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Google starts building its walled garden with the Pixel Watch

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Google announced its first smartwatch yesterday, the Pixel Watch, during the I/O conference next to a slate of other products. This was more of a teaser and a full reveal is coming this fall. It appears that the watch is Android only and will not work with Apple’s iPhones.

As rumors and leaked images had suggested, the Pixel Watch has a circular design, a tactile crown, a side button and adjustable bands. Unsurprisingly, the wearable will run an enhanced version of Wear OS 3 that Google and Samsung have jointly developed. Apart from native Google apps, Google Wallet and Google Home, the watch also has some Fitbit features.

While Fitbit’s products will also work with the iPhone, the Pixel Watch won’t. The accessory is only compatible with smartphones with Android 8.0 or higher and a Google account is also required.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Watch 4 Classic that also run Wear OS 3 are also not compatible with the iPhone. Google seems to be backing its commitment to support iOS, but in defense of the Mountain View giant, Apple’s smartwatches don’t work with Android phones either, so Google isn’t obligated to play nice.
Apple’s strategy is to create a closed ecosystem and Google seems to be following suit. The company also teased a tablet and smartglass at yesterday’s event, which is a clear indication that it wants to create an entire ecosystem of products that work together.
Whether it will be as successful as Apple remains to be seen, but recent efforts are is definitely starting to pay off. Google has kept the core specs of the Pixel Watch a secret, so it’s a little hard to say whether it beats the current one best watches of 2022.

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