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Android Wear Receiving Update This Week, Several This Year – Will Soon Pair With Bluetooth Headsets, Support GPS

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Two members of the Android team – engineering director David Singleton and VP of engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer – sat down with CNET this week for a quick Q&A about the current and future status of Android Wear, the company’s wearables platform, likely because we are about to see a handful of new devices running it this week at IFA. In the chat, both Singleton and Lockheimer talk updates that are direct from Google, new use cases, and most importantly, new features that we will see very soon. 

In terms of updates, the Android team plans to push out “several” before the end of the year, with one coming this week. We aren’t sure what will be highlighted in this week’s update other than improved navigation and voice actions, but at some point this year (my guess is this week), we will see Android Wear be able to pair with Bluetooth headsets, so that in theory, you could load up music on your watch, take off for a run, and listen to music without your phone (or wires). The Android team will also introduce GPS support for watches that have the correct GPS hardware inside. If you were to take off for that previously mentioned run without your phone, thanks to GPS, your data will be tracked and saved for syncing once you return home and your watch can be re-connected to data. Finally, the watch face API could be here sooner than you think. David Singleton mentioned that we could start to see watch faces that include hiking or running info, sports scores, or even stock information in real time, very soon.

In case you missed our coverage on this during the Android Wear launch, these updates will come directly from Google. The Android team has full control over Android Wear updates, because for one, the platform is so new that they want to be able to iterate faster than they would with a phone OS. There is also less at stake and less players involved, so the quicker they can improve Android Wear, the better (and easier).

To read the full Q&A, hit up the source link below.

Via:  CNET [Q&A]
  • miri

    Wear pairing with BT headsets? Looks like Moto will be announcing one at their event. I wonder if that’s what they’ve been waiting for…

  • Bionicman

    This is why i got the galaxy gear live instead of the gear 2 neo…updates. I knew Google would be constantly updating their android wear platform while the Tizen based smartwatches wouldn’t get updated as often.

    • AbbyZFresh

      What makes you think Samsung won’t update Tizen, they intend to challenge Android Wear with it alongside making watches for Wear.

      • Bionicman

        just look at Samsung’s history at updating their devices. when a device is supported directly by Google, you know it’ll be getting updated often.

  • Finire

    What I’m interested about how the phones handle it, is how we’ll be able to pair with both Android Wear devices, and say the Bluetooth in your car at the same time.

    • Shane C.

      This is what I’ve been wondering since android wear was announced…

    • cmbeid

      You mean have your Android Wear watch paired with your phone, and also your car paired with your phone?

      • Finire

        Exactly so. I don’t want to have to unpair my watch every time I get in my car..

        • cmbeid

          Your phone can handle multiple bluetooth connections at once. I have my watch and car paired to my phone.

          • Finire

            That’s very helpful to know… Now I won’t be so hesitant.

          • ckeegan

            Oh yeah, my phone is connected to my car and radar detector via bluetooth every time I get in it. I think technically a bluetooth device can be connected to 7 other devices simultaneously, but I can’t imagine what that would do to the bandwith. I’ve certainly been connected to three at one time with no problem though.

          • Razma

            thanks, was wondering that too. i use bluetooth in my car all the time to listen to music. but i’d like to have like navigation running on the watch, so i can have quick to see directions by looking at the watch instead of pulling my phone out of my pocket and looking at that

          • AbbyZFresh

            That wastes even more battery pairing the phone to so many devices at once.

        • anthony

          like mentioned you will need to. I currently use a pebble and it connects to my car and my pebble at the same time. Sometimes it is not as smooth as it should be but for the most part it works without many hiccups. The information is also still visible on my pebble such as text and what track is playing. This is helpful so your phone stays in your pocket and your eyes on the road when when glancing at text your still focused on the road.

        • tu3218

          It already works fine as is. Both stayed paired.

    • Richard Yarrell

      Android Wear sucks MAJOR MONKEY BALLS so much it’s comical. TIZEN and the Galaxy Gear and Gear 2 pimp slaps any silly Android Wear watch. Especially with the upcoming GALAXY GEAR SOLO TIZEN doesn’t have too much to worry about with this crappy android wear.

  • NexusMan

    And, just like I said many weeks ago, when the G Watch and Gear Live dropped, to all those crying about Motorola supposedly “waiting too late to drop the 360,” the Android Wear experience will be much more robust at the release of the Moto 360 and shortly thereafter. Look at that, an update during the actual week the 360 is dropping…and look at that, an Android Wear update to support bluetooth headsets just as Motorola is going to drop a Bluetooth headset to work with their device. Good things come to those who wait.

    • Daistaar

      So you think the bluetooth headset thing is exclusive to motorola? Last I checked, all other Android Wear watches have bluetooth and 4gb of storage. They should all be able to do it. Wait too long and you’ll miss out.

      • cns2007

        That not what he was saying. He said nothing of exclusivity to Motorola. Just that this update coincides nicely with the Motorola event and their bluetooth headset.

        • NexusMan

          Exactly.

      • NexusMan

        Not what I said at all, boss. Just pointing out the update comes just as Moto is the only and 1st manufacturer announcing and releasing a new Bluetooth headset to take advantage of it.

        • Daistaar

          I guess my confusion comes from the idea that they would have a bluetooth headset to take advantage of it. If All of Android Wear has the requirement of BT4 LE, wouldn’t you just need a BT headset to interact with it? Is Motorola’s headset the only one to be able to work with Wear?

          • cns2007

            I’m sure the functionality will work with any BT4 headset, not just Motorola’s.

            I suspect what will be different with Moto’s headset, is not just how it will potentially interact with the 360, but with the X, G, and apps such as the rumored Moto Aware. So the device isn’t targeted just for the 360.

          • NexusMan

            You’re entirely missing the 1st part of my post: the Android Wear experience will be much more robust at the release of the Moto 360 and shortly thereafter, than it was at the release of those earlier devices. My whole point was there was no need to “chastise” Motorola for putting out a device “late,” and rush out to get a device that is lacking features that the Moto 360 will debut with. Additionally, I’d bet their headset is not just any run of the mill cookie cutter headset.

          • Daistaar

            Ahhh I get what you mean. You’re right in that Motorola isn’t really really late to the party since it hasn’t really started yet. Should be a fun ride knee the ball really gets rolling. Looking for something new for my Gear Live.

          • NexusMan

            Yup yup!!!

    • Anfronie

      I did read people talking about this being the hold up…Good point..Still want it now though lol!

      • NexusMan

        Hopefully, we’ll get it on Thursday!

  • DJyoSNOW

    And as if the battery life was already nothing special?? Yeah I get my phone charges daily, but not what I had hopes for in a watch.

  • ªAS|YOUTH|IA

    It’s not hip to be square anymore. Anyone that has seen the teaser for the circle LG watch will be holding off for that to be available

    • turdbogls

      not if the $300 price rumor is true. and with the G watch sitting pretty at $180, and you can buy it now, its pretty enticing. I was actually thinking of picking up a used G watch for $150 since I’m not sure I want to spend full price on something I may or may not use after a month.

      • ªAS|YOUTH|IA

        But the people that do wear watches and are also really loving the smartwatch will spend the extra money and get the more stylish watch that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb

      • NexusMan

        So why don’t you just wait and pay $150 for a NEW, newer, better looking device that is sure to soon come.

        • turdbogls

          If I KNEW one was coming for $150 I would….but I just dont. Asus was our best bet, and the latest rumor is that is going to be “under $199″ so…basically $200+ after tax, after a month more of a wait.

          and am I the only one that kinda likes the G watch looks? its nothing fancy or flashy, and thats what I want. I dont want the 360 because it just looks too flashy to me, but I would take the G watch R in a heart beat.

      • Sonic_44

        I did get one. It’s worth it and heck if the timing is right, you can probably take it back within 15 days if the Moto 360 is actually better since it’s at Best Buy…

    • Maxim∑

      LG G watch really doesn’t look bad. And its cheaper now

      Much better than the stupid neon pebbles

      • NexusMan

        Different strokes…I think the exact opposite.

      • Smartss

        I picked one up last night. Color me impressed. I have the Sam Gear 2 Neo but this is much more impressive than that in my opinion. Now to sell that Neo.

    • Cael

      This does not apply to me.

      • ªAS|YOUTH|IA

        Perfect

    • NexusMan

      Insert “Moto 360,” where you put “circle LG watch.”

  • Ralph Bretz

    Lovely, now bring on the big news.
    IFA
    Motorola
    and I suppose Apple

    • Maxim∑

      Note 4
      iWatch announcement*
      iPhone 6 iPad/iPod?
      Mac refresh
      Nexus tablet +Nexus 6?
      And a few new wear watches

      So much stuff

      • Justin Kos

        Destiny on ps4 and GBA remakes of S/R too this year!

      • Ralph Bretz

        Moto X2 and Moto Nexus X. That’s what I care about. Leaving Verizon and I’m waiting to buy one of those phones when I do it.

        • Maxim∑

          wow I completely forgot about Moto

      • picaso86

        T-Mobile Uncarrier event Sept 10th…..

        • Ralph Bretz

          And this. Really interested in this also. Please expand to my area T-Mobile.

  • Christopher Brown

    Would it be worth waiting for a watch that has all these future features built into it? I was looking to buy the 360, but…. Opinions please!

    • ziPRR

      It’s always worth it to wait until Gen 2 hardware for any product. The question is whether or not you are willing to wait, hahaha.

      • AbbyZFresh

        Since this is the early days of Wear, we all know Google will rapidly update it just like they did with Android phones. Even Gen 2 hardware will not be able to handle the updated Wear for Gen 3 wearables.

        • ziPRR

          True. That much can be said of many different product lines. The question is how long can you wait? When will you buy in? It all eventually leads to buyers remorse no matter when that happens.

          As an early adopter, an avid technology enthusiast, and an owner of the LG G watch and Samsung Gear Live, I don’t regret buying in early. However I think it helps that I know I will be getting a Moto360. :)

          • NexusMan

            Well said.

      • Justin Kos

        I feel like with these watches, this statement holds very very true. If I was in the market for one I would def wait

        • NexusMan

          That’s why I waited until “late summer,” *wink wink*

      • James

        I agree. Android Wear has tons of upside. But these first gen devices seem to fall short in too many areas for my $.

      • NexusMan

        Even more worth it to wait for gen 3 or 4 or 5 or 10.

      • KleenDroid

        The Droid 1 came out and I am sure glad I didn’t wait for its next generation. After the Droid 1 things went downhill for some time.

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

      The only thing mentioned that the 360 may not be capable of, is the GPS stuff, since we are pretty sure it doesn’t have a GPS unit inside. Otherwise, the rest of this stuff is coming to all the current Android Wear products, as far as I know.

      • jstew182

        To me, it seems like a watch being announced this week should have the GPS function built in since they are making it available as more watches are being released.

        • NexusMan

          Yup.

      • NexusMan

        I’d bet it does. ;)

    • James

      I’m hoping to use Android Wear as a fitness tool (among other things), so no GPS is a deal breaker for me.

      I don’t want to always have to lug my phone around just to make the watch do anything beyond tell the time. My advice: wait for more offline functionality.

      • Justin Kos

        I still don’t understand why I need a smart watch for fitness. I don’t care about my heart rate, reps, and I can count my own macros.

        • James

          No offense, but to people who are serious about fitness (especially running), things like heart rate, pace, distance matter A LOT. Not to mention the ability to track detailed information on improvement over time.

          • Justin Kos

            I’m not a runner, so I can understand. I am very serious with my weight training and diet and do not see a need to justify a 200 dollar purchase

          • James

            True, I don’t see a smartwatch being hugely helpful with strength training! Although I’ve thought about using one to track weights, reps, etc. in the way that I currently use a notebook workout log. Don’t know if that would be more trouble than it’s worth, however. Could also be helpful to set alarms for a strict supplementation schedule (although again, a phone can do this just as easily).

          • Justin Kos

            Exactly where I’m coming from! And as a hardgainer, 200 bucks gets me a ton of supps.. maybe I’m just a minority here.

          • James

            Right on. As enamored as I am with Android Wear, I just can’t see justifying the purchase…yet.

          • Justin Kos

            *Yet, because my mind could and may change in the future.. we shall see! Cheers

          • James

            Let’s hope Google pushes OEMs to be more mindful of many different fitness/workout situations. Things could look very different in 6 months. Cheers to you as well!

          • NexusMan

            And I think that is perfectly fine. If you would not benefit from enhanced notifications, and Google Now and hands free experiences, are not into fitness tracking and particularly don’t wear watches, I think buying one of these things is silly. It’s not a product for everyone. Like, I, personally could never justify buying a vanilla fitness band.

          • NexusMan

            But a phone doesn’t sit comfortably and unobtrusively on your wrist.

    • King Lo

      MotoActv 2, thats all I’m saying.

      • jstew182

        Had the MotoActv just had better battery life I wouldve used it for a lot longer!

        • King Lo

          You were probably an early adopter. I can get almost 3 days out of mine with medium use. No mods.

          • Rolfi Polanco

            I hope my moto actv can be moded to support android wear

          • jstew182

            I could get 3 days out of it if I didnt use the GPS and also the fact that the screen was always off had something to do with that. If they can make the current version of an Android smartwatch last 3 days then that would be awesome.

      • cns2007

        I suspect Motorola will rewrite their MotoActv app in Google Play (currently pretty bad, no update in 2 years) to work with AndroidWear OS.

        • Dylan

          I suspect that MotoActv is end-of-life and we won’t be seeing any updates for it at all. Wish I had more free time to play with compiling my own versions of Android to play with it myself.

    • NexusMan

      Um, Moto 360 event in 2 days with Bluetooth headset dropping with it. Why do you think the update is coming this week. Sorry, early adopters, Moto is the favored child.

    • jonedevil

      I just got paid ————————..——————————-