As we’ve written about before, it seems like smartwatches might be taking centre stage at the IFA 2014 tech expo in Berlin. There will be a lot of eyeballs on Android Wear, as more wearables will be added to the platform to join LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live and the upcoming Moto 360, especially since rival Apple is also rumoured to be announcing their own wearable device. CNet sat down with Google executives to talk about their future plans for the smartwatch platform.
Without going into more specific details, David Singleton, Director of Engineering for Android Wear, and Hiroshi Lockheimer, Vice President of Engineering for Android, confirmed that they will be releasing more updates to the platform before the year ends. One of these features is the rumoured custom watch face API which will allow developers to customize “every pixel” of the display which will give them more freedom to customize and create activity-specific layouts.
Another thing that they revealed is that Android Wear devices will soon have support for Bluetooth headsets so you can stream your music from your smartwatches. That means you don’t have to carry your smartphone while you’re running or doing your fitness routines. All you need is a smartwatch and a Bluetooth headset and you’re good to go. Pretty soon, you’ll also be able to use your smartwatch as a GPS tracker independent of your smartphone, if the device has the hardware needed for it.
The two executives of course did not give the full plan for Android Wear, except to say that it has been “liberating” for Google to not be dependent on several things (including carrier approval) just to be able to push out new features and updates, compared to when they do it for phones and tablets. And with the existence (and emergence) of other platforms and non-Android smartwatch gadgets like Tizen, Pebble, and soon maybe Apple, Android Wear has to not just add more devices to its roster, but also differentiate itself from the competition.