You can now pair an Android Wear smartwatch with an iPhone
Aug31

You can now pair an Android Wear smartwatch with an iPhone

Hell hath frozen over: Those with iPhones can now pair their Apple smartphones to an Android Wear smartwatch. For now, only a certain selection of Android Wear smartwatches will be compatible with an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 8.2. The first smartwatches on deck are the Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the LG Watch Urbane. However all future generations of Google’s smartwatches will be iOS compatible right out of the box. You might also like: The best Andoird Wear watches on the market Temper your expectations, because it’s widely reported that you cannot do nearly as much with an Android Watch and an iPhone as you could by pairing together a smartwatch and smartphone of the same brand. There are no third-party apps or Wi-Fi support. As Wired succinctly put, “Using Android Wear will be like using the Google app on your iPhone — it’s very good, but it’s siloed.” A limited experience it may be, but users can expect to receive notifications, integrate Google Now, use voice search, and track their fitness. Below are the specifics Google outlined in its official blog post. Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch. Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate. Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?” or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.” If the user experience is strong — and this is a huge “if” — this is a largely positive move for Google and any other Apple Watch competitors. An entire new market of customers has just opened up for Android Wear. Also read: Android Wear 101: What it is, what it can do, and which device to...

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This week in wearables: Experimental apps, new Android Wear, and Samsung’s teaser
Aug14

This week in wearables: Experimental apps, new Android Wear, and Samsung’s teaser

This week was a busy one, but we’ve pinpointed the important stories that you need to know. Take a look at what you might have missed. 1. Google announced a new website that will showcase experimental applications designed for Android and Android Wear devices. There are already 20 apps running including Inkspace by Zach Lieberman and Landmark by Anthony Tripoldi, with more to be added. Hopefully these experiments will help perfect the user experience while perfecting some useful applications. 2. Self-described futurist and media-appointed influencer, Tim Moore, dropped in to discuss his thoughts on the “tipping point” of wearable tech. From smartglasses to mobile payment, he talks about everything that the future of wearables has in store. 3. Cloud software giant, Salesforce.com, has announced 20 brand-new partner apps to be released for the Apple Watch. They are teaming up with companies like Bracket Labs, Financial Force, New Voice Media, and more to help the workplace become a little more hands-free. Lindsey Irvine, head of Salesforce Wear, said the company’s strategy is to “make those devices more than just gadgets and can make them into real business tools.” 4. Remember when Fossil got really excited to create their own line of wearables? Well, the initial hype is over after a less-than-satisfactory second quarter performance by the clothing company. Although they never named the Apple Watch specifically, it’s pretty easy to guess which devices are being blamed for the slump in traditional watch sales. Despite this, Fossil CEO, Kosta Kartsotis, still supports “smarter watches” and says that the company is still on track to release tech products in the near future. 5. Android Wear V1.3 started rolling out this week, introducing a new Device to Debug program and a couple new apps, but has yet to release the much anticipated “interactive watch faces” to the market. Android has promised the “Together” feature of these new faces will allows users to interact when their watch face matches another’s watch. This update sounds pretty cool, so we’re hoping it comes sooner rather than later. 6. Samsung just released a teaser for its new Gear S2 smartwatch. This new, round watch will come complete with a heart rate monitor, messaging, calendar, a running app, and more. The interactive watch faces and sleek design just might put the Gear S2 on top of the Apple Watch. Come back next week for more...

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Android Wear 101: What it is, what it can do, and which device to get
Aug06

Android Wear 101: What it is, what it can do, and which device to get

Whether or not you are a fan of Android Wear, you simply cannot brush off the fact that this platform was integral in growing the smartwatch market. Prior to its existence, users only had smartwatches with homebrewed operating systems that probably never updated. In early 2013, watches like the Sony Smartwatch were gaining a little momentum, but they were still horrible. You could only pair them to an Android device, but the conflicting OS of the watch and the phone made the experience awful. Also, you couldn’t look at the screen in direct sunlight either, but that’s beside the point. In March of 2014, Google introduced Android Wear and a lot of those issues began to disappear. Google had now created a universal operating system that tech companies could load into their smartwatches. They could now focus on things like aesthetics and processing power, rather than software. What is Android Wear, and how does it work? At its very best, Android Wear creates a holistic environment between your watch and your Android smartphone (which has to be running Android 4.3 or better). The platform works by establishing connection to your phone through Bluetooth, where you can also access your phone’s Wi-Fi capabilities. This allows you to get notifications of text messages, emails, phone calls, and social media alerts. The platform also has a bevy of built in programs like Google Maps, Google Fit, Notes, and Google Hangout, a messaging application. With Bluetooth connectivity, users can also access music on their phone, control their smartphone’s camera, set timers and reminders. Most importantly, users have access to the Google store where they can download third-party apps directly to their smartwatches. When Google unveiled this new platform, many tech companies partnered together to adopt it. Currently LG, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and Asus all have smartwatches on the market that adopted Android Wear. You might also like: The best Android Wear smartwatches in 2015 A smart upgrading system What’s great about having a uniform operating system is that Google is the sole proprietor of updates for your watch. There is comfort in having one of the largest reliable tech companies creating your OS. Some companies can’t monitor and update their interface regularly and end up switching to Android Wear (see: Sony), while others are still braving the frontier of developing their own OS. Alcatel recently released the OneTouch smartwatch that boasts its own OS, but it tanked under horrid reviews and users are still waiting for an update. Why would you want to spend $150 on a company that could very well pull their own product and end any future updates? What’s even better is that since the Android Wear...

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The best Android smartwatches on the market: Motorola, Samsung, Sony, and more
Jul31

The best Android smartwatches on the market: Motorola, Samsung, Sony, and more

While it can feel that Apple gets the spotlight for any product it releases, most of the innovative wearables on the market are not iOS specific. Android Wear has a firm grasp on the technology and produces most of the smartwatches on sale today. With new watches still expected to come out this year, we’ve pieced together some of the best Android smartwatches on the market today. Each watch is categorized by a particular championing feature. Whether you are looking for the best battery or something for fitness, you just have to ask yourself — what do you want in your watch? Moto 360 The best Android Wear watch for affordability Critics’ rating: 3.2 out of 5 We know, we know. The Moto 360 has received its fair share of mixed reviews, but don’t let that fool you. This watch is beautiful and at $149 bucks, it’s a complete steal. You can pair the Moto 360 with any smartphone running Android 4.3 or higher. The watch comes equipped notifications alerts, calorie counter, heart rate monitor, a pedometer, and it responds to your voice. Also, the Moto 360 2 is set to release this year and both devices are expected to work together, which means the first generation won’t become obsolete. Samsung Gear 2 The best Android watch for battery life Critics’ rating: 2.9 out of 5 You might be surprised by us giving the Samsung Gear 2 a best at battery life, but think about it. The Gear 2 smartwatch lets you quickly glance at notifications on your wrist, including emails, texts, and phone calls. You can perform hands free calling and voice response allows you to send texts directly from your watch. There is a 2 MP camera that allows you to record videos in HD 720p and comes with an accelerometer and Gyro sensor. The Moto 360’s battery usually lasts around 24 hours, and you’ll be lucky if the Apple Watch gives you 18 hours. The Samsung Gear 2 has been reported to last for up to 48 hours. It’s a little more expensive, coming up around $299.99. LG Watch Urbane The best Android watch for doing it all Critics’ rating: 3.5 out of 5 The LG Watch Urbane is was only released this past May, but it’s causing a huge commotion thanks to all the nifty things they put into it. The watch comes with a 1.2GHz Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, Android Wear OS, a P-OLED display, and accelerometer, and a heart rate monitor. You can answer phone calls directly from the watch and allows for syncing with bluetooth headphones so you can listen without using your phone. The coolest feature for this watch...

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The 15 best Android Wear apps in 2015 to help you navigate every day
Jul24

The 15 best Android Wear apps in 2015 to help you navigate every day

Congratulations! You remembered to charge your Android Wear smartwatch last night, and now you’re ready to rule the day with an iron wrist (or whatever material your smartwatch is made out of). That is, if you have the right suite of apps to turn your fashion accessory into a productivity machine. Below are fifteen of the best Android Wear apps destined to help you get the most out of your day. From fitness tracking, to to-do list conquering, to financial consulting, to dating and everything in between, the following pieces of software will remind you why your several-hundred dollar smartwatch is far more valuable than any Rolex or that $775,000 timepiece Rafael Nadal wore at this year’s French Open. Whether your Android Wear watch is a circle or a square, a Moto 360 or LG Watch Urbane, make sure it contains these time-saving, cool Android apps. A day spent with the 15 best Android Wear apps IFTTT Rating*: 4.1 of 5 (*Ratings are based on Google Play’s aggregate scores) The best part of waking up is IFTTT on your watch. (Sorry, Folgers.) With the IFTTT Android Wear app, you can turn on your lights, adjust your thermostat, and even start your coffee pot — all from your wrist. All it takes are a few connected devices and several of the millions of pre-made “recipes” (ex: “If the weather says 50% chance of rain, send me alert to remember my umbrella.”) in the IFTTT archives. Aeris Wear Weather Rating: 4.0 of 5 Once you open eyes and your foggy vision clears each morning, you’re going to want to know what the weather is like in your area. The free version of Aeris Wear Weather provides you with local temperatures and weather conditions. And for $0.99, you can amp up your app experience with notifications and live radar feeds. Wunderlist Rating: 4.4 of 5 Aside from weather, one of the first things people want to know when they wake up is what they have to do that day. One of the best Android Wear apps for teeing up your to-do list is Wunderlist. It allows users to check off tasks, make notes, and receive notifications without lifting their phone. Runtastic Rating: 4.5 of 5 If “Go running” pops up on your daily Wunderlist, you’re going to need an app to record that workout. Fitness fanatics, pay attention: Runtastic is one of the top Android Wear apps for training. In addition to counting your steps, you can start runs via voice command, pause and stop sessions by tapping the screen, and view post-run summaries on your wrist. Find My Phone Rating: 4.2...

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