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Home / Features / 8 things you need to know about Android Wear, Google’s beautiful smartwatch operating system

8 things you need to know about Android Wear, Google’s beautiful smartwatch operating system

All the facts about Google’s new wearable tech platform

Watch out Samsung and Pebble – Google has just entered the wearables game with its smartwatch-friendly Android Wear platform. So what do we know about the Android variant? Read on for all the facts…

READ MORE: Meet the LG G Watch and Motorola Moto 360, the first Android Wear smartwatches

Like Google Now on smartphones, it knows what you want to know before you ask

Google Now on Android Wear

Android Wear uses your location or activity (as well as the masses of other data Google already has about you) to show your information it thinks you need without being bidden – stuff like travel times from your current location to your home. It’ll also make suggestions based on your activity.

Because it’s Android, it’ll work with loads of apps

Stacked Gmail notifications

Google says Wear will feed you notifications from all your favourite social media apps, as well as shopping, news and photography apps, and that it’ll play nicely with your “preferred messaging apps”. It works with the existing Android notification system, you see, so many apps will work from the off.

You can talk to it

Android Wear voice reply

Thanks to Google Now’s excellent voice recognition capabilities, you can ask an Android Wear device questions or bark orders into it. Just say, “OK, Google” and you can call a cab, fire up a music playlist, send a text, set an alarm or make a restaurant reservation.

READ MORE: Is Google Now better than Siri and S Voice put together?

It’s going to help you stay healthy

Android Wear health

Like any self-respecting wearable platform, Android Wear comes with a bunch of built-in fitness functions for seasoned gym bunnies and sweating amateurs alike. It’ll work with existing fitness apps and provide real-time speed, distance and time info on your wrist.

There’s a crop of hardware on the way

LG G Watch

We’ve already had glimpses of two upcoming Android Wear devices in the Moto 360 (out in the summer) and LG G Watch (out in the spring – but apparently it won’t even be the first Android Wear device to go on sale), and Google says it’s also working with Asus, HTC and Samsung as well as most of the main processor manufacturers. Oh, and it’s not just the tech companies either: fashion watch-maker Fossil is also beavering away on a Wear-equipped timepiece.

It’ll be used for more than just smartwatches

Motorola 360

While everyone is talking about Android Wear smartwatches today, Google has been very careful to label it as a “wearables platform” rather than just a smartwatch platform. Which probably means that it’ll be used in other wearable devices too.

It’ll play nice with other Android and Chrome devices

Android Wear and phone

Android Wear products can be used to control smartphones, tablets and possibly even Chromebooks and the Chromecast – Google’s blog post on the launch says you’ll be able to cast your favourite movie to your TV.

READ MORE: Google Chromecast review

Developers have access to it right now

Android Wear sports score notification

Google has made a developer preview of Android Wear available already, allowing software makers to tailor their existing app notifications for voice or touch control. A full SDK is listed as “coming soon”.

Profile image of Sam Kieldsen Sam Kieldsen Contributor


Tech journalism's answer to The Littlest Hobo, I've written for a host of titles and lived in three different countries in my 15 years-plus as a freelancer. But I've always come back home to Stuff eventually, where I specialise in writing about cameras, streaming services and being tragically addicted to Destiny.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, drones, video games, film and TV