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Android Wear: 5 Key Points From Google’s Wearable Strategy

Developers can start building applications for Android devices like smartwaches and fitness trackers with Google’s new project Android Wear. Google announced the project today; here are the key points you need to know.

It Starts With Smartwatches

The Android software will likely extend to all wearable devices, but Google is starting with the “most familiar wearable,” smartwatches.

Reports that Google is working on its own smartwatch appear to have borne fruit with the announcement today of two Android-based smartwatches. With the Android software developer kit available for wearables, those could now launch with a robust app store that includes some of the most popular applications available. 

Its Early Hardware Partners Include Motorola And LG

Today Motorola and LG announced they will soon launch smartwatches powered by Android Wear.

The Moto 360 features a fashionable, traditional watchface, “subtle” alerts and notifications and voice control access to Google. The LG G Watch, by contrast, offers a sleek square screen more in line with existing smartwatches. Both watches are set to debut mid-2014. 

It Includes Google Now

Google’s intelligent personal assistant Google Now operates a lot like Apple’s Siri, and is available for mobile, desktop, and now wearable devices. 

Android Wear will let you control your smartwatch by saying “Ok Google” and then asking questions or issuing commands. You’ll also be able to control other devices like your smartphone or Chromecast from your wrist.

It Encompasses Fitness Features

Android Wear will provide fitness summaries and will work with fitness applications. It’s likely that applications like MyFitnessPal, already popular on Android, will be some of the first fitness apps you can download. 

Google is already working on a fitness API that will help Android smartphones automatically detect motion and exercise routines—that API could extend to smartwatches, too. 

It’s Available For Developers Now

Developers can start tailoring or building their applications focused on wearables. Google introduced a new section on Android for developers that will enable you to download a developer preview for Android Wear and learn more about the SDK. 

Image courtesy of Google

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