Third-party Android Wear apps are now available for real from the Google Play store.
Google announced Android Wear, which is an Android operating system designed specifically for wearables such as smartwatches, on March 18 this year. A device running on Android Wear can be paired with any smartphone running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or above.
Google announced Motorola, Samsung, LG, HTC and ASUS as partners. At the Google I/O developer's conference on June 25, the company revealed further details about Android Wear and Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch were also unveiled at the event, which will become one of the first devices to come pre-loaded with the latest operating system.
Different companies may launch their devices in different shapes. Google announced that Android Wear will be compatible with both round and square smartwatches.
A few hours after the Google I/O developer's conference, a few Android Wear apps appeared on the Google Play store; however, it seems that Google did not intentionally released the app and these apps were soon taken down.
The Google Play store again shows around 25 Android Wear apps, which includes Evernote, The Guardian, Hangouts, Pinterest, Maps and many more.
The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch are already available to pre-order from Google Play Store. However, the Motorola Moto 360 will hit the shelves later on in the summer. Customers who buy any smartwatch will expect at least a bunch of third-party apps to download and use on their new wearable.
Smartwatch market is getting flooded with devices from various manufacturers. Apple is also expected to launch its smartwatch, dubbed the iWatch, in this fall. As Android Wear-powered smartwatches will be compatible with handsets running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the iWatch will also be a companion device for the iPhone.
However, recent reports suggest that Microsoft will also dive into the smartwatch market and will launch a wearable sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. Unlike Android Wear devices or the iWatch, rumors suggest that the Microsoft smartwatch may be compatible with devices running on Android, iOS as well as Windows Phone operating system.
Google is the first to launch apps specifically for wearables. Apple and Microsoft may also launch wearable specific apps when they launch their devices. Google will now hope to increase the number of Android Wear app at a steady pace so that it can compete with rivals comfortably when they launch their smartwatches.