Pixel Watch at Google I/O 2023? What to expect

Google Event
(Image credit: Google via YouTube)

With a large slate of new devices expected to take the stage at Google I/O 2023, there’s one of the company’s product categories that we haven’t heard many rumors about: Pixel Watch.

While the Pixel Watch 2 was recently tipped to launch alongside the Pixel 8 phones in the fall, you might be wondering if Google will use its annual developer’s conference keynote to make any smartwatch-related announcements.

Of course, if you know how to watch Google I/O, you can find out for yourself in real-time. But if you’re feeling curious ahead of the May 10 event, we can make some educated guesses based on previous I/O keynotes and what we know about Google’s smartwatch efforts.

Instead of a follow-up to the first-generation Pixel Watch, which was released in October 2022, Google could be planning to share some Pixel Watch-adjacent news during this year’s I/O. More specifically, we could see updates about Wear OS, the software powering the Pixel Watch experience.

Google initially revealed the software called Wear OS 3 at I/O 2021, confirming a future of more in-house smartwatches as well as a partnership with Samsung for Galaxy Watch devices. Wear OS 3 first shipped on the Galaxy Watch 4, and has since continued for the Galaxy Watch 5 and some other smartwatches for Android.

Of course, that includes the Pixel Watch. While the Pixel Watch has received post-launch updates to support fall detection and sleep profiles via Fitbit, we haven’t yet seen how Google intends to deliver larger software refreshes for its wearable customers. 

For mobile users, the Android OS is updated annually with new features and functionality. At I/O 2023, we’ll get a full look at Android 14. It makes sense to us that Google would also show off the latest Wear OS version. Apple refreshes watchOS every year, after all. Wear OS and watchOS have emerged as the two most relevant smartwatch platforms on the market, establishing a rivalry that mirrors the one between Android and iOS for smartphones.

Pixel Watch 2 tease?

At last year's I/O, we got our first official look at the Pixel Watch. So, besides Wear OS news, Google could tease some smartwatch hardware for the fall.

Google isn't shy about sharing images of upcoming devices. That's why we wouldn't be shocked if the Pixel Watch 2 appeared — even if just for a few seconds — during the keynote.

The only way to find out is to follow along during Google I/O 2023 on May 10.

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Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.