Google has but to launch its first smartwatch, however the firm might already be engaged on the following steps for its wearable plans. In line with a Protocol report, Google is planning to combine health trackers into Google TV and Android TV as a part of a broader push to strengthen its product ecosystem. The query is whether or not the traditionally fragmented Put on OS platform is up for the problem.

The corporate purportedly laid out the plans at a closed-door occasion with its TV companions, Protocol reviews. The thought is to let Put on OS and Fitbit customers broadcast real-time metrics like coronary heart price and energy burned on the display. Higher sensible residence controls are additionally a part of the plan. That stated, these efforts might take some time. Google’s health plans supposedly gained’t present up till 2023 on the earliest, with sensible residence efforts coming the next 12 months. That is partly as a result of Google’s companions must create extra highly effective sensible TVs and streaming devices to allow all of this.

Within the quick time period, the corporate can be reportedly engaged on beefing up its wi-fi audio provides on the platform. That features enabling Nest audio system to work wirelessly with TVs in addition to bringing Quick Pair to its Pixel Buds in order that customers can extra simply use them with Google TV gadgets.

If all of this sounds acquainted, that’s as a result of the plans look an terrible lot like what Apple’s carried out with its Health Plus service and sensible residence choices. Apple Watch homeowners can take video exercise courses the place their real-time metrics are displayed on the Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad. (And beginning with watchOS 9, customers will be capable to broadcast real-time metrics on non-Apple TVs through AirPlay.) You may as well use the HomePod or HomePod Mini with the Apple TV 4K to create a house theater setup. You’ve additionally been capable of pair AirPods with Apple TVs for ages.

The factor is, Apple’s all the time had a walled backyard, and that makes it simpler for it to attain its imaginative and prescient of devices that “simply work.” There are slight variations between the varied Apple Watch variations, however general, you’re getting a uniform Health Plus expertise throughout all Apple gadgets. It’d be one factor if this Google TV health tracker integration was for the forthcoming Pixel Watch alone. But when it’s meant to be suitable with any Put on OS or Fitbit gadget, Google has to determine easy methods to create an identical expertise throughout disparate gadgets.

Whereas Google satisfied Samsung to hitch forces in making a unified wearable platform, Put on OS 3 reveals indicators of the identical fragmentation that stymied earlier variations of the platform. The Put on OS 3 we’ll see on the Pixel Watch shall be completely different from the Put on OS Powered by Samsung on the Galaxy Watch 4. Each of these are completely different from the stripped-down Put on OS 3 on the Montblanc Summit 3 I’ve been testing this previous week. Whereas the Pixel Watch and Galaxy Watch 4 are Android-only, the Summit 3 helps iOS. Plus, each the Galaxy Watch 4 and Montblanc Summit 3 require a separate companion app to regulate the smartwatches. All three watches will run on completely different chips, sensors, and well being options. Theoretically, these variations shouldn’t matter, however historical past tells us they doubtless will in the case of ecosystem-based experiences.

Google’s ambient computing imaginative and prescient includes its gadgets working seamlessly collectively.
Picture: Google

Fragmentation isn’t essentially a foul factor, however it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it affords extra selection, and selection is the spice of life. Carried out effectively, Google’s ecosystem may have robust third-party help. Utilized to interactive at-home exercises, it might be an enormous potential energy for Put on OS going ahead. If Peloton or Obé, for example, have been to have a Google TV app that seamlessly labored with Put on OS or Fitbit gadgets, that might be extremely cool. Google wouldn’t even must shell out to provide health content material in-house as Apple does.

However, it means Google has to work intently with third-party companions to make sure all of us have a great time. The Put on OS ecosystem has a number of shifting components, every of which must work pretty effectively to maintain the entire thing going. One weak hyperlink can carry every part to a grinding halt. Working example, Put on OS’s troubles weren’t completely Google’s fault. Qualcomm didn’t have a wearable chip highly effective sufficient for the platform to play on the identical subject as its rivals. (Although, that will quickly change.) Outdated {hardware} fueled software program stagnation, which led to lackluster smartwatches. It’s a vicious cycle that Google is just now beginning to break.

Put on OS 3 — and Google’s ambient computing imaginative and prescient — continues to be in its awkward transition section. We don’t know Put on OS 3’s remaining form, and there will be extra rising pains forward. Proper now, the Pixel Watch isn’t out but and neither is Qualcomm’s new wearable chip. Fossil has but to drop its first Put on OS 3 flagship lineup, and Fitbit has promised a premium Put on OS smartwatch someday sooner or later. That stated, it’s immensely encouraging to see that Google is considering huge and has plans for the platform past the Pixel Watch. Hopefully the gamble pays off.

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