The Apple iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone. Smartphone apps existed well before the advent of the iTunes App Store too, but having a unified platform with a central app repository really helped to popularize the idea of a smartphone to the masses. With the announcement and unveiling of the Android Wear platform, Google may have kickstarted the smartwatch revolution.
To some, an Android Wear smartwatch might look like just a geeky toy to have, but having that kind of technology wrapped around your wrist just might empower your ability to work a little smarter, a little more efficiently, and a little more productively. Currently, the two Android Wear devices available through the Google Play Store are the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live. The round-faced Moto 360 will follow a little later in 2014.
Skip the Lock Screen While Retaining Security
It is of paramount importance that you set some sort of password on your smartphone. The last thing that you want to happen is to have your phone lost or stolen, allowing some random thief or stranger to read through all your emails, update your social media accounts, and wreak havoc on your online bank accounts. That said, entering a password every time you use your phone can be a hassle and it eats up precious seconds every time you do it.
With the next release of Android, you’ll be able to pair your smartphone with a compatible device (like an Android Wear smartwatch) and as long as that connection is intact, you can bypass the lock screen on your phone. This way, you can dive right into whatever task it is that you need to do. Should your smartwatch get out of range, then you’re back to your regular, secure lock screen password again.
Just Talk to Your Wrist
While you will find a microphone on certain other smartwatches already out on the market, their functionality can feel a little limited. By contrast, one of the primary ways you’ll be interacting with an Android Wear smartwatch is with your voice. It starts with the “OK Google” command, just like on the “always listening” Moto X, and then you can tell your watch to do all sorts of things for you. You can look up a phone number, get directions, play music, and even reply to text messages. And it can all be done quickly and easily, allowing you to get on with your day.
Google Now Predicts What You Need to Know
You would assume that most of your productivity would come from some sort of proactive approach and that is generally the case, but Android Wear smartwatches can go even further than what you’d find on something like the Samsung Galaxy Gear. That’s because the Google Now feature will proactively predict what you need, in addition to responding to your queries and commands. As you head to work, it’ll already bring up a Google Now card telling you about traffic conditions, for instance. It can even remind you of friends’ birthdays.
Spend Less Time Fumbling with Your Phone
The “unofficial” goal of an Android Wear smartwatch is to minimize the amount of time that you actually need to spend on your smartphone. You’ll get your weather, traffic, email and all sorts of other pertinent information and notifications on your wrist. Rather than reaching through your bag or looking through your many jacket pockets for your phone, entering your password, navigating to the right app and then getting the information you need, it’s already there on your wrist. This also means that you can have better eye contact with colleagues and clients during business meetings, making you more attentive and a better worker overall.
Better Fitness for Mind and Body
It goes without saying that productivity requires a certain level of mental acuity. The sharper that you are, the better able you will be to do your job. And you need to have a healthy body if you want to have a healthy mind. The Google Fit aspect of Android Wear aggregates all sorts of fitness data, including steps taken and your current heart rate. Being more mindful of your physical health will help with your mental health. And just as there are a growing number of smart extensions for the Sony SmartWatch 2, there will be even more third-party apps for Android Wear moving forward.