Unless you were hiding under a cave last month it would have been hard to miss the massive announcement from Android that it is developing an operating system for use in smartwatches.
Dubbed ‘Android Wear‘, the platform pushes Android into wearable technology. According to Sundar Pichai, senior VP at Google, "we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with mobile technology.
"That’s why we’re so excited about wearables – they understand the context of the world around you, and you can interact with them simply and efficiently, with just a glance or a spoken word."
Features like Google Now, a huge success on Nexus and Android devices, will be available on smartwatches to aid with everyday tasks and habits. Google Now does this by hoarding all the information that’s thrown at your watch, then using it to provide suggestions. Like when your next flight is, where the nearest shoe shop is, or…well, really anything!
So far, two manufacturers have announced a watch that will utilise Android Wear, LG and Motorola. The LG G Watch and Moto 360 will be the frontrunners in what’s sure to be a new generation of wearable technology, and will probably go head to head with Apple’s yet-to-be-announced iWatch – leaving Samsung’s Gear watches in the dust. But which one should you start saving for?
The Moto 360 garnered a shed load of attention when announced. Like its name, the Moto 360 has a classic circular face, making in stand out a mile from competitors like the Pebble and Samsung’s Gear Fit.
It’s scheduled to have an OLED screen that will help massively with battery life (a problem that’s plagued smartwatches so far) and it will be covered by sapphire glass.
It’s also meant to be ‘orientation-free’, meaning it doesn’t matter if you’re a lefty or a righty! The screen can be changed for use either way.
Motorola designer Jim Wicks admitted in an interview that the watch WILL NOT feature a micro USB port for charging…so…what’s up with that? Wireless charging we predict. Or perhaps even a dynamo-style mechanism for charging on the go. Doesn’t this just keep getting better and better?
The Moto 360 will be water resistant, but unfortunately won’t feature a camera. We think that’s a decent compromise though, as, unless you’re James Bond, why would you want a camera on your watch? Especially as it wouldn’t be smartphone camera quality yet anyway.
Obviously the Moto 360 will be integrated with voice recognition, perhaps the best and most fun feature of Google Now. Speaking the words ‘OK Google’ will launch into a number of different user-set options.
Now, there is a negative, but it might just be temporary. Motorola have not announced any release details yet. We know it’ll be here in the Summer, but not sure if that will be a UK release date too.
Go to the next page for the lowdown on LG’s G Watch.
LG G Watch
With a brand new website launched recently for the LG G Watch, we’re now privy to even more excitement for the Moto 360 Android Wear competitor.
Unlike the 360, the LG G Watch will feature a square-style face, much like the other smartwatches we’re used to.
Some details revealed show an ‘always on’ display, plus colours coming in champagne gold or stealth black.
It will cost around £180 in the UK, and come with all the Google Now and Android Wear features promised on the Moto 360.
Despite the G Watch’s square face, it seems LG is trying to market this one at the broader, fashion-conscious consumer.
It will have no physical buttons, suggesting a fully touch screen watch, but we’re not sure if there’s a microUSB port yet.
The G Watch will sport a mighty fine (for a watch) 512MB RAM and will come 4GB of internal memory, whilst boasting a 1.65-inch screen with 280×280 pixel resolution.