Google held its 2022 developer conference today called the Google I/O. The event is one that provides a lot of useful information for developers responsible for building things revolving around Android devices and Google services. But it’s also an opportunity for the company to talk about a bunch of products and share other interesting news for us consumers.
Today Google finally confirms the Pixel Watch after several weeks of tease, rumors, and leaked photos that have continued to surface online. Although today’s announcement isn’t a full reveal, however, it has been confirmed that the watch will arrive later this fall alongside the Pixel 7.
Given the fact that most of us have come across more smartwatches often than not, the Pixel Watch did not present anything too surprising in terms of design. As rumors earlier suggested, the Pixel Watch comes with a circular design, a “tactile” crown, and a side button. The Pixel Watch runs on an “improved” Wear OS 3 and is made of recycled stainless steel with swappable proprietary bands. It features a “refreshed UI” with better navigation and smart notifications.
So because it’s Google’s first smartwatch, be sure to expect to have a number of native Google apps as well as the introduction of a new Fitbit integration. Expect to see apps like Google Maps and Assistant, Google Wallet, and Google Home that are new to Wear OS. Another feature users should expect from the Wear OS device is Emergency SOS. We’ve seen this feature on other smartwatches, a Google smartwatch shouldn’t be different, Google grants the opportunity for users to use their watch for emergency purposes as well as contact trusted friends or family. As for the Fitbit integration, that will give an insight into heart rate, sleep tracking, and Active Zone Minutes.
Since the purchase of Fitbit by Google, the Fitbit integration may reportedly be the most significant collaboration both companies have offered users. According to Google’s senior vice president of devices and services, Rick Osterloh, the Fitbit integration presents more than just customizing the smartwatch faces and being “imbued throughout” the Pixel Watch experience. The integration will provide users with the ability to sync their data with a Fitbit account, as a result, users can view data within the Fitbit app and on the web. Google says the smartwatch will use all of Fitbit’s latest algorithms for health and fitness.
As for data privacy, both companies will ensure data remains private and separate, based on promises made to regulators during the Fitbit acquisition, meaning that any health data collected on the Pixel Watch will remain under Fitbit’s purview, separate from Google. Osterloh added that while the Fitbit team was deeply involved with the development of the Pixel Watch, Fitbit still has plans of making its own product using its own Wear OS.
As for price, Google says that it’ll come as a “premium-priced product.” Love it or hate it, another potential snag users need to know is that the Pixel Watch requires a phone running Android 8.0 or later as well as a Google Account. Just like the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, the Pixel Watch will show no sign of compatibility with iPhones. While there is still a lot we don’t know, the company has disclosed it will be sharing more updates in the coming months.