Google announces Android Wear, their pre-iWatch wrist-play
Google has officially announced Android Wear, their new wearable-focused software platform and — no surprise here — they're starting with the smartwatch. It's a trendy product category, fueled in no small part by rumors of an impending iWatch from Apple and all sorts of gadgets and bands from tech and fitness giants both. Phil Nickinson writing from Android Central:
Much like Google Now on a smartwatch, Android Wear is designed to focus on timely information, delivered when it's most relevant — Google's announcement media mentions social updates, chat updates and notifications from shopping and news apps, for instance.
Naturally the "OK Google" keyword can also activate voice input, just as it does in the Google Now Launcher, allowing you to get answers to spoken questions, or perform other commends like sending text messages or setting alarms. That means voice commands from Android Wear devices can also link back to your phone and, for example start music or movie playback.
A couple of manufacturers have already announced their support for the platform as well. Motorola is fielding the Moto 360 this summer. Adam Zeis:
The Moto 360 features a simple, classic design but thanks to Android Wear, it will also give you notifications and let you perform voice commands. From the looks of it here it's not screaming "smartwatch", but going with a much more elegant look on the outside
LG, the G Watch, also coming this summer. Alex Dobie:
[G Watch], teased briefly in today's announcement post, sports an angular design with a reflective black chassis. LG's announcement mentions many of the features which were highlighted in in Google's Android Wear demo reel. So you're looking at a wearable that can respond to voice commands through the "OK Google" hotword, as well as presenting relevant info in a similar way to Google Now on a phone.
While I don't have anything specific to go on, from the outside none of these look much how I'd imagine an iWatch would look. However, the idea of Google Now cards on a watch is compelling. (I'd go so far as to say they were designed to make this inevitable). Check out our sibling sites, Android Central and Smartwatch Fans for ongoing coverage and let me know — is this the type of wearable you want from Apple?