Google's Android-powered smartwatch 'could be ready for mass production within months'
Rumors of Google working on its own Android-powered smartwatch are nothing new — we've been hearing whispers to that effect from several sources over the past six months. But a report in The Wall Street Journal today gives us our clearest indication yet as to when the elusive wearable might make itself known. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the paper reports that the Android-powered watch is in the late stages of development, with Google currently working to fine-tune the device to improve power efficiency and battery life. The company is reportedly now in talks with Asian suppliers to begin mass production of the device, according to today's story.
What's more, the WSJ reports that the watch will be based heavily around Google Now, Google's predictive search app. As we said in an article back in March, the advantages of having Google Now on a wearable device could be immense. If it's properly implemented, Google Now could be a perfect fit for wearable devices, and a key differentiator for Google in what could quickly become a very crowded market. Samsung and Pebble are the main players right now, but Fitbit recently inched closer to smartwatch territory with the launch of its Fitbit Force device, and HTC is said to be prepping its own smartwatch for a late 2014 launch.
The Google watch could be ready for mass production "within months," according to the WSJ, which suggests the possibility of an early-to-mid 2014 launch for the product. Google has been getting Android ready for wearables with new features like Bluetooth Low Energy support and notification listener services, but today's news casts doubt on the possibility of any watch-specific announcements alongside Android 4.4 KitKat, which we're expecting to see later this week.
For more on how Google Now might work on a watch — and why it makes too much sense not to happen — check out our write-up from earlier in the year, linked below.
Source: The Wall Street Journal