Mobile World Congress saw a flurry of Smart Watches from manufacturers like LG and Huawei and after playing with one after the other, there was one thing that they all had in common, ALL the Android Wear based Smart Watches offered identical software features. Wow, How boring?
It seems that Huawei is apparently unhappy with the amount of freedom they have to personalise the platform to cater to their own wishes and help differentiate their devices to those of their competitors. The whole User Interface (UI), apps and menus can not be changed or any additional features added to the OS like they can do with Android. The only thing they can do is add their own watch faces. That’s it!
Yang Yong, Huawei’s Vice President of Product Management, citing the company’s own market research, suggests that consumers are looking for more unique features with their smartwatches. Users want to customise their device to look like a non-standard device.
“Android Wear is not as open as Android. For the watch it cannot be a standard.” Yang Yong, Huawei’s Vice President of Product Management
If we can judge anything from the evolution of the Smartphone market is that Google are likely to keep these restrictions in place, forcing manufacturers to tow the line.
“What we are doing is trying to make from the hardware view, in the design view, in the software view, in the surface view, we are trying to differentiate our watch to appeal to the consumers who will use it.” – Yang Yong
There is hope, there is another way, as Huawei like other manufacturers are welcome to use Tizen, which is an Open Source Operating System, and then they are free to customise it to their hearts content. We don’t have the Google Police to restrict what innovation or differentiation takes place, in-fact this is one of the reasons that Tizen exists today. Samsung has proved that Tizen can run well in the Smart watch market, now we just other manufacturers to take the leap of faith.