Android Wear Unveiled at Google’s 2014 Developer Conference
Yesterday was a big day for wearable tech as Google focused a large part of its developer conference on a new wearable SDK and the launch of three new smartwatches which will run its Android Wear operating system.
Google first announced Android Wear back in March, but at its developer conference yesterday, the company gave us our first full look at what it has to offer. As part of Google’s “any screen” strategy, the Android Wear SDK equips developers with the ability to create custom user experiences, control sensors and voice actions and send data to devices that are running it. For users, the OS offers a much cleaner, intuitive and simpler way to interact with a device like a smartwatch.
Android Wear boasts a minimalistic UI with a focus on “glanceable” information. The operating system could really help give the smartwatch space a boost in a time when this space is struggling to gain its footing. Google demoed notifications and voice activated commands on stage noting how notifications are able to stack and easily be dismissed with a horizontal swipe. The “OK Google” voice activation lets users ask their smartwatch anything freeing them up from having to find an app icon to tap to perform an action.
Other features of Android Wear include real-time sync with your smartphone so that if you interact with a notification on your watch you don’t need to repeat it on your phone as well as using your smartwatch to authenticate you on your phone in lieu of a pin or passcode on a lock screen.
Along with the operating system, Google announced that two of the three first smartwatches to run this software are now ready to order on Google Play. The LG G watch and the rumored Samsung Gear Live were confirmed at the event and are starting to ship as early as July 7th in the USA. The much anticipated Moto 360 was confirmed at I/O yesterday but the launch date for this device was not announced to the groans of the audience and the internet.
Outside of wearables, Google also make some big announcements on the connected TV, connected car and even the health space with the launch of an aggregate for activity tracking data called Google Fit.