Google is going all in on wearables. The company announced Android Wear on Tuesday, a new version of Android designed specifically for wearable devices.
Although Android Wear will ostensibly extend to all kinds of wearable devices, Google explains on its blog that it’s starting in the area that makes the most sense: the smartwatch.
The idea behind Android Wear is to bring contextual information to the user when it’s most needed. That can mean getting the latest updates from a social app, pumping in instant messages and photos, and showing the fastest route to get to your next appointment.
The first concept for Android Wear, which Google displays in a concept video, has a lot in common with what we’ve seen from both Google Now and Google Glass.
Android Wear is voice-enabled, following the “OK Google” dictation scheme of gathering information. Google also says that Android Wear will hit on the popular health monitor market, allowing for real-time access to data for both users and apps.
Of course, as Pebble has proven, a wearable platform is nothing without apps. Google has released a preview version of Android Wear for developers. This will allow existing Android developers to start preparing their existing apps for Android Wear, including customized notifications. The company says additional APIs and resources will be available soon.
Google also announced that it is working with consumer electronic brands such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung on Android Wear devices, as well as with chip makers such as Broadcom, Qualcomm and Intel — as well as fashion brands like the Fossil Group. Longtime smartwatch fans will recall the Microsoft SPOT powered Fossil smartwatch from the early 2000s.
We expect to hear a lot more about Android Wear at Google I/O later this spring. Source.