Smartwatches wear out their welcome with Motorola

The company won’t be making time for Android Wear 2.0.

Android Wear has had a rough year. What started with a promising announcement of Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O has ended with a delayed launch, an utter lack of new models and now, a disillusioned manufacturer. In an interview with the Verge, Shakil Barkat, Motorola’s head of global product development, said in no uncertain terms that the company has soured on smartwatches and doesn’t “see enough pull in the market” to release a new model anytime soon.

It wasn’t too long ago when the Moto 360 was one of the hottest smartphones on the market. An early adopter of Google’s platform, it was Android’s foil to the Apple Watch: a sleek, affordable bracelet with an classic circular display and traditional charm. But with disappointing battery life and poor performance, the Moto 360 became lost in a sea of similar gadgets. A second generation of the watch was released late last year and brought some much-needed improvements, and it was assumed the third generation would arrive at or around the time Google released Android Wear 2.0 to the public.

Now that’s not happening. As Barkat told the Verge, “Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year,” a harsh indictment for sure, but one that still keeps the door open for future products. That leaves LG and Huawei to carry the flag for Android Wear and puts a little more pressure on the platform to stay relevant in the face of stiff competition from Apple, Samsung and, reportedly, Fitbit.

The impact on you at home: Just a year ago it seemed like smartwatches were the next big thing, a young platform with loads of potential. Now, who knows? With VR taking over, the smartwatch’s 15 minutes may be up, as people wrestle with their reasons for buying one and it struggles to find mainstream appeal. And unless Google releases the rumored Pixel Watch next year, Android Wear might be on its last legs, too. Android Wear 2.0 needs to land with a big splash and must-have hardware that makes it feel like a true next generation smartwatch, and not merely an incremental improvement.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MotorolaAndroid Wear

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Simon

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?