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Android Wear Update Brings Smartphone Independence Comments Off on Android Wear Update Brings Smartphone Independence

The wearables market is rapidly expanding and many software makers are trying to find the secret of creating the perfect device desired by consumers everywhere. Android Wear is Android's take on what an operating system for devices such as the smart watch should be.

Removing The Tether
One of the early limitations of smart watch software has been its dependence on a smartphone. Many of these devices require a user's smartphone be nearby at all times in order to have access to many of the best features, including listening to music, and even many of the GPS functions seen as the bread and butter use of smart watches everywhere.

With the latest version of Android Wear, developers are seeking to eliminate the need for having the smartphone close by in order for you to use your smart watch or other wearables. The latest version of Android Wear will now allow you to listen to music without having your phone close at hand, and many smart watch manufacturers are now including added sensors such as GPS that can allow users to use their watch effectively without that pesky phone.
Android Wear has made a name for itself as one of the easiest ways to track a variety of things such as route, speed and even distance but until now your phone had to remain close. Now, with the latest version of the software, you no longer need to carry your phone with you when you want access to these and many other features.

Some Sensors Still MIA
While the inclusion of GPS on many wearables is most certainly a welcome feature, there are still other sensors that remain absent, limiting the widespread adoption of wearables. "The potential is huge and the applications almost endless," Jim McGregor, founder and principal analyst with Tirias Research, told LinuxInsider. "The only thing I see missing is possible support for other sensors and related applications, such as image and audio sensors for the ability to take quick pictures or record video or audio."

Coaxing Developers
In order for the wearables market to truly see a dramatic shift to being more than just a smartphone extension, Android and other wearable operating system makers must take the necessary steps to create the apps needed to take the smart watch and other wearable products to the next level. "With each update to Android Wear, wearable devices running the operating system are taken one step closer to being able to operate as standalone devices, meaning that they're able to function without the crutch of a smartphone," said Ryan Martin, an analyst for the Internet of Things and wearable technologies at 451 Research.

Many consumers are still rather uncertain about the viability and true usefulness of smart watches and other wearable smart devices. Currently, as many require a smartphone in order to unleash their true power, many consumers simply don't recognize the value they bring, because their smartphone will already perform all of these functions without them having to pay for yet another device. However, as Android Wear continues to march toward a model of independence, you can expect more consumers to jump on the bandwagon as wearables will increasingly be able to perform the functions of their smartphone in a much more compact size unit that is easily worn and not simply carried in your pocket.