Google Wear Stories April 25, 2016

Albeit still not as popular as smartphones, smartwatches are indeed making their way to the market as gadgets with ever increased functionalities — like the recently announced CoWatch and its Amazon Alexa integration — but at the same time trying to appeal to classic timepiece customers as well.

Samsung is an OEM trying to please both audiences: according to The Korea Herald, Swiss watchmaker de Grisogono has confirmed to be working with the consumer electronics giant again in order to bring to the market a luxury version of the yet-to-be-announced Gear S3, supposedly coming next March…

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Google Wear Stories January 1, 2016

2015 saw many announcements and developments within the Mountain View company. It was a big one. While we may not have seen as many of the flashy moonshot projects we’ve seen announced over the last few years, like Google Glass, Project Loon, Project Titan, and others, 2015 came with some big changes, upgrades, products, and services. From Google being completely restructured to be a new huge conglomerate called Alphabet to the recent launch of the company’s Nexus line, 2015 wasn’t a boring one for Google by any stretch of the imagination.

Here’s are some of Google’s most important announcements, in no particular order…

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Google Wear Stories November 18, 2015

Human curation matters. We trust recommendations from friends and experts more than suggestions by the best computers. That’s why millions of people come to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and 9to5Mac each month to discover our product recommendations!

Product reviews are great if you know the exact product you want to buy, but they rarely cover all the best products in one place. That’s why Curate With Me is here — to connect you with curated lists of great products recommended by friends and experts.

Curate With Me helps you canvas categories of products, apps, and dining experiences that other people are recommending, combining the power of Reddit-style upvotes with Pinterest-like visuals. Lots of experts, including the 9to5Google team, are already creating Curate With Me guides. It’s a place where Android fans, beauty mavens, foodies, gamers, home decorators and everyone with product knowledge can come together to spotlight the best of everything!

Want a shot at winning this year’s best Google gift? Sign up for Curate With Me at this link and contribute ideas to our 2015 Top Holiday Google Gift Guide. After one week, the person who contributed the most upvoted item in the Guide will get to pick one or more items from the list (worth up to $200), courtesy of Curate With Me! So get curating right away to maximize your votes! More details are below…. (Update: Congrats, Eli M!)

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Google Wear Stories October 7, 2015

Four months ago, the team behind the BLOCKS smartwatch — a device not all too different from Google’s Project Ara smartphone in principle — said that it would begin crowdfunding in the “summer”. While the company may have missed that deadline by a few weeks, it looks like it’s going to happen nonetheless. The device is set to finally hit Kickstarter on October 13th… expand full story

Google Wear Stories August 7, 2015

Microsoft Translator is a beautified Google Translate with Android Wear support

Real world, on-the-fly language translation has always been a little gimmicky if only because it still doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of accuracy. Human spoken languages are a lot different from computer code in that words can have many meanings based on the context of the other words surrounding them. But that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from releasing its own translation app for Android called Microsoft Translator.

As you can see from the images above, the app is pretty simple. You speak or type in some words you want to translate, then choose the language you want to translate them into. You can save the translated result for later by pinning it, and then come back to it when you really need it — say, if you’re hitting a vacation town for the evening and need some common phrases to help you get around.

Unlike Google Translate, Microsoft Translator has a companion app for Android Wear so you don’t have to pull out your phone to make a new translation or access your pinned translations. Google Now can do some short translations, but nothing very long from my experience. Where Google Translate may lack, however, it makes up in a conversation mode which requires less tapping of the microphone to translate the voices of two people having a conversation — something Microsoft’s solution does not do.

Microsoft Translator, the underlying translation technology powering the app, supports just over 50 languages (yes, including Klingon), and Microsoft periodically adds new languages. The company says that the most important data its translation tools need to accurately translate languages on-the-fly is a lot of existing translations — 1 million translations of the same text into two languages, approximately.

Clearly, though, the new Wear app in particular is an experiment for Microsoft. From their blog post on the launch:

Wearables are a fascinating place to understand user experiences for translation. No other type of device allows people to interact with so little physical intrusion from the device itself— PC’s, tablets, and even phones can be occasionally awkward and unnatural in the middle of a conversation. With these smart devices, we want to learn how people use the apps and how effective the translation experiences can be. By integrating translation capabilities into devices that are instantly on hand (pun intended), we hope to continue to break down the last barrier in human communication— language.

Google Wear Stories July 7, 2015

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You know what I haven’t once thought since purchasing my ASUS ZenWatch? “Man, I wish this thing had a software keyboard!” Nope, not even once. But someone clearly has, as the developers behind the 5-TILES keyboard for Android smartphones have brought their signature tile-based keyboard to Android Wear users in the form of a messaging app, called Wear 5-TILES.

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