Google’s Maps and Keep apps have been updated to fully support the new Android Wear platform, as revealed by their most recent changelogs. The refresh means that these tools can offer custom notifications and extra functionality when connected with a compatible smartwatch, such as those shown off by LG, Samsung and Motorola in the past week.
When a new Android Wear device connects to a smartphone, it can immediately start displaying the standard Android notifications and interactions – in other words, the same messages and buttons that appear in the pull-down notification shade on the handset itself. On top of this, for an app to get official Android Wear support means it can show additional information and options on the smartwatch and take full advantage of its sensors and voice controls.
The new changes were spotted by the Phandroid site in the latest app updates, though there’s been no statement from Google about the additional compatibility. With the first watches now on sale from Google Play, it’s a safe bet that the company will want to get all of its core apps ready for Android Wear at the earliest opportunity, and you can expect more of these updates to arrive in the near future.
Google Keep was one of the apps used in the I/O event demonstrations on Wednesday. According to the demo, Android Wear users will be able to record a note with the help of voice input on their smartwatch, which is then synced back to Google Keep and available across any device. Maps has also been extensively used in Android Wear promotional videos up to this point, enabling users to get turn-by-turn directions on their smartwatches.
Both the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live are now on sale from Google Play for $229 and $199 respectively, with shipping from July 7. The Moto 360, the only other Android Wear smartwatch announced at this point, is due to go on sale sometime later in the summer.