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Google announces Android Wear, extends Android to smartwatches

Sam Loveridge


Android Wear
Android Wear smartwatch concept

Google has announced Android Wear, a new project that will bring Android to wearable devices.

To begin with Google is focusing on smartwatches and has launched a Developer Preview so app developers can tailor their apps to work on future Android smartwatches.

Basically, Google is amazing for two things with its smartwatch version of Android – glanceability and the presentation of the most important content.

“We designed an entirely new UI specifically for this form factor and it’s really based around voice and contextual information that’s reactive to your surroundings”, said Alex Faaborg, Android Designer. “We put a lot of thought into how simple this has to be. It has to be incredibly fast, incredibly glanceable. There’s really only two components – information that’s most relevant to you and the ability to speak to it and do a quick command.”

Google promises that its wearable platform will give you the most useful information when you need it most, from a wide range of Android applications, whether that is social media, messaging or other apps.

Utilising Google Now, Android Wear lets you simply say “OK Google” to ask your smartwatch a question or give it a command.

You’ll also be able to monitor your fitness and health, as you can get fitness reminders and summaries as well as utilising your favourite sports apps.

The search engine giant has already partnered with several manufacturers that will launch their own Android smartwatches, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung, as well as chip makers like Qualcomm, MediaTek, Intel and Broadcom.

Fashion brands are also apparently on board, but Fossil has been the only ones mentioned by name so far.

Developers looking to utilise Android Wear for their devices should head to developer.android.com/wear to see how to make their apps compatible.

Read more: Samsung Gear 2 review – First impressions at MWC


March 19, 2014, 8:31 am

I'm really glad to see the smartwatch sector actually begin to progress in a meaningful fashion but what Google seems to fail to realise with both this and Glass is that most regular users just don't want to use voice control as a primary interface. I want the option to keep my interactions with my personal devices private and I suspect many other people do too.

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