Google’s Pixel Watch Won’t Be a True Apple Watch Competitor – Android Police | Hot Mobile Press

Google announced the Pixel Watch during Google I/O in May 2022, although it’s not currently available – it will launch later this year alongside the Pixel 7. We still learned a lot about the accessory thanks to the official announcement and a few more rumors. While the early hardware details are extremely promising, the Pixel Watch must also offer the intelligence, health features and seamless integration that make the Apple Watch so successful to lead the Android pack – especially as Apple has done just during WWDC 2022 announced a range of new health features for the next version of its own watchOS.


Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Google can really deliver. Let’s dive into the why.

software that matches the look; Appearance that matches the software

Judging by the teasers on stage and a leaked prototype, the Pixel Watch is poised to be one of the most stylish wearables out there for Android phones and seems to be taking the Apple Watch head-on in the design department. That makes sense since it looks like both products are made by the same company. However, in contrast to the Apple Watch, Google uses a round instead of rectangular dial, which already looks timeless and weightless in all the images seen so far.

But looks aren’t everything, despite the Pixel Watch appearing so beautiful on the surface. The Apple Watch not only has its own iconic design, but also the intelligence to match.

The exterior design of the Pixel Watch must match the software and internal hardware. Google has made strides since co-developing Wear OS 3 with Samsung and introducing a working user interface good enough on a small screen, while both Qualcomm and Samsung are finally offering good processors for wearables that aren’t years behind smartphone SoCs. But there are still many improvements to be made.

The pairing and unpairing process in particular is incredibly painful when you move phones around and require a full watch reset, as you struggle to reinstall all of your apps and watch faces while you’re already hard at work setting up your new phone. It is now easy to pair an Apple Watch with a new iPhone.

Battery life is still another issue for many Wear OS devices to this day, with many products lasting no more than 18-20 hours on a single charge – with a device like this you can forget about proper nightly sleep monitoring. Granted, that’s also an issue for the Apple Watch, but this could be an opportunity for Google to differentiate its product from both other Wear OS watches and Apple’s product. However, based on the latest rumours, it doesn’t seem like Google is going to jump on that chance as the Pixel Watch doesn’t appear to be designed for much longer battery life than comparable products.

The Pixel Watch doesn’t seem to have a key differentiator

It is also unclear how exactly Google wants to differentiate the Pixel Watch from the rest of the Wear OS crowd in terms of software. It was initially rumored that the Pixel Watch could be the first to include Assistant support, but Samsung and Google are already rolling out the smart voice assistant to the Galaxy Watch4, so Google won’t be able to use that as a unique selling proposition at launch anymore.

Google is also trying to add killer Fitbit integration to the Pixel Watch, but at this point it’s unclear how exactly this is how it will look like. By all accounts, it looks like you’re stuck with up to three apps to get a full picture of your health with the Google Watch. You’ll need the regular Wear OS companion app to connect, but to view and act on all your Fitbit stats, you’ll need to use the Fitbit app. Google is also likely to add an option to share your health data with other apps, so you can also throw Google Fit and Samsung Health into the mix if you’re so inclined. It looks like this could become one of the usual convoluted solutions Google comes up with when it merges its services, and people aren’t going to love it. That’s definitely more cumbersome than Apple’s fully integrated fitness solution, which often also works much better with third-party devices and tools than Google’s.

The Fitbit integration can only take Google so far, too. If you’re only interested in the Fitbit aspect, you could just get a Fitbit tracker or smartwatch, which Google also still sells and promotes. That’s a problem the Apple Watch also struggles with, but Google shoots itself in the foot by offering too many similar products, while Apple just offers different versions and generations of the same watch, usually with the latest high-end Variant is clearly the most popular.

In the meantime, Apple is smashing it with further improvements to fitness tracking capabilities for its watches, coming as part of watchOS 9 this fall. The watch will have an improved workout app that will become versatile enough to even help triathlon athletes track swimming, running and cycling without ever touching the Apple Watch, better sleep tracking, a built-in medication reminder with alerts from dangerous interactions and AFib history – all accessible in one place, the Apple Health app. There’s no way Google is going to create such an integrated system from the start, as it has yet to figure out what to do with Fitbit and Google Fit.

The Pixel Watch might even have a hard time standing out from Fossil smartwatches. Google has no name in the fashion world and there are many people out there who choose their smartwatch based on its design and the fashion brand behind it.

Source: Hermes

Apple was keenly aware that its wearable needed to appeal to a mass audience from day one. When Apple first introduced the Apple Watch in 2014, it marketed its wearable as both a fashion accessory and a healthcare device; The original watch made a glittering debut on the pages of Fashion and Even. Apple stores didn’t stock the Apple Watch; Instead, users had to pre-order one of the first-generation wearables and have it customized in-store. And just as the OG Apple Watch was rolling out to select retailers and carriers, the Cupertino-based company introduced the Apple Watch Hermès — a collaboration that continues to this day.

Google hasn’t announced any designer partnerships for the Pixel Watch, and that seems like a misstep. Fossil works with major designers to create branded wearables at every price point. When someone sees a collection of Wear OS watches in a store, all in the $300-$400 range, why would they choose Google over any other? Especially when a Fossil watch like the Fossil Gen 6 might seem more like a statement than the understated, elegant look of the Pixel Watch? Or if you really want to wear a Puma accessory on your wrist?

Google doesn’t have all the time in the world

Also, unlike Apple, Google doesn’t have time to experiment with the form factor until it finally nails the use case, which Apple did back then. The Google watch is late to the party, launching into an increasingly mature space dominated by Apple and Samsung, with all possible use cases already explored. Google may have released Wear OS (née Android Wear) before Apple launched its product, but times have changed.

The Pixel Watch has double duty due to its late launch. It needs to sum up all the basic smartwatch aspects while offering a glimpse into the future, spearheading the development of Wear OS and leading the way for other manufacturers. It’s going to be very difficult for Google to pull off, and if the company doesn’t, its first-party Watch efforts will trickle out sooner rather than later, joining the ever-growing graveyard of failed Google projects.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Pixel Watch is made for the task. As much as me want to love and as much as me want From what Google has released about the watch so far, things are looking pretty grim to succeed. Apart from the special design and the not yet fully revealed Fitbit integration, the watch doesn’t really have anything special to offer. It’ll be another Wear OS smartwatch to launch in an increasingly crowded market, bringing nothing that differentiates it from the best Android smartwatches out there. Sure, Android and Pixel enthusiasts will likely buy one without thinking twice, but I’m not sure the watch will make a splash in the general consumer market like the Pixel 6 did.

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