Moto 360 and LG G watch What we know about Android Wear

first_imgThe bomb has gone off, and the impossible wait for summer to bring two incredible looking smartwatches to market has begun. Android Wear, Google’s platform for wearable technology, has arrived. From what we know so far, there’s a lot of reasons to be excited.There are dozens of smartwatches on the market right now, but even the popular ones ultimately are lacking in one critical way or another. Users demand a seemingly impossible combination of terrific, muti-day battery life with a full color screen and the ability to speak and be spoken to when your hands are busy. Nothing out there right now comes even close to that mark. The closest is the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Gear 2, but both of those currently require a Samsung phone in order to truly use. Even then, the devices aren’t all the way there yet. Google has announced partnerships with LG and Motorola to launch two different smartwatches running Android Wear, a Google-centric OS that claims to offer way more than any other smartwatch is offering today.The hardwareMotorola and LG have come up with slightly different designs that look like they will be doing lots of the same thing. The Moto 360 is a round face with what appears to be sensors for the underside of your wrist, while the LG G Watch is a square face with a slightly thinner profile as it sits on your wrist. They both appear to have a single physical button, Motorola’s in the traditional right side position and LG’s in the top right corner as a sort of nub. These watches have both been built with Google’s hand guiding them through the process, but their approaches seem to be fairly different in key ways.Every image of the Moto 360 shows the screen on all the time, either showing you a classy looking watch face or drifting into the Google Now-esque UI that we’ll dig into later. We know from the Moto X that the company is no stranger to playing with battery sipping hardware that is ready at a moments notice to spring to life, but if the Moto 360 is indeed an always on device the battery will be a big question that even they will need to address.The LG G Watch isn’t quite as flashy with its display. In fact, all of the shots we’ve seen so far show the watch resting in an almost off state, save for a few precious pixels dedicated to showing you the time. You’ll notice the Android Wear SDK preview shows the resting display in much the same way, so it’s possible LG didn’t offer much in the way of software input for this design. It could also be that this watch is designed to be the “entry level” version in terms of cost, as LG themselves described the watch as offering a low barrier to entry for developers.We currently don’t have cost or availability outside of “summer” for these two devices, but there’s more than a little chance Google will offer developers some serious hands on time with the SDK and the hardware during Google IO in order to make sure there’s no shortage of apps that support the platform by the time these hit shelves.The softwareRenders in videos are fun to look at and all, but where’s the actual software? As it turns out, this is in fact the actual software. Matias Duarte, Google’s Director of User Experience for Android, confirmed after the initial wave of news that the visuals they were showing off was the actual UI for the devices being built right now. This was confirmed once developers were able to poke around in the Android Wear SDK and see that all the tools are there to easily modify existing apps to deliver notifications in the same fashion shown in the Wear videos. Whether the retail products are as smooth or as bright as we’re seeing in these videos remains to be seen, and likely aren’t really as amazing as we see here, but the UI is clean and beautiful.Next page: What about Google Glass? 1 2last_img

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