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Omate TrueSmart Watch Comes Clean, Doesn’t Have Google Play or Google Services Support

omate truesmart watch

The Omate Truesmart, one of the newest Kickstarter smartwatch darlings to crush the $1 million in funding mark, announced some potentially painful news to backers this morning. Originally announced as the “world’s first smartwatch with Google Play,” its founders have come clean in an update on the product’s Kickstarter page, saying that at this time, they do not have official Google Play support after all. 

Since Android doesn’t currently allow for Play store or Google Services support on devices such as a smartwatch, Omate is having to work with Google to try to get it certified. That process could be easy or it could be incredibly difficult; we don’t really know at this time. What I do know is that come launch – at least for the October developer editions – users will have to sideload .apk files to get the experience that Omate initially promised because there won’t be Google Play or Gmail or Google Maps or any other major Google app. Sideloading apps isn’t all that difficult if you know what you are doing, but it’s not exactly a great solution.

And what if Google tells them, “No”? Well, Omate is going to create the OStore, their own marketplace for apps. Because that’s just what we need, another 3rd party app store to trust and potentially download from. Oh, and we would also have to hope that app developers care enough about this product to submit their apps in the first place. While the product is popular on Kickstarter with more than 4,000 backers, that’s not exactly a big number of users to a developer.

To say that this news is a disappointment would be an understatement. Sure, Omate could work closely with Google and get official support for their smartwatch. But you know what, there is absolutely no guarantee that we’ll see that happen. It would certainly make sense for Google to give smartwatches the green light for Google Services, since they plan to enter the wearable market themselves, however, I’m not sure a company like Omate is going to be one to push them over the edge. Maybe that’s just me. I hope this all gets cleared up soon.

Here is a screenshot that I grabbed this morning from their Kickstarter page:

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 12.09.23 PM

Here is today’s note from Omate:

Dear TrueSmarters,

We apologize for any confusion that our initial statements may have caused regarding the Official Google Play Store. TrueSmart is the first of an entire new breed of smartwatches, for you as well as for us, and as we are developing it together we are also learning. Even though Android does not currently allow for official Play Store support for Smartwatch 2.0 devices, Omate is still working closely with Google over Google Play and Google Services issues. We feel that the combined efforts of Google and Omate will allow for Google Play Store and Google Services to be on the TrueSmart and we are fully committed to get the TrueSmart certified and the needed updates released. Until that time we are working to provide you with the OStore and are also working closely with app developers to ensure apps in the OStore will provide the best experience possible. I will personally do my best with the support of the entire Omate Team to promote Omate’s vision to strategic industrial partners and with your help we will make it possible. The companion feature (Osmart) is just one of the limitless applications we can implement into the TrueSmart. We will announce great app partnerships when we will start shipping the Developer Edition end of October.

In videos and pictures from various developer events we’ve been attending, we have shown Google Play and Google Services are working properly on the TrueSmart engineering samples. However we have to respect Google’s certification process in order to get official access to their services so we must confirm the TrueSmart Developer Edition will not ship with Google Play preloaded on it. If you have pledged the Developer Edition, we consider that you are a Developer (that makes sense to us) and thus you know how to install any Android APK. We rely on you – Developers – to test your existing applications and even create new ones dedicated to this new fantastic Android based wearable platform that the TrueSmart represents.

We attended our first Hackaton as a supportive startup this weekend at AngelHack HK. The feedback from backers and developers have been nothing but positive; over the course of our Kickstarter campaign we have changed our specs based on your feedback, your voice counts and we carefully listen our community. As a result we have designed the world’s first software running on top of Android dedicated to wearable devices (Omate User Interface a.k.a OUI). We have set a reference design of the world’s first Android smartwatch 2.0 running on MediaTek MT6572. Something to be very proud of, and cherish.

We are dedicated to ship the TrueSmart on time, on specs and on quality. We still have many challenges to face but we are on track according to our planning even though some features and aspects are not directly linked to Omate’s final decision. The road to success is a bumpy one, especially when making industry-changing products.

I’d like to thank you for your support and commitment to TrueSmart.

Laurent Le Pen (CEO)

Via:  Omate (Kickstarter)

  • gsmgbl

    does anyone get the refund?
    does anyone know how to refund?
    Seems like this is false and misleading information or advertisement at the first place.
    i saw a comment said the side load google play is crashed today.
    they are either hiding or ignoring your comment or request.
    they are better call oshit instead of omate.
    i am so regret to be a backer. dont buy!

  • Hoffman

    When I received that message this morning, it really pissed me off. Of course everyone is in the hole for a couple of hundred bucks. They better do something really fast or they will have a big failure on their hands. The main reason Omate was the choice of so many was because of the Play Store accessibility.

  • roebling

    I can load apps thru a USB cable from my laptop, so that’s not an issue to me. But I’d like the watch to be a hotspot for my laptop or nexus 7 occasionally. And I’ll need Google’s map support. And their voice connected search. Anybody got their hands on one yet & tested it?

  • http://www.martian-imperium.com/ Lokifish Marz

    Where have you people been ? Back in early September Omate said “We are communicating with Google AND are committed to giving users access to play apps store.”.

    All this update says is that it may take longer than expected as there is no version of Android that officially supports smartwatches. This is in line with “While all efforts are made to ensure timely completion of software functions, software development too can have unforseeable delays which may result in software functions being delivered in an update after a product has shipped.” which was on the Omate KS page since Aug 21st 2013.

    Android version released that supports smartwatches and Omate pushes for certification, you get an OTA and get an updated version of Android with Play Store.

    Don’t see folks bitching over the ton of other smartwatches that include it illegally. Some of which are on crowdfunding sites right now.

  • ckelrof

    I never have understood why anyone would support a Kickstarter project. The only ones that lose are the investors – who never had anything to gain but some ‘gift’ like a t-shirt anyway. If you want to give your money away, you don’t need a website to do it.

  • Jane Seymour

    bait and switch. classic.

  • droidftw

    I was never going to back this project. This watch must have like 1.5 hours of battery life.

  • yummy

    Geez Louise

  • jfaypm

    If I am reading this correctly, it just means that google apps are not preloaded on the watch. You can however install any apk (gmail, maps, play store, etc) on the watch just as you would install any apk on your phone or tablet. Its just means its not a “certified” google device. FYI i did not order the omate

    • Noggin

      Yeah, but what else did they embellish? Sapphire glass? “Sorry guys, but we found that plexiglass was LOADS cheaper!” Bluetooth 4.0? “Sorry guys, but well many phones don’t support BLE so why would we add it to our watch?” IPS display? “Haha, we thought about adding an IPS display but, well, we were offered a deal on these CRT monitors that were sitting in storage.”

      But seriously, they flat out said it had Google Play support, not that they were working towards having it. 100%, no questions asked, claimed it as fact.

      • josh

        Backers already knew this was coming if they watched the last week or so of the kickstarter. The problem is not with the hardware, but with googles requirements for the play store.

        As a developer backer I fully expect to have the play store going on my watch within a week. Just not officially, since Google doesn’t support small screen resolutions. In fact, we’ve seen video of the play store working on the watch already, but due to Google.requirements, Omate can’t ship of with or officially support it.

        I Aldo fully expect Google to release an update to the playstoee which will approve many smart watches along with their own.

  • Godzilla

    Another one bites the dust. The nexus watch is my only hope now………

    • hkklife

      If all these amateurs keep F-in’ around like idiots, it’s gonna be an iPad-style debacle all over again….Apple will enter the market with the first polished wearable/smartwatch and dominate that market all over again. 2.5 years after Xoom & Honeycomb and Android-powered tablets are still playing catch up and second fiddle to iOS & the iPad in apps, marketshare and consumer mindshare.

      Samsung really bungled it with the Gear but I inagine their followup effort will be infinitely better. Moto, IMHO, is still best equipped to produce the first compelling Android wearable WITH Play Store access.

      • coolsilver

        I don’t know even without play store. I’d go for a Sony smartwatch if it isn’t that bad.

    • sk3litor

      No….there is another…..

      • jayson olson

        Win.

  • Tom Yarrish

    I think the original message was just a typo. They meant to say it would be the first smartwatch with the Google Playa App Store….certainly understandable….

  • epps720

    I’ve backed a couple things on Kickstarter even though I am always hesitant. After this I will never do it again. Omate was just trying to scam people for their money.

    • zurginator

      You’ve gotta be careful… granted this is a situation anyone would have bet on.

      I’ve backed 8 projects myself, and have yet to be truly disappointed once. The worst I’ve had was TYLT, as they had major issues getting the units out (though once received it was awesome).

  • Mike Aurin

    The first smart watch with Google Play app store, full access. We apologize if you read that first sentence and deduced with any comprehension skills that it meant Google Play access was available.

    Love,
    Omate

  • guest

    Kickstarter sucks.

    • zurginator

      Kickstarter is awesome. This company sucks.

      I’ve backed 8 projects and have yet to be disappointed.

  • Bruce Wayne

    Already asking for my refund. I think the joker is behind this one. Either that or cat woman. That bitch is sneaky. I don’t trust her.

    • epps720

      I would hope they give you a refund without any issue. This was false advertisement of their product.

    • Godzilla

      man oh man would I hit that though……

      • Ian

        without fail…

      • Bruce Wayne

        If you hit that, you’d break her. You’re Godzilla

        • Ej McCarty

          I think you’re mistaken. Godzilla has the smallest dick of all time my friend. Remember that.
          Edit: when I say Godzilla I mean bionic.

          • Droid 1967

            was that per sarge ?

          • Ej McCarty

            Everything is per sarge. He guides my life decisions.

  • Matthew DiGiacomo

    What a dick move.

  • Mike Hilal

    I missed out on the kickstarter…guess I lucked out?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I’d say so.

    • zurginator

      I’d flip my sh!t if they pulled this and I had backed.

    • marilynbright23

      just before I looked at the bank draft for $5474, I have faith
      that my mom in-law had been truly making money part time at their computer..
      there dads buddy has done this for less than 18 months and at present repayed
      the debts on their appartment and bought a brand new Lexus LS400. we looked
      here, bay35.com