Google has today launched the latest update to the Android Wear OS, bumping it from version 1.3 to 1.4 (the companion app got an update in November, which tipped us off that this firmware update was on the way). Among other features, this version of the OS enables support for the speaker hardware that was previously discovered on the Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2…
wear Stories February 4, 2016
wear Stories October 21, 2015
Play Store listings now tell you when an app has Android Wear support
Since day one of the Apple Watch, iOS users have been able to get a quick glance at which apps have a companion Apple Watch app and which ones don’t. Android users have never had this luxury, and have instead been left guessing — or reading a site like this one — to find out whether or not a given app will have a wrist companion. Now, that has changed thanks to a new Android Wear icon that’s appearing on the Play Store…
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
wear Stories July 24, 2015
It seems like Motorola might be the new lead contender for worst-secret-keeper-ever. As I said earlier this week, we’ve seen renders, more renders, real photos, more real photos, and even more real photos of the 2015 Moto G leak over the last couple of months. And now, thanks to some new almost-certainly-legit photos (via LaptopMedia), we have what is now our best look yet at the new Moto G…
wear Stories May 28, 2015
Spotify unveils its app for Android Wear
Spotify users, rejoice. Starting with a gradual rollout next month, the popular music streaming app will be available on Android Wear watches.
According to the company’s blog post, you’ll be able to navigate through and select something to play from all the music you’ve saved to Your Music as well as find new stuff in Browse. We don’t have much information on the Wear app yet as it hasn’t been released and the image above is the only one Spotify provided, but we’ll post more as soon as we get it.
As a big Spotify fan and power user I’m curious to see what the Browse section will look like on such a small screen, as Browse on smartphones contains sections for mood-based playlists, new releases, top charts, and more. Are you excited to get Spotify on your Wear watch?
wear Stories April 21, 2015
After unveiling a handful of new features for Android Wear yesterday, Google this evening has started rolling out an updated version of the Android Wear companion app. The update prepares the app for many of the features revealed by Google yesterday, including WiFi support, wrist gestures, and always-on apps.
wear Stories March 19, 2015
Device Manager gets Android Wear support, now lets you find your phone from your wrist (Updated)
Google first introduced Android Device Manager a couple of years ago, but today the company announced that the service—made for finding your Android phone—has gotten even better. Rolling out over the “coming weeks,” those with an Android Wear device will soon be able to use quick voice command from their watch to the find their phone.
Today we’re making Android Device Manager even more useful by introducing support for Android Wear to help you find your lost device. Misplaced your Android phone? No problem! Android Wear connects your phone to your wrist, and together with Android Device Manager, you can make sure it stays that way.
To use the feature, simply say “Ok, Google. Start. Find my phone,” or, alternatively, simply scroll to the “Find my phone” option within the Android Wear menu. You’ll see a green screen telling you that your phone is ringing (assuming you’ve maintained a connection to it), and you should be moments away from being reunited.
Keep an eye out for this feature to roll out soon (and keep your eyes peeled for other Android Wear announcements, too).
wear Stories March 12, 2015
The Apple Watch was once again shown off at Apple’s “Spring Forward” event on Monday, and many have been left wondering how the device compares to the Android Wear devices currently on the market. Technology has surely evolved a bit since the G Watch was announced, but how much have things changed?
There are several differences between the two platforms, but one that has now been brought to light is the device’s physical dimensions. Looking at Apple’s renders and images makes the device look big, but comparing its actual dimensions to Android Wear devices does the opposite. It’s tiny compared to most of what’s available today.
wear Stories February 16, 2015
Pebble announced in December that it would be launching a new update for its smartwatch software that would enable actionable notifications and compatibility with Android Wear-supported apps. By updating to the latest version of the Pebble app for Android and the lastest device software, users can take advantage of any Android Wear action right from their Pebble.
wear Stories January 7, 2015
BlackBerry says Android Wear support for BBM coming in early 2015
BlackBerry, today at CES 2015, has announced that its BBM service is coming to Android Wear in early 2015. BlackBerry hopes that its Android Wear client will bring nearly the full capabilities of the messaging service to smartwatches. With BBM, users will be able to receive push notifications for new messages, read full messages, respond to messages with Google Now, and accept BBM invites.
wear Stories December 10, 2014
Google has begun rolling out an update (we assume version 5.0, but we won’t know for sure until we have our hands on it) for its Android Wear platform and, as expected, the update focuses primarily on the launch of the official watch face API while also bringing a handful of useful improvements to the wearable operating system.
wear Stories November 18, 2014
Buy stuff with your voice using new Amazon app for Android Wear
Amazon has today updated its Android app to support Lollipop, but with the update comes a very nice surprise. With the newest version of the app, you can use your Android Wear device to make search for products, make purchases, and save things to your Wish List.
The app will work for anyone who’s on Android 4.3 or later and also has an Android Wear device—all you have to do is say “Start Amazon.” To get the Android Wear counterpart, all you have to do is update the Amazon app. As mentioned, today’s update also packs Android 5.0 Lollipop support and the usual bug fixes.
Here’s the full changelog:
* Includes the Amazon app for Android Wear. Customers with Android 4.3 and above in the US with an Android Wear watch can use their voice to search, buy and save shopping ideas to their Wish List. Just say “Start Amazon” from your Wear watch.* Android Lollipop support.* Bug fixes and improvements.
wear Stories August 15, 2014
Android Wear is definitely getting a lot of attention over in Mountain View, and the company behind what has easily become the current top-dog smartwatch platform is now trying to make it even more clear why you need Android on your wrist. The LG G Watch and the Samsung Galaxy Gear are already out and making waves in the industry, and with the Moto 360 not far off—and presumably the competition as well–it seems as if Google is now ready to make sure you’re aware of all the great things Wear can do for you.
wear Stories June 30, 2014
Android Wear doesn’t just show you notifications. In at least one developer session at I/O, Google made it clear that its new smartwatch platform will actually be capable of running standalone applications, even further extending the possibilities of what the device will be able to do in the near future. But now, some of these apps are already hitting the Play Store.
wear Stories May 21, 2014
Motorola’s contest for designers to win a Moto360 carries with it an unexpected piece of information. Buried within the official documents for the rules and terms of the contest is an ARV — Approximate Retail Value — for the Moto360, stating that Motorola is currently valuing the device at $249. expand full story
wear Stories April 21, 2014
LG is sharing photos of its upcoming Android Wear-powered smartwatch in champagne gold, proving that the gold device fad extends beyond smartphones. Shown in photos published to both LG’s official website and their Facebook page, the images depict a device that hasn’t gone overboard with the color. The band is a tasteful white, while the gold acts more as a highlighting accent on the smartwatch itself.
Android Wear is expected to be a major part of Google I/O 2014. The OS already available to to developers, so it’s a good bet that we’ll see release dates for various devices announced. Besides the LG G Watch, Motorola has already announced the Moto360. Rumors also continue to swirl about a “Nexus” smartwatch, which would likely be the developer device given to attendees of the Google I/O conference and sold on the Google Play Store. expand full story
wear Stories April 15, 2014
[vimeo 91688685 w=700 h=365]
Matias Duarte — the man behind the design of every version of Android since Ice Cream Sandwich — recently took the stage with Joshua Topolsky of The Verge at the Accel Design Conference in San Francisco to participate in a fireside chat on topics ranging from Android, the future of mobile, design methodology, and wearables.
The video is available on Vimeo (via AndroidPolice), and includes 37 minutes of talk between the two. The beginning covers Duarte’s thoughts on design methodology, and he stresses that good design is always a middle ground between appearance, emotional appeal, and usability — perhaps a shot at iOS 7’s stark interface. expand full story