Google announced a new version of android at I/O this year specially build for wearable tech such a smart watches. Samsung and LG have already built a device using this platform with ASUS, HTC and fossil also rumored to be producing devices for this platform.
These smart watches will not only tell the time, but provide location and context relevant data mostly based on Google now.
An example of what wear can do from Google was bus routes, this allows you to visualize the route of the bus you are on and can even give you a countdown to your stop. This is useful if you are in an unfamiliar location and takes the guesswork out of working out which stop is yours and how long until you need to get off. With Android wear based devices you don’t need to pull out your phone for this functionality, instead you just look at your watch which makes it as easy at looking at the time.
Android can also warn users for dangers in their area such as jelly fish on beaches, this allows the user keep safe and avoid danger. This means that users can ensure that they can safely enjoy the beach and sea without any danger.
For people who drive Android wear can provide information about traffic and the time of arrival without the user having to look at their phone, as using your phone while driving is illegal in most places this makes getting that information much safer as all the user needs to do is have a quick look at their watch, this avoids accidents on the road as people won’t be distracted by their phone.
Google voice activated search will also be a part of wear all users have to do is say “OK google” just like on their phone and they can then query whatever they want. This means people can ask whatever they want and then have the relevant data displayed on the watch. For example if you wanted to know what the weather is like you could say “ok google what’s the weather like” The device can then use your location to display the weather forecast on your device.
Google wear also has fitness orientated applications such as a pedometer which can count how many steps you have taken and tell you have far you have travelled. This does away from having to have an extra device for this purpose.
The smartwatch can be connected to your Android phone where it will display any notifications you have, without having to pull out your phone. Google music integration also allows you to control the music on your phone from the watch.
To check if your smartphone is compatible with Android wear visit the following link on your phone : g.co/wearcheck
Wear is based on Android 4.3 and therefore developing apps for the devices is just the same as doing so for a normal Android devices, the only difference is that you are targeting Android wear devices instead of standard tablets and phones. Normal Android apps can be run on wear based devices although it would be very tricky to use them on such as small screen and low powered hardware.
The flagship device for wear is the Moto 360, which is a round smartwatch from motorola. The 360 uses a custom made OLED display due to the round shape, which will greatly conserve battery life, opposed to other more conventional display types, OLED displays use on average 40% less energy than LCD displays, which will make the 360’s battery last even longer.
One thing you’ll probably notice about the 360 is that there are no ports of any kind on the device, therefore your probably be wondering how to connect it to your phone and how to charge it. The answer to this is simple the device will charge using magnetic induction and will connect to your device via bluetooth.
Although other devices such as the iPhone’s do have bluetooth it is rumored that wear devices will will only work with Android 4.3+ based devices, which means in order to use the Smart watch as more than a watch you definably require an Android phone to go along with it.
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