Wearables industry is on the rise. We’ve seen the likes of Samsung, Pebble, Qualcomm and a few others getting in the industry with their own devices, with many more to come in the coming months. It seems Google doesn’t want to feel left out, and has announced Android Wear, an operating system designed for wearables, and will initially focus on smartwatches. The OS brings several key features on board, dive in to know more about them.
1. Stay Healthy
One of the main features of Android Wear is related to health and fitness-related metrics. Although we’ve seen this feature in many recent smartwatches, such as the Gear family, etc, Google will also implement it with Android Wear, allowing users to monitor real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk through different apps. Additionally, it can also help users hit their fitness goals by providing them with their fitness summaries and reminders.
2. OK Google Now
If you’re an Android user, you should be familiar with this term. It helps you get answers by just speaking, and how good will it be when you can speak to your smartwatch with your questions, and get answers on your wrist. “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,” says Google’s Sundar Pichai in a blog post.
3. Connect With Android Devices
The smartwatches will also be able to connect with Android devices out in the wild, and help users get notifications, reminders and more from the apps you’ve installed on your devices. Google Now functionality can be used here as well to help users get their work done from their wrist. You can also control various apps, open up the phone or music app, and there are many possibilities which will be showcased in the coming days.
4. Developer’s Preview
Now, this one is something that will attract most of the developers out there. Google is calling out various developers to download the developer preview to create app notifications for watches. “Starting today, you can download a Developer Preview so you can tailor your existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear. Because Android for wearables works with Android’s rich notification system, many apps will already work well,” says Google blog post.
5. Release Date
Google hasn’t provided any solid details about when we can see the operating system, but they did mention that the company is working with several OEMs, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and several other chip makers. It’s not just the technology firms, Google is also working with fashion brands such as the Fossil Group who will bring smartwatches powered by Android Wear later this year.
We can also expect Google to shed more light on the Android Wear project at the Google I/O conference which will take place in June. Although the conference in still months away, we can expect to see more details pop up about the smartwatch in the coming weeks.