As 2014 progresses, it is becoming clearer that wearables are here to stay and might very well turn out to be the next big thing.
With no clear OS reigning the wearables arena right now, it is an open race and Google doesn’t want Android to be left behind. Google’s SVP for Android, Apps and Chrome Sundar Pichai has announced that Google will be releasing an Android SDK specifically meant for wearables in the next two weeks. This SDK will allow developers to create apps for wearable devices running Android. Pichai notes that the SDK won’t be limited to smartwatch apps and it will be upto developers and manufacturers to use it in the way they want and figure out new form factors.
“When we say wearables we think about it much more broadly,” Pichai said during a talk at SXSW in Austin, Texas. “It’s for partners and developers to figure out. It could be a jacket … with sensors — I don’t know.”
Samsung’s jump to Tizen in its latest crop of wearable devices has made it clear that Google will have to work hard to make manufacturers choose Android over any other platform for use in their wearable devices. The upcoming release of SDK for wearables is a right step in that direction. If there are apps for wearables on Android, manufacturers will be more likely to choose it as the platform in their wearables. Nobody wants the pain to start a platform and build an ecosystem from scratch.
The release of SDK at this time also makes sense for Google if the company is indeed going to launch a smartwatch around Google I/O 2014, as it will give developers some time to build their apps.
Pichai also reiterated at SXSW that Chromecast will soon be heading to international markets but did not specify an exact date.