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Polar M600 smartwatch to get Android Wear 2.0, new swimming metrics, and battery improvements this spring

The Polar M600, which was announced in August of 2016, is on the list of smartwatches slated to get the Android Wear 2.0 update. But there's more to look forward to when the update rolls if you own the GPS fitness watch or were planning on buying it.

Polar has announced that the M600 will be getting Android Wear 2.0, including the Google Assistant, more customizable watch faces, and integrated Google Play Store. The update also improves the battery life to 36 hours, a nice upgrade from the 24 hours that were quoted at launch, especially for those who use more of the sporty and battery-draining features of the M600.

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The new LG watches show the time when they're booting up

By now, you must know a lot about the new LG Style and Sport watches and all that they can and can't do. What you don't know is a little added functionality that's just handy to have, even if it won't have that much impact on your daily use.

When booting up, the new LG watches show the time on top of the spinning and expanding colorful circles animation for Android Wear. The animation only lasts a few seconds and you probably don't reboot your watch often enough to care, or you're not impatient to need to know the exact time this very second without being able to wait until the watch has fully booted, but it's a nice touch.

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[Update: OTA resuming] Sony begins rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat OTA to the Xperia Z5, Z3+, Z4 Tablet

The Xperia Z5 series (Z5, Z5 Compact, and Z5 Premium) was on the list of devices that Sony promised to bring Android 7.0 Nougat to. After releasing the update to the more recent X Performance and XZ, then the X and X Compact, Sony is now ready to bring Nougat 7.0 to the Z5.

The OTA has started rolling out to some Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium users and will probably expand to the Z5 Compact soon. It's a large download at more than 1.2GB, and it should up your phone's software to version 32.3.A.0.372.

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T-Mobile is rolling out Feb. 2017 security patches to the Galaxy S4 and Tab 3, their first updates since 2015

The Galaxy S4, in its day, was a pretty capable smartphone. However, with its fourth birthday fast approaching, its update period has long since passed. No matter to T-Mobile, though; the company has just pushed the latest February 2017 security patches to it and the older Galaxy Tab 3... but they're still on Android 4.4 KitKat.

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Verizon announces exclusive Wear24 Android Wear watch, $299 with new two-year activation

Google's premiere devices for Android Wear 2.0, the LG Watch Style and Sport, had details leaked well before the official announcement today. By contrast, Verizon's announcement comes as something of a surprise. In a blog post discussing how Verizon will offer the LG Watch Sport, the company also announced its own exclusive 'Wear24' smartwatch.

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LG Watch Sport: First impressions of the most feature-packed Android Wear device yet

Nearly two years after the original Android Wear announcement, Google is officially bringing version 2.0 to market. While there have been developer previews running on the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition and Huawei Watch, two new watches from LG will be the true standard bearers for the final release. Richard did the honors of discussing the LG Watch Style, which features a low-profile design. In this post, I'll be taking a look at its incredibly feature-packed big brother, the LG Watch Sport.

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Android Pay for Wear smartwatches doesn't work if your phone has an unlocked bootloader

After confirming with Google, we've learned that Android Pay for Android Wear will not function if your paired smartphone has an unlocked bootloader. This is not surprising, but it is disappointing nonetheless. This is despite the fact that we know the actual Wear app runs totally independently on the smartwatch, with the phone at most acting as a data pipe over Bluetooth. But the phone is integral in the actual setup process for Pay, and we suspect this may be where the limitation comes into play.

If you have an unlocked bootloader, the Android Pay app on your phone won't even let you add a card, and setup will fail, notifying you that your device is unsecured.

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Android Wear 2.0 should greatly increase the speed of voice commands and transcription

One of the major features announced as part of Android Wear 2.0 at Google I/O last year was standalone apps. Similar to Apple's "native" apps introduced in WatchOS 2, Android Wear 2.0 can allow an application to run independently on the smartwatch itself - no tethered phone required. Not only that, but Google itself is utilizing the feature right out of the gate to the great benefit of one of the core experiences on Wear, Google Assistant, in the form of voice commands and transcription performance.

On 1.x versions of Android Wear, your smartwatch captured the audio of your voice query and then sent it back to the smartphone, which then sent it up to the cloud for processing and pulled back down the final result, which then was returned to the smartwatch.

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LG and Google's new smartwatches use crazy in-display ambient light sensors

Looking at LG's newest smartwatches, developed in collaboration with Google, you'll notice that both have round displays with no flat tires. This has typically meant the omission of one key feature in a smartwatch: an ambient light sensor. But LG has apparently cracked the code on this limitation, as both the Style and Sport have such sensors which allow them to adjust display brightness automatically.

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Android Pay for Android Wear is here, and this is how it works

Android Pay for Android Wear (which is a mouthful) is easily the most-requested feature in Google's wearable OS, and probably has been since Wear was first announced. It's taken a while - a long while, if you ask me - but it's finally here with the announcement of the LG Watch Sport. The Watch Sport is, for now, the only Android Wear smartwatch that supports Android Pay. No legacy devices are receiving the feature as far as we know.

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