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.
The G Watch R is the first truly circular smartwatch, and it's also the first to ship with quite so many watchface options - 18 in all. Here's every one, in both active (as in, the display is turned on and ready for interaction) and always-on (passive sleep) modes.
I received my G Watch R on Friday, and after a couple of days, I'm ready to share some of my early impressions.
As the title of this post suggests, we don't know yet just how much LG's newest smartwatch, the G Watch R, will cost. This is a very important question, because so far in my short time with the device, it actually seems pretty good. It isn't without flaws, but LG has probably produced the most serious Android Wear device we've yet seen.
We've seen some ridiculous product trailers before, but this one takes things to another level. In this video, LG isn't trying to sell the G Watch R to the busy student, tired mom, stressed business man, or hip vague twenty-something in transit through someplace crowded. Instead, it sets its sights square on those among us who still dream of being a secret agent. It's an interesting demographic to go after, considering the people who dream of living such a life tend to stop by the time they're old enough to actually afford a smartwatch.
Aside from its round P-OLED screen and stylish case design, the G Watch R is remarkably similar to the original LG G Watch. But as just about anyone could guess, consumers will be paying a premium for that style when the round Android Wear device is released later this year. If LG's German press release announcing the G Watch R is accurate, it's going to be quite a premium indeed. The PR lists the suggested retail price as 299 euro, a full €100 more expensive than the G Watch.
After a few teases of its premium follow-up to the G Watch, LG has finally let loose official details for the G Watch R. The immediate takeaways: a 1.3" P-OLED [Plastic Organic LED] display, stainless steel body, a heart-rate monitor, leather strap, Q4 availability in "key markets" and, not surprisingly, no pricing at this time.
As far the insides go, this is basically still just the G Watch. It has the same Snapdragon 400 CPU, the same 4GB of storage, the same 512MB of RAM, the same IP67 rating, and a very-slightly-larger 410mAh battery (compared to 400mAh in the G Watch).