Android Wear hasn’t been shown the love it deserves, and has therefore fallen behind the pack, with both Apple’s WatchOS and Samsung’s Tizen operating system on the Gear S2 and Gear S3 being more fun, versatile, and usable. Google’s doing something about it, and ahead of next year’s Android Wear 2.0 release, it has acquired Cronologics, a wearable technology company, to work with it on the platform.
Cronologics developed the operating system for the CoWatch, a crowd-funded smartwatch launched in 2016, which is similar in look and style to Android Wear, but includes alternative features and interesting uses for onscreen sub dials. It’s notable for integrating Amazon’s Alexa artificial intelligence system to control smart home appliances, place online orders, and add items onto a to-do list.
No financial terms of the deal between Cronologics and Google were revealed, but in a statement published on the company’s website, it’s said Cronologics will, “join Google to help grow the portfolio of watches powered by Android Wear.” It also mentions working on Android Wear 2.0, although specifics aren’t discussed. It’s unlikely Cronologics work will be highlighted individually in the future, after it’s absorbed into the Google team.
Interestingly, Cronologics is familiar with working at Google. Co-founders Leor Stern and Lan Roche have both worked for Google in the past. Stern headed up business development for Niantic Labs when it was part of Google, and occupied other similar roles for the company. Roche also worked in business development, most notably on the Android Wear partnership program.
While the acquisition is no doubt good news for Cronologics, it may not be for the CoWatch. The smartwatch can still be purchased online now, but Google may not allow continued use of the software, and even if it does, there aren’t likely to be many software updates in the future. We’ll update here with more information when we receive it.
Android Wear 2.0 is excepted in early 2017.