Feature Article

March 10, 2014

Google Prepares for Android Apps on Wearable Devices

Android apps may soon be coming to a car, smartwatch or other wearable device near you in the foreseeable future. On Sunday, Google executive Sundar Pichai made the announcement that Google would be releasing a Software Development Kit (SDK) geared towards wearable devices during the South by Southwest conference in Texas. Pichai stated that the SDK will be released in approximately two weeks, and would make developing apps for smartwatches, Google Glass and other wearables much easier.

This could be a sign that confirms rumors that Google has plans for their own smartwatch in the works, supposedly with LG as a partner. LG is the manufacturer for Google’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 smartphones, so this theory is not far off base. Ultimately, the SDK is more of a sign that the wearable device market is taking off into the horizon, and that Google wants to make sure that they have a foothold in the industry by making sure their Android devices and software remain compatible.

In fact, the SDK is designed for as broad of a usage as possible, with only some of the focus geared towards use in smartwatches. According to Pichai, the developers will have ultimate control over what devices they want to use their apps in. When talking about the SDK and its applications and purpose, Pichai said that “It’s for partners and developers to figure it out. It could be a jacket with sensors – I don’t know.”

Some of those other applications include use in automobiles and with Google Glass, the company’s existing wearable device. Google Glass’s augmented-reality capabilities are already astounding, yet Google has never released a set of programmer tools for the devices. The SDK could work in conjunction with them, smartwatches, or even existing smartphones to create interoperability between them and the display screen on a smart car, which would allow drivers to access mapping apps, make calls and even reply to text messages without taking their hands off of the wheel.




Edited by Alisen Downey


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