Why Android Wear Is Important to Device Makers, Developers

1 - Why Android Wear Is Important to Device Makers, Developers
2 - Android Wear Can Go Circular on You
3 - There's a Context-Aware Element
4 - Google Now Is Built Right In
5 - Voice Activation Plays a Key Role
6 - Google Is Inching Its Way Toward Health
7 - Bring an Android Phone With You
8 - There Are Three Hardware Partners So Far
9 - You Can Get Two Smartwatches Soon
10 - Android Wear Has Full Notification Support
11 - Third-Party App Support Is Coming Along
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Why Android Wear Is Important to Device Makers, Developers

by Don Reisinger

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Android Wear Can Go Circular on You

Android Wear modified to work on a circular screen gives companies far more flexibility in their product designs. Every other product on the market has a square design, simply because it's easy to port an operating system designed for squared-off screens to a smartwatch. Android Wear topples that idea by allowing for circular screens.

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There's a Context-Aware Element

Android Wear knows where a user is and provides relevant information before the user even asks for it. If a user, for example, is heading outside, Android Wear will provide relevant weather information. When coming upon the starting time for an event, the user will be given a brief update as a reminder.

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Google Now Is Built Right In

Google Now is a crucial component in the operating system. In fact, it's the key feature that makes the context-aware element work. With Google Now, users can get everything from directions from their current location to information about what's around them. Google Now doesn't get much play in the public space, but it is a central component in Android Wear.

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Voice Activation Plays a Key Role

It only makes sense that voice activation plays a key role in Android Wear. Users can ask the smartwatch everything from directions to information around them, and it'll be delivered. They can also talk to the device to communicate with their attached smartphones. Voice activation is an important piece in the overall appeal of Android Wear.

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Google Is Inching Its Way Toward Health

For now, Google doesn't have much to offer in the area of health. In fact, the devices running its software can at best provide a heart rate monitor and track movement, but little else. Over time, however, Google hopes that more hardware makers and software designers create ways to track more health information.

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Bring an Android Phone With You

Google's Android Wear requires an Android phone to work to its full potential. Furthermore, the platform requires that users run Android 4.3 or higher on their devices, which leaves out a significant portion of the Android marketplace. Still, going forward, Android Wear should be a suitable option for just about anyone who buys an Android smartphone, since those devices are running software versions that will support Android Wear.

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There Are Three Hardware Partners So Far

While Google so far has only signed up three hardware partners—LG, Samsung and Motorola—it promises more in the future. At least its current hardware partners are some of the biggies.

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You Can Get Two Smartwatches Soon

Are you looking to get your hands on an Android Wear device sooner rather than later? You're in luck. Two of the known devices—the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live—will be available in early July. The G Watch will retail for $229, while the Gear Live will set you back $199. Both devices are available to order right now.

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Android Wear Has Full Notification Support

Since Android Wear is connected to a smartphone, it can provide full notification support to users. So, whenever a call comes through or a text message is received, the user can look at his or her Android Wear device rather than pull a smartphone out of a pocket or purse to see who is calling. It's that glanceable feature that could make Android Wear a compelling option for many customers.

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Third-Party App Support Is Coming Along

Third-party apps should be coming along sooner rather than later. Google opened its Android Wear software development kit to developers and is expecting many of them to bring their programs to the operating system in the coming months. Look for many apps to be focused on location, health and notification support.

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