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android wear

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Update Notes for YouTube, YouTube Music, Gmail, Wear OS, Google Assistant, and Creator Studio (Mar 24, 2018)

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.

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Skagen Falster review: A very sleek Wear OS watch let down by terrible hardware decisions

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.

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Mobvoi's Ticwatch S and E are available in the UK from today

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.

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Google improves Play Music experience on Wear OS, adds shuffle functionality

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.

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Hublot's $5,200 Wear OS watch to be worn by 2018 FIFA World Cup referees, limited to 2,018 pieces

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.

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Google Assistant on Wear OS now understands Spanish and Hindi

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.

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[Update: APK Download and blog post] The Android Wear rebrand to 'Wear OS' is now official

 

Smartwatches haven't been the smash hit everyone was expecting. We're coming up on four years since Android Wear launched, and the platform has gained little traction. Well, Android Wear is over. Now it's Wear OS that has yet to gain traction. Yes, the rumored rebranding of Google's wearable OS is now official.

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Notification suggests Android Wear could be renamed 'Wear OS'

Android Wear may be changing its image, according to a Reddit post by user H3x0n. Per the post, during the setup of an Android Wear watch (the post didn't specify which), H3x0n was greeted with both a new icon and an unfamiliar name for the operating system.

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Update Notes for Android Wear, Play Store, Maps, YouTube and YouTube Kids, Project Fi, and more (Mar 4, 2018)

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
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21 new and notable Android Wear watch faces from the last 3 months (11/11/17 - 2/22/18)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android Wear faces that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 3 months or so.

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