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Android Wear Adds New Features
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
October 27, 2014
Android Wear Adds New Features
By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

According to a recent report by MarketsandMarkets, the global wearable electronics products market revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.56 percent and generate revenues of $11.61 billion by the end of 2020. Based on the research the company conducted, the growth is going to come from wristwear and footwear, with the emergence of a small market size in eyewear and bodywear. The effectiveness of these devices and their long-term viability greatly depends on creating applications that allows consumers to use these devices as standalone products without being tethered to another device such as a smartphone or tablet. Android Wear, a version of Google (News - Alert) designed for wearable products, has updated the platform with off-line music, Bluetooth headphone and GPS support.

This new upgrade is designed to make wearable technologies operate more independently so they can become standalone devices, but in order to take advantage of these features the smartwatch has to have the necessary hardware. For example, the GPS support can only be used with the new Sony SmartWatch 3, which will begin shipping on October 30. Verizon (News - Alert) is already taking preorders, and it will be available through Play Devices store soon after that. Currently this is the only Wear-powered smartwatch coming to market with GPS support.

The next two features allow headphones to be used using the Bluetooth technology and access the music on the watch so it can be used by itself. If you leave your smartphone at home or you go out jogging and don’t want to carry the phone, it is a great alternative. This option requires Google Play Music, and once it is downloaded you can use wireless headphones to listen to the content on the watch.

The LG G Watch, the Samsung (News - Alert) Gear Live, and the Moto 360 will be updated to include the new music functionality. According to TechCrunch, Google has also introduced a collection of applications to simplify the process of finding software for wearable devices. Applications are categorized in different segments including Health & Fitness, Travel + Local, Tools, and more.

These updates and new applications are undoubtedly geared towards driving more customers towards the Android platform before Apple (News - Alert) starts selling its watch in 2015. Unlike Sony, the Apple Watch will not have a dedicated GPS built-in, but it will be able to store music so it can be played independent of the iPhone (News - Alert) with a Bluetooth enabled headset.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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