Sony was already an experienced veteran of the smartwatch market when Android Wear was announced. Of course, I don't mean that they were experienced selling them—oh, goodness no. Sony sure did make smartwatches, though. When asked if there would be an Android Wear device in Sony's portfolio, the company said it would continue to do its own thing. Well, that didn't last long. The SmartWatch 3 is essentially a beefed up version of Sony's past smartwatches running Android Wear, and that could make it a potent competitor in the burgeoning wearable wars.
Now that Amazon has consolidated most of its Android offerings into a single Play Store app, the company will need to keep it updated and relatively interesting to remain relevant to users. The first major update since the redesign does just that, making sure that the Amazon app is compatible with the new Android 5.0 devices and software builds. But wait, there's more! The updated app now includes support for Android Wear.
There are a few great choices if you want to jump into the world of Android wearables, but maybe the ZenWatch with its surprisingly reasonable price is the one to wait for. The device has popped up in the Play Store as "coming soon," but Best Buy also has it listed. However, it's sold out there. Update 11/14/14: The ZenWatch is now available for purchase in the Play Store.
We saw a leak recently that showed off a new version of Google's Android Wear companion app, and now here it is. The design is certainly more in-line with Android 5.0 aesthetics, but it's not quite material. Also, you'll only get the new UI on Lollipop.
Left: Old, Right: New
It's really only been a few months since Android Wear officially launched, but already it feels like we've been waiting ages for certain features. The wait, it appears, is almost over. In the second part of Phandroid's Android Wear leak, we get a look at what's coming in the Android 5.0 build for Wear, and it's basically addressing everything we've been complaining about.
Technology is rad, isn't it? I mean, here we are with smartwatches on our wrists with pretty respectable LCD and AMOLED screens. We were using phones a few years ago that didn't have many more pixels than our watches have. Might as well put those pixels to use showing something pretty, like images from 500px. You can do that with Mural Watchface.
The Android Wear companion app on Android has been a bit of an eyesore since the platform launched last summer. It looked like something born of a torrid love affair between Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich and was lacking in options. A new leak from Phandroid shows off the updated Wear app with a new design and features, and it looks much improved.
Google still hasn't added official support for third-party Android Wear watch faces, but the recent update to 4.4W.2 that added the ability to hide peek cards is good enough for me. You can finally see your whole watch face, and with Wear FaceLift, you'll see more of them. This app lets you rotate your watch faces at set intervals throughout the day.
The Sony SmartWatch 3 has occupied a spot in the Play Store since mid-October, where it has sat priced at $249.99 and marked as "coming soon." Soon means now, as the watch has gone live. You can still find it at the same link and for the same price, only now it's available for purchase.
The watch is more fitness-oriented than the other options in the Play Store, eschewing a metal frame and any attempt at luxury in favor of a plastic band that covers everything except for the screen.