As teased by Sundar Pichai at SXSW, Google has today announced their plans for wearables by announcing Android Wear. Android Wear is a about bringing Android to wearables and getting information to you. As expected it’s heavily focused on Google Now and it will be used by a pretty vast array of partners from the Open Handset Alliance(OHA). To start with Google and their partners will be concentrating Android Wear on the most common wearable in the consumer market at this stage – Watches.
There’s four major focuses with Android Wear – Information, answers, health and fitness and syncing in a multi-screen world. :
Google has put together a video on Android Wear which shows what their plans and from the looks of things it looks great.
Android Wear: Information that moves with you
So, of course there’s going to be smartwatches. Google has a lot of partners in the OHA and five of the biggest have been listed as initial partners for Android wear. The partners at this stage include Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung and Google has also brought chip makers on board including Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm. Google also advised that fashion brand Fossil Group will join this group of hardware vendors who will all bring out smartwatches ‘later this year’
There’s no actual SDK..yet. But there is a Developer preview for developers to begin updating their Apps to tailor notifications to work with Android Wear now, best of all if your App supports rich notifications, it should be fairly easy to integrate. Google will release more APIs and developer resources soon but the Android Wear developers page is open now. But Google has produced a video for the Android Wear for Developers Preview introducing it :
Introducing Android Wear Developer Preview
But it looks Awesome :
Google has also included Android Wear Developer Preview Design Principles to point developers in the right direction. From here there’s information for developers on how the UI should look with suggestions such as :
Omit needless text from your notifications. Design for glanceability, not reading. Use words and phrases, not sentences. Show, don’t tell: where possible use simple icons, glyphs, and visualizations to convey your message.
There’s a lot going on here, both square and circular watch faces are an interesting choice. This is the next big move for Android and it’s a pretty exciting time, so bring on the wearables. And of course, while hardware manufacturers will be jumping on board, hardcore Android fans will definitely be asking more about the so-called ‘Nexus Watch’.