Google Continues To Amp Android Wear, Bluetooth Streaming, GPS And Frequent Updates Promised
Since the announcement of the Android Wear platform this past June, Google has said very little about what's in store for the future. As it stands today, we're anticipating the launch of three smartwatches based on the platform, including LG's G Watch, Samsung's Gear Live, and of course, the much-touted Moto 360. All three are set to launch in the week ahead.
Given the silence from Google, CNET reached out with a handful of questions to see what the future holds for Android Wear, and whether or not it's worth keeping excited about. As it turns out, Google is pushing Android Wear harder than ever, and promises that the future is bright, with regular updates that will keep the ecosystem fresh.
A key update en route for these devices will open up the ability to pair your Bluetooth headset with your smartwatch, which would allow you to stream music off of the device. GPS will also receive some TLC soon, allowing the Android Wear OS to make better use of the GPS functionality of the smartwatch to reduce its reliance on your smartphone. It seems that in time, Android Wear devices will be able to offer their users full-fledged functionality without having to use a smartphone as resource.
An upcoming feature that I'm looking forward to is customizable watch faces. On any other Android device, it's extremely easy to replace the entire "Launcher" with a third-party one, and now, it looks like Google will be extending that functionality to its wearables. This to me is really key, because two people could own the exact same smartwatch, but be sporting entirely different watch faces, and perhaps even different usable interfaces. The potential is huge.
One thing Google assures us of is that continual updates to the Android Wear platform is a given, and that really comes as little surprise. This is an emerging market that Google wants to be a big part of, so being stagnant is a non-option - especially with Apple's much-hyped iWatch right around the corner. While most of the updates mentioned will come out by the end of the year, an update out by the end of this week will introduced enhanced voice recognition and activation.
Overall, things look really hopeful for the platform, and while I personally don't think I "need" a smartwatch of my own, I look forward to seeing how the ecosystem evolves. We're barely out the door, but there's already some intense competition that's making things interesting.