android police nexus watch 1Image: Android Police

Photo leak: The Google smartwatch that will probably never be

As Motorola packs up its boxes and prepares to leave Google for the warm embrace of Lenovo, it may very well leave behind one of the world’s most anticipated wearables: the famed (but unsubstantiated) Google smartwatch. On Wednesday Android Police posted images of what it says is an early prototype of Google’s watch—Moto branded, and outfitted with buttons for what appear to be voice search and fitness modes.

The Android Police report comes just a few days after CNET reported that LG has been lined up to make Google’s upcoming—but still very unsubstantiated—smartwatch. It’s such an intriguing prospect, so I took the liberty of writing LG’s product launch press release.

android police nexus watch 2 Image: Android Police

As for the alleged Motorola-designed Google Watch (allegedly code-named Gem), which Android Police learned about from an unnamed source, we’ll never really know its fate. Will some of its elements be integrated into whatever wearable Google is brewing, or will it be trash-canned entirely? Only Google knows. Today we can only gawk at the Android Police images, and consider what might have been.

The website’s anonymous source says that the Google Watch was part of Google’s Nexus program, which Google reserves for flagship devices with Google branding (think Nexus 5). Android Police doesn’t appear to have much more direct information on the prototype, but still did an admirable job of trying to divine intelligence from what appears in the photos that somehow came into its possession.

The website points out that the alleged Google Watch has a rubberized band, square display, and a rocker button bearing icons of a “running human figure” (suggesting fitness features) and possibly a microphone (suggesting Google Now voice search). Android Police also posted an image of a settings screen that includes a toggle for “3 Bit mode apps.”

It’s all so intriguing. And let’s not forget that on Tuesday Motorola revealed that it will be releasing a smartwatch of its own later this year. Nothing’s real until some executive steps on stage with a watch in his hand, but all mounting evidence points to wrist-worn wearables being an essential element of every hardware company’s line-up in 2014.

Please visit Android Police for its full report on the alleged Google Watch.

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