A couple of weeks ago we reported that Google would be releasing a preview to their smart watch and today Google has officially announced Android Wear. Android Wear is Google’s approach to the Smart Wearable market. The focus of Wear as of now is focused on the smart watch platform but who knows where else this could go (*cough* Glass).
Android Wear: Information that moves with you
Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches. Going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an expansive catalogue of apps will give you:
- Useful information when you need it most. Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite 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, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.
- The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.
- Your key to a multiscreen world. Android Wear lets you 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. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build.
With Android Wear it looks like Google has taken KitKat (or maybe a future release of Android?) and transformed it into a size that would work for a smaller rectangular or round screen. What it also looks likes the user interface gets a lot of design queues from Google Now. This feature is a major win in my mind because it is everything I have always thought should be in a smart watch. While it is nice that devices like the Samsung Gear 2 and other watches are more fitness centered, I do not believe that health related features should be the main focus of a watch. With Android Wear, you get all of your notifications and functionality of your phone while also keeping it in a small form factor.
If you are a developer you should look into signing up for the preview. With this you get early access to develop on the platform via an emulator. You can sign up for it here.