Wearable Tech World Feature Article
February 24, 2014

Google to Launch Smartwatch-friendly OS Soon

There was once a time when Google’s unofficial mantra was “don’t be evil,” but these days it feels like the company has traded that out for “try to take over the world.” Not content with merely ruling the mobile market in terms of device share, the company has set its sights on other targets.

For starters, it has begun taking on the PC market lately via Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, while Android’s growing prevalence in IoT (the Internet of Things) suggests Google may power our fridges and washing machines in the near future. Most recently, though, there have been rumblings that Google has settled on wearable technology, specifically smartwatches, as its next target.

Indeed, a recent report from TechnoBuffalo suggests that Google is getting ready to announce its own smartwatch operating system. Based on Android, the OS will be available to all OEMs much the way Android itself is right now. However, aside from heavy Google Now integration, it seems this wearable-friendly version of Android will be relatively lightweight as far as features go.

This really isn’t surprising. For starters, Google has been working with manufacturers lately to ensure a more uniform Android experience across devices; most notably, it signed a deal with Samsung to tone down reliance on custom UXs like TouchWiz. By jumping in early with a pre-made smatwatch-oriented version of Android, Google may be able to prevent the same thing from happening in wearables.

Secondly, Google Glass already sports customized version of Android designed to run well on less powerful hardware. As such, it wouldn’t have been difficult for Google to use this as a jumping off point for the creation of a more smartwatch-friendly version.

Regardless, reports suggest that we’ll get a glimpse of Google’s new smartwatch OS sometime in the coming months, specifically between March and May.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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