Google Pixel Watch is coming for Apple Watch's crown | Cult of Mac

Google Pixel Watch is coming for Apple Watch’s crown

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After lots of rumors and leaks, it turns out the Pixel Watch is only months away from release.
After lots of rumors and leaks, it turns out the Pixel Watch is only months away from release.
Photo: Google

After ongoing rumors and leaks, Google finally confirmed Wednesday at its I/O 2022 developer conference that the Pixel Watch exists. And the round-cased smart watch will be released in fall 2022 alongside the Pixel 7 smartphone.

The Pixel Watch will duke it out with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch, which it resembles. But it will also look to knock market leader Apple Watch off its pedestal.

Google’s Pixel Watch finally arrives in fall 2022

At its I/O 2022 developer conference Wednesday, Google offered a peek at its much-leaked Pixel Watch alongside other gear, like Pixel Buds Pro. The tech giant showed some photographs and gave minimal information beyond the fall 2022 release date.

However, it’s clear the Pixel Watch features a domed, round case and face (aka dial), as well as a pastel-based color scheme. It does not appear to have a bezel, giving a somewhat different look from Android-based competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

The Pixel will feature a “tactile crown,” according to the presentation. Customizable bands will be available, as you might expect.

The device will run an updated version of Wear OS 3. Google launched the OS in collaboration with Samsung. The company confirmed some rumored features, like offline Maps directions on your wrist. And Emergency SOS and a new Google Wallet should come to Wear OS with the Pixel Watch.

Integration with Fitbit

Google, which completed its acquisition of Fitbit in 2021, promised its new watch will deeply integrate with that company’s health and fitness-tracking features. Wear OS had lacked comprehensive activity and biometric tracking tools before, but that changes now.

Previously, Google said it worked with Fitbit and learned from Samsung about how to efficiently implement constant heart rate monitoring and sleep tracking. Looks like Pixel Watch, with the latest Wear OS, will offer those.

Pixel Watch will also work with a Fitbit app that lets you collect “Active Zone minutes” and log your progress against preset goals. Google did not discuss how or if the Fitbit app will work with Google’s own Fit app.

Won’t play nice with iOS

Other than that, information about Pixel Watch is scarce, with additional details expected to come out in the coming months. That could include what chipset the watch will use, the battery life to expect, as well as things like water and dust resistance.

And one other thing to note: The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 — the first smartwatch that ever ran the new Wear OS — doesn’t work with iOS. The Pixel Watch won’t cooperate with it, either.

But most iPhone users will likely opt for the Apple Watch, of course. It is, after all, widely considered to be the best smartwatch available. Some even argue Apple Watch Series 7 was not the disappointing upgrade many have claimed. At any rate, Apple Watch has a commanding lead over yet-to-be released newcomers like Pixel Watch, even with the weight of Google and its partners behind it.

So it remains to be seen if the long-awaited Pixel Watch will have a shot at taking Apple Watch’s crown.