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.
When some one has taken the time to design a live wallpaper that can semi-convincingly replicate the look of ice cubes floating in artificial water, you just don't let that time and experience go to waste. You channel it into another project. So Asus is rebooting its MyWater live wallpaper with a sequel, MyOcean.
Update: Like MyWater before it, MyOcean was previously available exclusively to Asus devices. Now it's available to others in the Play Store.
Word has hit the street that the Asus ZenWatch will launch in the US on November 9th. Two days from now shoppers reportedly will be able to pick one up from Best Buy for $199.99, with Play Store availability coming at some point after.
The ZenWatch is a peculiar Wear device. It's square, but unlike the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live, it tries to look more like a traditional accessory than a tech gadget.
LG and Samsung got the Android Wear party started, releasing the G Watch and Gear Live, respectively. Those watches only need Google's Wear app to function, but Motorola changed the formula a bit with the Moto 360, tying the watch to the existing Motorola Connect app. For the upcoming ZenWatch, ASUS is beating them all (well, sort of) with three separate watch-focused apps.
The first new ASUS app is simply titled "ZenWatch Manager," and it's essentially a remote setup function for your watch on your phone screen.
In the United States, all electronic devices that use certain wireless radio transmissions, including cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other standards and frequencies, must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. It's technically illegal for retailers to sell devices that haven't been approved, which is probably why Google had to rapidly remove the Nexus Player pre-order status from the Play Store on Friday. But now the results of the FCC's tests on the Player have been posted to the Commission website.
Some Americans waited literally years for the weird and wonderful PadFone series to show up on a local carrier... and were finally unsurprised to see AT&T be the only one to bite. (Seriously, between all that Amazon and HTC hardware, AT&T seems like the only American carrier willing to take a little risk.) Now AT&T and ASUS are teaming up again for the slightly smaller version of the phone-tablet docking concept, the PadFone X Mini.
Countless people out there have surely checked out Asus tablets in department stores around the world and walked away thinking, "I wish I could have that." You would think they were talking about the hardware (especially considering how cool the original Asus Transformer was at the time), but instead, they had their eyes set on the spiffy live wallpaper being used to show off the device. Lucky for them, Asus has now released the animated MyWater wallpaper into the Play Store and opened it up to competing electronics.
For its first foray into the nascent Android Wear platform, ASUS created the ZenWatch. It aims to be the more fashionable and appealing alternative to the other square watches from LG and Samsung, and I think it largely accomplishes that.
Whether you prefer a square smart watch to a round one is a matter of personal opinion, but there's little denying that ASUS has made probably the most compelling square smart watch of the current Android Wear generation.
With every major event, like CES, IFA, or MWC, you can count on one thing: new stuff from ASUS. At this year's IFA conference, the company not only unveiled its first Android Wear watch, but also a handful of other devices, including a rehashed version of the MeMO Pad 7. The MeMO line has been a great choice for those looking to grab a seven inch tablet without breaking the bank, and this year's model shows a lot of promise for not a lot of dollars.