Thursday, October 31, 2013

Updated: Google watch: release date, news and rumors

Updated: Google watch: release date, news and rumors

Updated: Google watch: release date, news and rumors

Fresh from creating Google Glass, could Google now be turning its attention to a Google watch? We've heard that watches from Microsoft and LG may also be forthcoming, while an Apple iWatch is also widely predicted.

Samsung has already given us the Galaxy Gear, while Sony has the SmartWatch 2. So what about Google's smartwatch? Well here's everything we know so far.

Google watch release date

Android Police's Artem Russakovskii recently spoke about Google's watch in a Google+ post, telling us that the release date is set for October 31. He also says this will be the date we'll see Android 4.4 KitKat go live.

While it's looking like this will indeed be the day when KitKat goes live, the Google watch is looking less likely. We do think it's close though. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Google was "in talks" with various Asian suppliers about an Android smartwatch that could enter mass production "within months".

Looks like we won't be seeing anything until 2014, then.

Google watch design

A filing with the US Patent Office from early May 2013 showed a "smart-watch with user interface features" - it sounds pretty clear to us what that might mean.

The watch displayed in the illustration has two touchpads on either side of the display face. The patent says that you'll be able to use these to "pinch, stretch and scroll on a platform with limited space available for user input." This could mean it will interact with Google Glass.

It's possible that the watch will also rely o n a Google Now-style use of information cards, and after word that the watch will integrate the personal assistant features of Google Now, it seems even more likely.

Google watch features

There's obviously a big question around what kind of operating system the Google smartwatch will be running. Right now it's all guess work, but the fact that the big Google Watch reveal is rumored to be after Android 4.4 KitKat - October 31 - means we reckon it will be lifting a lot of the tasty new Android features.

One thing that the Google smartwatch is rumored to be going big on is Google now, which some sources reckon will lie at the heart of the watch.

If so, this means we could be talking to our Google watch - very Google Glass style, then - to check emails or see what the weather forecast holds. We expect this also means you'll need a phone that supports Google Now in order to take advantage of the watch's core features.

A recent report claims that Google is hard at work to solve the ongoing problem of the smartwatch battery. Apparently it's looking at methods to reduce the power consumption so we won't be taking it off our wrists to charge quite as often.

Google watch to be Motorola-built?

We've also heard that the Google watch could be manufactured by Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility.

Anonymous tipsters contacted Android Aut hority and claimed the watch already exists in a physical form and has been seen in its Berlin, Manchester and Google's Mountain View offices.

Motorola already has an exercise watch available, the Motoactiv. Could this give us any hints to the possible design of the new Google Watch or should we expect something radically different?


Watch out for the glass

The Motorola aspect is particularly interesting, though not all that surprising now that it's owned by Google â€" and that Motorola released its own smartwatch, the Motoactv, in 2011.

The same sources also state that the watch is "not a standalone device yet", claiming that it needs to be tethered to a smartphone to function properly. This part isn't so surprising given that Google Glass works much the same way.

Google watch name

As for the name of a Google watch, many are predicting that it could use the same name as Google Glass - in other words, it will be a Google Glass watch. We're not so sure about this, since we'd have thought it will be a totally separate and somewhat more consumer-orientated product than Google Glass is. (And yes, we know Google plans to sell Glass to the wider world too).

Android Police's Artem Russakovskii wrote on Google+ that the watch currently existed under the name of Google Gem. While the final name could well be something different, we have to say we're warming to Gem.

Rumors also continue to abound that Google will launch its own retail stores, although it will take some time to rival the all-conquering Apple Stores, of course.

The stores would enable consumers to get face-on with Google Glass as well as Android phones and, potentially, the Google watch.


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//PART 2