Despite the fact that the smartwatch market is heavily declining, Google continues to support the ecosystem and the companies that plan to launch new smartwatches next year.
After acquiring a small company that developed its own smartwatch earlier this year, Cronologics, to help with the work at Android Wear, Google has made a sound announcement today.
The Verge reports the search giant has just confirmed that two new flagship smartwatches will be launched in early 2017. We might see them unveiled at CES 2017 in early January, or perhaps in late February at MWC 2017 trade fair.
However, these two flagship smartwatches won't be branded by Google, so they will be launched by other companies. Both of them will be especially built for Android Wear 2.0, so they will fully take advantage of the new OS that Google delayed until next year.
As soon as the two flagship smartwatches are launched with Android Wear 2.0 on board, the new OS will be available as an update for all eligible smartwatches.
Speaking of which, here is the full list of smartwatches that will be upgraded to Android Wear 2.0: Moto 360 Gen 2, Moto 360 Sport, LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, LG Watch Urbane, LG G Watch R, Polar M600, Casio Smart Outdoor Watch, Nixon Mission, Tag Heuer Connected, Fossil Q Wander, Fossil Q Marshal, Fossil Q Founder, Michael Kors Access Bradshaw Smartwatch, Michael Kors Access Dylan Smartwatch, Huawei Watch, Huawei Watch Ladies, Asus ZenWatch 2, and Asus ZenWatch 3.
Google has also confirmed that a fifth and final developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 will be launched sometime in January. This specific build will include support for Google Assistant and Android Pay, but the latter only on eligible devices.
Furthermore, Android Wear 2.0 will work with iOS devices as well, but there will be some differences between platforms (Android and iOS), as some features might not function properly. The good news is Android Pay will work on both.
Last but not least, Google's product manager of Android Wear, Jeff Chang, said that after the two flagship smartwatches launch, other companies would release new devices with Android Wear 2.0 throughout the entire year.