Android Wear started off, as many Google products do, as something closer to a proof-of-concept than a finished product. The first watches had problems, the software was unfinished, and tech companies were the only ones producing them. Now that Android Wear is becoming a more mature platform, mostly thanks to the long-awaited 2.0 update, we're starting to see more watches than ever hit the market.
It was fairly easy to compare Android Wear watches in years past - only a handful of tech companies even bothered. But now, a vast amount of wearables are being released, with most of them by actual watch companies.
Google has just announced its second new app in one day, releasing Google My Business to the Play Store. With the goal of "helping your business shine," My Business offers smart insights for your Google-connected business. From Google+ page insights to the ability to update your company's information, My Business helps you find and connect with "your people."
The app offers insights on your business' appearance in search, how users interact with you on Google+, and how you're displayed in services like search and Maps, with the option to update your information any time. My Business also has quick access to your Google+ page for quick business-related sharing on the go.
Everyone's favorite mesh networking startup Open Garden today announced its 2.0 refresh at LAUNCH festival, having allegedly already served 2.1 million installs since version 1.
Readers would be forgiven for not remembering exactly what Open Garden is, or why it's interesting – we last covered the app in its beta stage.
Basically, the idea behind Open Garden is to create ubiquitous internet access by linking various smart devices together and sharing a common internet connection in a mesh network. For example, if your smartphone is connected to the internet, Open Garden would allow you to create a mesh network to which your tablet, another phone, a PC, or all of the above could connect.
You're crazy for this one, ARCHOS! Today, the company most known for releasing the best cheap Android tablets before the Nexus 7 swooped in and drove a wedge between the concepts of "cheap" and "inexpensive" announced the TV Connect. This thing is designed to plug into your set and essentially turn it into a giant Android tablet. With a remote control. No, it's not Google TV. What.
The TV Connect will come with a 1.5GHz "Multi Core" processor of indeterminate origin, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage, and Android 4.1. It also comes with a built-in HD camera for video chat purposes (think Logitech/Skype's living room solutions).
Open Garden is hands down one of the most impressive apps I've seen this year. The app, first introduced at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012 as the startup that would go on to win the conference title of Most Innovative Startup, allows users to create an "open garden" of internet connectivity for multiple devices to share. The startup's official website explains it this way:
The operators sell us fancy handsets, but behave as if broken networks are a fact of life. … Imagine, instead, if all of the smartphones in any location could use their formidable processing power to share access to the Internet.
Last week, Cisco released their Cisco Connect Express app on the market to very little fanfare, though the app is quite impressive. It allows you to control your Cisco/Linksys router from your Android device via WiFi, with the key features listed as:
Guest access – An easy way for visitors to get online. Give password-protected Internet access to visiting friends and family while keeping your own information private. No need to remember the guest password, it’s in the app. Simply email the password to your guest and they’ll be online in no time.
Add devices to your network – Quickly connect your computers, gaming consoles, tablets, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices to your network.
Today, BlueStacks - a company specializing in Android app integration in Windows - will be making two large, and (hopefully) impressive announcements.
One of these announcements is the Alpha version of their App Player for Windows. If the name didn't already clue you in, BlueStacks App Player allows you to run Android applications on your Windows machine and enter a whole new level of Appoholism. This means that all of your favorite Android apps are now also your favorite PC apps and, by extension, your favorite Android games can now be your favorite PC games. Imagine the convenience of playing Angry Birds on a huge screen that isn't in your bathroom (Android Police cannot be held responsible if you get confused in this scenario and require new pants).