Google is taking its fight with Apple to the wristwatch.
The highly used search giant on Tuesday unveiled Android Wear, a version of Google’s Android operating system software that is tailored specifically for wearable computers, starting with so-called smartwatches. A watch that I have been seeing around my school, and city a lot these days.
Adjusting Android — a breakaway hit as an operating system for smartphones — to work with wearable computers is a big move for Google, which entered the smartphone and tablet markets after Apple. This time, it should have a first claim on developing relationships with the many software partners — the apps builders — that help a gadget become popular. Honestly, to me I am still an Apple user and will remain one unless the new iPhone 6 becomes a flop.
But I would like to share that consumers should expect to see Android-powered smart watches before Apple can get into the mix. Apple has been developing a watch for some time, according to people briefed on the project, but it is not clear when it will be released.“They’re trying to get in front of whatever Apple is going to do,” said Tero Kuittinen, a telecom analyst for the mobile diagnostics firm Alekstra.For several years, Google and Apple have been waging what analysts call a war of ecosystems: apps, content and services used to lure customers and keep them loyal. The better the apps and content, the more appealing their devices get.
Google’s Android is by far the most popular operating system for smartphones, but developers of some of the biggest apps, like Instagram, still tend to build for Apple’s iOS first and Android second.Developers have said they work on iOS first because it is easier to develop an app for Apple devices than it is to make apps for the many kinds of Android devices on the market. Android phone manufacturers use the same basic software, but many of them have made small changes that can make app developers’ work more difficult.
Google is clearly trying to change that for wearable computers by making its software public before the market takes off. It has been said by sources that Apple has yet to make it public that they are working to create what many call the “iWatch” but that doesn’t stop me and other blogger from speculating.
But if — or when — it does release such a product, it will be entering what some believe is the next big market for tech gadgets. Though wearable computers have yet to gain traction among mainstream consumers, they are expected to become popular in coming years. Companies like Samsung Electronics, Sony and Pebble are already making smartwatches. The research firm Gartner estimates that wearable devices, including shoes, tattoos and accessories, will be a $10 billion market by 2016.