Google announced Android Wear this morning. What is it? Android Wear is an operating system designed specifically for wearable tech like the smartwatch. Developers will be able to create apps for Android Wear using this new OS.
The operating system was created to bring a new level of functionality to devices like the many smartwatches that various manufacturers are now creating. Here’s a closer look at the smartwatch, Android Wear, and what Google’s role in the new smartwatch craze will be.
The Point of Android Wear
Google released a video on the company blog today that showcased a few different smartwatch models. The video also included the various apps that could be developed for an Android watch. Google wants people to wear smartwatches that move with the user. For example: a smartwatch owner could hail a cab, use voice to text to send a text message, and use that same watch to check into an airline flight.
You’d still have to check your email using your phone (and sites like Facebook or browser-related stuff), but anything that’s on the go or instant could be accessed quickly with Android Wear apps. You’ll also be able to get Google Maps just by looking at your wrist – that’s a heck of a lot more useful than whipping out your smartphone, right?
The new Android Wear interface looks really great. Plus, LG and Motorola have already developed smartwatches that will include Android Wear. When all is said and done, Google is making giant leaps forward to corner the smartwatch market. Why?
The Smartwatch: It’s a Thing
When the idea of the smartwatch first started to circulate, it wasn’t well received. Then, something happened. Major companies like Apple started to invest big dollars in smartwatch research and development. Rumors of an Apple smartwatch began to circulate just a few weeks ago. Google wants to get to smartwatch consumers before Apple even has a chance to launch. You might say it’s the same old Google versus Apple battle, but this time it’s the smartwatch (not the smartphone) at the center of it all.
The only thing is, the idea of wearing a giant watch that’s the equivalent of an old-school calculator watch isn’t exactly appealing. Google understands this concern. That’s why the company has teamed up with watchmakers like Fossil to bring better-looking smartwatches to the marketplace.
Right now, you’ll see companies like LG taking a stab at the Android Wear interface by creating smartwatches that look geeky (sorry, they do). In just a few months, though, you’ll be able to snag a designer watch that runs Android Now.
Android Now watches will also connect with Android smartphones. What about Apple’s watch? Apple likes to keep things under wraps, but you can expect the Apple smartwatch to hit the market sooner rather than later. Google is expected to say more about the new OS in June at the company’s annual conference.
It will be interesting to see the designs of these watches, prices, and what Apple is cooking up (maybe a contract with Tissot or Tag Huer is in the works?).