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Google takes on Apple Watch on its home turf

Androidsmartwatch_6

San Francisco :Google today broke down the wall between Android smart watches and iPhones, taking on Apple Watch on its home turf.

A version of Android Wear smart watch software tailored for Apple’s mobile operating system made its debut, paired for now only with LG Watch Urbane, according to a Google blog post.

“Today, Android Wear for iOS works with the LG Watch Urbane,” Google said.

“All future Android Wear watches, including those from Huawei, Asus, and Motorola will also support iOS, so stay tuned for more.”

Android Wear was modified to work with iPhone 5 models or newer powered by the latest versions of Apple’s mobile device operating system, according to Google.

The move puts Android-powered smart watches in position to compete with Apple Watch to be the computing device strapped to the wrists of iPhone owners.

Android Wear previously worked only with the Google-backed mobile operating system.

International Data Corporation last week said that Apple’s freshly launched smart watch was a hot commodity in the second quarter of this year.

Apple Watch was hot on the heels of activity tracker Fitbit, the top device in the “wearable computing” market, according to IDC estimates. Apple has not released official smart watch sales figures.

Apple shipped 3.6 million smart watches to rank second behind Fitbit, which shipped 4.4 million units during the second quarter of this year, according to IDC.

Overall shipments of wearable computing devices leaped 223 percent to 18.1 million from the 5.6 million units shipped in the second quarter last year, IDC calculated.

“Anytime Apple enters a new market, not only does it draw attention to itself, but to the market as a whole,” IDC wearables team manager Ramon Llamas said in a note released with the figures.

Apple is set to host a September 9 media event in San Francisco, hinting that Siri virtual assistant software in its mobile devices will play a role.

In trademark enigmatic style, the emailed invitations provided little more than the time and place of the event. Beneath graphics based on the Apple logo was written “Hey Siri, give us a hint.”

The timing of the Apple event did not come as a surprise since the California-based company is known to host September events to announce iPhone updates.

Rumors about the coming event included the possibility of new iPhone models and news about Apple TV set-top boxes.

Industry trackers expect Apple to unveil new generation big-screen iPhone 6 models.

PTI