android wear, pixel smartwatch

The new watch will be showcase device for Wear OS

Google is hard at work on a smartwatch being developed by a separate team than Fitbit, which the tech giant purchased early this year, a report by Insider said.

Codenamed “Rohan”, the Mountain View, California-based company is planning a release in 2022, marking its foray into smartwatches despite developing and maintaining Wear OS, the publication cited sources as saying.

According to documents viewed by Insider, the watch is meant to show off Wear OS to customers and potential partners. Currently, the latest version of Google’s software for phones (Wear OS 3) is exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4.

Google and Samsung partnered for the latest version Wear OS, with the American firm merging some of South Korean company’s Tizen OS into the code.

The report also said LG’s Watch Sport and Watch Style were originally supposed to be Pixel-branded devices but Google’s Rick Osterloh said the watches did not look like they “belonged in the Pixel family”.

Google’s watch will use a round chassis and there will be no bezels. It will also incorporate a suite of sensors for health monitoring and fitness analysis.

The company is already testing the smartwatch with people outside the main team and taking feedback. Initial feedback has stressed that the watch needs to be charged every day and that the charging is slow, the report said.

Like the Apple Watch, Google will use proprietary watchbands. The documents also say that the plan is to release the watch this year, if the testing goes well. Two employees told Insider Google was eyeing a spring launch.

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