What began as an operating system for phones and tablets, Google s Android has over time grown into other products including watches, TVs, cars, and much more. However, unlike the phone operating system where users as well as the OEMs are welcomed to customize the OS as they see fit, Google doesn t allow manufacturers to tinker with its OS while making smartwatches and cars. But that is about to change soon, as evident in the recently announced Asus ZenWatch. Also Read - YouTube begins testing offline video downloads feature for desktop: How to enableAlso Read - iQOO Z5 5G launched globally, slated to launch in India on September 27
On smartwatches, for instance, manufacturers are only allowed of making different watch faces, as rest other features are locked down. For years, Google has let anyone play around with the core of its Android operating system, which has lead many to make AOSP-based devices that don’t really help the company generate revenue without Google services. Many believe that Google will soon tone down the flexibility in order to have its say on the devices that run on its operating system, and also to bring a consistent experience across such devices – what it aims to do with Android One. Also Read - Redmi Smart TV 32-inch, 43-inch with Android 11 launched in India, price starts at Rs 15,999
But apparently that isn t the motive behind locking down some of its platforms, as mentioned by Hiroshi Lockheimer VP of Android who is reportedly also going to oversee operations of Chrome OS. It s not some Google-way-or-the-highway kind of thing, he told Recode in an interview. However, he did acknowledge that hardware makers are being offered less flexibility to customize Android for use on watches, TVs and in cars. According to him, this curtailing was only to ensure that Google had figured everything out before it allows developers to customize the software.
The Asus ZenWatch, which was unveiled last month, is the first smartwatch that shows an extent to which the Android Wear can be molded. The watch comes with a customized user interface dubbed Zen UI. This is the first watch that has its own custom skin over Android Wear. Among other interesting features, the smartwatch automatically unlocks the phone and helps find the misplaced phone. It also comes with a unique Tap Tap feature that makes the phone ring if you tap on the screen twice. The Asus ZenWatch signals the imminent arrival of many more such smartwatches.