Google unveils 'Android Wear,' modified OS for wearables

The modified OS will look to bring uniformity to the wearable segment, which has used custom-made operating systems so far.
By Ananth Baliga  |  March 18, 2014 at 5:27 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- Google released Android Wear Tuesday, which is a modified version of its popular Android operating system, tailored to be used with wearables.

The OS will be based on Google Now voice-recognition technology. In a blog post Tuesday, Google announced LG, Asus, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung as hardware partners with chips developed by Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm. Among the non-techonolgy brands, Fossil will debut watches running Android Wear later this year.

App developers will be able to access a Developer Preview so that they can tweak their existing apps for watches.

"Because Android for wearables works with Android's rich notification system, many apps will already work well. Look out for more developer resources and APIs coming soon," read the blog post from Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and apps.

Android Wear will rely on voice commands and will be able to control other Android devices as well.

Google's entry into the wearable segment could bring some stability and uniformity among the various device manufacturers. At present, most manufacturers are using custom-made operating systems to power their devices. Google should be able to rely on the experience it has gained making Android-based phones, the largest group in the smartphone segment.

"We're always seeking new ways for technology to help people live their lives and this is just another step in that journey. Here’s to getting the most out of the many screens you use every day -- whether in your car, in your pocket or, very soon, on your wrist," said Pichai.


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