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Google has pulled the wrappers off a new smartwatch-specific version of Android, as it bids to steal a march on Apple ahead of the arrival of the iWatch later this year.

Dubbed Android Wear, the fresh iteration of Google's platform has been made specifically with wearables in mind, with a developer preview already up for grabs.

Android Wear promises to serve up notifications from key messaging apps and deliver voice control so you can cue up playlists and ask your smartwatch questions just by saying ‘OK Google’ first.

The Big G also says you’ll be able to control your smartphone via any Android Wear device, meaning you don’t need to pull it from your pocket or handbag every time you need to get something sorted.

Of course, health and fitness are set to play a big role as well. Google has promised that ‘your favourite fitness apps’ will play nice with Android Wear. So expect to be able to track runs with Adidas miCoach and beat your cycling goals with Strava.

LG and Motorola have already unveiled their first devices using Android Wear. The LG G Watch is due to land later this spring, while the rather lovely looking, circular Motorola 360 will land in the US over the summer, before getting an international release.

Asus, HTC and Samsung have all signed up to make Android Wear kit. Undoubtedly, this new standard looks set to be a big deal as wearables become the next tech must–have.


Official Google Blog

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