On Tuesday, Google gave a hint of support to its long rumored plans for a smartwatch by announcing Android Wear – its new version of Android for wearable devices.
In a blog post, Google announced that Android Wear is an effort to extend its mobile OS to new categories, particularly wearables, that will allow developers to establish their presence in the future technologies.
Although Android Wear will be extended to all wearable devices by Google, it is initially being rolled out for the dominating technology hardware of today, smartwatches. The company has already partnered with consumer electronic manufacturers such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung for its Android Wear devices – as well as fashion brands like Fossil.
Android Wear is uses Google’s voice enabled technology using its patented “Ok Google” to give commands. The company has announced several features of its smart watches. This include the obvious fitness tracking apps. Google said that users will be able to get real time speed, distance, calories burnt and other information while cycling or jogging.
Other than this, the smartwatches will have an integrated Google Now technology to set reminders. The watches will also connect to users’ smartphones to allow them to control their phones through their wrists.
Existing Android developers can start preparing their apps for Android Wear. The company said that additional APIs will soon be released. For now, developers can download a Developer Preview to tailor their existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear.
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