future of the software that’ll power these wearables. A big change to the foundations of Wear OS gives us the impression a flagship is coming, though.

  • Leaked design renders show off the slim profile
  • Near bezel-less display
  • Single physical input

Alongside his predicted release date, Jon Prosser managed to get his hands on several images of the Pixel Watch, known internally at Google as ‘Project Rohan’. Being unable to share the leaked images directly however, Prosser has developed multiples renders based upon those images.

According to these renders, the Pixel Watch will feature a near bezel-less display, with the ability to spill over the sides, much like the Apple Watch 6. While it’s difficult to gain the exact measurements from these mock-ups, the watch itself does look incredibly slim – arguably one of the slimmest smartwatches we’ve seen.

There’s only one physical input on the device’s right-hand side: a presumably rotating crown. This means it’s likely that aside from having quick access to an app via a long press, as well as rotating the crown to navigate menus, the majority of interaction with the Pixel Watch will be done by the touchscreen.

Pixel Watch

Image credit: John Prosser

It’s also worth pointing out that the watch strap teased here is unlike anything we’ve seen before. While it bears some resemblance to Fitbit’s Infinity Band, there appears to be some sort of magnetic panelling on the inside of the strap that could be used for adjusting the length.

It seems like this could be a big year for Google’s design. Leaked renders suggest the Pixel 6 is going to look very different from the phones that went before it and we know Android 12 is integrating some sleek new design elements. If you want to get an idea of what these Android changes are, you can download the Android 12 beta now.

  • Set to run on the new Wear OS
  • Google is partnering with Samsung on the software
  • There will be Fitbit integration

At this point in time, there’s no way of knowing exactly what Google has in store as far as features go for the Pixel Watch, but there is one aspect that is bound to set it apart, and that’s an updated Wear OS.

During Goole I/O 2021, Google announced it was partnering with Samsung to merge the Korean brand’s Tizen software with its own Wear OS to create one wearable ecosystem that’ll hopefully combine the best of both.

Google will also be tightly integrating Fitbit, a brand it now owns, into the OS to give Wear OS watches greatly improved fitness skills. Fitbit said it would be bringing its tracking and goals across and that it would be building premium smartwatches running the software in the future. So there’s every chance the next Fitbit Versa could be running this software.

Wear OS update

Aside from the small animation you can see below, there wasn’t much to go on regarding how this will look or function but the prospect is tempting.

During the announcement, it was revealed that this updated software would focus on battery life, performance and making it easier for developers to build apps. One example of the focus on performance was a new shortcut that would let you jump quickly between apps. You’ll also be able to finally download music from YouTube Music, a feature that has been absent since the death of Google Play Music.

There’s an abundance of devices from the likes of Mobvoi, Fossil and more that utilise Wear OS and Google said these companies would still be able to use the new software.

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