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Android Wear

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Android Wear

Android Wear
The Moto 360 smartwatch
Developer Google
Written in C (core), C++, Java[1]
OS family Android
Working state Current
Source model Open source with closed source components[2]
Initial release March 18, 2014 (2014-03-18)
Latest release Based on Android 5.1.1 "Lollipop"
Marketing target Smartwatches, other wearables
Available in Multi-lingual
Platforms 32-bit ARM, MIPS, x86
Kernel type Monolithic (modified Linux kernel)
Userland Bionic libc,[3] shell from NetBSD,[4] native core utilities with a few from NetBSD[5]
Default user interface Graphical (Multi-touch)
License Developer Preview: proprietary[6]
Apache License 2.0
Linux kernel patches under GNU GPL v2[7]
Official website //wear.com.androidwww

Android Wear is a version of Google's Android operating system designed for smartwatches and other wearables.[8][9] By pairing with mobile phones running Android version 4.3 or newer, or iOS version 8.2 or newer with limited support from Google's pairing application,[10] Android Wear integrates Google Now[11] technology and mobile notifications into a smartwatch form factor. It also adds the ability to download applications from the Google Play Store.

Android Wear supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a range of features and applications. Watch face styles include round, square and rectangular. Released devices include Motorola Moto 360,[12] the LG G Watch,[13] and the Samsung Gear Live.[14] Hardware manufacturing partners include ASUS, Broadcom, Fossil, HTC, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Imagination Technologies, Motorola, Qualcomm, and Samsung.[15]

In the first six months of availability, Canalys estimates that over 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were shipped.[16] As of 15 May 2015, Android Wear had between one and five million application installations.[17]

History

The platform was announced on March 18, 2014, along with the release of a developer preview. At the same time, companies such as Motorola, Samsung, LG, HTC and Asus were announced as partners.[18] On June 25, 2014, at Google I/O, the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch were launched, along with further details about Android Wear. Motorola's Moto 360 was released on September 5, 2014.

On December 10, 2014, an update started to roll out, adding new features including a watch face API and changed the software to be based on Android 5.0 "Lollipop".[19]

The LG G Watch and Gear Live started shipping in July 2014, while the Moto 360 began shipping in September 2014. The next batch of Android Wear devices, which arrived at the end of 2014, included the Asus ZenWatch,[20] the Sony SmartWatch 3,[21] and the LG G Watch R.[22] As of March 2015, the latest Android Wear devices are the LG Watch Urbane,[23] and the Huawei Watch.[24]

On August 31, 2015, Google launched pairing application for iOS version 8.2 or newer, allowing limited support for receiving iOS notifications on smartwatches running Android Wear. As of September 2015, only the LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch are supported, but Google announced support for more smartwatch models.[10][25]

Features

Users can find directions by voice from the phone, choose transport mode, including bike, and start a journey. While traveling, the watch shows directions, and will actually use tactile interaction to indicate turns by feel, suiting travel without requiring one to look at a phone, or even watch screen.

Via Google Fit, and similar applications such as Moto Body, Android Wear supports ride and run tracking ("OK Google, start a run"), heart activity can be sampled automatically through the day or on demand ("OK Google, what's my heart rate"), step-counting, calorie expenditure etc. are all active. These features work within the Fit ecosystem, allowing integration with companion devices and applications such as Withings Smart Body scales for weight monitoring. The watch reinforces achievements with cards noting goal attainment, when a goal is near, summaries of heart, and body activity.

Users can use their Android Wear Watch to control their phone. Music can be requested (for instance, "OK Google, play the Rolling Stones"). The screen then shows a card for play-control, volume, skip, media images. And music can be controlled from the wrist with the user free to move.

Notifications

The vibration engine alerts users about important notifications originating from a user-selectable set of applications. Wear provides multiple smart options for replying, including Google Voice that allows dictating responses to email (including third-party email applications like Type), spoken or drawn emoticons. For more extensive replies, the user can "handoff" the reply to their phone or tablet.

Intelligent notifications from Google Now are supported including traffic, flights, hotel check-in, meeting alerts, location- and time-based reminders, weather and sport, stocks, flight status, boarding passes, restaurant bookings, etc.

Incoming text messages, Hangouts etc. appear on the watch. The user can reply to these from the device by voice. Currently new SMS can be initiated from the watch. Wear 5.1.1 supports drawing to reply, which uses AI to interpret the user's sketch as an emoji character. Search by voice is fully supported. Google Now searches such as "How tall is Nicole Kidman" result in Knowledge Graph cards appearing on screen, with options to open the search result on another device.

Opening the Phone camera app, the user can control the shutter, and view photos on the watch. Third-party applications support using the phone camera as a streaming device, or more varied camera control. Events appear as cards on screen. "OK Google, show my agenda" will display the user's agenda. Watch faces also support marking out appointments (for instance with contrasting color to show periods with an appointment, and/or illuminating a lighted "count-down" line for upcoming appointments.

Note taking is fully supported via Google Keep and other note-apps, as is marking-off check lists etc. Via voice commands such as "OK Google, remind me to call Roy at work", or "Remind me to baste the chicken in 25 minutes" the user can create location and time-based reminders, set alarms, timers etc. which appear on the watch at the appropriate time.

A large universe of applications has appeared, with significant players such as Evernote etc. creating new functionality on the watch: for instance, hand-off of notes to the watch screen when the user turns-off their phone screen. Location-based applications like FourSquare show Android Wear users suitable near-by venues, allow check-in etc.

See also

References

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  10. ^ a b
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  16. ^ Just 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches shipped last year. Engadget. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
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External links

  • Official website
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