As smartwatches become more sophisticated, they also become more enticing. Most of us have already chosen whether we play for team Android or team iOS, but thankfully it seems like that will not have to dictate which wearable we can choose. This is especially good news for those of us with iPhones: Apple only has one watch, but Android can boast several options (most of which are significantly less expensive). It’s not bad for Android either: Apple has a large piece of the mobile marketshare pie and supporting their platform means a dramatic increase in the number of potential customers (which also happens to be a population that tends to spend more money on electronics).
Hidden inside the Android Wear 4.4W firmware is a class named “AncsHandler” –for those who may not be developers, ANCS is the Apple Notification Center Service (the functionality that pushes notifications to a wearable). Of course, nothing about this tells us much about what it would look like or how it would work. It would seem logical to assume that app support would be minimal, but standard faire features like SMS messaging, email, calendars, and GPS could easily be made cross-platform.
Keep in mind that nothing official has been announced by Apple or Google, but it’s a promising sign (it would be even more exciting if the Apple Watch does the same thing for Android, but I’m not holding my breath just yet). Either way, smartwatch manufacturers (including high-end watch makers like Tag Heuer) are likely keeping a close eye on this news… not being locked down to a particular platform is a valuable asset.
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, content writer, project manager and usability design expert. With over 17 years in these roles, Jillian has enjoyed applying her skill-set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors including: legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Jillian is pleased to contribute articles, opinions, and advice to numerous news outlets, websites, and publications.