The Google Pixel Watch is already looking like a pretty impressive smartwatch but it faces an uphill battle. So far, even though there have been some very impressive Android-powered smartwatches such as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and TAG Heuer Connected E4, none have managed to win over the hearts and wallets of consumers quite like the Apple Watch.
So, if Google hopes to achieve a similar level of success, then there are some things it can learn from the Apple Watch. Luckily, it looks like Google might have already copied some of Apple's homework, as leaks suggest it could offer similar options when it comes to straps. Here are three more Apple Watch features I think Google needs to borrow:
1. Super advanced health and fitness features
Before the Apple Watch gained its advanced health and fitness tracking capabilities, people really questioned the need for a device that essentially did the same thing as your smartphone but on a smaller screen.
Now the Apple Watch Series 7 is capable of generating an ECG similar to an electrocardiogram and features an advanced sensor and app to measure your blood oxygen levels. It'll use the heart rate sensor to detect unusually high or low heart rates and irregular heart rhythms (known as arrhythmias) that could be signs of a serious condition.
It can also track your sleep, helping you to create a schedule and bedtime routine, as well as letting you easily track your menstrual cycle, protect your hearing from loud sounds and get reminders to wash your hands.
If that wasn't enough the Apple Watch can also detect if you’ve taken a hard fall and connect you with emergency services if you’re immobile.
It'll do all of that even if you aren't interested in working out – if you are – then it's capable of tracking a multitude of different workouts.
Basically, the Apple Watch feels almost like an essential purchase – one that might save your life one day.
If the Pixel Watch wants a similar level of success, then it needs to position itself in a similar way and it could use Fitbit's tech and name recognition to gain traction in this area.
2. Premium build
When Google first teased the Pixel Watch at I/O, I wrote an article called 'Google's Pixel Watch looks great, but it'll need to nail the hardware to rival the Apple Watch'. I praised the design, which looks very much like a circular Apple Watch, but stated that it also needs to feel like a premium, luxury item in order to truly rival Apple's wearable. That's still true – whereas other smartwatches feel like a piece of technology, the Apple Watch feels like a traditional wristwatch that's much more expensive than it actually is.
One thing that has given me hope in recent weeks is the news that Google is using the same factory as the Apple Watch, which, in theory, means you can expect it to have plenty of experience with this compact form factor. That, I sincerely hope, means the Pixel Watch will have similar levels of build quality to the Apple Watch. Only time will tell…
3. Solid selection of pre-installed watch faces
The Apple Watch only offers a limited selection of watch faces, but once you start customising them you quickly realise there are almost limitless design options. Whether you like your watch face minimal or full of information, you can customise it to be exactly how you want it, but, crucially, Apple makes it very difficult to make an ugly watch face.
The options that I've seen pre-installed on Wear OS watches pale in comparison – quite simply – they are so ugly compared to Apple's. That's before you start downloading third-party watch faces, which are usually even worse and look completely out of place on the device.
Google needs a really solid selection of pre-installed watch faces – and it needs to continue to add new ones each year to stay fashionable and fresh.