The ASUS ZenWatch, first released in November of last year, had its price slashed over on the Google Store this week, from its original $199 price to just $129. Featuring a 1.63” AMOLED display, Snapdragon 400 processor, and 1.4Wh battery, the ZenWatch is a solid Android Wear device, even allowing users to test their heart rate by holding the side of the device. (more…)
The Android 5.1.1 update for Android Wear introduced what I would consider to be the most important new feature since the platform launched. I’m talking about WiFi connectivity of course, which lets you have some freedom from your phone and the Bluetooth connection that previously tied phone to watch.
With WiFi connectivity on your watch, you could leave your phone on the other side of your house or office, lose that Bluetooth connection, yet still sync notifications to your wrist. You still get to interact with notifications, respond to messages via voice, and launch Google voice actions. This really is one of those game-changing type features because it allows your watch to be less reliant on having your phone nearby at all times. (more…)
At the annual Computex exhibition for manufacturers, taking place in Taipei, ASUS unveiled the ZenWatch 2. Running the latest Android Wear software, the ZenWatch 2 will come in a variety of finishes, along with a large collection of straps. To start it off, the ZenWatch 2 will come in two sizes, presumably for big and small wrists, with Stainless Steel casing in either Rose Gold, Silver, and Gunmetal.
When compared to last year’s ZenWatch, there are only a few major differences, but it is clear that ASUS thought quite hard about how they could make the design and usability much better. To start, ASUS added in a dedicated Power button on the side of the device, with ASUS stating that it allows for users to interact with their device in an all-new way. (more…)
Back in late April, Google announced that a new version of Android Wear would soon be arriving on your favorite smartwatch with features like WiFi support, emoji drawing, an app launcher, wrist flick navigation gesture, and more. They also mentioned that this new version of their wearable platform would first be available on LG’s new Watch Urbane (our review) before anyone else would see it. That bit about it being on the Watch Urbane first certainly seemed to imply that some sort of back alley deal had been made with LG in order to hopefully boost early sales of their new “premium” watch for a couple of weeks. Who knows if it helped, but today, that exclusive on Android 5.1.1 for Android Wear seems to have ended and Google has begun pushing updates to the rest of their smartwatch line-up. (more…)
Update: Most Android Wear devices, like the G Watch, G Watch R, Gear Live, and ZenWatch all appear to be receiving this update. Not much is standing out in terms of new stuff. If anything, your watch should be more stable.
An Android 5.0.2 update is rolling out now to Moto 360 units as build LWX49L. At least one of our readers has already received the update, which Motorola says updates Google Play Services and adds a “variety of system optimizations and security updates to improve performance stability.” This appears to be a bug fixers rather than a feature-introducer.
To check for the update on your device, head into Settings>About>System updates. (more…)
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.