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May 2, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 1:20pm

What does Android Wear do?

Top 10 features of Google's incoming smartwatch operating system.

By Ben Sullivan

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Google’s next adventure – Android Wear. An Android operating system designed specifically for smartwatches looks set to revolutionise the wearable technology world, and for good reason too. Here are ten features we can expect on the Android Wear smartwatches, the first of which being the LG G Watch and the Motorola Moto 360.

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Google Now

Much like the Nexus 5 on Android 4.4 KitKat, Android Wear will offer the Google Now hands-free capability. Simply say "Ok Google" and the browser will open to start your search. Questions like "where is the nearest petrol station?" or "How tall is Mount Everest" will be responded to with a handy information card or Google map with all the info you need to know on it.

Respond to texts with voice

If you get a text through to your Android Wear-powered smartphone, you’ll be able to talk to reply to it. If talking is not convenient, pre-set answers will be available to send off at a quick click.

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Internet of Things

In Google’s promo video, we see a cyclist opening her garage door by asking her Android Wear smartwatch to do so. Google acquired Nest Labs this year, which makes hardware for the home, so the possibilities could soon be endless.

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Traffic and weather information

Of course, with Google Now, all your search and travel history is used to pre-emptively provide you with the right information you need when you need it. Getting close to the time you need to leave for work? Google Now will remind you, and tell you what the traffic is like.

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Scan your tickets

In the promo video, we also see a passenger boarding a plane by scanning in at the desk with a QR code displayed on her smartwatch.

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Fitness tracking

Android Wear-powered smartwatches will be constantly tracking your steps to let you know how far you’ve walked and how many calories you’ve burned. It’s likely this function will be compatible with other fitness apps on Android smartphones.

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You’ll be able to control your music

Control your music choices and volume remotely with your Android Wear smartwatch.

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Wireless charging

The Moto 360 is rumoured to have wireless charging, and the batteries in this generation of smartwatches will be far superior to previous incarnations. Just a couple of hours wireless charging when you’re asleep and the watch will be good to go. Sleep tracking is also another feature, waking you up when you’ve slept the required amount.

No physical buttons

Neither of the planned Android Wear smartwatches have any buttons – both the Moto 360 and G Watch are fully touch screen.

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Always-on

THe LG G Watch boasts the feature of having an always-on screen. This negates the need to shake or wake up the watch to view it.

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