(Pocket-lint) - It's about time!
Google is building two Android Wear devices, according to Android Police, which has published many Google-related rumours lately based on details from "reliable" sources. These upcoming wearables aren't Samsung-made watches, nor are they LG-made, etc. These are 100-per cent Google-made Android Wear devices, and they'll probably launch as Nexus-branded watches.
Keep in mind Google's Nexus brand is a line of devices - phones, set-top boxes, etc - that are meant to showcase pure Android. Google manages the design, development, marketing, and support of these devices, but sometimes the manufacturing is carried out by partners. The Nexus 6P flagship smartphone, for instance, which released last autumn, was made with Huawei, and Asus made the now-canned Nexus Player.
Anyway, one watch is larger, sportier, and comes with features like LTE data, GPS, and heart rate. It's codenamed Angelfish and resembles the Moto 360 and LG Urbane 2nd Edition. The other watch is smaller and doesn't have mobile data nor GPS. It's codenamed Swordfish and looks like Pebble Time Round (sans the massive bezel). Both watches have circular displays with no flat tyre.
Angelfish has "visible lugs" and "a smooth housing shape that curves where the watch band meets the body". It also has three buttons: one large circular crown button that's centered along the right side of the body, and two smaller circular buttons above and below the crown. Angelfish is 14mm-thick, with a diameter of 43.5mm, and it comes in a matte dark grey finish that might be called Titanium.
- Michael Kors smartwatches announced, as Fossil onslaught continues
- Tag Heuer Connected doing well, new models reported for 2017
- Nixon Mission Android Wear watch is sport ready
Swordfish has a single button centered on the right-hand side of the body and might be partially made of polished metal, while the bezel of the crown is ridged. The button looks a lot like Apple Watch's crown, actually. As for Swordfish's size, it has a body diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 10.6mm. It'll be made available silver, titanium, and rose gold. Unlike Angelfish, Swordfish isn't a standalone Android Wear device.
Lastly, Angelfish will not support Google's interchangeable MODE watch bands, but both watches offer Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts. Google is also working on new watch faces for these devices that will bring quicker access to notifications, information, and media controls for apps. The new watchfaces and integration will likely be announced with Android Wear 2.0.
Google likely chose to not partner with manufacturers on these rumoured Nexus watches because it wants to best demonstrate what Android Wear can do capabilities-wise. Also, there hasn't been many manufacturers creating devices for the platform. The number of Android Wear original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) is relatively low, especially if you compare it to the number of OEMs making Android devices.
The other thing to remember is that Apple makes its own watch that run its own software (WatchOS), and Samsung makes its own watches that run its own software (Tizen). It therefore makes sense for Google to try that strategy, too. Android Police said Google is definitely building two watches; it just doesn't know when they'll release. Development is ongoing, and the watches could always be cancelled or delayed.
They could also arrive alongside the next Nexus phones later this year, or maybe even sometime after that. We'll keep you posted.