By JR Bookwalter

Google wants Android to be your wearable OS of choice

Just because Google plans to make its own smartwatch, that’s no reason for developers to avoid the Android platform when making their own – a task that will be far easier in just a couple of short weeks.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Google is planning to release a software development kit (SDK) later this month that will make it easier for manufacturers to power their future smartwatches with Android.

During his South by Southwest conference speech yesterday, Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai announced the search giant’s intentions to dominate the wearables market much in the same way they have smartphones.

To accomplish this task, Google plans to borrow from its own Android playbook by making a free SDK available to manufacturers and developers, part of the company’s “vision” for a wearables market where its mobile OS is on everyone’s wrist.

Feedback welcome

Google is reportedly working on its own smartwatch to be manufactured by LG Electronics that could debut in June, but Pichai calls the early release of an SDK based on Android an opportunity to get “plenty of feedback” in advance of the annual Google I/O conference.

But smartwatches may be only the beginning, as Pichai teased the possibility of other wearables such as a “smart jacket,” which could incorporate a variety of sensors for a variety of unspecified uses.

Pichai also told SXSW attendees that Google’s Chromecast will soon branch out to countries other than the US after racking up sales “in the millions” there.

The Android, Chrome and apps executive also answered a query about Google’s recent Nest Labs acquisition, which could deliver a future “mesh layer” of software designed to make devices interact with each other.

  • Check out our review of the first wearable from Mountain View, Google Glass!