One of the worst things about fitness tracking apps is that they often require users to tell them when an activity starts. This can be a pretty big inconvenience, especially for people that keep their phones stowed in closed pockets or an arm band without easy access to the screen. The latest update to Fit might save many people from having to reach for their phone at all. Wear users can now start and stop activity trackers directly from the mini-app.
The main phone app doesn't seem to have any notable changes, so this update is all about Wear.
It's been a while since we've seen a true update to Google Fit – about 6 months if you don't count a version that turned up in the final M Developer Preview. You might even say the app got a bit flabby over the summer. (Sorry.) The latest version began rolling out yesterday and it's featuring a couple of big changes for Android Wear, including a brand new watch face and a trainer mode to help you get in shape. The main app also went through a couple of changes, but they're nothing to get excited about. However, check back later for a pretty big teardown – some big things are happening.
With all of the activity surrounding YouTube Red, including a brand new YouTube Music app, it seems like a good time for a Play Music update. Version 6.1 just landed and aside from a mysterious new "Auto-offline" feature and a bit of cleanup in the Settings screen, it looks like a pretty typical bug fix release. However, the teardown tells a different story. It looks like this version also brings support for the recently announced family plans and Android Wear speaker support. As usual, we've also got a download link at the bottom if you can't wait for the apk to roll out to your account.
Things are heating up for Android Wear lately. Earlier this week, a new version of the Android Wear companion app began rolling out to make preparations for the next OS update. There's now an update to the Google app in the Beta channel which follows up with some interesting changes of its own: a new Wear-specific app that places the Google Now stream into a distinct card on watches. A teardown also shows some interesting new experiments for continuous queries and text-to-speech. There's even a small tweak for the Google Now Launcher.
The Google Now Card
Views of the new Google Now card and the first page to the right.
Tag Heuer is a Swiss luxury watchmaker. Like most luxury watchmakers, its sole purpose is to convince you, the [probably male] consumer, through various lifestyle marketing and product placement deals that its product is for people who know what's up. It's hip. It's happening. It's trendy. It's classic. It's now. It's timeless - and it tells time. Also, something about precision Swiss engineering that doesn't really matter. Oh, and it will totally make you both attractive and fit in with wealthy people!
Above, you can see a silhouetted image of the company's upcoming smartwatch. It's a watch. It will tell time.
The Huawei Watch is a nice smartwatch with a nice screen, good battery life, and what I would call an above-average level of construction quality. If you want a Wear device that is nice and usable and doesn’t have anything seriously wrong or annoying about it, this is a great option. A pricey one, to be sure, but still very, very good. But above all else, it really does feel like the Huawei Watch is the smartwatch for the consumer seriously concerned about the Moto 360’s flat tire. That is most of this watch’s real appeal to enthusiasts, so let’s just lay it out there.
Inbox for Gmail continues to stack on new features and refine its existing capabilities. While it may never fit the needs of many Gmail users, it has earned a strong following of fans that couldn't live without it. The latest release doesn't appear to add anything to the user experience, but a teardown shows a few of the changes that may be on the horizon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. There is always a chance that details may change or plans may be cancelled prior to the launch of a new feature discovered in a teardown.
Google has officially announced Android Wear for iOS, and above you can see a picture showing as much - an iPhone 6 running what looks to be an Android Wear app connected to an LG Watch Urbane. Wear for iOS is compatible with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus devices running iOS 8.2 or higher.
Here's a look at it on the upcoming Huawei Watch, showing a Hangouts conversation, as well.
Yesterday, we took a look at the upcoming Hangouts 4.0, a yet unreleased update that promises to clean up the Hangouts interface in many ways. But there was one thing we didn't cover in that post - the Android Wear app that will apparently come with the update to 4.0. Since yesterday we've been playing with the app and thought it would be good to follow up with a quick overview of what it does.
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services. There's also an improvement to the GoogleApiClient class to handle situations when APIs aren't available on a given device.
Magnus is back!
We learned last week from an update to the Android Wear app that support for connecting multiple watches – and possibly other devices – had become reality.