Google has plans to unveil two new flagship smartwatches; they’re predicted to hit the market in the first quarter of 2017.
Product Manager of Android Wear at Google Jeff Chang confirmed the news in an exclusive interview with The Verge, saying that the two new products will be the first with Android Wear 2.0.
Although some say smartwatches are on their way out of the market, Google believes they are still in demand. And while these new watches will not be branded with Google’s logo, they will hold the name of the company who is manufacturing them. Chang declined to name the manufacturer.
Most Android Wear watches on the market now will reportedly get the Android Wear 2.0 update, however some of the older models may not have the hardware to support certain features. The new version includes several updates including standalone apps that don’t need a phone to work, along with support for Android Pay and Google’s voice-controlled assistant. It should work with iOS devices, although there will be differences between Wear 2.0 on Android and iOS.
“We’ve enabled a lot of diversity with our hardware partners to target different types of consumers and preferences,” Chang told The Verge.
He went on to say that smartwatches aren’t going anywhere: “This is a marathon, not a sprint. This category of product is here with us to stay.”
The final developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 is expected in January.