Geek Pick: Fitbit Versa Lite Is the Ultimate Intro to SmartwatchesMartians Can Now Communicate With Amazon’s Alexa AI Assistant Stay on target Smartwatches haven’t exactly taken off the way their manufacturers would like. Google’s not about to throw in the towel on them yet, however.Despite sliding sales figures in the wearables market, Google’s still confident that they’re more than a fad. Jeff Chang, who is Google’s product manager for Android Wear, told The Verge that “this is a marathon, not a sprint,” adding “this category of product is here with us to stay.”Bringing more compelling products to market could help sway consumers. They’re getting ready to launch Android Wear 2.0. That’s expected to happen sometime during the first quarter of 2017, and they’ll be bringing two hot new flagship watches along to show it off.These won’t be Google smartwatches per se. Google has been heavily involved in the design process, but they’ll both be manufactured by an unnamed OEM partner. They’ll also bear that partner’s branding. It sounds sort of like these will be “Nexus watches,” just without any Nexus branding.What does Android Wear 2.0 bring that might convince consumers that smartwatches are a worthwhile purchase? Google’s devoted a lot of time and effort to enabling them to function as standalone devices. Android Wear 2.0 watches will be able to run Google Assistant and Android Pay without being tethered to a smartphone, for example.Once these two flagship watches hit retail shelves, others will follow. Chang says you’ll see a few more Android Wear 2.0 products announced at CES next month.You may also see an upgrade for the smartwatch you already own. There’s a fairly long list of watches slated to receive the 2.0 upgrade, including the snazzy Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2 and 3, LG’s Urbane, and the 2nd-gen Moto 360.