We're barely into the new year and Google isn't wasting any time getting updates out to some of its apps. A new beta for the Google app turned up on Tuesday, but like the last few versions, there aren't any apparent new features jumping off the screen. However, there are a few clues hidden inside the apk that tell us about a few changes coming down the pipe in the future. On the docket this time is a new(-ish) input method for Google assistant and a mysterious gesture-based search action. The first steps have also been taken to bring Google assistant to Android Wear. Read More
Development on the Android Wear platform has stumbled a bit as the official 2.0 release has been delayed until early 2017. That doesn't mean the companion app can't continue to get updates. A fresh beta build of v2.0 came out a couple of days ago with a couple small tweaks to remove one of the little annoying things about the Bluetooth pairing process. The teardown also reveals a couple of interesting additions related to standalone apps and the Wear-specific Play Store. Read More
According to the IDC, sales of smartwatches globally declined an absolutely catastrophic 51.6% in the third quarter of this year versus the same time frame in 2015. While there are several mitigating factors at play, this is even more staggering than the numbers from the previous quarter, in which sales dropped only 32% ("only") year over year.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the bleeding comes courtesy of Apple, which just released its newest Apple Watch devices. Those new watches were only on sale for two weeks in the third quarter, so their impact will likely be felt more in Q4, though I'm really not sure by how much. Read More
After an extensive delay, Google finally dropped the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 yesterday. While the hot topic was a newly extended timeline that pushes a final software release to early 2017, there was also a new version of the Android Wear companion app made available.
It's important to note right away that this is a beta release and is currently only intended for watches running developer preview 3. In fact, it's pretty clear the only reason for releasing this update is to add the necessary interface for some of the new features. If you're planning to install DP3, and only if you're installing DP3, you'll want the 2.0 beta of the companion app. Read More
If you enjoy falling asleep to some tunes but don't want them to play all night long, the latest update to Play Music is for you. A new version began rolling out last night and it adds a sleep timer so you don't have to worry about burning through your battery or data all night long. A look inside the app also shows more progress toward adding special support for the Edge display on certain Samsung phones. There are also hints about a watch-specific addition that suggests music for fitness. Read More
Speaking to Android Police, a reliable source has told us that Google is currently building two Android Wear devices - possibly Nexus-branded - for release some time after the latest Nexus phones are announced. One watch will be larger, sportier, and more fully-featured (LTE, GPS, heart rate), the other will be smaller and lack the aforementioned mobile data and GPS.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.
We do not have possession of any APKs we can distribute or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.
I’ve been a loyal Wearer (is that the right term?) since the launch of the 2014 Moto 360. I bought one as soon as I could, and I wore it every day. It didn’t exactly change the way I use my phone, but hey, I’m an early adopter. We get things before they’re great so we’re already there by the time they are. Well, I’m kind of still waiting.
Wear just hasn’t seen too many updates in terms of functionality and usability and it’s really starting to show. When you take a look at promo material for Wear, it’s painfully clear we’re still quite a bit off from having our wrists do most of the heavy lifting in our digital lives. Read More
When Android 6.0 landed, it brought a big new battery-saving feature called Doze mode. While it was great at reining in known troublemakers like social network apps and misbehaving games, Doze had a bad habit of knocking out apps with genuinely important roles to play. One such app was Android Wear. Today, a new update to the Wear companion app adds awareness of Doze Mode and prompts users to add it to the protected list.
Doze Mode Support
When the Android Wear app starts up for the first time after updating to v1.5, it will have a bright blue notice on the screen to let you know that your watch may not remain connected unless the Wear app is allowed to run in the background. Read More
Developer Mocha17 noticed that if you count the wrist where you're actually wearing an Android Wear watch, you actually have to use two hands to access notifications. It's a fair point, and one that's solved with his custom Wear app, JorSay (Hindi for "aloud"). The idea is simple: when you feel a vibration for an incoming notification, shake your wrist twice, and your phone will speak the notification aloud using Android's built-in text-to-speech system. Pretty neat, huh? Read More
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. Read More