It took Google a shade beyond a year to complete the acquisition of fitness products company Fitbit, having first announced it in late 2019. However, within a week of closing out the paperwork, Google has sought user response to its smartwatch platform Wear OS, suggesting a clear shift towards the wearables market.
The company, which now owns two smartwatch platforms, shared a survey asking its users to share their feedback around Wear OS. However, the survey appeared to be rather a cryptic one which only asking for satisfaction levels. This could hardly be a coincidence and going forward, we can at least expect is another round of surveys.
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A report published on 9to5Google said earlier today, the Android companion client sent out a notification asking users to “Help us improve Wear OS by Google”. Upon clicking the link, it asked a further question, “Overall, how satisfied are you with your smartwatch?” And there were five options to choose from via a Google Form.
We do believe that the timing wasn’t a coincidence though last February, Google had done a similar survey around the health features that users are most interested in. Given that the company has two smartwatch platforms to play with, it is but natural that Google wants additional clarity on user satisfaction levels.
Whether this survey would provide them anything more than an indication is quite doubtful. However, it would be enough for Google to decide whether they want yet another survey on features and improvements or just consider shutting one of the two platforms down.
Of course, readers would recall that Google and smartwatch makers are in parallel rolling out H-MR2 updates that provides extra intuition to controls as well as some speed enhancements.
The Fitbit deal and the challenges
Google had announced the $2 billion deal with Fitbit late in 2019 but had to wait till it received approvals from several regulatory authorities, the last of which was from the EU regulators last month. The news was confirmed last week via a blog post on The Keyword by Google’s SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh.
Osterloh tried to make the point that through the scrutiny process, Google was clear that it was going after the device and not the data of Fitbit users. In fact, regulators were concerned about holding health data of millions of users and Google had to make a solemn promise of not delivering targeted ads using this data.
In addition, the company had to also commit to keeping alive the Android APIs that allow other fitness trackers and smartwatches to be easily connected to ensure that third-party platforms and hardware makers continued to use Google’s smartwatch platform.
Now, the question before Google is which of the two would eventually end up being the platform of choice for Google or would it continue to use Fitbit’s proprietary one for itself while giving off the Wear OS to other hardware makers?