Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Google's smartwatch may launch Oct. 31, along with the Nexus 5, KitKat

Samsung's Galaxy Gear wasn't all that well-received, so how will the gWatch (our name, not theirs) coming directly from Samsung's Android partner, Google, be greeted? We may not have long to wait, according to a Monday report in 9to5Google.

While reports of a Google smartwatch aren't new, the report, via an anonymous source, said that Google will use Google Now as the heart of its offering.

Honestly, it makes a lot of sense. Google Now is the company's answer to Siri, but it relies on more than just a user's questions to offer suggestions. It also tracks your behavior, including searches, browsing, and more, and thus offers up Sharks' scores to a San Jose Sharks fan, and traffic information when it sees you're searching for specific locations. Time to get home, calendar alarms, emails, text messages, and more are all things that could get pushed to the gWatch’s display.

Android 4.4, or KitKat, is expected to be part of the mix, as well.

As you might expect with something so small, Google is trying hard to improve battery life. As such, Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity (AKA Bluetooth Smart) which includes the low power Bluetooth protocol is something Google is also looking to add to the gWatch.

The source added that Google is looking to launch "sooner, rather than later," and past rumors have pointed to Google introducing the device on Oct. 31, which is the same date rumored for a Nexus 5 and KitKat (Android 4.4) press event.

Although no formal announcement of smartwatch aspirations has been made by the Internet giant, in 2012, Google acquired WIMM Labs, which is an Android-based Smartwatch SDK developer. The company’s Smartwatch App store is still live and contains some notable apps, including Facebook.

Google's big rival, Apple, is reportedly working on an iWatch, of its own.

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