Google reveals more about Android Wear as Samsung joins the party

We’re expecting to hear a lot more about Android Wear at the Google I/O tech conference next week, and a new YouTube video offers some fresh insights about what’s on the agenda. Developer Advocate Timothy Jordan explains how coders can modify existing apps using just a couple of lines of code, or create new apps built specifically for devices worn on the wrist.

Speaking of those devices, CNET sources say that Samsung is getting ready to launch an Android Wear smartwatch at I/O alongside Motorola and LG. This new device is in addition to the Gear watches already manufactured by the South Korean company, which has never been shy about having as broad a portfolio of products as possible.

Google’s new Android Wear video emphasizes the ‘at-a-glance’ nature of the new platform and shows off some parts of the interface we haven’t seen before. “It’s a fundamentally different user action model,” says Jordan, one that keeps Android Wearers more connected with the digital world and with more time in the real world (no more fumbling around and unlocking a mobile to get notifications).

Android Wear is “simple, glanceable, and built around micro-interactions” continues Jordan in the video, which you can check out in full below. The notifications and enhanced notifications already available in Android’s pull-down alerts drawer (such as music playback controls) will automatically transfer to wearable devices with no extra coding required.

Dedicated apps will be able to run on the Android Wear devices themselves, meanwhile, taking advantage of the custom UI, control sensors and voice control on the hardware. You can expect to hear much more about Android Wear at the conference next week, which is drawing several thousand developers and journalists to San Francisco — indeed, a new Samsung smartwatch may well be this year’s gadget giveaway, just as the Chromebook was in 2013.

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