Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch. Read More
AT&T is almost ready to launch a new feature that ties together multiple devices under one phone number. The feature is currently called NumberSync, and the carrier expects it to launch on a single device (weird) very soon. More devices will launch later this year, making the feature actually useful. Read More
The original Asus ZenWatch was one of my favorite first-generation Wear devices because it had a slick design and competitive price ($200). It wasn't perfect, but it offered a good alternative to expensive devices like the G Watch R. The ZenWatch 2 is going to hit shelves in a few days, and at first glance it's very much like its predecessor.
Asus actually made a number of notable changes, but not all of them are positive. At the same time, the price is very attractive and there are two size options—the large one starts at $129.99 and the smaller will be $149.99. Read More
The Huawei Watch is a nice smartwatch with a nice screen, good battery life, and what I would call an above-average level of construction quality. If you want a Wear device that is nice and usable and doesn’t have anything seriously wrong or annoying about it, this is a great option. A pricey one, to be sure, but still very, very good. But above all else, it really does feel like the Huawei Watch is the smartwatch for the consumer seriously concerned about the Moto 360’s flat tire. That is most of this watch’s real appeal to enthusiasts, so let’s just lay it out there. Read More
"The Beeb on your wrist" might be mistaken for Cockney slang by some poorly-travelled American blogger, but in this case it's the latest feature to hit the official BBC Worldwide news app. The update to 3.2 for BBC News UK and BBC News Worldwide will send short snippets of stories to your Android Wear device. The only other changes are bug fixes and some layout adjustments for the primary, non-wearable app.
BBC News on a watch is surprisingly usable. A title, header image, and short paragraph for each story are displayed in a sort of mini-RSS style. The layout lets you swipe horizontally and vertically: go up or down to move between the "Top Stories," "My News" (selected on the smartphone app), and "Most Read" categories, and swipe left or right to move between individual stories. Read More
Alcatel is running a new promotion today for the back-to-school season, and it looks like a good one. For a limited time, you can get an Idol 3 smartphone and a Onetouch Watch for $299. The phone by itself is $250, so you're effectively only paying $50 for the watch. Read More
We're on the verge of second generation Android Wear devices, but you don't have to wait to stock up on cool apps and watch faces. We've got all the best stuff from the last few weeks right here for your perusal. So grab your watch and read on for the best new Wear stuff. It's mostly watch faces these days, but we are still talking about watches, right? Read More
After somewhat missing the boat on mobile computing, Intel is slowly and steadily forging its way in the wearable market, trying to stay at the forefront of this new field. Over the past year or so, it has acquired Basis, formed a partnership with eyewear giant Luxxotica (Ray-Ban, Oakley, etc), announced a collaboration with Google and Tag Heuer for an Android Wear watch, and unveiled a button-sized chip for wearables named the Curie Module. It has now taken another step forward in its venture by acquiring Recon Instruments.
Recon is a Canadian company better known for its much-delayed but quite interesting Jet, a head-mounted unit that runs a heavily modded version of Android Jelly Bean and targets the sports and fitness crowd with preloaded apps and functionality. Read More
One of the problems with all these Android Wear watches is that there's not a standard charging mechanism. That means you (usually) have to use the cradle that comes with them. If that breaks, you better hope you've got a spare on hand. Now you can get another one for the LG Watch Urbane.
You can't do as much with a smartwatch as you can with a phone, but these little wrist computers are surprisingly capable. You just need the right apps. Well, and watch faces too. Google highlights a few Wear apps from time to time, but we're always watching in order to spot the best things for your watch, and here they are. Read More