Android extending to wearables – meet Android Wear

March 18, 2014
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Google just announced Android Wear, a program that brings the power of Android to smartwatches and other wearable devices. Google will be working with consumer electronics makers and other companies to bring a lightweight and fast version of Android to wearables everywhere, and it all starts with smartwatches.

In a post on the official Android blog, Google names HTC, LG, Asus, Motorola and Samsung as some of the first official partners, as well as chip makers like Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm. Even traditional watch makers such as Fossil are joining the alliance, and the first fruit of their labor will become available later this year.

Google is releasing an SDK preview for Android Wear today.

Android Wear devices will be able to receive notifications from any Android app, and according to Google, using the SDK to adapt existing apps to work with Wear is trivial. Many apps should be compatible without any modifications. Google is promising more APIs and resources for developers in the near future.

Saying “OK Google” will let you tap into the power of Google Now, which, as expected, is a major part of the Wear experience. You’ll be able to ask questions like “what’s the capital of France?” and receive instant answers. Moreover, Google promises that voice commands will let you call taxis or make restaurant reservations, which is not something you can currently do with Google Now. More likely, this will be made possible through third-party apps on the smartphone, that users will be able to control from Wear devices. Google is giving as examples opening a playlist in a music app or Chromecasting a movie, but it’s being hinted that the possibilities are wide open.

LG is one of the companies that already announced an Android Wear device – the LG G Watch will become available in the next quarter. More about in a separate post.

Fitness is a big component of the budding wearables industry, and Google knows that. Android Wear will pack fitness features, and give you real time information on stuff like speed, distance, or calories you burnt.

More details coming soon, stay tuned.

 

Comments

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    At last! Now, we need a Nexus Watch!

  • The Doom Master

    Question : is it with Heart monitor ?
    anyway Google Take my Money LOL.

    • Luka Mlinar

      Why? Are you 80 years old?

      • The Doom Master

        Sport.. like Gear Fit

  • MasterMuffin

    No we can be 99% sure that the Nexus Watch is coming. That UI is the best smartwatch UI I’ve seen!

    • dandroid13

      But it’s just Google Now with G+/Hangouts. How can it be any useful outside the US?

      • MasterMuffin

        I bet there’s much more in it than just those two

        • dandroid13

          Sure, but devs must dig the idea, or else it’ll be another expensive accessory (without a camera).

      • iamtravis182

        It said in the video that they’re offering a preview SDK for developers, which means there will be plenty of 3rd party apps being developed.

    • Luka Mlinar

      Did you forget that they are phasing the Nexus devices.

      • MasterMuffin

        Rumor until proven guilty

  • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

    This makes all current smartwatches look like toys.

    • Shark Bait

      In software, totally. Lets hope moto actually pull off that hardware!

  • iamtravis182

    I love that circular design, its a major departure from a lot of the other designs we’ve seen from other manufacturers.

    Android and other OEMS have a golden opportunity to make a new product that sets the bar. A real game changer. So long as the OEMS don’t mess it up their own halfbaked skins and features.

  • iamtravis182

    Additionally, this the chance for Android to annihilate Apple in wearables. The key (as seen in these videos) is Google Now. Currently, Apple doesn’t have anything close to the data and functionality that Google Now offers.

    • dandroid13

      Google Now is very limited outside the US, for now this is a thing for Americans only, much like everything cool that Google does… :(

      • MasterMuffin

        But Google Now still has better processing of words and more language options, that’s something

        • dandroid13

          “Ok Google” doesn’t work with Portuguese.

          • MasterMuffin

            Not because it couldn’t understand it, but because Google. It still understands when you speak to it, you just need to press the Burton (because Google :d)

          • dandroid13

            LOL, you know what? I can wake up my phone with S Voice, and it understands Portuguese, Samsung does it better. :P

          • MasterMuffin

            I really don’t understand why Google doesn’t enable “ok Google” for languages that Google Now understands!

        • Ahmet C.

          Google does not always have the most/best options. When it comes to text to speech on Android, for example, Google’s engine has 7 unique language’s and 2 regional variants for English and Spanish. Samsung’s engine on the other hand has about a bajillion languages with regional variants. Plus, the voice quality of the Samsung’s text to speech engine is better.

  • http://geekinkuwait.blogspot.com/ Abhishek Kumar

    Awesome!! Cant wait to see watches using this platform. Look at Moto 360!!! http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/18/this-is-motorolas-new-android-wear-smartwatch-moto-360/

  • Emexci Life

    I never understand why people buy a smartwatch and I will never understand why people should need something like that.

    • RФMƩФ DEMIGФĎ

      THAT’S WHAT MAKES YOU , YOU AND OTHERS, OTHERS

  • missashi

    Very nice. I still won’t be be buying a watch, but it is still very nice.

  • RAK

    if its cheap , i might buy one

  • brendan soliwoda

    Since every major smartphone maker is on this list, why isn’t Sony? Kind of getting me worried. I would kill for a Sony Smartwatch running this.

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