We enter 2015 after a year in which Google decided to takeover the wearable market with Android Wear. Companies had tried before Android Wear to make smartwatches, but if we are being honest, have to admit that most were quite terrible. That’s not to say that Android Wear is a perfect option, but it’s safe to say that it is currently the best option, as well as an option that should only get better over time. Companies like Motorola, LG, and ASUS have all bought into Google’s wearable platform, even giving us more choices than I think most expected.
With a year full of 2nd generation wearables surely on the horizon, we are wondering how many of you have already jumped into the game early and picked up a smartwatch? (Who would do such a thing with the Apple Watch on the way!) Do you own a Moto 360? One of the G Watches, perhaps? Or maybe you own one of the other options, like say a Gear Live, Gear 2, Zenwatch, Pebble, etc.? If so, be sure to jump into the comments to talk about your specific watch.
If you don’t own a smartwatch yet, be sure to let us know why.
Android Wear is receiving a major update that begins rollout today. Alongside the update, developers are being given full access to the Watch Face API, which means that we will all soon enjoy legitimate watch face apps instead of the janky work-around solutions we have dealt with since the beginning of Android Wear. Outside of the new API, a list of new features and UI tweaks are here to improve the experience. (more…)
With the Moto 360 now available, we are sure there are plenty new Android Wear users in the building, so we wanted to share a few apps that we thought you might find useful.
Of course, many of the first things you will want to download are custom watch faces, so we have that covered, but we also wanted to showcase a couple of utility applications, two of which you may not have thought to try out on your own.
Below, see our list of a few apps which we think you might enjoy on your Android Wear smartwatch. (more…)
Square or round? That seems to be the debate about smartwatches in 2014. Motorola decided long ago that they were ditching the rectangular smartwatch design for something closer to a traditional, circular time piece with the Moto 360. We have even seen LG already jump to the idea as well, with the G Watch R. But then you have Samsung sticking with square (semi-curved square, to be correct) throughout their half-dozen or so watch releases. And of course, Apple went square with the Apple Watch in this week’s unveiling.
We are curious which you prefer? Clearly, you think the Moto 360 is the best looking watch of the bunch, according to our latest poll, but that could be because of the overall design. Maybe you could buy into a square watch if it looked amazing. You tell us – square or round?
Apple announced the Apple Watch today, a device that won’t actually arrive until some time in early 2015. Even though it isn’t going to be available for months, Apple still showed off the device’s potential features, design, different models, and an estimated price, which will start at $349. But for those in the Android game who have been interested in Android Wear and smartwatches in general, there was one piece to today’s presentation that was of interest – expected battery life. Of course, that information never did arrive, nor has it appeared on Apple’s own dedicated website section for the Watch. Well, not directly, but Apple has hinted at it a couple of times.
Android Wear watches, at least so far, have struggled to get more than a full day of use before needing to be charged. We have talked off and on about smartwatch battery life expections for weeks, especially now that the Moto 360 is available, suggesting that they need to be lessoned thanks to the technology involved here. Yet for whatever reason, tech enthusiasts had decided that Apple would unveil a watch that goes well beyond a day, maybe even three or four without needing to be charged. As unrealistic as that sounds, this is the world we live in. Expectations for Apple to change the game are always there, even if they haven’t for years.
I hate to break it to you, but from what we have heard and seen from Apple today, it certainly doesn’t appear as if they have reinvented battery tech for watches with the Apple Watch. (more…)
Thanks to a handful of initial reviews from select press that surfaced close to last Friday’s embargo time, everyone thinks the Moto 360 has terrible battery life. Forget the fact that these reviewers couldn’t possibly have given the device thorough testing on its battery in the 12 hours (some less) that they had the watch in hand, but after having one on wrist for four days now, I think I can safely say that battery life is no where near as terrible as it was made to sound.
Let’s talk about the Moto 360 and some battery-related items. (more…)
Not content with Google Glass, the folks behind Minuum are tackling the input problem on Android Wear.
According to Minuum, “oodles” of people want a really tiny keyboard they can use on their watch, a call which the developers are pleased to answer. While the team has already revealed a prototype version of the keyboard for circular devices, a video released today shows the square design. (more…)
Third party launchers are some of our favorite applications, so now that they are hitting Android Wear devices, you can imagine how excited we are. This weekend, the first custom launcher hit Google Play for Android Wear, titled Wear Mini Launcher.
With Mini Launcher, users can quickly access any application and system setting they have on their smartwatch. To access, all you do is swipe to the right from the top left corner. A semi-transparent drawer will slide out, revealing helpful shortcuts to whatever you might need. (more…)