Tech

Google Reveals Android Wear To Power Smartwatches, Wearables

Android is coming to wearables. Tuesday Google announced a version of its mobile operating system designed for smartwatches and more.

Google Reveals Android Wear To Power Smartwatches, Wearables
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Google is coming to your wrist. Surprised? Probably not, but you've got to check it out.

The Mountain View company announced Tuesday it's extending Android to wearables with Android Wear. (Via Google)

It looks like a stripped-down version of the OS because in many respects, it is.

A designer at Google explains there were two main components the team focused on when creating Wear — one, showing only the most relevant information; and two, giving you the ability to speak to it for a quick command. (Via Google)

Perhaps something like: "Reply. Be there in two."

That's something you've seen — or rather, heard — before.

"Reply. Running late." Google Glass — like Android Wear — relies heavily on voice commands and Google Now.

The Verge writes, "The operating system looks fairly similar to the interface used by the controversial wearable (Google Glass). It's possible that Google has transformed that work into something that's less polarizing."

From what we can see in the videos, Wear will have Google Maps built in. There will also be sensors available for fitness tracking. You'll be able to read and respond to messages. Here, Google shows someone accessing flight details. And, of course, you can Google things.

​​What we're seeing in the videos are watches, which isn't a surprise given the rumors we've heard.

But in a blog post, Google said Wear brings Android to wearables in general. The company is simply "starting with the most familiar wearable—watches." And it listed off an impressive lineup of future manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and even designer brands like Fossil.

But right away, we'll see the Moto 360 from Motorola. It's built to play with Wear and has a classic-looking round face. It will be available summer 2014.

LG also announced its G Watch, which looks a bit more techy. Set to launch in the second quarter of 2014, this marks the fourth time Google and LG have collaborated on a device.

The developer preview is available now, so developers can start playing with how notifications will work on Wear. (Via Google)

Expect more news on the software in the coming months. And you can bet Android Wear will be a big part of Google I/O in June.