Google has announced the release of the first Android Wear devices. Google’s annual I/O event has historically been about developers with little attention paid to the general public. The event is Google’s opportunity to pop the hood on their development systems to explain the updates and innovations they are implementing for the platform. A few years ago, however, there was a swell of public and media interest in the event, resulting in Google deciding to utilize the keynote speech to deliver details of new products in which the wider public might be interested.
The first such big announcement was made at the I/O events two years ago when a video of skydivers was streamed into the conference with the video being taken via Google Glass. While, according to reports, this year’s big announcement did not have the same impact as the impressive first person video footage from a couple of years ago, the technology being announced could be just as useful.
Among all of the updates to the coding structure and tweaks to the new operating system, Google announced the release of the first Android Wear devices. They will be on sale next month.
Android Wear, Google’s version of the smart watch, will be available on two devices initially, with more expected to be released later in the year. The devices, LG’s G watch and Samsung’s Gear Live both will feature rectangular screens and will be running Google’s Android Wear operating system.
As the watches are not stand-alone devices, the user must have an Android smartphone of version 4.3 or above paired up to use them, with both featuring vibrating notifications on the wrist when they arrive on the phone.
Another feature that is mirrored in the two devices is that they will work using only voice commands, as there will be no keyboard feature – something that third party developers have started to address in the form of their own smart watches.
The LG G Watch is the slightly more expensive option of the two devices. The LG features a 1.65 inch, 280 x 280 pixel display. Additionally, there is 512 MB of internal RAM and 4 GB of on-board storage. The battery is slightly better than the Samsung’s, with it being listed as the 400 mAh model.
Despite the lower price, Samsung’s offering, Samsung Gear Live, actually features a higher resolution display, at 320 x 320 pixels. However the display itself is slightly smaller at 1.63 inches. The internal specifications have not been completely revealed at this point, but as the device is listed as running a 1.2 GHz processor, it could very well be the same that is powering the LG. The Samsung does, however, fall behind with respect to its battery as it has a 300 mAh version inside, which would not give it longer than a day’s power.
Google has announced the release of the first Android Wear devices. The competitors will undoubtedly anxiously await word of initial sales and eager consumers will surely be lining up as soon as the devices hit store shelves in July.
By: Rebecca Savastio