While you can run apps on Wear OS, the main reason for it to exist is to serve notifications. But for as much as notifications are useful, too many can be counterproductive. If you're finding that one or more of your apps is getting too noisy, but you're not quite ready to shut down notifications altogether, one good solution is to block those notifications from reaching your watch. Soon, you'll be able to access the settings screen to configure blocked apps by using a launcher shortcut. Read More
A day or two of uptime for a smartwatch is accepted as the norm these days — a sad state of affairs, indeed. So when a nifty feature is introduced, excitement is immediately doused with the reality that it almost certainly means conceding some already-scanty battery life. Facer recently announced watch face games for Wear OS and Tizen smartwatches, and they seem like a clever take on uber-casual gaming worth your while if you're fine keeping that charger nearby. Read More
It's been a while since there's been any excitement surrounding Wear OS, the artist formally known as Android Wear, with no notable recent hardware releases outside of expensive fashion products. The OS itself is feeling dated and has arguably never really been fit for purpose; the platform really needs some attention from Google if it's to escape a slow, boring death.
Peering through all the doom and gloom, however, Google-backed Mobvoi is launching a follow up to its well-received, affordable S and E smartwatches. Both the Sport and Express were sub-$200 models made from plastic and rubber, but the TicWatch Pro we first heard about in May is a different proposition. Read More
Don’t you wish your favorite Wear OS watch face could do more? Thanks to a huge new Facer update, it can!
Facer 4.6.0 adds support for interactive watch faces for the first time, giving users the ability to launch apps, play mini-games, trigger fun animations, and lots more right from their wrist. Read More
Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don't want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I'm going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes. Read More
Over the last year, we've seen a tangible shift in Android Wear's — now Wear OS — direction. Previously geared toward the demanding techie crowd that was tough to win over, Google's smartwatch platform found a sort of reprieve in more niche markets. We've seen Wear watches made for extreme sports, outdoors, running, and a slew of fashion-forward models from recognized brands like Michael Kors, Diesel, GUESS, Fossil, Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, and more. The latter all come from the Fossil group, a company that I think should be credited for Wear's second lease of life — and likely its rebrand to Wear OS to attract iPhone users. Read More
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Google-backed Mobvoi launched the Ticwatch S and E in the US last year, following on from the impressive TicHome Mini Google Assistant speaker. The stylish Ticwatches now run Wear OS 2.9 out of the box (Android Wear 2.0 at time of initial release) and are making their way across the Atlantic to the UK. They're both available to purchase from today. Read More
Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS last week, but the change didn't bring any new features with it. The reason behind the rebranding wasn't stated explicitly, but it may be that Google wants to make the wearable operating system seem more platform agnostic — last year, one in every three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone, so dropping the 'Android' from the name of the platform might help even more people realize that Wear works with iOS devices, too. However, development on Wear OS continues regardless of changes in name, and Google has announced today that it's improving the Google Play Music experience on Wear watches. Read More
Hublot has become the latest watchmaker to delve into the realm of Andr- I mean, Wear OS watches. Its new watch, dubbed 'Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia' (seriously) will be worn by referees for the --- you guessed it --- 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it'll retail for 5,000 Swiss francs (~$5,200 US). It'll be limited to 2,018 pieces. Read More
Google Assistant's language support is, to put it mildly, dumbfounding. The list of languages that you can talk to Assistant in varies between phones, tablets, smartwatches, speakers, Google Home, Allo, TVs, Autos, and every other medium you can find it on. But sooner or later, they start catching up to each other, and now two new languages are making their way to Assistant on Wear OS: Spanish and Hindi. Read More