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Google canned Pixel watches at the last minute in 2016 because they were crap

According to a report by Business Insider, Google's plans for a self-branded wearable were axed at the last minute back in 2016. Following those early leaks, then-new hardware VP Rick Osterloh decided that the experience didn't meet the company's new "Pixel" standards, and the products were dropped from that fall's event and product lineup. What was left was allegedly salvaged into the LG Watch Sport and Style.

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Google confirms it will launch two smartwatches early next year, but they won't be Pixel-branded

Speaking to The Verge, Google's product manager for Android Wear Jeff Chang confirmed the company will launch two smartwatches next year with Android Wear 2.0. Five months ago, we revealed that Google was undertaking such a project, with the device codenames being Angelfish and Swordfish. Later, we showed renders of what the hardware could look like.

Chang also confirmed to The Verge that Wear 2.0's final developer preview will be released in January, and should add support for Android Pay and Google Assistant, two major features that have been high on the list of requests from Wear users. Interestingly, Chang says the watches will not be Google-branded, but branded by the manufacturer, who is apparently a previous Wear partner.

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Google's smartwatches may arrive in Q1 2017, will run Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear hasn't received much love in the past few months. The first major update, Android Wear 2.0, was announced back in May. Two months later, we revealed the first leaks of Google's own smartwatches, set to debut with the new update. Although developer previews for 2.0 are still arriving, the update itself has been pushed back to 2017, and multiple companies won't release any new AW devices this year.

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Exclusive: These could be Google's upcoming Android Wear smartwatches

As we reported last week, Google is in the process of building two Android Wear smartwatches. At the time, we were unable to show you the watches themselves. Today, that changes - what you see in the image above could be codename and "Swordfish" and "Angelfish," Google's two Assistant-enabled wearables that we believe will be released after the new Nexus phones.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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