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Google unveils Android Wear: first OS for wearable devices

Google on Tuesday introduced the world’s first operating system designed for wearable devices from the ground up. The new OS is expected to enable tens of intelligent wearable devices from tens of manufacturers in the coming quarters. Google Android Wear uses systems found in Android OS for mobile devices and will enable efficient work of wearable computing devices with smartphones and tablets.


While Google Android Wear is aimed at various types of devices, it will start to enable the most familiar wearable watches. The initial plan is to provide the following functionality by smart-watches from different companies:

  • Useful information when customers need it most, including latest posts and updates from social apps, chats from preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.
  • Straight answers to spoken questions, e.g., how many calories are in an avocado, what time a flight leaves, and the score of the game.
  • The ability to better monitor health and fitness, e.g., hit exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear.
  • Access and control other devices from a wrist (just say “Ok Google” to start a music playlist on a phone, or cast a favorite movie to a TV.

Starting today, developers can download a developer preview of Google Android Wear so to tailor existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear. Because Android for wearables works with Android’s notification system, many apps will already work well.

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Google is already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring smart-watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

KitGuru Says: In general, Android Wear looks like a platform for wearable gadgets done right. The operating system supports third-party applications and allows to enable new usage models for various products, which is crucially important to make the OS popular among both end-users and hardware makers.

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