Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Google announces Android Wear, LG and Motorola announce their smartwatches
Wearables are the buzzword for 2014 and Google has just thrown their effort into the pile with the announcement of Android Wear, a smartwatch variant of their wildly popular mobile OS. While this isn't the first big push for smartwatches with the likes of Sony's Smartwatch and Samsung's Gear efforst already in the market, this is the first official push from Google themselves to break into an emerging market.
From the first impressions it looks like Android Wear will heavily rely on Google Now which is interesting given the fact that it is a Google service in addition to AOSP unlike what we've seen in Android on smartphones. It's expected that Android Wear powered devices be OEM agnostic and will need a smartphone companion to display certain phone only notifications. Pretty much par for what we've seen so far in existing smartphones.
Motorola and LG are the first to official back Android Wear with the Moto 360 and the G Watch. The Moto 360 is being pegged as a premium watch with a surprising circular display, which by my own experience is the first I've see. The G Watch on the other hand looks like it's going to be a lower cost offering that will probably be targeted for mass adoption by mainstream buyers. Other OEMs like Samsung, ASUS and HTC are expected to also introduce their own Android Ware based smartwatches
Overall, this is very exciting to see as first attempts at smartwatches have been interesting but just lack the first party OS backend support that only Google can provide and now we have it. We're excited to see what comes next for wearables.