Android Wear: the age of Google smartwatches begins


After months of rumors, Google is officially entering the wearables market. On March 18th, 2014, the company unveiled a specialized version of Android — Android Wear — designed to power smartwatches and other wearable products. On the same day of its major announcement, Google also revealed that it's already signed on a number of hardware partners including LG and Motorola to help realize its vision.

Android Wear promises to deliver notifications, reminders, and navigation directions. Google says it also puts a huge focus on fitness tracking. The first smartwatches running the platform are set to arrive this year. Google has already released a preview of Android Wear to ensure that smartphone apps are optimized with support for the operating system by the time it reaches consumer devices.

12 updates and 2332 comments below.

Jun 03 4:21p

Google offers another tease of Moto 360 and LG's G Watch

We're expecting to hear much more on Android Wear and the first smartwatches to showcase it — Motorola's Moto 360 and LG's G Watch — at Google I/O later this month. But before the developer conference kicks off, Google is today offering another brief look at the two devices. They're featured in a dev-focused blog post that goes over just how easy it is to build apps for both square and round smartwatches.

"Designing for Android Wear is pretty different from designing for the desktop, phones...

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Is this Android's new logo?

Android's current wordmark, set in a futuristic typeface, has remained basically unchanged for as long as the platform has existed — but now, some 5 1/2 years after the T-Mobile G1's commercial release, it might be time for an update. Posted earlier this week by Twitter account @upleaks, the alleged 17-second boot animation for LG's upcoming G Watch features the usual stylings of a Google-influenced Android device — but the interesting part comes at the end, when an all-new Android word mark...

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May 29 5:35p

Watch Android Wear in action on an LG smartwatch

Until now we've been teased with tantalizing stills and rendered videos of Android Wear, Google's operating system for wearables. But today we're finally getting a look at the real thing running on LG's upcoming smartwatch. AppDated somehow managed to get hands-on time with the device at a recent event while everyone else was focused on the just-announced LG G3 smartphone. We're not entirely clear on what's being said in the video — nor how far along this version of Android Wear is. An option...

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May 21 12:07p

Motorola contest suggests Moto 360 could cost $249

Motorola's upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch could retail for around $249, or so it appears from a document released today by Motorola. In the official rules for a watch-face design contest being run by Motorola, the approximate retail value of a Moto 360, the contest's grand prize, is listed as $249. Motorola hasn't explicitly stated what the watch will sell for just yet, but it likely needed to disclose its actual value for legal reasons while holding the contest. The stated price is perhaps a...

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Apr 22 2:07a

LG's G Watch is always-on and water resistant

LG revealed more information about the upcoming G Watch on its new website. The smartwatch will come in two colors: stealth black and champagne gold. On top of having what is being described as an always-on screen, the G Watch will purportedly be both water and dust resistant. No release date has been stated yet.

The G Watch is one of the several new smartwatches that will be using Google's Android Wear, a version of the operating system tailor-made for wearable devices. Some of Android...

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Apr 16 4:06a

Samsung's Android Wear watch and Google-less phone coming this year

Samsung's product roadmap for 2014 looks an awful lot like the 2013 version. In an interview with Reuters, the Korean company's senior VP for product strategy, Hankil Yoon, says that Samsung will introduce a new Android smartwatch as well as a "high-end" Tizen smartphone this year. What's different, however, is that the watch will run Android Wear — Google's customized software designed specifically for wearables — and that the phone might actually ship this time around.

Samsung's first...

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Mar 25 8:25a

Sony won't use Android Wear for its smartwatches

Sony, one of the most fervent supporters of the Android platform, has said it won't be embracing the smartwatch version of the software that Google recently announced. Android Wear is a customized, trimmed-down variant of the mobile operating system intended to reside on wearable devices of various form factors — starting off with smartwatches — but Sony has taken the position that it will continue to focus on its own OS, while possibly being open to Android Wear down the line. Sony told CNET...

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Mar 24 4:02p

LG shows another photo of its Android Wear-powered G Watch

On Twitter today, LG UK released another photo of the G Watch that was first announced alongside Google's Android Wear platform last week. The photo is an upgrade from the first one the company released at the time of the announcement, which showed the smartwatch's face shrouded in black. At a glance, the G Watch immediately looks different than the Moto 360 with its square-ish face, while looking similar to existing devices like the Sony SmartWatch 2. In a statement made at the time of the...

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Mar 19 12:37p

The story of Motorola's smartwatch from the man who designed it

Eventually they just made a watch.

Motorola design chief Jim Wicks and his team had spent a year and a half designing the device that would ultimately become the beautiful Moto 360 smartwatch, but every initial result was lacking. "Every time you do one," he tells me, "no matter how awesome you might think it is, if it’s square, everyone’s just kind of like ‘ehhh...’ And you sit there and you think about making it a little bit thinner, or a little bit bigger, a little bit heavier — you work...

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Motorola, LG announce upcoming Android Wear smartwatches

Google has dropped a large wearable bombshell today in the form of a developer preview for "Android Wear," a smartwatch platform that works a bit like Google Now for your wrist. Now, various hardware manufacturers are coming out of the woodwork to announce their own plans to create wearable devices. LG announced first, with its G Watch due to arrive next quarter. The watch appears to be a simple, plastic square with an LCD touchscreen. In a statement, LG's CEO of mobile communications said...

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Google reveals Android Wear, an operating system for smartwatches

Google is officially getting into wearables. The company has announced Android Wear, a version of the operating system designed specifically for wearable devices. To start with, the system is made for smartwatches, and Google is moving aggressively to make itself the key name in wearables.

The company has released two videos that show off what the watch interface will look like, and from what we've seen, it's very impressive. In addition, Motorola and LG have already revealed their first...

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Mar 09 1:44p

Google is finally getting serious about wearables

Speaking today at the SXSW conference, Google's SVP of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai, said that in two weeks, Google will be releasing a developer SDK that will make it easier for companies to create wearable devices that run on Android. Pichai didn't drop any hints as to whether or not Google itself was working on any devices, but instead said that when it comes to wearables, he thinks about it "at a platform level." That means that Google is focusing on the low-level operating-system...

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