Google has today officially announced “Android Wear” – a platform that extends Android to wearable devices. In a post published on the official Google blog, the company says that its first focus for the new platform will be the most familiar type of wearable – the smartwatch.
Android Wear for smartwatches will feature a comprehensive range of apps which will allow you to access the most useful information when you most need it. That information includes updates from social networks, messaging services, news and much more. The platform also includes “Ok Google” capabilities, allowing you to issue spoken commands such as finding out how many calories are in a particular type of food, checking on flight times, sending text messages, requesting your favorite team’s score etc.
In addition, Android Wear has a fitness-aspect to it. When used in conjunction with your favorite fitness apps, real-time speed, distance, and time information is available to view from your wrist – along with fitness summaries and exercise reminders. Finally, the platform allows you to use your smartwatch as a controller for your smartphone and other devices, making it possible to play music or cast a movie to your TV.
Developers can download a preview version of Android Wear from today, which will enable them to start adjusting their existing apps to work with the new software.
Google says that it will be working with a number of consumer electronics manufacturers including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands such as Fossil Group.
Following Google’s announcement, both Motorola and LG have previewed smartwatches powered by the new platform. Motorola’s Moto 360 boasts a circular digital watchface that looks more like a fashion timepiece, while LG’s G Watch has a design more in common with the likes of the Pebble and the Samsung Gear.
Motorola Moto 360
LG G Watch
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