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android wear

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Five perspectives on Wear OS for its five-year anniversary

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the original announcement of Wear OS (née Android Wear). The platform has iterated through several different generations of hardware, a change of name, and its software has evolved a lot through the years. With half a decade of experience now behind it, some of us here at Android Police decided to sit down and hash out our feelings for Wear OS in 2019.

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Report: Wear OS makes up less than 12% of smartwatch sales in the US

Take these estimates with an appropriate grain of salt, but reading between the lines of a recent analysis by The NPD Group indicates that smartwatches running Wear OS account for at most 12% of unit sales in the US, and the real numbers are likely much lower than that. Although Google continues investing inredesigning and rebranding the platform, which now boasts plenty of hardware partners, it has barely made a dent in the market.

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[Update: Now at Best Buy] Misfit Vapor 2 smartwatch appears at Dutch retailer prior to official announcement

The second generation Vapor smartwatch from US company Misfit (Fossil Group) has been rumored for some time, but we now have some clear details on the device from an unlikely source. Even though the follow up to last year's Vapor hasn't been officially announced, a Dutch online retailer has already started listing the device for sale.

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Wear OS v2.16 prepares priority notifications for favorite contacts, optional media controls, and much more [APK Teardown]

Android Wear, or Wear OS as it's now known, seems to have found renewed momentum lately with fresh efforts in fitness, updates to the interface, and new hardware coming on the horizon. The latest update brings one notable change the improves the interface for managing notifications, but also carries with it the signs of many other changes and additions to come.

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Ticwatch E2 teaser leaks on Mobvoi's website

A teaser for the Ticwatch E2 is now live on Mobvoi’s website. The company's Ticwatch line has proven popular in the wearable marketplace and it just recently launched the Ticwatch Pro, which we reviewed. The E and S models were first released in July 2017 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. 

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18 new and notable Wear OS apps and watch faces from the last seven months (2/25/18 - 9/12/18)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Wear OS apps and faces that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous seven months or so. It's been a slow process cataloging each Wear release since February, but I think we finally have enough to push out another roundup of the best Wear OS has to offer.

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Google Pay on Wear OS works in Germany

As we've learned over the past few years, having a Google service available in your country isn't enough to use it on all your devices. Google Pay, for example, is supported for in-store payments in twenty countries, but only if you're using your phone to make the transaction. If you have a Wear OS smartwatch, however, the Google Pay app won't show up on the watch unless you're in a few countries. At first, the feature came to the US and UK, then it spread to Spain, Canada, and Australia, followed by Poland and Russia. The latest country to join the ranks is Germany.

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Diesel's fashion-forward Full Guard 2.5 is one of the biggest Wear OS smartwatches on the market

Diesel debuted its first full smartwatch last year, the On Full Guard, a bulky, 1.4-inch display-toting device powered by a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor that was clearly aimed more at achieving a particular aesthetic than serious functionality. After middling reviews and a year to mull over the original product's strengths and weaknesses, Diesel came to an important conclusion: it needed to be bigger. Thus, the Diesel Full Guard 2.5 was introduced today at IFA, with a 47 by 56mm case, roughly 10mm or so larger than most Wear OS watches on the market.

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Wear OS app v2.14 will add a shortcut to block app notifications [APK Teardown]

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.

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Facer introduces watch face games to help you kill time (and your smartwatch's battery life)

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.

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