Ready, set, go… Google announces Android Wear, a new flavor of its operating system modified specifically for wearable hardware. In this case for smartwatches.
At the Google Official Blog, the company shared the first piece of information about Android Wear, an operating system that will allow smartwatches to bring key features to wrist. The first one, of course, is fitness; according to Google the software will be able to track in real-time, speed, distance, and time, when running, cycling or walking. Maps is a big part of the equation to deliver such information (including directions), so integration of Google Maps will be there.
In such small screen voice commands will be key, as such Google Now will be included in these new watches allowing you to send texts, call a cab or friend, make a reservation in your favorite restaurant, or the simplest task of them all: “OK Google — Define…”. The smartwatch will also pair with your Android phone so that you’ll be able to receive notifications from any app, such as social updates, important alerts, chat messages, and much more.
The company is also testing Android Wear to work in multiple screens. Similar to how Microsoft SmartGlass works with your Xbox 360 or Xbox One, you’ll be able to send and play a video to a Chromecast device or play a song from your Android phone.
This is not a concept, it’s real, and Google has already made available the first developer preview of Android Wear that enables programmers to start working on apps and features for wearable devices. The first smartwatch with Google’s operating system is expected to be released later this year. Companies already working with Android Wear includes Samsung, Motorola, HTC, ASUS, LG, and watch maker “Fossil”. The hardware components for these new smartwatches will be broadly supply from Intel, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Imagination, and Mediatek, among many others.
LG will launch G Watch later this year and it will be a smartwatch built in collaboration with Google, just like the company did with the Android Nexus phone. Motorola is also one of the first companies to ship a watch with Android Wear and its called Moto 360 — which you can see in this article feature image.
How long the battery will last in these new devices? How much will an Android Wear watch cost? These and many other questions, plus additional information are certain to be answered by the Google I/O time later in June.