Sorry, iWatch! Android Wear will dominate our wrist

Sorry iWatch Android Wear will dominate

By launching Android Wear, Google has staked its claim to the title master of wearable tech. Everything that has gone before should be viewed as a precursor. However, it hasn’t launched something tangible like a watch or Google Glass. In fact, Google hasn’t released a real, physical product at all. Instead, it is an entire operating system dedicated to making wearables awesome. From what we’ve seen so far, Android Wear has the potential to live up to its promise. 

Google wants Apple to taste its own medicine 

Taking control of a burgeoning new market this way, even when the end product looks so cool, is a brave and ballsy strategy, and a proven winner. It’s one Google has seen in action before. When Apple announced the iPhone back in 2007, Android wasn’t even around, and it took a lot of work for Google to catch up. Eventually, as we all know, Android became the dominant smartphone OS; but if it had simply beaten Apple to the punch, things would have been much easier.

Android Wear isn’t only bad news for Apple, it’s bad news for the many smartwatches already on sale.

With Android Wear, that’s exactly what it hopes to do. Apple may or may not have some kind of wearable product ready to launch later this year. Tim Cook has expressed an interest, but as it stands today, Apple’s got nothing. Microsoft, if its possible, has even less, because even if it does suddenly surprise us all with a Windows Phone-only smartwatch, will anyone really pay much attention? Probably not.

Android Wear is Google’s way of saying “We know this is the next big thing, and this time it’s ours for the taking.”

However, an OS alone isn’t going to win the wearable race on its own, so Google has assembled a team of manufacturers and other companies to create some cracking hardware. So far, it’s Google’s besties, LG and Motorola, that have come up with the goods. LG announced the G Watch, while Motorola has come up with the Moto 360. It’s the latter which will have those on the outside looking in quaking in their boots. Why? It has a round face – you know, like 90 percent of the watches we already wear. That means a color touchscreen, Google Now integration, voice control, and judging by the pictures, a design we wouldn’t be embarrassed to strap to our wrists. Samsung, Asus, HTC and Qualcomm are also onboard, along with an actual watch company, Fossil. Even Imagination – a loyal Apple supplier – will join the gang with its MIPS processors.

Google and its clan aren’t underestimating Apple, and the G Watch and Moto 360 are both scheduled for a summer release. This is crucial if Google is to make the most of its head start. If the iWatch is coming, we doubt it’ll be here before September. If LG, Motorola, and others sell these devices with their top Android phones, the combination could be enough to tempt plenty of possible iPhone 6 holdouts over to Android, which is exactly what Google wants.

Death to all those which came before

Android Wear isn’t only bad news for Apple, it’s bad news for the many smartwatches already on sale. The only vaguely successful smartwatch not running Android at the moment is the Pebble. It has a strong community behind it, works with both Android and iOS, plus the Pebble Steel is a critical success. However, its black and white software is going to look pretty old fashioned next to the Moto 360.

What could possibly go wrong?

The introduction of Android Wear has all the signs of becoming a strategic triumph, sending Google to the wearable tech frontline. Surely nothing can go wrong? Well, there are one or two things.

Not everyone is convinced their smartphone needs a companion device.

Maybe people don’t want smartwatches: First, there is already a customer apathy towards wearable tech. We’re constantly told the market is only going to get bigger and more popular, and that design is the reason no-one is buying the current crop of smartwatches, but if the Google Glass backlash has told us anything, it’s that not everyone is convinced their smartphone needs a companion device. If regular people don’t flock to buy the Moto 360 or its kin, then it’ll be proof the world still isn’t ready for wearable tech, or that the industry just isn’t giving the public what it wants.

Motorola’s watch sure isn’t ready yet: We’d leave it there on what could go wrong for Google, but after watching Motorola’s Moto 360 Hangout, we’re unsure again. During the hangout, Motorola didn’t show its watch and didn’t have anything to say about it either, except that it has a round screen. The watch was sitting on a table, and strapped to the hosts wrists, but it stayed hidden from our excited gaze. Why? It may not even be close to finished.

Android Wear messaging

Motorola’s a ship adrift in the water, waiting for the new captain to arrive, and this could have an impact on its ability to deliver such an innovative device on time. Now we’ve seen the Moto 360, it won’t matter if the square LG G Watch arrives first, we’ll wait for the cool round one. But it’ll only be for so long. Google has an ambitious plan for Android Wear, but it’s at the mercy of other companies to put it into action.

iWatch could be so good that it redefines everything: Apple has done it before, and it could do it again. If the iWatch blows everyone away, Android Wear could look dated and undesirable the moment we see the real iWatch. We’re far from convinced this will happen, but we never count Apple out. It’s hiding something.

Google’s about to flatten the competition

Provided it can live up to the promise shown in the videos, it’s not hobbled by missed deadlines, Apple’s iWatch doesn’t redefine everything, and the buying public likes what it sees, Android Wear could become the wearable tech equivalent of a prize fighter in a street brawl. A right hook will take down Microsoft, and a devastating upper cut will send Apple reeling. LG, Motorola, and all the rest will take their place behind the powerhouse, while Samsung will be silenced with a slap.

Yes there are some big “ifs,” but Google knows what’s at stake here. It has been on the receiving end of a similar shock before, and doesn’t intend to be caught out twice. Android Wear is a decisive, powerful, and potentially game-winning punch, delivered at exactly the right moment. We’re excited, and you should be, too.

Mobile

How three simple words could be the difference between life and death

What3Words’ app-based address system gives a three-word code to every three-meter-square patch on the planet, with its accuracy and ease of use now catching the attention of first responders in the U.K.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for March 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Wearables

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.
Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Mobile

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.