One of the biggest barriers to smartwatch adoption is the fact that, well, they don't do a whole lot, at least compared with mobile devices of comparable price. Sony has just bolted on a little extra functionality for their smartwatch line: the ability to remotely control shutters on various Sony cameras. The new Action Camera Extension app is free, and compatible with the original Sony Smartwatch, the Smartwatch 2, and the brand new SWR10 Smartband.

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Install the app on your smartphone, and make sure you've already got your watch set up with Sony's proprietary Smart Connect app. If all goes well, the functionality should be automatically added to your watch: you can begin using the shutter button by using the Smart Connect app or activating it in your phone's notification shade. The watch app can control the shutter function, and on at least some cameras, start and stop video recording as well. On the Smartwatches, your watch's tiny display can function as a remote viewfinder.

Which cameras, exactly? Well, any WiFi camera that supports Sony's Camera Remote API. You can see the full list here. It looks like most of the GoPro-style Action Cam models are supported, as well as a few in the Alpha DSLR line and some of the NEX compact interchangeables. The DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 (those weird, clamp-on cameras meant to supplement smartphones) are also supported.

Note: we don't have the requisite watch and camera combo to test out the Action Camera Extension app, so we'll have to take Sony's word on all of the above.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Chainfire XDA

    It's funny that the related posts mention "Sony Says It Will Continue Using Its Smart Watch Platform Instead Of Android Wear, At Least For Now" - stuff like this is exactly why.

    Note I only took a quick glance at the Wear API when it was first pre-released, but at that time the first thing I noticed was that things like these were not possible to make as a 3rd party app for the stock Wear. The same goes for most of the cool looking Wear mockups I saw from various artists.

    Shame, really.

    • irishrally

      A celebrity appearance on AP!

  • Swankieltd

    Just finished testing the app with my Smartwatch 2 and QX100.

    The app is moving in the right direction and has a handful of features that many people will find useful. There's a shutter timer for 2 seconds or 10 seconds, but that has to be manually set from the smartphone itself for every capture. Clicking on the app from the smartwatch will open the app from the smartphone, and from there it will try to automatically connect with the camera, but that feature is a bit unpredictable at the moment. You can preview your view finder to post your shots, but that is also laggy.

    One thing I do like about the camera is that it's able to capture pictures even when the smartphone's screen is off. I guess that saves some battery for you to capture even more photos on the go.

    Hopefully Sony continues developing this app further because it has huge potential. I tried an app from a third party developer called 'Sony Cam Smartwatch Control', and found the experience horrible, and the rude developer was no help. I complained about the lack of features, and the developer rudely commented back to my review by saying I should learn how to read the feature list.

    • fjordstrom

      Did you get the live preview to work? I only get a black screen but can take pictures.