Android Wear now works with iPhones

Editor's note: As of September 2, you can check out new watches from Huawei, ASUS, and Motorola that all work with iPhones. 

(Cross posted on the Official Google Blog)

When you wear something every day, you want to be sure it really works for you. That’s why Android Wear offers countless design choices, so you can find the watch that fits your style. Want a round watch with a more classic look? Feel like a new watch band? How about changing things up every day with watch faces from artists and designers? With Android Wear you can do all of that. And now, Android Wear watches work with iPhones.

Android Wear for iOS is rolling out today. Just pair your iPhone (iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+) with an Android Wear watch to bring simple and helpful information right to your wrist:
  • Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch.
  • Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate.
  • Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?” or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.”

Today, Android Wear for iOS works with the LG Watch Urbane. All future Android Wear watches, including those from Huawei (pictured above), ASUS, and Motorola will also support iOS, so stay tuned for more. 

Dr. Seuss once said: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” We agree. So whoever You are, and whatever You like—Android Wear lets you wear what you want.

Posted by David Singleton, Director of Engineering, Android Wear

Android Wear: Stay connected with interactive watch faces

Wearing a watch lets you tell time with just a glance. Android Wear has expanded this at-a-glance experience to other useful info like your next meeting, daily step count, or messages. Today, we’re launching interactive watch faces, making it easier (and more fun) to stay connected, right from your wrist. Now, with just a tap, your watch face can change its design, reveal more information, or even launch a specific app.

Bits: Choose the info you want at a glance—from weather, to unread mail, to upcoming meetings. Want to know this afternoon’s weather forecast? Just tap on the weather complication.
Under Armour: Stay motivated with fitness stats on your wrist. Tap the watch face to see your step count, calories burned, and distance.
Together: Android Wear’s Together Watch Face lets two people stay close throughout the day by turning the entire watch face into a space for sharing. Once you’ve paired your watch face with a partner’s, you’ll be able to share things like photos and emoji, as well as your activities (like if you’re working out, on the phone, or stuck in traffic).
Today’s updates are rolling out to all Android Wear watches in the coming weeks. So pick your favorite watch face, or pair up with your favorite person, and start wearing what you want.

Posted by Flavio Lerda, Software Engineer, Android Wear 

A step toward better mobile experiences in Africa

If you’re online in Nigeria, chances are you’re on a smartphone. Of the more than 50 million Nigerians who use the Internet, 95% do so on a mobile device and thanks to those devices, the number of people across Nigeria and the rest of Africa with access has grown tremendously. 

However, simply having an Internet connection isn’t enough. It’s important that people getting started with the Internet have a great, reliable, and relevant experience right away. This can be a challenge in places where local content may be limited, connectivity slow or intermittent, and quality phones costly.

While there’s still much more to do, we’re excited to take a step forward in addressing some of those challenges. Today in Lagos we’re announcing new products and features made to improve people’s experience when using a mobile phone to access the Internet. 

First, the Android One program is expanding to Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco with the launch of the Infinix HOT 2. This is the first Android One device made with our hardware partner Infinix, one of the hottest, fastest growing smartphone brands in Africa. Starting today, the HOT 2 is available in Nigeria at select retail outlets and online through Jumia at a recommended retail price of N17,500* (~88 USD), and it will become available in the other countries over the next few weeks.

Like all Android One phones, the HOT 2 combines a high-quality hardware experience with pure Android software. Bringing together a quad-core MediaTek processor with 1GB memory, dual SIM support, and black, white, red, blue, and gold (with 2GB memory) models, the hardware is a great complement to Lollipop 5.1.1, which provides up to 2x better performance and extended battery features. The Android One HOT 2 will also receive an update to the next version of Android (according to Infinix’s schedule), and thus stays fast and responsive over time.

Second, for people who already own a smartphone, we’re helping them get more for their MBs through a streamlined version of Google Search rolling out to devices worldwide and offering a faster experience on low RAM phones, such as those with 512MB. This feature can reduce data usage on the results page by up to 90%, while removing up to ⅓ of the time it takes to load results.

Finally, we will make the YouTube viewing experience even better by extending YouTube offline to Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Egypt within the next few months. This feature of the YouTube app lets you store many of the videos on YouTube for up to 48 hours, so you can watch them later when your connection may be slow or non-existent. And if you want to quickly re-watch a video with friends without waiting for it to load, that works great too.

Nearly one year ago, Google introduced the Android One program and YouTube Offline in India. Today, 6 countries in Africa — with combined populations of 379 million people — join the list of places where Android One phones are sold. We’ve been thrilled by the progress and feel humbled by the work that’s left to do. But we look forward to continuing our work with partners to ensure that people have a great way to access the Internet, using it in ways that are relevant and useful. 

Posted by Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management

* The pricing may differ from seller to seller in offline retail stores

An Update to Nexus Devices

Security has always been a major focus for Android and Google Play: Android was built from day one with security in mind.

For example, the “Application Sandbox” model keeps applications running separately from other apps and the rest of the device to keep your data safe. With Verify Apps, over 1 billion devices are protected via Google Play, which conducts hundreds of millions of antivirus-like security scans of devices per day seamlessly in the background. Also, Android is open source so that anyone can comb through the code to identify and address potential security risks, which makes the platform stronger. In fact, the Android Security Rewards Program financially rewards security researchers who invest their time and effort in helping make Android more secure.

We believe the combination of these approaches has led to there being fewer than 0.15% of devices with any kind of potentially harmful app installed, as long as apps were installed from Google Play. (See more of our research.)

An additional approach to further increase the security of Android users involves updates to the device software. For the past three years, we have been notifying Android manufacturers every month through bulletins of security issues so that they can keep their users secure.

Nexus devices have always been among the first Android devices to receive platform and security updates. From this week on, Nexus devices will receive regular OTA updates each month focused on security, in addition to the usual platform updates. The first security update of this kind began rolling out today, Wednesday August 5th, to Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and Nexus Player. This security update contains fixes for issues in bulletins provided to partners through July 2015, including fixes for the libStageFright issues. At the same time, the fixes will be released to the public via the Android Open Source Project. Nexus devices will continue to receive major updates for at least two years and security patches for the longer of three years from initial availability or 18 months from last sale of the device via the Google Store.

Security continues to be a top priority and monthly device updates are yet another tool to make and keep Android users safe.

Posted by Adrian Ludwig, Lead Engineer for Android Security, and Venkat Rapaka, Director of Nexus Product Management