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Things have been looking so great in the smartwatch market as more people are opting for basic wearable devices that focus on one thing — primarily fitness. But Google hasn't given up on the category. In fact, the company is reportedly planning to launch two new OEM-branded smartwatches early next year, which will serve as flagships for the next generation of Android Wear.
While the company isn’t building the hardware itself, like it is now doing with the Pixel smartphones, it is collaborating with an unnamed third party on hardware design and software integration of the watches. Speaking with The Verge, Android Wear manager and Google employee Jeff Chang only said that this company has made Android Wear smartwatches in the past.
Partner announcements for other Android Wear 2.0 devices coming in 2017 are expected at CES.
Google will release the fifth and final developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 in January, and it is expected to include support for Google Assistant and Android Pay on supported devices. It will also will support native, standalone apps that do not require a paired smartphone to work, Apple Watch-like watch faces, Material Design, better support for messaging and more.