The folks behind Android recently revealed that users can expect new things from Google's Android Wear smartwatch platform in the foreseeable future. In an interview with CNET, the Android team stated that pretty soon, Android Wear will have GPS support on devices (as opposed to staying dependent on connected handsets) as well as feature Bluetooth capabilities, especially in terms of working with Bluetooth-enabled wearable devices.
Google had planned before to introduce an application programming interface (API) designed for third party watchfaces. Now, the Android team has confirmed that they are indeed working in bringing the duo of new features (GPS support and Bluetooth capability) to life.
In order for the GPS support feature to function, Android Wear smartwatches must have built-in GPS chips in their hardware. Such chips were not available in earlier versions of wearable hardware. But if they become standard in wearables now, users can utilize the GPS feature to run apps such as fitness activity tracking systems. In other words, they can track their fitness runs without having to rely on their smartphones, which they can leave at home conveniently.
As for the Bluetooth capabilities, the Android Team has not provided specific details about how it will work or how its system will perform. However, the team did gave an idea of its general use. For instance, if you have Bluetooth-enabled headphones, you can use your Android wear device to play music into your earpieces instead of finding a smartphone to send the music into your headphone speakers.
Having a Bluetooth-enabled wearable device certainly helps in expanding the user's options. The Android Wear device can serve as an extra input device or an additional means for controlling other smarthome gadgets. And the good thing about it is its mobility -- because you wear the device, you can easily take it and use it wherever you go, as long as it is within Bluetooth range of the other devices it is being paired with.
As of this writing, no definite dates yet are assigned for upcoming Android Wear updates. But the Android team is confident that they will be able to launch a few updates before the end of 2014.
The next few weeks (or months) promise to be interesting, especially when it comes to wearables. Apple, Android's biggest competitor, is also readying its own wearable device, and if it does unveil its newest wearable offering on September 9 (along with the highly-anticipated iPhone 6), the Android team will no doubt have its work cut out in order to compete.
The real winner of course are the users. After all, they are the ones who get to benefit the most from this improved technology.
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