On the heels of Monday’s massive gaming announcement, Google just dropped another massive bomb on us. On Tuesday, the Mountain View company announced a new project: Android Wear. In Google’s own words: “Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches.”1 There have been rumblings of a Google watch for some time now, but rather than only building their own, Google has build a platform through which all smartwatches cam be made.
While this list will no doubt expand, here are the core Android Wear features that Google chose to highlight in Tuesday’s annoucement:
- 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.2
Again, it stands to reason that this list will expand as well, but HTC, LG, Motorola, Qualcomm, and Fossil have already signed on to be a part of Android Wear:
As this shows, being first is not always the best to-market strategy. Google, rather than building an MVP for release – think the Samsung Galaxy Gear – the company was prudent, biding their time to get the platform ready. And it looks amazing. Look for the first Android Wear powered devices this summer. Here is a quick video showing the new platform in use:
- Official Google Blog, “Sharing what’s up our sleeve: Android coming to wearables,” 18 March 2014 ▲
- Ibid ▲