Google has promised standalone music playback over Bluetooth as part of Android Wear for some time, and it appears with Wear version 4.4W2 we're finally getting it, at least if you use Play Music (you're also getting new playback controls). If you're using the latest Play Music APK on your Android phone and have the Android 4.4W2 update on your smartwatch, you can now download your pinned music from your smartphone to your watch.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
We spotted it in a teardown of the new material Play Music app this morning, but it looks like a new set of media controls in Android Wear are live - and here's exactly what they look like.
The new controls get a red-themed makeover and volume +/- buttons, plus a nifty kind of physical remote key animation. It's nice. For Play Music, these new controls require two things: the material version of Play Music (which contains an updated mini APK for Wear with these controls) and the 4.4W2 update to Wear, which is rolling out to some devices now, like the LG G Watch.
Android 4.4W.2 is slowly rolling out to various Wear devices this week, and my G Watch R review unit just received it earlier this afternoon. A couple of commenters have pointed out a new feature in W2 that we hadn't yet noticed - you can now hide notifications, as opposed to dismissing them, directly from the watchface.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to meet with Oculus VR at one of the company's numerous offices in Irvine, CA to discuss the company's partnership with Samsung on a piece of hardware you're likely aware of by now: Gear VR Innovator Edition.
Gear VR is, for all intents and purposes, the first consumer product to ever bear the Oculus name. The company's various developer kits have never been marketed to consumers (even if some consumers do buy them), and even this new Samsung gizmo isn't going to be heavily distributed or broadly-targeted.
I received my G Watch R on Friday, and after a couple of days, I'm ready to share some of my early impressions.
As the title of this post suggests, we don't know yet just how much LG's newest smartwatch, the G Watch R, will cost. This is a very important question, because so far in my short time with the device, it actually seems pretty good. It isn't without flaws, but LG has probably produced the most serious Android Wear device we've yet seen.
We have a reliable source (two, in fact) telling us that the first over-the-air updates to Android Lollipop will come not to the Nexus 4 or 5, but to the Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 7 (2013 Wi-Fi), and Nexus 10. Why? Because they're all Wi-Fi devices - supposedly hardware with cellular data will have to wait a bit longer to get the OTA, meaning the Nexus 4, 5, and 2013 Nexus 7 with LTE will be stuck a bit longer waiting for the L update.
Update: If you're in another country, Amazon may have the Nexus 9 for you to pre-order, as well. So far we're seeing UK, France, and Germany. The US pre-order links also seem to work for Canada and Mexico.