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Google watch: release date, news and rumors

Google Glass watch patent
Hey, a round-face design isn't a totally bonkers idea, right?

Fresh from creating Google Glass, Google is now turning its attention to our wrists with the launch of Android Wear, its custom OS designed for wearables.

But while watches from Microsoft and HTC may also be forthcoming - and with the Apple iWatch ever-looming - a question still remains over Google's wearable hardware strategy.

Alongside the Android Wear announcement came the reveal of two smartwatches that will be showcasing the OS - the LG G Watch and the Moto 360 - but there was no explicit mention of a "Google Watch" or "Google Gem" (as one rumour had named it).

At this point, it seems unlikely that we'll get a straight-up Google Watch; right now the LG G Watch feels like it could be the the rumoured Google smartwatch, considering the obvious parallels with the LG-built Nexus 5.

But that said, there's still a slight chance we'll see Google roll out a more home-grown watch. If so, here are a few things we may already know about it...

Google watch release date

Android Police's Artem Russakovskii spoke about Google's watch in a Google+ post last year, telling us that the release date was set for October 31 2013. Of course, that turned out to be far too optimistic.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Google was "in talks" with various Asian suppliers about an Android smartwatch that could enter mass production "within months" of the story.

Considering the date, that could well have been the Moto 360 or the LG G Watch. But possibly (possibly) it could be for a separate Google smartwatch that is yet to rear its head.

Google watch design

So why are we still clinging onto hope? A filing with the US Patent Office from early May 2013 showed a filing by Google for a "smart-watch with user interface features".

The watch displayed in the illustration has two touch pads on either side of the display face. The patent says that you'll be able to use these to "pinch, stretch and scroll on a platform with limited space available for user input." This could well mean that the watch will interact with Google Glass, too.

What we do know after the Android Wear announcement is that any Google watch will rely heavily on Google Now as it aims to be more of a useful personal assistant for the wrist than just an extension of the smartphone.

Google watch features

Sources previously claimed that Google Now will lie at the heart of Google's smartwatch. And after the Android Wear reveal, we now know that's very much the case.

Message notifications, weather forecast updates and voice control all lie at the heart of Google's wearable OS - you can check out the full roster of features on our Android Wear page.

Other rumours have claimed that Google is hard at work to solve the ongoing problem of the smartwatch battery. Apparently it's looking at methods to reduce the power consumption so we won't be taking it off our wrists to charge quite as often. Right now the LG G Watch only lasts about a day with a full charge, so the sooner the better, please Google.

Google watch to be Motorola-built?

We'd also heard that the Google watch could be manufactured by Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility, but with Motorola now the property of Lenovo, and the fact that Motorola had also now shown off the Moto 360, we can probably dismiss those rumours.

We've speculated that Google's watch will take some design cues from the Motoactiv, but an even more likely source of inspiration is the Wimm One, an Android-powered smartwatch that offers both color and greyscale modes.

Despite the watch not hitting big time when it launched, Google purchased the smartwatch company last year - the biggest hint yet that Google might have some internal hardware plans of its own.


Could Google's watch take any inspiration from the Motoactiv?

Google watch name

As for the name of a Google watch, many are predicting that it could use the same name as Google's other wearable project, arriving as the Google Glass Watch. However this seems unlikely to us.

Android Police's Artem Russakovskii wrote on Google+ that the watch existed under the name of "Google Gem". We're warming to that name, but we can't help but think that this might just have been the LG G Watch under a different moniker.

Rumors also continue to abound that Google will launch its own retail stores, although it will take some time to rival the all-conquering Apple Stores, of course.

The stores would enable consumers to get face-on with Google Glass as well as Android phones and, potentially, Google's lineup of watches too.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore and more.