Google announces Android Wear, an Android-based platform for smartwatches and more!

Google has dropped a megaton of an announcement this morning, with the company finally confirming their plans to introduce a wearable platform for things like smart watches. Dubbed Android Wear, this Android-based platform has been custom fit for this new class of devices that have exploded over the past year and a half.

android-wear-screencap

So what is it? Well, it’s pretty much the smart watch platform that many OEMs have already tried to make and that many users are envisioning. The issue with those attempts and visions is that non one has gotten it quite fully right, and that’s where Android Wear will attempt to shine.

Google’s preposition is that its basis on Android means developers will find it easy to integrate their apps with the platform for the sake of sending notifications to your wrist and allowing you to control things like music playback. In fact, Google says the platform is so easily adaptable that some apps already work seamlessly with its notification system.

Features of Android Wear

Android Wear features

So what’s Google looking to enable with Android Wear? They offered up a list of many different use cases and features that should make you feel all happy inside. Here’s what they’re planning to do in early stages:

  • Google Now-esque features that will give you useful information when you need it. You’ll receive all the latest posts from your favorite social networking and messaging apps right to your wrist. Notifications for shopping deals, news, and more will all be served up.
  • You can issue commands to your smart watch using “OK Google” to send a text, call for a cab, or just ask a random question that you might not know the answer to.
  • Full support for fitness and vitality sensors, giving you real-time speed, distance and time information for your cardio workouts.
  • A multi-screen experience that lets you control the world around you form the comfort of your wrist.

It’s all very exciting, and it looks quite great in the preview video Google has up on YouTube (viewable just below).

Who’s on board?

As you’d expect, Google caught the ear of several major industry players to help kick things off, with the company confirming ASUS, LG, Samsung, Motorola and HTC as OEMs. On the chipset side, Broadcom, Intel, Mediatek, and Qualcomm have all been confirmed. Google has even partnered up with Fossil group to bring some fashion into the fold.

This is no small matter, folks, and this list proves it. While no specific products have been revealed from any of these manufacturers yet, we’re sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about what’s to come in the months and weeks ahead. (Google I/O surprise announcement, anyone?)

When is it coming?

Unfortunately Google didn’t have any dates to mention other than “later this year,” but it’s comforting knowing we won’t have to wait an eternity to see the fruits of their hard work come to fruition. And, for what it’s worth, Q2 2014 seems to be the earliest time frame hinted thus far, so the wait might not even be as long as Google is letting on.

Android Wear Developer Preview

That said, developers can begin to adapt their apps to the platform as early as today, as Google has already dropped the Android Wear developer preview that will help you get your apps in top shape in preparation of the launch. Be sure to check that out here if you’re a developer looking to make your apps Android Wear compatible (and really, you should).

Are you in?

And that’s the news, folks. Pretty big, don’t ya think? It’s extremely exciting stuff and we couldn’t anticipate the future of wearables even more than we are at this moment.

The scene is already pretty big right now, and the advent of Android Wear can only mean that things will get even bigger from here on out. Are you going to be buying a smart watch with Android Wear? Let us know with a poll vote and a comment down below!

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  • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

    ITSHAPPENING.GIF

  • Brandon

    I don’t usually don’t jump on things so quickly, but i’ll be getting this the day it’s available.

  • Dan Gardner

    I want that round watch. Now, please.

  • James Ellis

    Shut up and take my money already!

  • Joel Vasallo

    Now that is a watch….

  • Rami Abdelmajid

    Give me the round watch NAO!

  • Ryan5609

    Might actually purchase the Moto smartwatch. Looks like you may be able to customize the band. The metal band looks very sexy. Finally, a smartwatch that doesn’t look like a toy.

  • Devon Warren

    This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for, just give me some decent battery life and I’m sold!

  • Ryan5609
    • No_Nickname90

      ^^That

    • Henri Weich Conradie

      Dat watch.

  • KiwiBri

    I’m in.. Hello moto!

  • Marcus Martin

    I’m much more interested in a band more like the Samsung Fit or Nike Fuel. I’m not much of a watch wearer but would like something to wear to the gym that has great functionality and durability. The smart bracelet is what I’m yearning for.

  • Mitchel White

    I’m happy with my gear and am really looking forward to the gear 2. I love what the gear can do

  • SuperShrug

    Gooooood call with Chromeo.

  • Christopher Robert

    Can’t believe Google Sold off Moto. This thing is a beauty. If it has a battery that will last all day, I will purchase on day one.

    • http://www.thenexttechblog.blogspot.com/ Christopher Ballenger

      My first name is Christopher and my middle name is Robert. That’s hilarious.

  • su2lly

    I see that just over 10% of us don’t want a smart watch. Probably the same 10% of us that said they have no use for a tablet and now have a layer of dust an inch think on their laptop.

  • King_James_The_Wicked

    Can’t wait… Pebble will be set aside

    • jonzey231

      Good thing my Pebble Steel is still backordered. Can’t figure out how to cancel it though….

  • Simon Belmont

    Might be a day one purchase for me. That is, if it’s the right price.

    I’ve been waiting for a Google smartwatch. This looks like it’ll fit the bill.

  • No_Nickname90

    How about they give me that clear lookin’ watch? =.D

    Finally!! Something circular like an ACTUAL watch!!

  • hemipw54

    Ah the PR machine is fired up ready to push wearable junk down our throats, like it or not.
    Funny how minions don’t even realize they are just that.

  • hemipw54

    Okay so I don’t need a cellphone nearby for this to work?
    Wait, if I do need a cellphone then what good is this dongle device.
    So manufactures are trying to get double revenue from the masses, how genius is that?

    • https://www.facebook.com/christopher.johnsc chris_johns

      you dont need to buy one….so stop it

      • Delmar

        He actually raises some good questions, if it needs a phone to be smart then its just a regular watch really

        • hemipw54

          If it is standalone that would be great, still would need something to project larger images though cellphone, pico projector.

        • Mordecai

          some people that already regularly wear regular watches could get into regularly wearing a regular swartwatch

      • hemipw54

        Neither do you. ;-)

    • PhishyKris

      My guess would be yes you do? I don’t think they are going to tie these things to their own VZW, ATT account?! That video clearly shows Google Services running on the internet. These devices are connected to your phone. I don’t see it any other way.

      • hemipw54

        I agree.

  • donkeykong85

    I have a sony smartwatch. Thought I would hate it. Honestly I cant live without it now. For under $200 these things are definitely going to take off.

  • steveb944

    Where do I deposit the money for this? So freaking excited Google brought their A game

  • JointhePredacons

    Cant wait to see the HTC version.

    • Cuda010

      Since I plan in getting the new One when it’s released, being able to also get a matching HTC watch would be awesome.

  • Curtis Coburn

    Can’t wait to see how this goes. I may buy one. But I’m oh so waiting for Google Glass.