Google has teased the world with glimpses of Android-powered smartwatches – the first gadgets to be sold under the web goliath’s new Android Wear brand.
The ad kingpin did not reveal specific release dates for the devices today, but it has apparently lined up hardware makers Asus, LG, HTC, Samsung and Google-owned Motorola to ship Wear products by the end of the year. LG has confirmed it will be ready to flog its tiny tablet-like wrist-puter (the LG G Watch – seriously) in the next quarter, and Moto has the round Moto 360 up its sleeve, we’re told.
Anyone itching to get their hands on a virtual model of the gadgets will have to join a developer preview. Google has released a software development kit which includes tools to support watch-shaped things in Android applications, and an emulator to test the code.
There are no specifications of the hardware to hand – but the provided Android Wear emulator simulates an ARMv7a-powered device and its round or square color touchscreen face. That flavor of the ARM architecture is 32-bit, and is used in cores ranging from the Cortex-A5 to the A17 as well as Qualcomm’s Krait and Scorpion processors and others. That’s to suggest the level of power in the tiny computer rather than lean towards any particular chip maker; presumably most of the processing will be done online in the Google cloud.
Judging by the design of the user interface, expect lots of finger scrolling. The gadget is also controllable by voice, just like its Google Glass cousin: just get ready to say “OK, Google” into your wrist a lot to get its attention. The on-screen information is all driven by the search giant’s Now personal assistant service, which unashamedly knows a little too much about you and your plans and surroundings and dreams, and tries to automatically organize your life accordingly and answer your questions about the world.
SOURCE: Shaun Nichols