Revamped Moto 360 gets the Android Wear ball rolling in China
When one of Lenovo’s posters for a September 8 announcement leaked out online, very clearly showing a 2015 Moto 360 photo and disclosing the event’s venue as China, we automatically assumed the upgraded smartwatch could snub Berlin’s IFA last week, and instead go official today in the manufacturer’s homeland.
That obviously wasn’t the case, but following a global introduction almost seven days ago, the second-gen Motorola Moto 360 just landed in China. Why is a regional launch so important? For one thing, this is the first Android Wear timepiece to debut in the world’s biggest smartphone market.
Also, you may remember Google effectively backed out of the country in 2010, and unlike the handheld version of Android, the wearable OS is far from completely open to third-party customization. As such, even Huawei had to delay its proprietary Watch’s local release until replacements for Google services are found.
On the new Moto 360, search and voice recognition functions are handled by a company called Mobvoi, and Sogou apparently takes care of maps. The underlying system components remain the same, and the UI should still look familiar to Western-residing Android Wear users, although Google welcomes any apps supplied by local developers through Chinese equivalents of the Play Store.
Aside from the 360 2, and likely Huawei Watch, there’s no word on other Android-based wearables headed to China in the near future. But after doing “quite a lot of work” to decouple Android Wear from its services, Google may soon offer LG, Asus or Sony the key to an easy sales boost.
At the same time, this could be interpreted as a first step in a much larger Chinese comeback strategy, as well as a prospective sign of increased openness from Google for Android Wear modification.
Source: The Verge