There have been whispers about an impending update to Android 5.0.1 for a little while now, and it looks like Google has begun pushing the new release to AOSP now.
The build being pushed right now is LRX22C. We've heard that Android 5.0.1 will also be coming to Android Wear, a possibility corroborated by Derek Ross, who points out dramatically improved battery life for Google's wearables. The update is also supposed to fix a variety of issues with the initial 5.0 builds, but in the absence of factory images or OTAs (for now), all we can do is wait for the push to complete and look around for any goodies. Read More
When the 4.4W.2 firmware version began rolling out a few days ago, it became possible to swipe down on the top-most card to show an unobstructed view of your favorite watch face. This still left Wear with the irksome tendency to put a card preview back on top when a new notification came in. Not only did the W.2 update give us the ability to hide that card, but there's also an option to keep new cards from getting in the way. Read More
Google is keeping a tight grip on Android as it expands the operating system out to watches, TVs, and automobiles. To understand this, take a look at the existing Wear watches on the market. Aside from shape and specs, the software experience is the same across devices. This may change in the future. A Google executive has told Re/code that the company plans to loosen its restrictions over time. Read More
Late yesterday, Google began rolling out an update to the Android Wear companion app. Despite a sudden growth of over 2 MB in size, the app only seemed to change the text of a warning, and there were no visible changes on our watches. We knew there had to be something great hidden under the covers, and we were right. The companion app certainly has some interesting changes of its own, but it also acts as the delivery mechanism for a Wear-customized version of Google Play services, and there's a bit to talk about in there, too. Read More
Material Design was the driving force behind a Google+ update that began rolling out on Friday. But while there may be a newer look, there's very little to speak of in the department of functional changes. Naturally, I had to poke around to see if there were any surprises buried underneath the fresh coat of paint. As it turns out, there are a few things worth talking about. It's time for a Teardown! Read More
Despite having some serious (and apparently isolated) issues with his unit's battery, our fearless leader Artem is thoroughly enjoying his Moto 360 smartwatch. He described the Stealth360 watch face from developer Flying Rhino as, and I quote, "sweet as hell."
Stealth360 shies away from some of the more conventional Braun-style designs included with the Moto 360 itself, in favor of something closer to a Razer or Alienware look. (Think Tron, but with a little more restraint.) Read More
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design. Read More
Did you make it to Google I/O 2014? If so, you've probably been waiting on the edge of your seat for Google to send a Moto 360 to each of this year's attendees. Well, the wait is over! Almost. Shipping notifications have gone out to each of the lucky recipients indicating that the packages are on the way.
The packages are coming out of Fremont, California with 2-day shipping via FedEx. For most of us, that's going to mean they'll arrive at our homes -or wherever you asked for them to be sent- on Wednesday the 10th. Read More
If you have neither a G Watch nor a Nexus 5 but want both and you live in the right market, Google has a deal for you. In certain countries, Google is offering up discounts on the Nexus 5 when you buy a G Watch. So far it looks like the deal is available in Europe and Australia, with the UK getting a £60 discount on the N5, other Europeans receiving an €80 price break, and Australians shaving AUS$100 off 2013's Nexus phone, a device that already competed on price. Read More
WhatsApp was surprisingly quick off the draw after the release of Android Wear, updating its sideloaded beta app with Wear support early this month. Now the 2.11.362 update is available on the general play store release, so even users who don't want to use the beta (or who don't know about it) can get richer WhatsApp chat notifications on their wrists. Huzzah!
The update to the main app includes most of the standard Wear messaging stuff: full long message viewing, nested/stacked messages with sliding navigation between them, and the usual reply via voice option. Read More