Google enters smartwatch market with LG G and Samsung Gear Live

The smartwatches will be available Wednesday

LG G smartwatch screen capture from Google I/O

LG G smartwatch screen capture from Google I/O

Google entered the hot smartwatch market Wednesday, unveiling two devices, the LG G and Samsung Gear Live.

The smartwatches, which interface with Android phones and tablets, will be available Wednesday in Google's Play store, the company said, announcing them at its Google I/O conference in San Francisco.

Both smartwatches feature a rectangular screen. Google also unveiled the Moto 360, featuring a round face, but that will launch later this summer.

The smartwatches are designed to provide easier access to many of the apps and services people already use on their smartphones. They're powered by Android Wear, a customized version of Google's mobile Android OS, but aimed at wearable devices.

The OS is designed to bring snippets of important information to the smaller screen of a wearable device rather than trying to cramming everything onto the display. Instead of Android's typical grid layout, the smartphones' functionality is based primarily around quick taps and voice commands.

They are part of Google's efforts to connect a larger number of devices, whether it's smartphones, tablets, wearables or cars.

"Users are living in a multiscreen world," Sundar Pichai, Google's senior VP of Android, Chrome and Google apps, said during the conference. "We want to create a seamless experience across all these connected devices."

Google is also making available a full Android Wear software development kit, to let developers build apps specifically for the smartwatches.

A special version of the Lyft app was demonstrated, showing how a user can hail a ride from the smartwatches.

There are also ways to use notes and reminders with the watches, although the system failed to work during a demonstration of a note-taking application. It successfully interpreted what a Google employee said, but it didn't record the note.

Google had been expected to launch a smartwatch at the event, having announced its Android Wear system earlier this year.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile applicationsconsumer electronicsGooglesmartphonesGoogle I/Omobileinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?