Google Android Wear

Wolf

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Oct 11, 2008
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Google announces Android Wear, a Nexus-like platform for wearables



Google's getting into smartwatches in a rather large way. As previously reported, the search giant is extending its Android platform to more wearables than just Glass. In a blog post that went out today, Google announced Android Wear, which is essentially a way for the company to extend its mobile OS to a new category of devices while offering a lower cost for developers and users -- think Nexus for smartwatches. Of course, smartwatches are just the beginning, Google acknowledged that there's plenty more to come, but it was " starting with the most familiar wearable."

One of the most eye-catching features we've seen so far is the same always-listening experience that we've enjoyed on the Moto X. Anytime you need to do something with your watch, just say "OK Google" and everything from pulling up nearby gas stations, to restaurant reservations are just a quick voice command away.

But there's more to Wear than just putting voice search on your wrist. As the rumors have suggested, it pulls in contextual updates as well, just like Now -- putting the power of its preemptive search a quick glance away. Obviously it also pulls in notifications from messaging apps like Hangouts or your social networks. But the real power lies in the ability for developers to extend their applications to your Android-powered smartwatch. For example, Google is already promising that "favorite fitness apps" will offer real time speed and distance tracking. (Get on that RunKeeper!)

We're still waiting to get details on specific watches, but features like these (and many more) have to be incredibly power efficient to ensure your new fancy piece of digital jewelry actually lasts longer than a day. Expect to start seeing devices working on the new platform sometime next quarter (as luck would have it, Google I/O will be held at the very end of that quarter). And, fingers crossed, maybe Google will announce that Now is opening up to third parties as part of its wearable push. Developers can go sign up for a preview of the Wear SDK here.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrqZl2QIz0c]Android Wear: Information that moves with you - YouTube[/ame]

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xQ3y902DEQ]Introducing Android Wear Developer Preview - YouTube[/ame]
 

Jimr

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As a big fan of the Nexus devices I have been waiting for an announcement like this.
 

memebag

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I don't think those imaginary displays are practical. They will require interaction to turn them on, and they'll probably chew up a lot of battery.
 

Jimr

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To that point, it will be interesting to see if they can or will incorporate an eco-drive type solution so it can stretch battery life between charges. Granted I have no idea how much space something like that takes so it may not be feasible.
 

DAB

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Looks really classy, not so sure about the practicality of it. I think it will depend greatly on battery life. Moto did a great job on the design. Like someone on Android Central said it looks like something Apple might have designed.

The big issue is the round design, apparently that creates manufacturing limitations that slow down mass production.
 

memebag

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I've been living with a smartwatch for about 7 months now. It's great. The only thing it really lacks is a mic and speaker. I think this kind of device will be huge, and soon. There are a bunch of naysayers right now, but I think they just don't get it. Yet.
 

DAB

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I've been living with a smartwatch for about 7 months now. It's great. The only thing it really lacks is a mic and speaker. I think this kind of device will be huge, and soon. There are a bunch of naysayers right now, but I think they just don't get it. Yet.
Which one do you have and how do you generally find yourself using it? Just out of curiosity. I have not worn a watch in years, but its interesting. My son it totally intrigued.
 

memebag

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I've got two Pebbles. I use it just like a wristwatch. When I need to know what time it is, I just look at my wrist.

I also use it for all notifications. When I get a call, text, email, whatever, my watch vibrates. I look at it and see a summary of whatever happened.

I also use it when biking. I run an app on my phone that shows current speed, average speed, distance, altitude, altitude change, etc. on my watch. It's all there at a glance while I'm riding.

I could use it to control music playback on my phone, but the only time I listen to music from my phone is in the car, and I have steering wheel controls for that. But if I fed my home sound system from my phone I could use my watch to pause, skip, etc.

And I have a huge choice of different watch faces.
 

DAB

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I've got two Pebbles. I use it just like a wristwatch. When I need to know what time it is, I just look at my wrist.

I also use it for all notifications. When I get a call, text, email, whatever, my watch vibrates. I look at it and see a summary of whatever happened.

I also use it when biking. I run an app on my phone that shows current speed, average speed, distance, altitude, altitude change, etc. on my watch. It's all there at a glance while I'm riding.

I could use it to control music playback on my phone, but the only time I listen to music from my phone is in the car, and I have steering wheel controls for that. But if I fed my home sound system from my phone I could use my watch to pause, skip, etc.

And I have a huge choice of different watch faces.
Sounds good, and way you are using it for biking I really like. I bike pretty often myself.

Thanks for the info! Certainly has me looking now!