In just a few months, it will be the one-year anniversary of Android Wear's announcement (March 18th). Since the first two official Android-powered watches were released at I/O 2014, we've seen half a dozen total watches running Android Wear, each with its own pros and cons. These devices run the gamut from kind of ugly to truly gorgeous. A new wave of watches will be upon us in the coming year, but the current ones are still a great way to get into wearables.
Best Buy has been listing the LG G Watch for just $80 starting yesterday, but it sold out almost instantly. It looks like now (RIGHT NOW), it's back in stock. Unlike the Groupon deal we posted earlier today, this one also includes a $50 Google Play gift card, the same promotion that Google itself gave on Friday.
If you couldn't get in on Google's Black Friday deal on the G Watch, or Best Buy's deal that disappeared so quickly that we didn't even get to post it (update: it's back, but might go in and out all day), now you've got another chance - and this one's even better. Groupon is currently selling the original LG Android Wear device for just $79.99, an amazing $150 off of the retail price.
Update, 8 AM Pacific: Predictably, both the Nexus 6 and the discounted G Watch are out of stock. You can still grab $50 of Play Store credit with the purchases of any other Android Wear device or the Nexus 9.
Update: It looks like the Nexus 6 (which is actually in stock right now, at approximately 12:45 AM Pacific) and the Nexus 9 are also eligible for the $50 Play Store credit.
IP infringement and the internet have a long and storied history. Never has it been so easy to share so much so quickly so anonymously - something any college student with a campus broadband connection generally discovered as an almost dorm room rite of passage from the late 90s onward. Music, films, television, games, and other software have long been the most-pirated content categories, in turn provoking varying degrees of legal response from the industries who own and distribute such content.
Google has promised standalone music playback over Bluetooth as part of Android Wear for some time, and it appears with Wear version 4.4W2 we're finally getting it, at least if you use Play Music (you're also getting new playback controls). If you're using the latest Play Music APK on your Android phone and have the Android 4.4W2 update on your smartwatch, you can now download your pinned music from your smartphone to your watch.
We spotted it in a teardown of the new material Play Music app this morning, but it looks like a new set of media controls in Android Wear are live - and here's exactly what they look like.
The new controls get a red-themed makeover and volume +/- buttons, plus a nifty kind of physical remote key animation. It's nice. For Play Music, these new controls require two things: the material version of Play Music (which contains an updated mini APK for Wear with these controls) and the 4.4W2 update to Wear, which is rolling out to some devices now, like the LG G Watch.
Android 4.4W.2 is slowly rolling out to various Wear devices this week, and my G Watch R review unit just received it earlier this afternoon. A couple of commenters have pointed out a new feature in W2 that we hadn't yet noticed - you can now hide notifications, as opposed to dismissing them, directly from the watchface.
Back in September, we heard Google's official plans to update Android Wear and add more functionality to the platform and its watches. The first update promised to bring GPS and offline music playback capabilities, so that Wear watches could be used without a phone to track activities and listen to tunes via Bluetooth. The second update is supposed to add native support for watch faces. And it looks like LG's G Watch is the first Android Wear device to start benefiting from these additions.
Look, $200+ is a lot to pay for a watch, especially when you've been wearing the same $30 Timex Ironman from Target for the last fifteen years. If you've been on the fence on the first generation of Android Wear devices, waiting for a good deal on at least one of them, then your time is now. Best Buy is selling the LG G Watch for $149.99, a full $80 off of the list price.