Friday, 24 October 2014

Android Wear team interested in cross-platform support

Android Wear is a big deal for the evolution of smartwatches, giving developers a consistent platform they can code for, even as manufacturers release new and different wearable hardware. Really, its biggest limitation may be that whole “Android” bit of it, as while Wear makes it easy for you to use a Motorola smartwatch with a Samsung phone (or vice versa), you’re out of luck if your phone choices fall over on the Apple or Windows side of the fence. To hear Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang talk about it, though, that’s not a limitation that’s necessarily set in stone, as he expresses interest in seeing Wear evolve to support additional smartphone operating systems.
Before you start getting too excited, Chang tempers his enthusiasm for this cross-platform dream with a healthy dollop of reality: for the moment, Wear is intrinsically linked to Android on phones, and there would be some huge technical issues, to say nothing of API compatibility, that would need to be overcome before such a thing might be remotely possible. And Chang is clear that this is not a decision that’s necessarily up to him and his team in the first place.
But even with all those caveats in mind, there’s still reason to be hopeful; we wouldn’t necessarily suggest banking on cross-platform Wear support being a question of “when” and not “if,” but the desire’s at least there, and if there’s any way of making this a reality somewhere further down the line, it sound like the Android Wear team will be seriously thinking about how to make that happen.
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