ASUS Announces Its Round and “Luxurious” ZenWatch 3

IFA, the pre-Fall tech show that takes place in Germany each year, kicked off this morning to give many of your favorite companies a chance to show off their holiday product line-ups. One of the few that still uses IFA to announce entire roadmaps is ASUS and they didn’t disappoint this year by making the ZenWatch 3 official.

As expected, the ZenWatch 3 is a round smartwatch, unlike the first two ZenWatch entries. With this watch, ASUS is really focusing on design, noting in the press release that it was “meticulously fashioned from jewelry-grade 316L stainless steel,” a steel that is “cold-forged” and 82% stronger than conventional steel because ASUS wants this little guy to be able to “withstand the rigors of daily wear.” Asus says that you’ll also get choices of stitched Italian leather bands or “high-quality” rubber should you buy one.  (more…)

Video: Android 6.0.1 Android Wear Gestures and Features Tour!

Give Motorola credit – they are pushing out this Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update to their Moto 360 line faster than anyone else, from what we can tell. As of the end of yesterday, the update seemed to be widely available on all of their watches, including the 1st gen, 2nd gen, and Moto 360 Sport. Because it’s so readily available, we grabbed it for each variant, updated, and took it for a spin on video to show off what’s new. After all, this is quite the big update, with new gestures, Doze, app permission controls, and more.  (more…)

ASUS ZenWatch Drops to $129 From $199 on Google Play

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…)

How to: Setup and Use WiFi on Android Wear

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…)

ASUS Announces ZenWatch 2, Comes in Two Sizes With IP67 Rating

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…)

Android 5.1.1 Update for Android Wear Should Start Rolling Out to Devices Today

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…)