Android Wear – News Straight from Google I/O with two watches available today

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Android Wear SDK

Google I/O is still in full swing, but we took a quick break to share this news with you about Android Wear, Google’s new service for wearable devices.

Android Wear Features:

This is information taken live from the Google I/O Keynote currently underway in San Francisco, USA. There will be more to come as the keynote still has some way to go, but here, we share news about Android Wear, which is what Google have named their service for phone/tablet and wearable to interact with each other.

First off, Android Wear will support both round and Square design, to suit personal taste. At present, there are two watches which have gone with the square design, and one with the round design (more on those later). Second, the devices will display relevant information to your location, context and notifications from your phone or tablet. Out of the box, this will be similar information you get from Google Now such as sports scores, flight information, weather, travel and location-based information. You will even be able to use Google Navigation from your device, getting turn by turn notifications as you walk down the street, all on the screen. As with Google Now, you can look up a word or answers for simple questions like how tall the Eiffel Tower is, and the answer will be displayed on the screen.

You may note I said ask? That’s because Android Wear is totally voice enabled, allowing you to talk to the watch and be given answers on the screen. As with Google Now on your phone, you can tell Google to set an alarm or timer, as well as set a note or reminder for a specific time and location. What’s most impressive is, all these notifications are synced between your phone and/or tablet and your Android Wear device.

If all those features weren’t cool enough as it was, with Android Wear, you’ll be able to answer and reject calls straight from your watch too. When a call comes in, a notification will appear on the watch showing you who is calling. In the Demo on the Keynote Stage, this showed two semi-circular dots on either side of the screen. One Green to answer, one red to reject. If you swipe up, however, you can also answer with a predetermined text message which will be sent to the person you just rejected. What wasn’t made clear was what happened if you chose answer. Can you talk to them from your watch? We shall have to wait and try it out.

All that is with Android Wear out of the box. Now, for what Android developers have been able to make possible with the limited SDK they were given just a few short months ago. As of today, Google announced that a full developer’s SDK would be available to everyone, so that any developer can integrate their app into Android Wear. Even better, you won’t need to download a new app, or widget, it would be part of the app. If you have an Android Wear device activated, it’s notifications can be shown on you Android Wear device.

All notifications on Android Wear are context, location and time aware. For example, if you regularly buy a take out from an app on a Friday evening, Android Wear would display a notification on Friday, around the same time you usually order, and you can order your food straight from the Android Wear device. This assumes that the app already has your credit card information stored – or that you pay by cash maybe – but you could, theoretically, order food in under 20 seconds if you knew what you wanted.

Android Wear also has an inbuilt step counter to track how many steps you have taken throughout the week and will, we imagine, be integrated into Google Fit. Whether this will allow users of apps such as FitBit to use this data, or still have to buy their device, is unclear. But it’s not a bad thing to have double the data to check against each other.

Android Wear Devices – Two watches ready, one more coming this summer:

At the Keynote, Google were very happy to announce that there were already two devices ready to sell as of today. One is the LG G Watch, something we’ve known about for a long time. The second is a surprise entry, a Samsung Gear Live also available today. Both watches will be available through the Google Play store “later today“. No price details were given.

Android Wear LG G Watch
Android Wear LG G Watch

A third device is also on the cards, and one that many people have been looking forward to. That is the Moto 360 watch. Sadly for us, and all attendees at the audience of the Keynote, it won’t be available from Summer. The Moto 360 is the only one, so far, to have used the round design, which, in our opinion, looks nicest. The LG G watch and Samsung Gear Live both use the square design.

Android Wear Samsung Gear Live

Most importantly, for a wearable device, all Android Wear devices will be water-resistant, although it doesn’t say to what extent that is (maybe to the same extent as the Samsung Galaxy S5?).

Stay tuned for more Google I/O News.

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