Android Wear Is a Significant New IT Initiative: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-03-20 Print this article Print

Developers have officially gotten their hands on Android Wear, a new operating system from Google that's built on Android but designed for wearable devices. The software works with both square and circular screens—an important distinction—and can be modified by individual companies, so they can create different experiences across their product lines. That Google has brought the same open Android experience to the wearable market is notable and important. The move means that Google is applying its same philosophy in smartphones and tablets to wearables. The market for wearable technology could grow explosively in the next few years, if consumers agree with Google and device makers that wearable computers are valuable new computing products. But it's far from certain that consumers will start buying wearables on the same scale that they purchased smartphones and tablets. This eWEEK slide show will discuss Android Wear and its importance to consumers and to the IT industry. Though in its infancy, Android Wear is making a splash.

  • Android Wear Is a Significant New IT Initiative: 10 Reasons Why

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Android Wear Is a Significant New IT Initiative: 10 Reasons Why
  • Android Wear Smartwatches Will Arrive First

    As Google itself pointed out, and all of its marketing materials seem to indicate, Android Wear will first come to the market on smartwatches. That makes sense. Smartwatches appear to be the devices that most wearable-focused companies are pushing, and what consumers are most apt to buy at the moment.
    2 - Android Wear Smartwatches Will Arrive First
  • Other Wearables Will Hit the Market Later

    Once smartwatches from a wide range of companies hit the market, Android Wear will likely find its way to other devices, including wearable fitness bands and maybe even Google Glass competitors. Google's Android Wear seems primed for any kind of wearable device, which makes it all the more appealing to companies looking to offer products in that space.
    3 - Other Wearables Will Hit the Market Later
  • It Will Promote New Form Factors

    One of the most interesting things about Google's announcement is that the company's Android Wear will support round screens. In fact, Motorola unveiled the Moto 360, featuring exactly that kind of design. Considering most products today have square or rectangular screens, Google needed to do quite a bit to change the software to make it work on round displays. It's an interesting shift.
    4 - It Will Promote New Form Factors
  • Several Vendors Have Signed Up

    Want to know why Android Wear is important? Look at all the companies that have so far signed on to develop devices running the platform. Samsung has committed to the platform, as well as Fossil, HTC, Motorola, LG and others. Several companies feel Android Wear is the future. Who can argue against that?
    5 - Several Vendors Have Signed Up
  • It Allows for Different Experiences

    One of the nice things about Android Wear is that it's open-source. What that means is vendors can create software experiences that go far beyond the out-of-the-box service Google will ship. As with Android smartphones and tablets, we can expect to find many different software experiences when Android Wear devices start shipping.
    6 - It Allows for Different Experiences
  • It'll Be Google's Answer to iWatch

    It appears, based on the sheer number of rumors, that it's only a matter of time before Apple launches its long-awaited iWatch. Realizing that, Google's Android Wear could be the search giant's answer to Apple's offering. Android Wear will present a certain software experience, and so will the operating system on the iWatch. Google might even launch its own line of devices in the future, similar to what it has done with Nexus. Google has just fired the first shot in its war with Apple in wearables.
    7 - It'll Be Google's Answer to iWatch
  • It Delivers a Standard Experience for Wearables

    The important thing to keep in mind with Android Wear is that while modifications will happen with the software, it helps to standardize the general user experience. Right now, wearable devices are running all kinds of operating systems and have yet to be standardized to provide an expectable experience to users. Android Wear solves that problem, which should help sales.
    8 - It Delivers a Standard Experience for Wearables
  • It Gives Non-Tech Companies an Inroad

    One of the surprising announcements related to Android Wear is that Fossil has decided to become a partner in the ecosystem. That's important. Since smartwatches launched, major watch brands stayed out of the mix, due in large part to their lack of resources and requisite knowledge to get the job done. With Android Wear, those companies can now get an operating system, design a product and band, and get it produced. Expect to see many more non-tech companies join the Android Wear initiative over time.
    9 - It Gives Non-Tech Companies an Inroad
  • Android's Market Credibility Helps

    It's important that Google's wearable operating system is Android. That helps developers create more and better applications, since they know the platform, and it gives product vendors a leg up when designing devices. Android helps to take the guesswork out of designing software and what should be expected from it, leaving device makers to do what they do best: focus on hardware.
    10 - Android's Market Credibility Helps
  • Google Is Pushing a Fledgling Industry

    Although most analysts believe that the wearable technology market will grow in the coming years, those estimates were based on the assumption that there wouldn't be a standard platform with the potential strength to lend momentum to wearable sales. Now that Google has entered the fray with Android in tow, everything changes. Google has the power to push the wearable sector ahead, and device makers are already jumping on its bandwagon. Apple could soon enter the competition. Be on the lookout for serious competition in wearables.
    11 - Google Is Pushing a Fledgling Industry

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