If you want to buy an Android Wear smartwatch, you won’t be able to find one in the Google Play Store anymore. Google has removed all Android Wear smartwatches from the Play Store. According to Google’s Android Wear expert Hoi Lam, the decision is the result of a simple policy change and not a sign that Google plans to abandon the platform.
According to Lam, Google decided to only sell products made by Google in the Play Store. Because Google doesn’t currently make its own smartwatch, that means you won’t find any devices using the software in the Play Store. You can, of course, go elsewhere to pick up a device powered by Android Wear, and more devices are expected to be released with the platform, but until Google makes their own smartwatch, you won’t find any in the Play Store.
If you believe Lam, Google continues to sell Android Wear products to “more people all over the world than ever before,” so you can bet the company is going to continue to update and support the software. Of course, the apps for Android Wear are still alive and well on the Play Store, so you can still find your favorite app for your smartwatch powered by Google’s smartwatch operating system.
While it’s good news that the apps are still available and why they removed the watches does make sense, it still signals that Google isn’t too concerned about the platform. Just look at their launch event. The company announced new smartphones and a laptop alongside other products, but made no mention of smarwatches or Android Wear. Android Wear wasn’t even a topic for the Google I/O developers conference, either. Does this mean they don’t really care about the platform? Or do we just need to wait for Google to finally get around to building their own smartwatch?
So far, they have never made their own smartwatch. The Moto 360, LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style may be the closest they have ever come as they worked closely with the companies to build and customize these watches. But I have to admit, it would be nice if the company would release a Pixel smartwatch designed specifically for their Pixel line of smartphones. But for now, that is just a dream. Sure, the other watches are good, but you have to believe that Google could do better if they just wanted to try.
It seems Google is content to leave smartwatch design in the hands of other companies, at least for now. By removing the products from the Play Store, it signals that the company really doesn’t have an interest in the platform, even if they keep a team working hard on the platform. Let’s hope this changes in the future.
What do you think about this news? Are you sad to see the Android Wear products go or do you wish they had left them in the store? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below. Do you want to see Google build their very own smartwatch?