Square batteries are fine for square things, but the latest craze is round watches, which means lots of wasted space on the inside. That's a bummer when we're already struggling to keep watches running for more than a day. However, LG Chem says it has leveraged new manufacturing techniques to produce hexagonal batteries that can cram as much as 25% more power into a watch.
If you're using a "smart" wearable device because it's fashionable rather than practical (and the current crop of smartwatches have a pretty tenuous grasp on the idea of practicality anyway), then why not just wear an old-fashioned watch or bracelet and deal with the arguable inconvenience of reaching for your phone on occasion? These and other questions might be answered by the Android app for MICA, an Intel-branded wearable that puts fashion over form. Read More
We're on the verge of second generation Android Wear devices, but you don't have to wait to stock up on cool apps and watch faces. We've got all the best stuff from the last few weeks right here for your perusal. So grab your watch and read on for the best new Wear stuff. It's mostly watch faces these days, but we are still talking about watches, right? Read More
Combining metallic alloys with natural or synthetic threads, Google's ATAP and its industrial partners have created Jacquard yarn. Named for Joseph Marie Jacquard's inventions, the yarn is the basis for ATAP's Project Jacquard, an effort to make it easy for textile makers to weave interactive surfaces into everyday textiles like clothes and furniture. These surfaces would ultimately control things like mobile devices, and perhaps evolve into experiences and functions of their own. Jacquard yarn allows these new surfaces to either be plainly visible or completely hidden from the user so, just like regular yarn, designers can decide exactly how a surface will appear - or not appear, as the case may be. Read More
Lenovo's Tech World conference seems to be a never-ending parade of real products and crazy concepts, and this Magic View smartwatch joins the ranks of the latter while still having some grounds in reality. "But Rita, what is Magic View?" I hear you ask. It's a smartwatch with two screens. Yesssss. Let that sink in for a moment.
The second screen, dubbed a "Virtual Interactive Display," is physically smaller than the main round display (which is reminiscent of the Moto 360, flat-tire and all), but can project an image up to 20 times its size. That is when you hold it close to your eye. Read More
The popular Wear Mini Launcher began rolling out a major update today, going from v3.0.3 to v4.0.0. The changes may not be as large as you would expect for an increase in version number, but they are welcome nonetheless. The main additions are the ability to reorder the quick settings, a "flashlight" app available in the drawer, music controls in the menu, and the ability to remotely lock your phone.
With the vastly improved navigation in Android Wear 5.1, some users may not feel like they need Mini Launcher as much. Of course, this is why its developer is pushing out updates like this, as it helps keep things useful beyond what stock Wear offers. Read More
We now have confirmation that Android Wear 5.1.1 has started to reach LG's G Watch and G Watch R today. Though most users are still being told they are up to date, a select few have been lucky enough to be chosen for the first hours of the rollout.
Thanks to tipster Kevin for the G Watch R screenshot and to Frank Barten for the G Watch image.
For those who are unfamiliar, OS updates tend to first go to a very small portion of users, around 1%, for a period that ranges from a few hours to a couple of days. Read More
Samsung was early to the recent smartwatch craze, but its products haven't exactly sold like gangbusters. While Samsung has made an Android Wear watch, it seems more interested in moving forward with its Tizen-based Gear platform, and the new Gear SDK offers a lot of detail about that next device. It'll be round, but that's not the only thing we know.
The watch will have a 1.18-inch round display with a resolution of 360x360. That's not very large, but the overall device will probably be much less ridiculous as a result. Samsung is planning to use a metal frame with a large crown button that makes the device look more like a real watch. Read More
LG's newest smartwatch, the LG Watch Urbane, costs $350. So let me just throw it out there now: judging LG's new Watch Urbane from a value perspective is sort of completely silly. When it comes to value, I don't think any Android Wear watch has especially great appeal - after all, you're paying as much or more for one than you would a relatively inexpensive smartphone, a smartphone that does many, many more things. But the Watch Urbane has even less value appeal than most Wear devices (not that this is at all fatal to its success as a product).
If you really care about value, the Sony SmartWatch 3 with its Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC are right here for $100 less than the Watch Urbane (if not less than that if you get it on sale). Read More
It was just over a year ago that we first caught wind of Android Wear. At the same time, we were introduced to the G Watch, which would be the first Wear device—released alongside the Samsung Gear Live—to be sold to the general public. Now, with the addition of the G Watch Urbane and a permanent price drop for the G Watch R, the original G Watch is headed out of the Google Store.
There was no telling exactly when this would happen, but it is no surprise that it comes now. First of all, there is just a lot of LG in the Android Wear section of the Google Store right now. Read More