Android WearEditor: Phil Nickinson
Anything and everything about Android Wear, and the watches that go with it
Wearables are the next big frontier for smart technology. And on March 18, 2014, Google announced its part in it — Android Wear. As the name implies, Android Wear is an Android-based initiative, using Google's mobile operating system and a dedicated software development kit to kick-start the wearables space.
Android Wear brings Google into the small space, in a big way
Android Wear is starting with smartwatches. Motorola and LG were first out of the gate, announcing the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch. But Motorola for whatever reason didn't get its watch out the door until September. Meanwhile, Samsung swooped in at Google I/O with its fourth wearable in less than a year, the Gear Live. Google has said it's also working with other partners in the Android Wear space, including HTC and ASUS (which is expected to show its watch at IFA in Berlin in September, and chip manufacturers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm. So Android Wear isn't solely a Google endeavor. Even fashion brands like Fossil are in on Android Wear, and other fashion and luxury brands are bound to follow.
You can think of Android Wear as an extension of the experience we've grown to enjoy with Google Now. And just like with our smartphones, Android Wear will have us talking to our watches. You'll be able to speak to request information as well as reply to information you've already received. Weather info. Chats with friends and family. Direct queries. Direct actions.
And, of course, that's only the beginning.
Android Wear will also bring Google even further into the fitness market. It'll tie into existing fitness apps, giving you real-time information on speed and distance. Or remind you of your exercise goals. Running, walking, cycling — Android Wear will serve it all.
And with Android Wear you'll find yourself interacting with multiple products at once — screens, they're called by those in the biz. Android Wear will let your watch work with your phone. Or with Chromecast connected to a television. The sky's the limit for developers, really.
While Google is launching Android Wear with smartwatches, it's likely that we'll see it alongside more home-based interactive devices as well. Google has yet to announce anything new on that front, but one of its promo videos did show Android Wear interacting with a garage door opener.