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Google unveils Android Wear: Android for wearables

Android Wear

Earlier this morning, Google finally announced its plans for wearable devices running Android – and it’s called Android Wear.

Android Wear is an open source Android-powered platform that will allow developers to easily bring their existing applications to the wearable space, taking advantage of Google services like Google Now and voice search. While Android Wear will eventually branch out to include all types of wearables, Google is starting with watches.

Right now, there’s a preview SDK available for developers who want to get on board right away, which is important since Google says that consumer products are on the way in 2014 (Google I/O in June seems like a great time to announce some actual hardware). Google is encouraging developers to design for both square and round screens, although you do have to sign up to gain access to the SDK – it’s not quite publicly available just yet.

According to Google’s concept videos, Android Wear will include intuitive swipe gestures, with a focus on voice interaction. Android Wear will also take notifications from a paired device, and will be able to control things like music playback. G

You can see from the video how focused Google’s wearables will be on the Google Now experience and intuitive swipe gestures. There’s no keyboard to be found – it’s all voice interaction in the video. Of course, Android Wear grabs your notifications from a paired device and can be used to control things like music playback.

So far, Google says it is working with ASUS, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Fossil, which means we probably won’t just get functional watches soon, but stylish ones, too. You’ll definitely want to check out Google’s videos below.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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10 thoughts on “Google unveils Android Wear: Android for wearables

  • Avatar of Aaron Orquia

    This is great. I definitely want the Moto 360.

    • Me too… my first reaction after seeing that was: “This is going to be an expensive year.”

  • Avatar of Simon Belmont

    I’m pretty excited about this. I’ve been waiting for a long time for Google’s take on the smartwatch and this looks just about perfect (and actually useful compared to others).

    The Moto360 looks really cool, but I’m guessing the LG G Watch might be Google’s own entry into the smartwatch arena and I expect the price to be really good. Also, I feel a square watch will make better use of screen space than a circular one, but yeah, that Moto360 is beautiful.

  • Avatar of Tray Rolin

    As a serious watch fan, the Moto 360 does peek my interest. It is a beautiful piece of work and I love the round face. That said I agree with Simon when he says a square face is more practical. When it comes to reading anything the circular screen might be a little awkward to read on, especially if your reading something long like an email. So I will be looking at the LG G more.

  • Avatar of bk w/bloody sauce

    I have to admit, I’ve always thought that “smart watches” were a dumb idea, but I..really like this idea.

  • And all of a sudden the galaxy gear watch running risen is no longer interesting

  • Definitely going to be on my shopping list this year….at least, pending details on things like battery life and how useful it will be as a watch. I’d like to see if any of these developers have a way to keep the time displayed when “idle” so that you can simply glance down and see the time, without having to take the watch out of sleep mode. Obviously this would be a drain on the battery, hence the desire to see both it and battery life expectations.

    If the hardware developers have figured out a way to get the benefits of an e-ink display for long battery life on a static or near-static display, as well as a full color image on an active display, then sign me up :)

    • Avatar of Simon Belmont

      Qualcomm is a hardware partner for Android Wear. I’m sure we’ll see a Mirasol equipped watch from them.

      That said, I won’t mind too much if I have to flick my wrist or something to get the screen to come on. Man, these bright little watch screens are going to be the bane of movie goers (maybe Google will make them location aware and dim the screen in movie theaters, or you know, give them light sensors).


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