Google has entered the wearables arena with a platform that actually makes sense for wearable products. The company on Tuesday announced the launch of Android Wear, a version of Android, which is made from ground-up for wearable devices. Google is starting with smartwatches but will make this platform ready for other wearable products as well.
From what we can see in the demo video shared by Google, the whole experience is designed around Google Now, as was rumoured earlier. The integration of Google Now makes sense in a watch as after all you just need your smartwatch to provide you with small chunks of information as you need them. There is no screen real-estate to waste on watches and Google Now fits perfectly in that.
Google is also introducing a developer preview of its Wear SDK, which will allow developers to tailor their app notifications for smartwatches. This is right, Google doesn’t seem to be focusing on making developers build full-fledged apps for wearables but only want them to get their notifications properly on them and as the Android Wear supports rich-notifications, a lot can be done.
According to Google, it is already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers like Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm as well as fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring smartwatches powered by Android Wear later this year.
Here is a look at some of the features of Android Wear
- Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them
- Receive the latest posts and updates from your favourite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.
- Straight answers to spoken questions. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.
- Better monitor your health and fitness. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.
- Access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV