Sundar Pichai, Google’s Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome, & Apps, announced in a post on the Official Google Blog today that Android Wear and smartwatches running the new operating system would be available to consumers as soon as Quarter 2 of this year. Almost simultaneously, Motorola revealed the round Moto 360 and LG announced the sleek G Watch. Qualcomm and premier watchmaker Fossil are also planning watches that will run Android Wear, due out later this year.
Android Wear promises to be a light yet highly functional version of Android optimized for wearable technology. Features will include health and fitness monitoring, “OK Google” support (akin to Google Now), and multiple device control. Google plans to bring the OS to market on watches first, saying:
…we’re starting with the most familiar wearable – watches…going well beyond the mere act of just telling you the time…
All signs point toward seeing Android Wear on other platforms besides watches, but we’ll have to wait and see where Google and its manufacturing partners go.
You can read the full press release over at the Official Google Blog or by reading on:
Sharing what’s up our sleeve: Android coming to wearables
Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Most of us are rarely without our smartphones in hand. These powerful supercomputers keep us connected to the world and the people we love. But we’re only at the beginning; we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology. That’s why we’re so excited about wearables—they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word.
Android Wear: Information that moves with you
Today we’re announcing Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. 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.
If you’re a developer, there’s a new section on developer.android.com/wear focused on wearables. 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. Look out for more developer resources and APIs coming soon. We’re also already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including 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.
We’re always seeking new ways for technology to help people live their lives and this is just another step in that journey. Here’s to getting the most out of the many screens you use every day—whether in your car, in your pocket or, very soon, on your wrist.
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps
Last Updated on March 18, 2014.