Back at the Google IO 2022 developer conference in May, we heard that a premium Fitbit smartwatch running Wear OS is indeed on the way – and we just got a pretty big clue that this device is going to be launching sooner rather than later.
The team at XDA Developers has been digging into the latest Google Play Services app for Android, uncovering a mention of the upcoming wearable. If preparation work is being done inside Google's apps, that suggests the hardware is reasonably close to launching.
We've had no official word about when the Fitbit Wear OS smartwatch might see the light of day, but considering it was announced in May, a 2022 appearance looks likely. It could potentially show up alongside the Google Pixel 7 and the Google Pixel 7 Pro – those devices are expected to be getting a grand unveiling in September or October.
Pay and go
The code inside the Google Play Services app refers to Google Pay payments, suggesting that the smartwatch is going to come with an NFC chip and Google Pay support – so you'll be able to pay for purchases with a tap of the device around your wrist.
There are also a couple of illustrations included in the app, which suggest that the smartwatch is going to feature a square display with rounded edges. That means it may well look a lot like the Fitbit Sense and the Fitbit Versa 3 watches that are already on the market (without Wear OS).
We await further news from Google or Fitbit or both about the device – but with the Google Pixel Watch also due to get its full launch before the end of the year, it looks like it might be a crowded last few months of 2022 for Google and its wearables.
Analysis: a work in progress
It was all the way back in November 2019 that Google announced it was buying Fitbit, and yet we're still waiting to see the first proper fruits of that acquisition as we approach the third year anniversary of the deal being put in motion.
There has been a lot of legal red tape to get through in that time of course, but even so, Fitbit and Google seem in no rush to join their teams together to build something. Fitbit continues to push out its smartwatches and fitness trackers without any support for Wear OS or indeed Google Fit.
It does look as though the Wear OS-powered Pixel Watch is going to support tracking through the Fitbit app – as well as Google Fit we're presuming. There have also been rumors that a dedicated Pixel Watch app will launch alongside the device for managing watch faces and various settings.
Perhaps with the upcoming Fitbit Wear OS smartwatch will be the device that marks the real starting point of the Google and Fitbit union. As soon as anything becomes official, you will of course hear about it right here on TechRadar.