Self-branded hardware could showcase features of the latest version of Android made for more than just phones
Google is concurrently working on three new self-branded Android devices to expand its reach into new market segments, if current rumors are to be believed. According to sources of The Wall Street Journal, Google is currently developing an Android-powered watch, home gaming console and also a successor to the failed Nexus Q media streamer. At least one of the products, WSJ sources report, will be launched to consumers by the end of this year.
The purported Google smart watch will (as expected) pair to a user's phone over Bluetooth, much like Google Glass currently does, but details beyond this are murky. They certainly aren't the only ones looking at watches though -- Samsung has expressed interest in making a smart watch-style device previously, and Sony has even released products to consumers in the category.
As for the expected refresh to the Nexus Q, reports are that the new version will be much less expensive (remember the original Nexus Q had a sticker price of $299), and as was the case with the first iteration be a portal for Google to sell more content such as music and movies through Google Play. No surprises there, but it helps calm some worries that nearly all functionality in the current Nexus Q has been lost through app updates.
The new Google-branded hardware will reportedly come along with a new version of Android, which again people familiar with the plans say is aimed at making the software more suited for a wide range of devices beyond just phones. It's no secret that Google wants to branch out Android from being just a phone operating system, but as it has found out with previous initiatives that may be easier said than done. Set-top boxes, laptops, watches and game consoles are reportedly all in the cards with an upcoming release.
We know that major companies such as Google are always working on new products, so it's always important to take these sorts of rumors with a grain of salt. It does have us excited for the potential of a second swipe at the living room by Google though, which has traditionally been a hard market to break into. We can rest assured that Google has quite a few more products in the pipeline that will keep us excited with Android.