Android Wear is the first Smartwatch Operating System to focus heavily on voice recognition, although we believe Apple will be joining them on this feature. Google understand that it is the time of the Smartwatch as the technology required to build powerful computers that comfortably fit on your wrist all day are ready.
If you have not watched the presentation we will be discussing everything here so that you do not have to. The first feature was one we already knew, but it is worth going over again due to its importance for future development of Smartwatches. Android wear will work on both square and circular displays allowing the developer to choose which design they prefer.
Android Wear will support a variety of sensors which work seamlessly with Google Fit, allowing any application developer to create an app which uses these metrics, opening the floodgates to large scale innovation in health and fitness.
Focusing around Google Now, Android Wear devices will be able to intelligently answer spoken commands or questions starting with “OK Google”. For example, “OK Google, how long until I reach the train station”. As with the Samsung Gear Live and LG G watch (announced to be using Google Wear) who have chosen to use this, the watch makers can choose to have OK Google always listening. So if you need to quickly add a reminder, you can without fiddling with any buttons or your phone.
According to Google, people check their Android phone an average of 125 times everyday which Android Wear aims to reduce, showing you the important notifications directly on your wrist. If you have ever used Google Now you will know it provides contextual information. Android Wear will do the same. For example, if you are travelling abroad, Android Wear will show your time until arrival, flight status, the weather at your destination and even have your boarding pass directly on your watch.
Google Wear offers applications incredible access to be able to create more complex applications than ever before. Shown during the presentation was a Pinterest app which as you walk around town will show you friends pins as you near the same location from where they pinned the image.
Android Wear also integrates seamlessly with Google maps, pushing turn by turn navigation right to your watch.
For the developers, Google are releasing a full Android Wear development kit, allowing you to build custom user interfaces, custom controls, voice commands and have 2 way communication between the watch and your phone application. Google gave two examples of applications taking advantage of this SDK, the first being a food ordering app where you can order food directly from your watch and a taxi service which using your location can order you a taxi using the voice command “OK Google, order me a car”.
Android Wear is the first OS to revolutionize Smartwatches as unlike current Operating Systems, any watch manufacturer can use it. This will lead to many more watching being able to be released without the need to code their own OS.