As smartphones got larger and larger, their most important characteristic – mobility, began to shrink. It is a price to pay which consumers happily traded off for having access to almost laptop capabilities in their pockets. Now, the Android ecosystem is about to solve the problem by launching a complementary OS meant at reducing the new gap in mobility. The Android Wear OS powered smartwatches will be the primary target of this new OS. We wait for new applications of it provided by large companies such as LG and Samsung. Health, fitness and travelling will likely be the domains among the most probable candidates for massive development.
At the Google I/O, the G Watch by LG and Gear Live by Samsung are the first to be introduced. Both sport rectangular displays in an attempt to unify the UI. The round shape Moto 360 will be introduced this summer as well.
Android Wear OS functions
The ‘Ok, Google’ function will be a core function of the devices which will be geared at sensing and guessing the user’s future actions based on the history of the settings and accounts synchronization. In other words, it will be context oriented. This approach is the value added by Google itself through the Android Wear OS, as smartwatches are not a quite novel occurrence.
The Android Wear’s main function is to inform the user on the smartphone’s notifications together with enabling a number of core functions such as answering calls and visualizing text messages. Vibrations are a welcomed mode of notifying the user, after which the user can dispose of a notification through swiping. Moreover, the music player will be controllable from the watch. Another provided set of actions involves the management of travelling – the watch will notify you to check, for example, if you have your passport with you as you prepare to travel.
So far, as Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight tech consultancy, stated for BBC:
“Android Wear is not a full operating system, it’s merely a smartphone companion, and my view is that’s the right starting point for Google at a time when everyone is feeling their way in the dark and trying to find a compelling case for what to do with it beyond the basic stuff.”
It remains to be seen later on how the Android Wear OS will be implemented and how the third-party app developers will turn this new gem into a dependable workhorse.