While Android L is due out this fall, devices running the Android Wear OS are already available. Android Wear OS is now available on the LG G smartwatch and Samsung Gear Live; Samsung had previously committed to using Linux-based Tizen OS and a real-time OS in other watches. Wear will also run on the round faced Moto 360, available for sale later this summer.
LG G smartwatch. Source: LG
Android Wear is voice activated and syncs with smartphones to both receive and control information. A smartwatch wearer could, for example, read a text on the watch then swipe the message away, and the same action will occur on the handset. The OS is navigated by swiping up and down through cards based on apps from the watch and phone. Users can also get directions, set timers, and play music, among other things.
Wear will also be available for Google Glass in the next few months. Wear will run on Glass the same way it does on a smartwatch with a few extra lines of code and will “lower the barrier to entry for wearables,” Staff Developer Advocate Timothy Jordsan said.
“As a device that you always have with you, the watch will always provide intelligent answers to your questions and act as your key to your mobile world,” Android Director of Engineering David Singleton said at the keynote.
Google briefly touched on a new smartphone project for emerging markets called Android One, a set of hardware reference platforms for OEMs. Next year, Google partner with three Indian OEMs to create a smartphone with dual SIM cards, an SD card, 4.5 inch screen, and FM radio for under $100. Google would not comment further with hardware specs.
“Our goal is to reach the next 5 billion people in the world. In emerging markets where the majority of users don’t have smartphone,” Pichai said. “The software on Android One is the same that runs on stock Android. It allows audience and installers to install relevant apps and provides full automatic updates.”
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times