Android Wear: Challenges before The Arrival of The Apple Watch

In the next few days is going to the first anniversary of Android Wear. A system which, as you know, has given life to a few connected clocks. The premise was offer a platform so that the only hardware manufacturers would have to create gadgets and not have to worry about, too, software.

Since its launch, Google has seen how it has been a hard competitor to crack: Apple Watch. Cupertino clock sales have been very good, to Caesar what is Caesar, but now that its smartwatch is on sale (in a few countries that Yes) time to reflect on the future of Android Wear and the challenges now that you have an opponent’s weight (media) on the stage.

The ecosystem is the key

It sounds like repeating the same mantra whenever we look at a platform but it is a Basic for any operating system. Without content, in this case applications, there is no future and although here Android Wear has managed to capture to one or another developer, There is still much work to be done.

Today any clock connected to Wear offers a rather limited number of options. Yes, it has evolved a lot since those first G Watch LG and Samsung Gear Live but today still have deficiencies. You have to give him time but if the connected clocks are to be relevant, they need an application which will give them a unique value.

Have a good application will help you to be known but above all will cause developers to tipping and look for your opportunity to offer another as good idea. Apple Watch for example came out with a lot of applications, then Android still has a lot to Polish, still.

Let’s not kid ourselves, play music from the clock is OK, but we can do it from your mobile. To count steps and exercise we have also a lot of bracelets quantifier. Few unique applications have watches that is actually useful. In my own personal use, which I liked more has been step by step GPS navigation but I have to say that they still have much to improve in accuracy.

Give more possibilities for customization

I’ve tried all the clocks Android Wear that are on the market. At least, with each one of them have spent a few days and the experience has always been the same. You can change the display, form factor but the feeling that leave at the end is that once tested one, tried them all. This in the long run can be a problem for manufacturers.

Android Wear was born as a commodity for manufacturers: you put the pieces, we give you the software. Android wearables platform ran them very well in smartphones and tablets but today conspicuous by its absence of personalization. I miss less different software layers and change the watchfaces that come by default I’m not worth.

Some have tried to do something different: Sony once introduced the GPS for example but to date of publication of this article, all offer basically the same. At the end, the choice between one and the other adheres to the design or price. Google would have to consider giving manufacturers more customization options.

Yes, there are launchers for Wear, an option for advanced users of a foot may be fine but LG, Motorola, ASUS and company should have more leeway to modify the user experience. That Yes, should not assume a commitment to performance because if anything Google has proven is that it has a well structured system platform, offering. Changes Yes, but something more than Watchfaces.

The need for a media device

Let us not fool ourselves: If Apple Watch has been a sales success much of their success pivots that has been media. Everyone spoke of him and must recognize the Cupertino that when they want to know very well sell their products. Have you heard someone mention an Android Wear? No, it is not worth your circle of friends, lovers of technology.

No manufacturer has achieved that the general public is set to a clock connected with Android Wear. Yes, all we like the bike 360 and the LG Watch Urbane but beyond that, people who adopted the smartphone in your day they know that there are watches as well but they fail to identify any Neither have interest in the category.

I’d like to see an Android Wear that move people and do that they fixed it but the only one who has that ability to media is Samsung and it seems your way in this category is more tied to Tizen. Some are probably thinking about a kind of Nexus with this operating system, but it should be remembered that the Nexus concept was born as a reference for developers than for end users.

Go beyond the clock as the form factor

Android Wear was born as a platform for wearables and although the watches have monopolized the category with its design, the reality is that there are more gadgets and gadgets possible. I’d like to see other types of devices, although they do not have screen and are more oriented towards other tasks such as, for example, the quantification of steps or sports activity. It may in this I/o see something.

If we take a look at the conferences this year we find that there is one dedicated to Wear and the possibilities for other objects wearables. I hope so because there are looking forward to the smartwatches not become a synonym for the operating system. Hopefully, that Yes, that look for different ideas does not become create nonsense that we will not finish using.

Make it something more than notifications

Another necessary category mantra: there is to ask devices with Android Wear to be able to do more than give time. Today it is its main attraction, beyond carrying a sophisticated piece of technology on the wrist and, as we said before, everything related to the ecosystem of applications does not have much development today.

It should be required that connected clocks do something more for a simple reason: the commitment that supposed to charge it. I understand. We carry mobile phone once a day and insurance that matters to any of us. We accept it, but ultimately we’d like to last more. However, in the burden that offers gives us many functions throughout the day.

Take pictures, be connected, listen to music, play, play video… There is no doubt that the smartphone is a convergent platform of success. Offering both, it is normal to ultimately not give us lazy load it, deserves it. However, having to load a clock every two or three days with a somewhat watered down value proposition makes that we expect it of us. If we are going to introduce a new device that load every bit in our routine, already is worth him offer something unique.

Assume that it is a background race

Long Matías Duarte said there was nothing wrong with having people who Android Wear didn’t. Let us assume that not all technologies are for everyone and that only a few have as high penetration capacity you have, for example, the smartphone. Nothing, you have to assume maybe people want not (yet) technological devices of wrist.

You have to give time to the category and do not expect results as short-term. Staying with the data of distributed units (700,000 for Android Wear, more if we talk about Apple Watch) is only scratching the surface due to the abandonment of the wearables, as some studies have demonstrated quite high shortly after wearing them.

Wear can get very big things but on Google they must be patient and choose their steps well because, at the moment, walk away still in wearable technology is massive. Let us hope that important developments there are in this I/o and see new devices because although the base is good, they have many challenges ahead and a rival very clear.

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