Google officially announces Android Wear

Google announced Android Wear today, a new platform geared toward bringing Android to wearable devices like smartwatches.

Android Wear is designed to focus on timely information, delivered when it’s most relevant — Google’s announcement mentions social updates, chat updates and notifications from shopping and news apps, for instance.

The “OK Google” keyword can also activate voice input, just as it does in the Google Now Launcher, allowing you to get answers to spoken questions, or perform other commends like sending text messages or setting alarms. That means voice commands from Android Wear devices can also link back to your phone and, for example start music or movie playback.

And as with rival watches from the likes of Samsung, Android Wear also has a big fitness focus, allowing you to track calories burned, as well as distance traveled, whether you’re walking, running or cycling.

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Developer Preview

If you’re a developer, there’s a new section on focused on wearables. Starting today, you can download a Developer Preview so you can tailor your existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear. 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.

Google are also already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year.

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