If you like the world of wearables, you've probably already heard of Wear OS, but unfortunately, the operating system designed by Google for smartwatches and other wearables still struggles to convince. And for good reason. It lacks some features, including a flagship watch, to allow it to really shine. The Pixel Watch could be Google's answer to this problem. While waiting for an official word on the hardware, here are five things that we would like to find on this connected watch.
1. Better battery life
Let's not hide it from ourselves. The battery of smartwatches running Wear OS has never been their strong point. Qualcomm's new processor, the Snapdragon Wear 3100, was meant to change the situation, but the reality is unfortunately a little different. The watches connected to the Google ecosystem simply offer us a day of endurance, which is a very poor performance compared to what the competition can offer today. Certainly, it is always possible to improve this via a particularly aggressive energy saving mode but it deprives all (or almost all) of the features that make a smartwatch interesting.
This new Pixel Watch, thanks to perfect optimization between software and hardware, could finally allow you to gain a few hours, even a few days, more autonomy. Without reaching the endurance of a fitness tracker, the Pixel Watch could offer more flexibility in the field and you could avoid having to charge your watch every night.
2. A much smoother OS
Like it or not, Wear OS is not the most fluid smartwatch operating system available either. The platform may become more and more mature since the update to Android Wear 2.0 and its transition to the current name of Wear OS in early 2018, but sometimes you have to be patient. Opening apps or accessing settings can be a rather painful experience.
If waiting times are not necessarily catastrophic, it is regrettable to experience this with a smartwatch that sometimes costs more than $300, so the Pixel Watch is the perfect opportunity for Google to show that its OS is capable of competing with the competition, and to finally offer a premium experience for a smartwatch user on Android. So, engineers, you're going to have to optimize your software! Do not hesitate to ask Samsung or Apple for help.
3. A new version of Google Fit
Many people use their smartphones to track their activities. Under Wear OS, it is Google Fit that keeps a close eye on the number of steps you take every day (among other things) and gives you an overview of your personal fitness goals. The only concern is that the app is once again struggling to reach the level of its competition.
After a major update in August and another at the end of the year, it's time for Google to offer a completely new application for the release of the Pixel Watch. Or failing that, you should be able to install the third-party app of your choice to replace Google Fit.
4. An ECG feature
The integrated electrocardiogram feature was the star of Apple's keynote in September when the Cupertino firm introduced the latest version of its smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 4. Other manufacturers have followed the trend. This is the case, for example, of Withings and its Move ECG presented in Las Vegas last January. Google would, therefore, have everything to gain by offering the same functionality on its Pixel Watch. Especially since constant monitoring of cardiac activity can be useful.
Without replacing a doctor, it alerts people suffering from atrial fibrillation. Not long ago, the German doctor Deneke reminded us that there is a large part of the population that suffers from this disease without knowing it: "Among the those over 80, the proportion is as high as ten percent. That's what makes atrial fibrillation a real people's disease. And there is a very high number of unreported cases because there are many asymptomatic patients or patients who have not yet been diagnosed despite symptoms."
5. A proper wow factor
The smartwatch has achieved its mission, that of bringing the idea of wearing a watch on your wrist back up to date. The appearance of the smartphone has had the opposite effect on watch wearing for many people, and the connected watch now lacks a wow factor to really seduce people. The Pixel Watch will, therefore, have to offer a particular feature that will allow it to stand out and turn the heads of new users. The arrival of 5G could help Google find this special something, by having direct communication with lots of other connected devices.
Do you think you will be interested in the Pixel Watch? What feature would you like to see most? Share your ideas with us in the comments.