The Pixel Watch is set to debut later this year and could be paired with a dedicated app. References to a Google Pixel Watch App were found by 9to5Google in a recent APK teardown, and while this doesn’t necessarily confirm the app, there’s a possibility that such an app is in the works. If this is true, the standard Wear OS app could be replaced by a new Pixel Watch app for the upcoming smartwatch.
The app was referenced inside the latest beta update of Google Play Services. The report mentions a change expected to the Smart Lock features on Google devices, which will enable WearOS 3-powered smartwatches to unlock devices such as smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks. The feature was initially teased in January and may now be ready for release. It could have a similar implementation to Apple’s “unlock iPhone with Apple Watch” feature.
The beta app mentioned the Google Pixel Watch App which is required to be paired with the Pixel Watch in order to make use of the Smart Unlock feature. The information provided says, “To set up your watch for Smart Unlock, connect it to your phone with the Google Pixel Watch app. Your watch and phone must be connected to use Smart Unlock.”
Since it appears Google may be working on a dedicated app for the Pixel Watch, what happens to the existing WearOS app that is used to connect Wear OS-powered smartwatches to your phone? It’s possible the app will continue and be used for smartwatches that do not or cannot run WearOS 3. The situation around WearOS 3 is complicated, with only a select few models set to receive the update. When the update arrives, the smartwatches will be reset during the process, which may be due to requiring a new app.
This approach is similar to Samsung’s, where the WearOS 3-powered Galaxy Watch 4 requires its own Galaxy Wearable App. Google still has plenty of time to figure it all out, with the Pixel Watch currently not having a final release date. You can learn more about the Pixel Watch here, and also about the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro here, which are expected to launch around the same time.