No multiple apps required to manage a smartwatch

It’s a regrettable truth that getting a smartwatch usually means requiring multiple apps to control one device. And it seems like the Pixel Watch won’t be an exception.

You’ll require at least the Google Pixel Watch, and Fitbit apps will get the most use out of the upcoming Pixel Watch.

As dotted by Android Police, you can already see the Pixel Watch as an available device in the Fitbit app’s menus. Choosing the Pixel Watch then encourages users to download the Google Pixel Watch app from the Play Store.

So as far as we presently know, you’ll require to download at least two apps even to employ the Pixel Watch as intended — regardless of your choice.

The Google Pixel Watch app will presumably be where you futz with settings, elite watch faces, and drive watch apps based on other smartwatches. Adding the Pixel Watch to the Fitbit app probably implies that’s where health and workout data will live.

Google’s working on a Milanese-style mesh band, two sorts of leather bands, a fabric band, a link bracelet, and a silicone band. It’s also purportedly operating on a stretchable alternative reminiscent of Apple’s Solo Loop. If it sounds like Google’s handling several pages out of Apple’s playbook, it is. We still don’t know most of the Pixel Watch’s specifications, but from what we understand, it’s clear that Google’s trying to accept the Apple Watch head-on. Offering matching strap options play into that strategy.

Samsung is another excellent example of how it can get annoying fast. Samsung’s Wear OS watches need you to have the Galaxy Wearable app and the Samsung Health app at the essential minimum. But to use the EKG feature, you must download a third, single-purpose app called Samsung Health Monitor. That number can quickly balloon if you use a Google service instead of Samsung’s defaults. And while it’s great that Android users now have more options in the matter, this piecemeal app process is unwieldy.

There is nothing to say about previous Wear OS 2 smartwatches. For the Fossil Gen 6, you needed the Wear OS app, the Cardiogram app, and the Google Fit app to obtain the bare-minimum notification and health functions. Even Garmin watches aren’t entirely immune to this. If you want to download extra watch faces or use Spotify on a Garmin, you need both the Garmin Connect and Garmin Connect IQ apps.

It’s not accomplishing that, though. Instead, as we saw in the sizzle reel at Google I/O, it’s opting for its proprietary straps. So either Google is quite confident in its designs, or we’re about to witness some ugly or uninspired smartwatch bands from the folks who obtained you the Pixel 6 cases.

You’d never require more than one companion app per gadget in a perfect world. Simpler fitness trackers still manage to stick to this model. You get that dividing health data and settings into their apps houses folks who don’t want anything more than simple text notifications. But if you want more than that bare minimum — as you suspect most smartwatch owners do — you’re left juggling multiple apps when you’d help from a single bird’s eye view.