Posts with tag Android Wear
Taking the time to get it right
You may have heard of these cool new things called smartwatches, with them being all the rage these days and everything. It seems like everybody and their mom is trying to get a smartwatch out in the market these days, a task that has been made monumentally easier now that Google is supplying the software to every hardware manufacturer with their still fairly new Android Wear platform. But one company has remained relatively quiet on the smartwatch front; HTC, the folks behind the upcoming Nexus 9 and the excellent HTC One M8, has still yet to release any sort of wearable device at all. There were some rumors that HTC had been working on a wearable that should have shipped by now, but we’ve not heard much on that front in a long while.
This has lead to rampant speculation that, in another blow to the struggling company, HTC has abandoned plans to release a smartwatch at all – but HTC says not so fast. In a statement provided to Re/code, an HTC spokesperson has confirmed that the company is indeed actively working on a device, which is nearing completing but has been internally delated so as to give it a bit more time in the oven.
There’s still very little we know for sure on the state of HTC’s new wearable, but the company hasn’t had a good track record with anything but smartphones in the past. Just as tablet mania began in earnest in 2011, HTC launched their first – and to date, only – tablet, the Flyer, to just awful reviews and abysmal sales. Consumer reaction to the Flyer was so bad that the company actually scrapped all plans for future tablets at the time, which is part of what makes their now confirmed upcoming smartwatch all the more exciting.
But I wanted a Moto 360
If you’re in on Google’s smartwatch platform, Android Wear, and ready to lay down that debit card information and get an early adopter’s unit in your hands – or, err, on your wrist – as soon as possible, you’ll want to keep refreshing the Google Play Store. Google just announced at I/O 2014 that the new LG G Watch will be up for sale on the Play Store today, presumably following the conclusion of the keynote event. The LG G Watch is the first officially licensed Android Wear device, Google’s adoption of Android for the wearable space. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the G Watch in action – this is the same smartwatch Google announced alongside the Android Wear platform earlier this year.
But never one to sit out of the festivities, Google also announced that a previously unheard of smartwatch by Samsung will be available for pre-order today, the Samsung Gear Live. If you’ve got a vision of a Galaxy Gear running Android Wear in your head, that’s pretty much right. It looks extremely similar to Google’s established Gear watches, albeit running Google’s take on the smartwatch platform rather than the sometimes bizarre Gear platform.
If you were looking to get in on the Moto 360, the first Android Wear smartwatch with a circular display, get ready to be disappointed. Unfortunately for all of us (this writer included), Google says the Moto 360 won’t be available until “later this summer.” But Mom, I want it nooow.
Source: Google Play
Conference still slated for June 25th
Google has today announced that registration for its annual I/O Developer Conference has been pushed back a week, with sign ups now slated to begin April 15th. Google fans will be happy to know that the conference itself will remain scheduled at June 25th, so no delay there.
Google is expected to be preparing to launch a new version of Android for smartphones, as well as share more information on Android Wear for smartwatches as well as the company’s upcoming plans for the TV with a new product known as Android TV.
Google I/O regularly sees a huge rush of requests for attendance, so be sure to get in early on April 15th if you’re interested in having a place there. unfortunately (or fortunately?) for you, Google isn’t running any sort of lottery system here, so if you snooze you lose.
Represent the new vision
And just like that, Google’s Android Wear platform for smartwatches is official. But no platform announcement would be complete without a few partners also showing up with the goods, and today’s it’s LG and Motorola backing Google with a preview of their upcoming smartwatches powered by Android Wear.
Motorola’s endgame appears to be a new circular smartwatch dubbed the Moto 360, seen above. While we know next to nothing about the device just yet, we do know that Motorola’s slogan is “a twist of the wrist”, likely signifying that natural wrist movement will be involved in the watch’s primary interface, similar to how wrist flicking was integrated into the Moto X’s camera functionality.
The LG G Watch (seen above) is a bit more exciting, however, as it’s slated to arrive a lot sooner than you might think – next quarter. The LG G Watch is designed to be a “low barrier to entry” for developers and consumers alike, signifying that the devie will be sold at a reduced price point in order to attract people to the new platform. LG isn’t saying too terribly much more about the G Watch just yet, other than what we already knew from the Google announcement earlier today – it’ll have some focus on fitness, support voice recognition and Google Now, and will offer a “Google experience” meaning no UI customization here, thankfully. Unfortunately, the LG G Watch is a lot more garish then what we’ve seen from some other Android Wear devices, featuring a thick body and a rectangular screen rather than a compact circular one.
Google just made it official – they’re getting into the wearable game. The company has today officially announced Android Wear, a new platform forked from the main Android branch specifically designed around the concept of wearables and, more specifically, smartwatches.
Google has confirmed that fitness will be a focus point for the platform, as Android Wear supports “real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk” functionality built right into the operating system. Third party applications will likely be able to tap into this information and utilize it as they will, however Google has yet to officially confirm what capacity developers will be able to work within Android Wear just yet.
The company has confirmed however the inclusion of Google Now, allowing you to access the entire breadth of information Google has to offer, right from your watch. It works using the sort of voice recognition technology Google has implemented and nearly perfected in their Google Glass wearable – just say “OK, Google” and you’ll be able to search for whatever you’d like. Google has also implemented Notification streaming support to Android Wear, allowing you to view your smartphone’s notifications on your wrist.
As Android Wear will be an ecosystem that developers can have access to as they’d like, as with Android, Google will be relying on third party hardware manufacturers to make their Android Wear dreams a reality – at least for now. LG, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung are all on board with Android Wear and will be releasing their own smartwatches based off of Google’s new platform in the near future, with LG expected to launch theirs sooner rather than later.
A Developer Preview release of Android Wear is available starting today for developers. Google hopes you’ll use it to build notification streaming from your smartphone application into Android Wear, however it could also just be pretty fun to play with. Google has posted two YouTube videos showing off Android Wear, which you can find after the break. So all that said, the smartwatch games have now officially started – your move, Apple.