Google: Android Wear

Google Extends Android to Watches

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Presenting: Google's "Android Wear," the company's own smartwatch OS that is at first glance proving like it might be a worthy competitor to Samsung's Galaxy Gear.

The product, announced Tuesday on the Google Blog and in a pair of new films created out of Anomaly, effectively extends the Android operating system to wearables. The company said it's "starting with the most familiar wearable -- watches," in its blog post, perhaps an indicator that other wearables (rings, maybe?) might be in the works.

Android Wear shows you information and suggestions, and includes apps that are social, chat-based, and notification and news based. You can ask questions, as long as they start with "OK, Google," and ask the watch to call a cab or send a text. It also brings in the fitness part of the puzzle, with Android Wear including the capability to get fitness and exercise summaries.

The brand's push includes a developer preview that is downloadable so existing appmakers can tailor their notifications for Android Wear watches. The brand said it is 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 create watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

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Mar 18, 2014
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