Upcoming Android Wear updates coming to make devices more independent

Upcoming Android Wear updates coming to make devices more independent
Google knows that the competition in the wearables space is only going to get more intense with new Samsung Tizen devices, and the often rumored range of iWatch devices. So, that means it will have to continue iterating the Android Wear software fast enough to keep ahead; and, a new interview lets us in on those plans a bit.

The information comes from David Singleton, Google's engineering director for Android Wear and Vice President of Engineering for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer, speaking to CNET. The plan is for Google to release multiple updates to Android Wear by the end of the year. The first update will be to improve navigation and voice commands and is planned to be released this week, but there are also bigger plans on the horizon that will help to make your smartwatch a bit more independent. 

The main set of changes detailed by the Google engineers will make it so you could go for a run and leave your phone at home. This would be done first by allowing your smartwatch to connect directly to a Bluetooth headset and play music locally. Beyond that, GPS support would be added so the watch could track your location as you go. No need for a phone to be involved. Google is also still working on the official API for custom watch faces, even though plenty of developers have created custom faces already. 

source: CNET 1 & 2

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9 Comments

1. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

These are features that should've been implemented from the beginning. Google needs to stop releasing stuff as beta all the time. Apple at least makes sure their products come full-featured and complete without making 2-3 updates a year.

2. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Oh ya. Apple always releases their software 100% functional and never with updates 2-3 times a year. iOS 7.0; 7.0.1; 7.0.2; 7.0.3; 7.0.4; 7.0.5; 7.0.6; 7.1; 7.1.1; 7.1.2 were just for kicks.

3. VyktorJonas

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

not to mention Apple might release the iWatch months or even a year after Android Wear, giving them plenty of time to steal features and even improve what has already been done by Google

5. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Hey, take it easy on him. It's his first post ever!

6. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Considering that the first Android Wear devices started shipping in July (only 2 months ago). I think any and every update that improves features and overall functionality is a great addition. People forget that these are little computers that are now strapped to your wrist. Think back to 2010 with the Nexus S and other smart phone's at the time. Top flagship and top end devices at that time only had 512mb of ram and the fastest CPU speeds were around 1ghz. Now forward to today and the current Android Wear devices are using 512mb of ram, Snapdragon 400 CPU running at 1.2ghz, and have 4gb of storage. Not to mention they are using the latest Bluetooth 4.0LE. The hardware is already there, and the only thing to do is to allow a Bluetooth headset to be paired directly to the watch, then add a half decent music player on the Android wear watch. This is cool. Bring it on Google. I love my Android Wear watch that is running with the latest KitKat 4.4W.

7. NexusPhan

Posts: 632; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

It's actually a proven business model and is exactly what Google needs to be doing. Release your minimum viable product as soon as your can to capture the early adopters and gain the first to market advantages. Add other features as often and quickly as you can to continue to gain new customers (by attracting them to those new features/additions), maintain overall interest and media coverage. New Product Development 101.

4. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Yes fully functional apple products like the the iPhone that had no blue tooth, no 3g, no widescreen (which all media from the last 20 years has been released in), no notifications, no wifi shortcuts etc etc. All of which have been features added in subsequent updates and phone models.

8. Teejay1100

Posts: 115; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

This is good to hear. Google is stepping up!! Now Apple will follow and copy the mess out of what is about to come.

9. Ozric13

Posts: 6; Member since: Sep 03, 2014

I found this very funny! "This would be done first by allowing your smartwatch to connect directly to a Bluetooth headset and play music locally" So lovely Google are gonna update Android Wear, to do exactly what the Samsung Gear 2 can do already running Tizen!. Its like Google are now playing catch up!, I actually managed to borrow a gear live watch for a week, found the battery life was crap and the overall user experience, to be honest boring. I took a chance and got myself the Gear 2, packed with features, sure some are gimicky, but out of the box it does so much more than an Android Wear watch, oh yeah and I get 4-5 days on a single charge, personally I`m lovin Tizen.

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