Since the conclusion of Google I/O 2022, I’ve had a lot of thoughts to share regarding what’s to come from Google’s campuses. But one thing you should know is that I mainly use iPhone and Apple Watch on a daily basis. I’m one of those people who really believe in the Apple ecosystem, and it actually makes my job easier.
Being able to hand things off between my Mac and my iPhone or iPad is great, while the Apple Watch remains my favorite smartwatch — at least for now. As I explained before, there is a big reason why the Pixel Tablet was my favorite ad during the Google I/O 2022 keyword.
It looks like Google is finally working on its “Better Together” plans. And if the plan works, I may end up moving my Apple devices to Backup Equipment.
I’m not going to rehash everything I’ve already touched upon, but it looks like Google is taking the right steps in trying to create the cohesive Android ecosystem we’ve been craving. The Pixel 6a fulfills the need for an excellent budget phone, and as long as the Tensor 2 is as good as the original phone, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will satisfy the mid-range and budget markets.
Android 13 Beta 2 brings some long-awaited changes to the interface of apps on tablets, and we hope to see this make waves throughout the developer community. And despite the fact that the Pixel Tablet won’t be available until next year, we can still enjoy those changes this fall with some of the best Android tablets.
Then there’s the Pixel Watch, which is really where I feel like my continued use of Apple products may stop. Everything that Google showed on stage at I/O 2022 reaffirmed my desire for a Google-made smartwatch. Even after reports surfaced that he would playfully use an old processor, I still held out hope.
Everything depends on the clock
For me, the limiting factor is whether I leave my Apple walled garden behind a hinge on my Pixel Watch. I don’t expect Google to break the mold completely, but from what we’ve seen from the promotional videos and various images, that’s what Google is trying to do.
From a design perspective, the Pixel Watch looks like it would be a masterpiece. It perfectly blends aluminum and glass, without looking too big and bulky once you put it on your wrist. I’m not a huge fan of first-party watch straps, but it’s still a unique experience and I’m sure adapters will arrive to allow us to use whatever other bands we want. In addition, Google will likely offer a plethora of interesting watch strap colors to choose from.
Moving on to the health and fitness features, I think I’m very excited about Google’s new Health Connect APIs. This was created in partnership with Samsung to make it easier than ever to access your health data, no matter what app or service you’re using. For years trying to sync Fitbit data with Google Fit has been a hassle, and this is just one example. There are workarounds, but they can be quite cumbersome and I prefer to have an app that “just works”. And Health Connect can be just the ticket.
This is very important due to the deep integration of the Fitbit app that appears to be built into this “unique” version of Wear OS. There was also a complication for Fitbit shown, so it would make sense for Google to create a tool to sync your data across different services. Recently, Google started making it possible to link Fitbit and Google Fit data to the Assistant in order to show you activity metrics on the Nest Hub. It may seem like a small step, but it is much more important than you think.
I want to believe
For one reason or another, I prefer to use one hardware ecosystem at a time. iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and MacBook Pro work seamlessly together. The same can be said for the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, the beloved Galaxy Z Fold 3, the Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, and your Windows PC.
But I still find myself wanting to use the Pixel 6 Pro more and more. And while I have a Fitbit Sense paired with it, along with my best Chromebooks, that only solves part of the puzzle. While the Sense is a great smartwatch, it seems out of place. The Phone Hub works great on my Chromebook and is getting better, but it doesn’t offer quite the same functionality as using the Your Phone app with the Z Fold 3.
I want to believe that Google has finally reached the point where it coordinates all of its focus and efforts to provide a cohesive and seamless ecosystem. All the pieces seem to be in place, and as long as the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch live up to that promise, this could be the first time in a long time that I’ve taken my SIM card out of the iPhone 13 Pro Max and started using Android all the time.
There are a lot of “ifs” and “maybes” here, so I’ll throw another “but” into the equation. Everything Google shows and tells us looks good on paper, but if the implementation doesn’t match, we’re back to square one. This will most likely not be useful for the Pixel hardware system.