As Apple Watch creates ripples in the wearable segment, Google is planning for a direct face off by rolling out new and all-improved Android Wear updates for the users. Reportedly, Google has learnt some lessons from Apple and is ensuring that in the next software release, users don’t have to rely on Bluetooth alone to use Google Now and receive notifications for incoming texts or calls. Moreover, the Android Wear users will have more freedom as they will be able to flick the wrist to scroll through the display without using the other hand. Apple Watch utilizes Bluetooth as well as WiFi to fetch in notifications from the iPhone. So, users don’t have to worry about being in range with the phone all the time. This gesture control and WiFi connectivity bring the Android Wear platform about the same level as of Apple.
Android Wear started too early than Apple Watch, it seems that it is still figuring a direction to head towards. While there are many high-end and middle-range smartwatches like Moto 360, ASUS ZenWatch and LG G Watch R, Apple Watch’s popularity has surpassed all. (See, ASUS taking digs on Apple!)
As Apple Watch gets a head start, thanks to the larger ecosystem of apps, Google is also forced to sit straight and take notice. With issues like battery and security that plague the wearables including the Apple Watch, it is the app system that is going to be a deal maker or deal breaker for the users. It is the apps that will become the USP of the wearable segment in the years to come. As the OEMs stick to the exclusivity and lock-in of the smartwatches with their respective operating software, it becomes crucial for them to offer such apps and services that could make the users stay and stick. And the only way to do this by enhancing the system and offering a relatively better user experience.
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As most smartwatches using Android Wear have in-built WiFi, a software update is all that is needed to turn this feature on. Though nothing has been confirmed by the tech giant, however, reliable sources that are close to the product development have told Verge to be observant of the next release cycle. Apart from the above mentioned major updates, Google is also planning to bring in some changes in UI, resulting in easier access and user-friendly navigation through contacts and Android Wear apps. Currently, going through the navigation and looking for an app is like a treasure hunt for Android Wear user. Either they have to do it via ‘Google Now’ or look for the apps manually.
The sources haven’t been clear about the timeframe regarding the roll out of the Android Wear update. However, as this news comes just a day after the Apple Watch’s public screening and since the coming days are going dedicated for Apple, Google may want to capture some attention and steal limelight by throwing in some crucial information and updates in our way.