The Moto 360 was supposed to be the one. The watch that would rule all other watches with their pitiful square screens and plastic housings. I was excited for the Moto 360, but I couldn't help thinking the hype was out of control. We were expecting too much, and indeed, when I reviewed the Moto 360, the verdict was okay, but not amazing. At the time it was the best Android Wear watch, but that was due largely to the aesthetics.
Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.
One of the new features we were promised to see in Android Wear 5.0.1 is the ability to retrieve a dismissed notification. Prior to this version, if you received a message, an app notification, or had any other card type appear on your watch, swiping it to the right would dismiss it with no option to get it back. Whether you swiped by mistake, or you did it and then remembered that you forgot to check or act on something in the notification, you ended up having to fish your phone and manage things there.
LG was fast to toot its own horn after being the first OEM to (sort of) push out a Lollipop update. That original OTA only went out to Poland, but now users of the international D855 model are getting their updates all across Europe.
The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.
There's a lot to love about Android Wear 5.0.1. The new custom watch face support was just the tip of the iceberg, as we have recently discovered that you can disable Tilt to wake, image searches are more functional, and screenshot support is available but finicky. Another new feature that made it onto Wear 5.0.1 is the new mode switcher for Theatre and Sunlight, both of which are accessible by swiping down on the watch face and scrolling beyond the Mute screen.
Update: Here is the link to the OTA file, direct from Google's servers.
We get excited about bugfix releases around these parts, even if they don't bring the kind of glossy user-facing changes that the big updates do. Android 5.0.1 hit AOSP early this month, and now it looks like the over-the-air update will be on its way to Nexus 5 owners before the end of today. Sprint and T-Mobile have both shared the news themselves.
Taking screenshots of Android Wear has been doable since it launched with a wired or Bluetooth ADB connection, but the Lollipop update added screenshot functionality to the Android app exactly as rumored. Great, this should make us all very happy. The only problem, though, is that Google's implementation is bizarre and a little buggy. Here's how you do it.
Update: Here's the OTA zip file straight from Google's servers.
Google and Samsung haven't forgotten about the first Google Play Edition phone. Yes, the Galaxy S4 GPE is getting its Android 5.0 update right now. Time to hit that update menu.