Google announces Android Wear–App developers gets your now
There is no getting away from it – the new trend is wearable technology and Google’s Android is certainly not being left behind. Today Google fired another shot at its competitors by announcing on its blog “Sharing what’s up our sleeve: Android coming to wearables” – Google announces Android Wear !
Android Wear is an adapted and extended Android operating system that allow developers to take advantage of the hardware that is inside wearable devices compared to the more powerful smartphones hardware.
The Blog post goes on to say that:
And we’re starting with the most familiar wearable—watches. Going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time, a range of new devices along with an expansive catalogue of apps will give you:
- 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.
The video shows some example of how Android Wear can be used:
Navigation, Mapping and Traffic
Summon a Taxi
Location based messaging – Jelly Fish warning in the area.
Instant Messaging and speech recognition
Airline Checking QR Code
Google Search via voice command
Music recognition app (like Shazam or Soundhound)
Download the SDK
The lessons of the past teaches us that you need the development community to support and build apps for your platform. No apps results in no acceptance by the users. Google has made sure that this lesson has been learnt and therefore they have ensured that app developers can get in on the wearable action by downloading the preview SDK (software developer toolkit) so that they can adapt their current apps and extend them to communicate with a wearable devices.
This is a great move by Google. Keeping the platform open and reducing the barriers for developers, allows developers from around the world to come up with creative and innovative applications that go well beyond just telling the wearer about the weather and traffic conditions.
The Future is here
Google has revealed that they are working with several companies such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year which is great news as one of the key resistance to the wearable tech is that they are bulky and are not trendy nor stylish.
I am not a fan of the wearable smartwatch trend as I can get the same information from my mobile device. However, after watching this video, I can see how this will change in the future. When the wearable smartwatch is not just an extension of messages from the phone but is an input trigger device which results in something useful happening, then there is real value in having one.
“Ok Google…what’s on TV tonight ?”