With the unveiling of the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE, we knew that cellular and speaker capabilities were coming to Android Wear. Yesterday, Google officially announced cellular support and explained how the feature will let you use your watch without being near a phone. However, missing from that post were details about whether or not the watch will communicate back to you using its speaker and whether other watches with speakers will also be able to do the same.
Cody's teardowns of various Google apps yesterday revealed the underlying basis for speaker support on Android Wear. We know that Play Music will likely let you play music through the speaker and Google's app is ready to implement text-to-speech. But it turns out that Google has already revealed a bit more about speaker functionality on new watches, except it hid it in its Support pages. Read More
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. Read More
As part of Google, Motorola garnished a reputation for speedy updates. These days the company has a new owner, and those OTAs don't seem to come out as reliably as they used to. But Motorola hasn't gone back on its promise to bring Marshmallow to something, and now it's beginning its rollout for the 2015 Moto X Style and the 2014 Moto X, according to Senior Director David Schuster. Read More
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. Read More
Google "surprised" us all yesterday by announcing that cellular support was coming to Android Wear. Cue in Oooohs and Aaaaahs and gasps of jubilant shock. Having already heard about the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE through its teaser video back in September, it was pretty much a given that Wear watches were about to learn a new trick and cut their umbilical cord tether to their phones. But understandably, Google had to make things official just in time for the release of the LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE. (I'll call it WU2LTE from now on, ain't nobody got time for that shit!)
The WU2LTE is coming to the US in the next few days, and it's already available for pre-order on both AT&T and Verizon's sites. AT&T will be selling it starting $199.99 with a two-year contract. Read More
Raise your hand if this comes as unexpected news to you. Crickets. Alright, we know Google isn't really revealing the most secret of secrets with its newest "Cellular support comes to Android Wear" announcement, but it is clarifying a few things we didn't know about how LTE would work on our smartwatches.
In his post, Peter Ludwig, Product Manager for Android Wear, explains that cellular connectivity on Wear will allow you to leave your phone behind and use your smartwatch on the go. However, it doesn't seem like you'll be able to completely forego the phone, à la Samsung Gear S2, because both phone and watch will need to be turned on and connected to a network for Wear to do its thing. Read More
Razer never seemed to really get behind its Android TV device. As far as we can tell, review units for the Forge TV were never sent to any of the tech media (not that we're bitter or anything. Razer. Not at all), and after brutal user reviews were splattered all over the Internet, the device still doesn't support the Android TV version of Netflix. Razer never released the neat-o mouse-and-keyboard combo designed specifically for couch gaming, the company's alternative to NVIDIA's PC game streaming software still hasn't materialized, and there have been no mentions of software updates or even notable game releases since the Forge TV launched in April. Read More
TAG Heuer has now officially announced the most expensive smartwatch running Android Wear, which means (by the infallible logic of luxury watch enthusiasts) that it's also the best. To be fair, in terms of materials and technical hardware, the TAG Heuer Connected probably is the best Wear device at the moment: it uses a new-to-Wear 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM, along with 4GB of storage and a 410mAh battery. That means it should be faster than most current Wear devices, and with double the memory, it might have significantly better performance. It had better: TAG's suggested price and the going rate on the online store is a whopping $1500. Read More
Version 1.4 of the Android Wear app started rolling out late Friday. The theme of this update, at least for what's currently live, is a set of changes to the Settings screen. There are a couple of new options, but they come at the expense of the battery stats screen. A look under the hood also shows that a few other features are either live or in the works for the next Wear OS update. Read More