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South Korea Google

Google will release a new smartwatch next year to take on the Apple Watch, new report says

Google is also bringing more Fitbit features to Wear OS, the report says

Adam Smith
Friday 03 December 2021 10:50

Google is making a smartwatch to compete with the Apple Watch that will launch in 2022, according to new reports.

The wearable, codenamed “Rohan”, will be round with no physical bezel. The development of the watch has reportedly accelerated this year, with many employees outside of the smartwatch team testing the device inside Google.

While the watch has been called, internally,  the "Pixel watch" or "Android watch," it is unclear what name Google will eventually decide on, Insider reports.

Google purchased wearable company Fitbit in January 2021, and although the health and fitness company will eventually build devices that run Wear OS Google does not intend for this new device to be under the Fitbit brand.

Fitbit and Google will apparently work more closely together in future, merging the Fitbit and Wear OS software.

"It’s a pretty direct mirror of the Apple Health stack," one employee said. "It seems like Google wants to catch up with the Apple HealthKit ecosystem, and is reorganizing everything in a future-looking sense to get there."

The watch is expected to launch next year, possibly in the spring, but that date is not fixed. It Is expected to cost more than a Fitbit, though, according to The Verge.

Google did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent.

Android wearables have yet to catch up to the Apple Watch’s level of interoperability between phone and watch. The most advanced Android smartwatch currently is Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4, which runs a combination of Wear OS 3 and Samsung’s old Tizen operating system.

The device is the only one updated to the latest software, though, and prioritises Samsung’s own services over Google’s.

Facebook is also building its own smartwatch to compete in the space, with reports indicating it will have two cameras and capture health and fitness data.

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