Thursday, 20 March 2014

When will we get it, how does it work?

It’ll be a little while before we see Wear-running smartwatches on shelves - the first are planned for mid-late 2014 - but Google is already in the process of releasing an early version of the Wear SDK to developers. For the less geeky among you, SDK stands for software development kit, and is used to produce software for any particular system.

It’s what developers will use to make Wear-compatible apps. And judging by how fast some of these developers are, it won’t take long.

Some Android watches are rounder than others
 Something one of Google’s talking heads said in the Android Wear developer demo video tells us much about how the software works. Director of Engineering on Android David Singleton said the apps are "still running on phones and tablets," but "provide richer experiences for the new form factor." The Wear part of an app sounds like it'll function a little like a plug-in for Android apps.

At present Android Wear devices are intended to be paired with Android phones or tablets. It’s just how the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony SmartWatch 2 operate, except this time around they’ll be working within the walls of the same system. Apps than run on a Wear device won’t – necessarily – be fundamentally separate from the apps you run on your phone.

The Google developer blog entry confirms this – Wear can use “existing Android APIs” to function. APIs are what control how apps operate within the Android system, and will be fundamental in making Wear watches feel much like your Android phone in use.