The smartwatch era may still be in its early stages but its obvious that Google is ahead of Apple in the game--that is, if we are to look at the features and not the numbers. Android Wear as a wearable platform is quickly becoming the standard in smartwatches simply because it's Android and there are more compatibles devices that can be supported. Samsung may have the Tizen OS but once more Android Wear watches hit the market, the numbers might change.
We've probably featured dozens of smartwatches already and expect more to be announced and showcased at the IFA 2015 next week. We're hoping to get our hands on a few models and hopefully, finally decide on which one to get. As the doors of IFA officially opens, expect a new batch of smartwatches from Motorola, LG, Huawei, and ASUS to be delivered--all running Android Wear. We wanted to include Samsung in the list but it runs Tizen OS so we're leaving it for now (unless Samsung decides to use Android Wear again). So far, we can't wait for the next-gen Moto 360 that's been sighted in the wild, the LG smartwatch that recently dropped by the FCC, the ZenWatch we've seen in a teaser video, and that round one from Huawei.
This year will only be the second year Android Wear is active. It may still not be as perfect or reliable but a number of updates have been added including Google Translate, interactive watch faces,, Google Maps and API, single tap gesture, Hangouts 4.0, WiFi support, emojis, and new notifications.
In 2014, there were 4.6 million wearables sold all over the world but only 720,000 wear Android Wear-powered devices according to Canalys, a market research firm. That's about 15%. Samsung sold more Tizen OS smartwatches but there's a big chance now that the other manufacturers, collectively, can beat the South Korean giant. Of the Android Wear watches, most of them are Moto 360's. And when Apple released its own smartwatch, the Cupertino company quickly surpassed Samsung in numbers, immediately capturing 76 percent of the smartwatch industry. That's impressive of Apple but since IFA is just around the corner, more smartwatch models will enter the game.
The release of the Samsung Gear S2 might change the numbers once again and so does the swarm of new Android Wear devices hitting the market. Let's see how LG, Huawei, Motorola, ASUS, and other companies who will show off their smartwatches will make a difference this year.