These Beautiful, Minimalistic Watches Will Be The First Of Its Kind To Run On Google

Google has announced a new smartwatch platform called Android Wear, which offers it a way to help OEM partners come up with hardware to get users into wearable devices.

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Google Has Announced A New Smartwatch Platform Called Android Wear

Google has announced a new smartwatch platform called Android Wear, which offers it a way to help Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners come up with hardware to get users into wearable devices.

Google announced that it has a new operating system made specifically for wearable devices called Android Wear. Android Wear will reportedly debut on several new smartwatches and other wearables later this year. Among the first with new the OS will be the Moto 360 and LG G Watch.

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In an official blog post on Tuesday, Google announced that it is formally entering into the wearable market through Android Wear, a project that extends Android to wearables. “…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,” Google wrote,

According to Google, Android Wear will give users useful information and suggestions through the latest posts and updates from social apps, chats from referred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.

Google Says While Android Wear Is Starting With Smartwatches, It's Also Meant To Eventually Extend To Other Wearables

It’s designed to be an extension of Google Now in many ways, with timely updates and suggestions provided to you as you need them most. It’ll also answer spoken questions directly, thanks to the always-on listening for requests prompted by the “Ok Google” command.

The interface of Android Wear, a version of Google’s mobile operating system for wearable devices, was designed to be “glanceable,” said Alex Faaborg, an Android designer, in a video promoting the software system.

Image via Google

Things you can ask for include requests about flight times, making reservations, sending texts and more. In addition to notices and timely contextual information, Google is also focusing on health and fitness, with apps that provide goals, reminders and progress tracking for fitness routines, as well as real-time feedback.

The smartwatch platform Google has created also centers on multi-screen control, making it so that you can issue commands to your wrist to control apps on connected devices. Google also mentions “cast” ability, so expect this to play nice with its Chromecast streamer hardware.

The Android Wear OS Will Make Its Big Debut As Early As Next Quarter With The Release Of Several New Smartwatches, Including LG G Watch And The Moto 360

Among the first such devices will be the LG G Watch, a device which will launch next quarter based on the new platform. It showcases key features of the Android UI extension, including always-on voice commands that respond to the now-familiar “Ok Google.”

The LG G Watch will be compatible with a wide range of Android phones and will display relevant information when prompted by a voice command.

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The other partner debuting its hardware later this year is Motorola. The new Moto 360 has a round face, which is one of two options for Wear devices (square is the other) and features the “Ok Google” voice control highlighted by Google for its new spin-off mobile OS.

A Moto 360 smartwatch is seen in this Motorola Mobility handout image. Google said on Tuesday that smartwatches based on its Android mobile software will be available later this year.

Image via Google

Both LG And Motorola Are Key Launch Partners For Android Wear

The LG has built the G Watch, which is expected to launch next quarter, and which LG is hoping will help it leapfrog others in this market (read: Samsung) by providing a low barrier to entry for developers, who don’t have to learn a new language or build from scratch to design software for Android Wear, unlike for Tizen.

LG G Watch

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Motorola is also a key launch partner, with a summer launch for its Moto 360, which already begins to show how different OEMs will have different takes on what to do with Android Wear. The hardware features “subtle alerts and notifications,” and Motorola is selling it as a premium, fashion-first advice that uses high-end materials in its construction. It’s coming in a variety of styles as well, and should launch this summer beginning in the U.S. first.

Already With Just Two Products Officially Unveiled, We Have A Look At A Couple Of Different Approaches To How Android Wear OEM Partners Might Differentiate Themselves

LG’s G Watch looks focused on being essentially a straightforward notification window, with emphasis on utility, but the Moto 360 seems like it’s designed more with the fashion-savvy crowd in mind, as a way to convince those reluctant to give up their classic, analogue wristwatches to get on board the wearable movement.
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