Google reportedly working on Android-powered watch, game console and next-gen Nexus Q

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.

Source: WSJ

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

  • I don't understand the obsession with watches by Google and Apple. Who wears a watch now that you can check the time on your phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • Ditto.
    I haven't worn a watch for years. Only thing I can think of for a watch is as a workout accessory...e.g., if I want to monitor my heart rate monitor strap to figure out what zone I'm in, it won't be fun to strap my phone to my wrist :-)
  • I personally am not one that finds pulling out my phone to check the time is convenient and sort of overkill. Although, I don't see myself wanting Android on my watch. I just want a watch for being a watch, and somewhat of a fashion accessory on the wrist as well. So, on the point of the overall comment I still agree. I don't want an Android watch. But, I certainly still enjoy wearing a non-android watch. So even people like me who still find for a watch don't typically think that having Android on it would make it better (much worse in my opinion). Haven't considered one once.
  • and sony, samsung, LG, and whoever else wants to join the club,
  • as far as i can tell, only Sony has come out with a watch. all the other stuff is bogus rumors.
  • I wear a watch every single day, but I don't ever look down at my wrist expecting to see a text message. Watches are jewelry to me, not tech. Not entirely on-board with the whole "smart watch" idea just yet.
  • As someone who wears an "old school" watch every day, I couldn't have said it better.
  • This. Well put.
  • I was going to say the same thing. I guess I'm old school. My standard work jewelry consists of a Seiko Chrono and cufflinks on a french cuff shirt. I consider my phone functional tech, not jewelry. I guess that's why I have always preferred a black phone with no case. I don't want it to be noticed.
  • Watches have sentiment; a lot of people received them as gifts or inherited them from deceased loved-ones. To women, they are sometimes accessories that are matched the way a purse might be. I think the market for smartwatches is pretty limited.
  • Meh. It would be ok to *not* have to pull my phone out of my pocket to check a text or email. Or to see who's calling. I'm not going to wear something that looks like an '80s calculator watch to get those features, but it would still be something ok to have. -Suntan
  • I still wear a watch. I hate having to pull my phone out of my pocket to check the time. It's also against policy to use cell phones at some places of employment.
    I'm definitely looking forward to getting a smart watch, so I can see what notifications I'm receiving for those times when cell phone use is frowned upon.
  • This. Posted via Android Central App
  • Same here. Cell Phones are not allowed where I work and can not even be brought into the building. And you need to know what time is. I have always worn a watch and always will. Plus I do not like handling my phone with dirty hands.
  • If a phone isn't allowed in your workplace, it's unlikely that a watch with connectivity will be allowed either.
  • This. +1 Posted via Android Central App
  • Agreed. I'd like one now so I could check certain things without pulling out my phone at work. I couldn't care less it being fashionable at this point as long as its functional. I own other watches for when I want be flashy Posted via Android Central App
  • I agree with cdf3. Sometimes when I'm doing something I don't feel like digging in my pocket for my cell phone. Posted via Android Central App
  • I Still wear a watch even though I have a phone in my pocket at all times. It is an jewel accessory to me.
  • I wear a watch all the time. Much more convenient than pulling the phone from the pocket you know. Plus phones are banned in school. But I want a normal watch that runs for years on a battery, not one that needs charging every day.
  • I would say a majority of men wear watches. Might come with age though, I didn't wear a watch until I was 26, but now wear one every day. Just about every man I know from their late 20's on wear one as well. However, I don't see a single one of them wearing a smart watch. They wear watches for a variety of reasons; fashion accessory, fascination with mechanical movements, convenience, utility, etc. The only ones I see using a smart watch are those using a watch for utility, but usually those watches are made to have the crap beat out of them, and I don't see a smart watch covering this segment.
  • I wear a watch. A nice Seiko watch...Judging by your comment you don't quite understand why people wear watches. It isn't so much to tell them time as it is a fashion accessory. So if Google, Apple, Sony, everyone else only makes a big square it will fail miserably. There's a reason why there are so many shapes and styles for watches, instead of just one shape. People don't want to be roped into wearing the exact same thing as everyone else. Holding a phone in your hand is actually a lot different than wearing something. It's really the same reason why Google Glass won't gain the traction some analysts are expecting. Glasses are something you wear and if you only offer one specific style only one intensely specific segment of the market will purchase it.
  • No interest whatsoever in a smart watch, I don't care who it's made by, but I'd love to see the Q turned into a similarly priced competitor to Apple TV, Roku, etc.
  • Count me in Posted via Android Central App
  • I wish Google was working on a new 7 inch tablet.
  • They are.
  • Imagine a Google console with the capabilities of the xbone and ps4. Probably wishful thinking, as Google likely would devise something similar to the ouya. Posted via Android Central App
  • Combine Game console and Nexus Q into one device and we have a winner.
    also include tv streaming like google TV just like microsoft xbox one
  • Agreed. I have the feeling though that this supposed Nexus Q successor might re-start the Google TV project. Either way I'm a bit excited to see what Google has planned for these products. Though, like you said, a retooled Google TV device with gaming would be a definite winner.
  • edit: bring these awesome features(voice command,live music,video streaming from play store, media player, Google TV) to a powerful console. I will sell my 2 PS3's, all my games and delete my PS3 account.
  • I have the Pebble smart watch and I wear it everyday for my work that I do
  • How do you like it? I pre-ordered a Pebble, but I didn't back the Kickstarter, so mine hasn't arrived yet. I'm looking forward to playing around with it, though.
  • The Q didn't really fail. They dropped it peomising a revised device later on. 14 months later on? Posted via Android Central App
  • the device didn't but the idea for it did. at the price there's just no demand for it, is that simple.
  • Yes the price did seem stupid. Posted via Android Central App
  • If that game console will have success needs to be seen. With the 2 big boys and Nintendo in it for long. PS4 Xbox one and then a Google console. Hmm probably barely games because no one ever made games for that console where others already around since years making games for the PS to the PS4 or Xbox and 360 and Xbox One. Or all the Nintendo consoles. The Google console probably is a very bad idea. Posted via Android Central App
  • What's happening with the Nexus 7 upgrade? A mainstream key product. Google seem scatterbrained. Nevermind self driving watches, put food on the table! Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm looking forward to a smart watch, whether it's from Google or Samsung. I looked at the Sony one but don't much like the UI. And if they can pan out the media streaming I'd give that another look since I primarily use Hulu and Netflix. Posted via Android Central App
  • I'll wear my Omega, but that you good.
  • While marketed more as a fitness device rather than a smart watch, everyone forgets about the MOTOACTV. Google bow has it under their watch. Make time to iterate on it. Posted via Android Central App
  • I would like to see an updated Google version of the Motorola Activ to compete with the Garmin/Nike/Fitbit...etc devices. Long battery life and waterproof would be huge pluses.
  • I wear a watch everyday. Own 7. Want more. Simply for fashion reasons. Me and friends joke with each other that we don't even look at the time. If it's wrong, I wouldn't know. I pull out my phone to check the time. When the power went out during a recent thunderstorm my phone died. I asked my girlfriend what time is it? She scrambled for her phone forever then stopped and said "Look at your watch!". I said "oh yeah. It does that". Most of these I have seen are square, dinky, skinny straps, etc. Make it look more stylish, maybe have different colored templates that I can change to match my outfit, transferable bands, etc...and maybe I'll think about it. I don't care if it teleports me places. I won't wear it if it looks like a dinky toy. I think I'm comfortable with watches staying just jewelry, but I'm interested to see what they do.
  • They should just combine the Nexus Q and the game console into one unit. Assuming the game console is just going to play Android games it shouldn't bump up the price too much considering the Q is powered by Android already...
  • "It's no secret that Google wants to branch out Android from being just a phone operating system" Silly Google, if only you hadn't sold off Motorola's Cable Box division. you could have had Android Boxes in tons of homes.