Google showed off its Android Wear platform earlier this year and talked about it in great detail during its I/O 2014 keynote yesterday. Two Android Wear powered smartwatches, one from LG and the other from Samsung, are already up for pre-order and slated to ship early next month. So far the new wearable platform provides a “pure’ Google experience and it looks like manufacturers don’t have the same leeway as the have with Android smartphones and tablets. Nonetheless Samsung says that it will differentiate its Android Wear smartwatches by adding unique features and services.
The internet search giant allows manufacturers to slap their own custom UI on top of core Android for smartphones and tablets. It appears that they aren’t being extended the same courtesy on Android Wear. Samsung executives tell CNET that they won’t be slapping on their custom UIs such as Magazine UX or TouchWiz on their new smartwatch to set it apart from the rest.
Instead they said that Samsung would work with Google’s open software development kit to create unique features and services for the smartwatch, as well as any other potential Android Wear devices that it might release in the future. “It would be our goal to build, like we do on our phones, some of our own services for the Wear environment,” says Christopher Belter, the director of marketing for Samsung’s U.S. mobile business.
Android Wear will need some time to take off. Only three manufacturers have developed devices based on this platform for now and it remains to be seen how they are received by the public.
Out of the lot, Samsung happens to be the only one with the most experience in smartwatches. Samsung Gear Live comes merely months after the Korean juggernaut released the successor to its Gear lineup, which is now powered by Tizen.