Yesterday at Google I/O, the world got a better look at Android Wear, Google’s new platform that brings the company’s top-selling operating system to wearable devices.
At the event the company confirmed, what we all guessed, that voice commands are integral to Android Wear. A simple “OK, Google” will initiate a variety of actions such as “Call me a car” or “Order a pizza.” Similar to the voice commands, devices powered by Android Wear can talk back to the user when certain alerts from the phone and contextual information from the smartwatch are needed.
As some of you may know, Google I/O is a developer driven conference and as such the company is pushing developers to design using the Wear SDK, which will soon be made available on the official Android Wear website.
Google went on to show off a few of Android Wear’s functions including voice notes made to a device that immediately sync to a paired Android phone (unfortunately the on-stage demonstration was less than successful). But the wearables won’t just be fancy note takers, users will also be able to do other things via compatible apps including call a car with a simple voice command that relays your address based on your current location or using the watch as a cooking companion with easy-to-use recipe scrolling.
Of course, these new features are just the extra icing on the very delicious cake as all the usual features we expect from wearables will be present on the platform, including contextual travel information (included weather reports, restaurant or hotel reservations), fitness apps, a pedometer, and a heart rate monitor.
Now to the devices… Both Samsung and LG are launching their Android Wear devices today. The LG G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live will both be available to order on Google Play starting today in selected countries. As of writing, we can assume that these countries don’t include Ireland but we may be surprised.
Unfortunately for many (including yours truly) Motorola’s beautiful circular Moto 360 smartwatch will launch sometime later this summer but no exact date has been announced.