It's been about a year since Android Wear was announced, and here we are with a few watches and a ton of apps and faces. I hear there's some other company that announced a smartwatch recently. I think they usually sell fruit or something. Whatever, we're here to talk about all the cool new stuff you can do with your Android Wear watch. So here are the best new apps and watch faces that have come to Wear in the last few weeks.
Apple has a big event scheduled to kick off whenever the hour, with folks looking forward to learning more about upcoming MacBooks and the Apple Watch. The latter will be a first-generation device, Apple's long-awaited debut into the wearables market.
But forget about that product for a moment and remember that, whatever the headlines, Apple's watch will hardly be the only decent smartwatch in town. Google has just released a short commercial showing consumers that Android Wear is a thing and that its watches are cool.
Like the Pebble Steel before it, the Pebble Time Steel doesn't change the internals found in its plastic sibling, except for a larger battery, which will apparently provide this model with up to 10 days of use.
A developer has done the (almost) unthinkable: gotten an Android Wear watch to work with an Apple iPhone. More specifically, it's a Moto 360 and an iPhone 6. Maybe more surprising is that he did not need to jailbreak the iPhone to do it, even though his happens to be. It's not exactly clear how much he needed to modify the watch, but he's obviously loaded custom software onto it. Here's a proof-of-concept video:
If you don't like videos, it shows a text message rolling in on the iPhone and an alert subsequently popping up on the Moto 360.
Imagine somebody tells you they have an idea for a revolutionary new bicycle. Except it has a gas engine. And headlights. And can be driven at up to 35MPH. You might - mistakenly! - contend that what this person is talking about is in fact a motorcycle, and that it already exists, and why on earth would you invent a motorcycle with skinny bike tires, a tragically low top speed, cantilever brakes, and no sprung suspension (concerns of cost aside)?
Material warriors, this is the watch face you've been waiting for. It's a watch face forged from the finest material pixels and animations, presumably with the blessing of Lord DuARTe himself. What time is it? Material-o'clock, now and forever.
The Pebble continues to chug along even with Android Wear garnering most of the limelight among the Android faithful. Today's Pebble update adds a few new features, some borrowed from Wear, and some that improve on it. You'll need the recently released v2.9 firmware and the just released app (v2.3), but it's quick to update.
Sony announced the stainless steel version of its SmartWatch 3 at CES last month, saying that it would be on sale in February. Here we are smack in the middle of February and Sony is apparently making good. The metal SmartWatch 3 is going to be available globally this very week.
Is it the age of the smartwatch yet? I don't know, but developers are sure acting like it is. You can hardly turn around without seeing another new watch face or utility for Android Wear. Google still hasn't made it particularly easy to find new Wear apps, but we're keeping track of all the best new stuff, and here it is.
Android Wear 5.0 is finally out on all devices, and that means developers are playing a little catch-up. Not only are there new system features to take advantage of, we finally have full support for custom watch faces. Many of the previously released ones have been updated for Android 5.0, but we're focusing here mostly on newly added apps and watch faces.
A lot of the new Android Wear watch faces are cool, and a surprising number of them are free.