Items tagged with Android Wear

Good, Better, Best? LG underwhelmed most with its first entry into the Android Wear game: the G Watch. While it was a competent smartwatch, it was far from stylish and looked more like a factory prototype than something that you’d actually want to wear on your wrist. The company stepped up its game with the G Watch R, which brought a lot more style to the table a fully circular watch face (unlike the Motorola Moto 360, with its “flat tire” display). And now, LG is looking to up the ante even further and steel a bit of thunder from Apple’s upcoming premium Apple Watch offering with the Watch Urbane. The Watch Urbane is LG’s first all-metal Android Wear smartwatch and is a clear evolution of the... Read more...
Smartwatches based on Google’s Android Wear platform didn’t start shipping until the latter half of 2014, but since that time over 720,000 units have been sold according to Canalys. Customers were initially only presented with lackluster products like the LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live, but those offerings were soon joined by more attractive smartwatches like the Motorola Moto 360, LG G Watch R, Sony SmartWatch 3, and the ASUS ZenWatch. When it comes to a dominant player, the Moto 360 was the “clear leader” according to Canalys. Unfortunately, sales by vendor/model weren’t provided, so we don’t know exactly how badly the Moto 360 stomped its Android Wear competition. In addition, the stylish... Read more...
One of the challenges smartwatch designers face is that of battery life. Understanding that users don't want to be bothered with frequent recharges, companies are devoting a lot of time and R&D into figuring out how to extend battery life. Looking to up the ante, ASUS over the weekend hinted that its next smartwatch might be able to run for up to seven days before needing a recharge. That's in stark contrast to Apple's goal, which is to get its Apple Watch to last all of 19 hours before needing a charge. Active use would be far shorter -- Apple is aiming for 2.5 hours to 4 hours when running an application nonstop. How will ASUS be able to offer dramatically improved battery life compared... Read more...
The smartwatch market is finally starting to gain some traction. Samsung is shipping smartwatches that run its own Tizen operating system and numerous OEMs (including Samsung) are shipping smartwatches that run Google’s Android Wear operating system. And we can’t forget that the Apple Watch will soon hit the market (as soon as March, according to 9to5Mac) running Watch OS. LG was one of the first to hit the ground running with Android Wear, launching the G Watch in June. The company followed up shortly with the more premium, better-looking G Watch R, which also ran Android Wear. However, Google doesn’t leave much room for differentiation with the operating system with Android Wear, and other... Read more...
Sony’s SmartWatch 3 was released just a few months ago, but was quickly overlooked as more stylish Android Wear devices — namely the Motorola Moto 360, LG G Watch R, and ASUS ZenWatch — started hitting the market. It’s hard to fault consumers for favoring the more stylish designs of Sony’s competitors, despite the fact that the SmartWatch 3 comes with built-in GPS – a feature that only Sony can boast at this early stage in the Android Wear game. Well, Sony has obviously listened to its critics and this week announced a new version of the SmartWatch 3 that’s constructed out of metal. The flexible rubber/silicone band has been tossed in favor of stainless steel, and the result is a smartwatch that... Read more...
Smartwatches seem to be all the rage these days as companies trip all over themselves to deliver high-functioning devices running Android Wear, Tizen, and soon, Watch OS. Sitting a rung below smartwatches lie fitness trackers, which often bring with them quirky looks that would appeal to the tech geek (we’re looking at you, Microsoft Band). But Withings is bringing a new fitness tracker to the market that features a classic design that should appeal to a broader audience. The Activité Pop is a cost-reduced version of the $450 Activité analog fitness tracker. While the original Activité is entirely Swiss Made, features a 316L stainless steel watch case, sapphire glass watch face, and leather straps,... Read more...
One of the risks of being an early adopter of technology is that at any given moment, a price cut is bound to appear. In fact, that's an inevitability in most cases. Be that as it may, it's still a gut punch when it happens, especially so quickly, as is the case with LG's G Watch. Having only been on the market since July, Best Buy just slashed the price of the G Watch to $160. That's down from the smartwatch's original MSRP of $229 and it applies to both the black and white models. It's not known if the price cut will turn into a temporary one or if Best Buy is trying to clear out inventory in advance of something new, but either way, that's a significant reduction for something that's only... Read more...
Have you ever tried hunting and pecking on a miniature keyboard that's been crammed onto a smartwatch's tiny display? Unless the tips of your fingers somehow resemble that of a stylus, you're in for a challenge. Interestingly enough, it's Microsoft that might have the most logical solution for typing on small size displays running Google's Android Wear platform. Microsoft's research division has built an analog keyboard prototype for Android Wear that eliminates the need to tap at tiny letters, and instead has you write them out. On the surface, such a solution seems like you'd be trading one tedious task for another, though a video demo of the technology in action shows that this could be a... Read more...
Let's be honest here -- it's a relatively safe bet that Windows 95 was never on your radar when you thought about purchasing a smartwatch, which assumes you're even interested in the emerging wearable category to begin with. Android Wear, iOS, and Tizen? All viable candidates (if not now, then soon), and you might have even looked into webOS (remember webOS?). But while Windows 95 was never a consideration for the vast majority, at least one novel individual came up with the idea, and then made it happen on Samsung's Gear Live. His name is Corbin Davenport and before you ask yourself, 'Self, why would someone go through the trouble of porting Windows 95 over to a tiny, underpowered smartwatch... Read more...
Since the announcement of the Android Wear platform this past June, Google has said very little about what's in store for the future. As it stands today, we're anticipating the launch of three smartwatches based on the platform, including LG's G Watch, Samsung's Gear Live, and of course, the much-touted Moto 360. All three are set to launch in the week ahead. Given the silence from Google, CNET reached out with a handful of questions to see what the future holds for Android Wear, and whether or not it's worth keeping excited about. As it turns out, Google is pushing Android Wear harder than ever, and promises that the future is bright, with regular updates that will keep the ecosystem fresh.... Read more...
Rather than leave its hardware partners floundering in wearable waters to fend for themselves, Google threw them a lifeline in the form of Android Wear, a viable platform for the smartwatch movement that phone makers seem so eager to chase. It's still early in the game, but we're seeing some interesting smartwatches emerge, such as LG's new G Watch R. The LG G Watch R is billed as the world's first watch-style wearable device to feature a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) display that utilizes 100 percent of its watch face. It measures 1.3 inches and is viewable under bright sunlight with superb clarity from any angle, LG says. "What we’ve noticed in the year of the wearable is that this is... Read more...
A new patent filing today shows that Apple has been granted a wide-ranging patent for a future smartwatch device (dubbed the iTime). Apple's patent refers to a device which is removable (it continues to function when detached from its wristband) and can be upgraded or swapped with other products. Apple's patent diagrams show a device that snaps into the band -- but the band itself is specifically stated as being capable of accepting other products. According to Apple's patent documentation for the figure below, "The central portion (302) can also include one or more electrical components... Alternatively or additionally, the central portion (302) can include an accelerometer and/or a battery... Read more...
You could see this one coming a mile a way.  Though Samsung is clearly Google's golden child when it comes to moving Android-powered smartphones, there's a distinct divide developing between the two when it comes to the latest "wearables" technology trend and even a hint of one in smartphones as well. Further, according to recent reports, apparently Google CEO Larry Page's patience is wearing thin and in a rather "tense" meeting with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, Page made it crystal clear that he is not happy with Samsung's lack of effort in developing Android Wear devices.  Instead, Samsung only currently offers Tizen-based wearable products like the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch.... Read more...
The LG G Watch (LG-W100) is notable for at least a couple of reasons, the first of which is that it's one of not very many smartwatches rocking Google's promising Android Wear platform. Tying into that tidbit, it also happens to be the first Android Wear device to get the full teardown treatment from the folks over at iFixIt. How did it fare? Better than most tablets and smartphones. A quick glance at the watch's underbelly reveals a set of familiar T5 screws with swift access to the guts with no adhesive getting in the away. This elicited a hearty, "Thanks, LG!," from the teardown team. Removing the strap is a bit trickier than some other smartwatches like Samsung's Gear Live and Gear 2 -- instead... Read more...
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