Google just recently announced the launch of Android Wear, its smartphone app for controlling the next generation of wearable tech devices, including smartwatches.
The Android Wear app is now available on Google Play for free download to most Android smartphones and tablets. The app will control voice action preferences, adjust notification settings and configure devices. Currently, Android smartwatches are available from Motorola, Samsung and LG.
Android Wear will organize information and present it to the user intuitively. It will accept messages, appointment notifications and deliver weather updates. It will work together with health and fitness apps to provide real-time heart rate and other fitness parameters to the user.
The development of Android Wear is an important step toward accelerating growth of the nascent smartwatch wearable tech market. Earlier smartwatches were also Android-operable but could not work together with other Android-powered mobile devices.
Android Wear, which establishes a clear communications system and linkage with other Android devices, will break the logjam.
The debut of Android Wear will also help Google get the jump on Apple, whose iWatch or iWhatever is still thought to be another three to four months from market. By the time Apple's time comes, Google may already have cleaned their clock.
Another important step in planting the Google flag firmly in the wearable tech marketplace comes with the sudden availability of 31 wearable tech-compatible apps for Android Wear that have popped up on Google Play in the last 24 hours.
Some heavy hitters, like Pinterest, American Airlines, Fly Delta, Google Maps and Thomson Reuters are there. Other free apps include:
Banjo - a news-gathering app that culls headlines from live events and breaking news and features feedback from Banjo players on the scene of breaking news.
Duolingo - a language learning application that teaches Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and English.
Eat24 - Order food online from over 25,000 restaurants in over 1,000 cities. But not all at once.
Onefootball Brasil - you guessed it; a full-featured World Cup news and score feeder, with a live ticker, push notifications, videos and pre- and postgame news coverage. Better jump on this quickly (buy a smartwatch right now!) - the tournament ends next weekend.
The Guardian - the UK news giant is available in a comprehensive format. Free, but there are in-app purchasing options for expandability.
Allthecooks Recipes - read the recipe on one hand while you flip the meat on the grill with the other.
Talkray - a free calling and messaging app that enables phone calls, text messages, photo and video transmission over Wi-Fi or 3G. Uses data, not phone minutes to operate.