You can imagine that running around the CES show floor for someone who has been fascinated (as well as convinced and positively influenced) by wearable activity trackers felt like breaking free inside a candy factory. Dozens if not hundreds of brands were vying for everyone's attention and a share of the pie in the tiny wearable market, and I had to check most of the intriguing and known ones to see what they had to offer. Among the hundreds of displays, from the companies I'd never heard of to the recognizable brands like Fitbit, Garmin, and Withings, one surprised me the most: Misfit.
I knew the Indiegogo origin story of Misfit — which translated into skepticism in my mind — and I'd read about its Shine tracker and simpler/cheaper Flash version, but I wasn't completely convinced by the quality nor the premise of the brand.
It's been about a year since Android Wear was announced, and here we are with a few watches and a ton of apps and faces. I hear there's some other company that announced a smartwatch recently. I think they usually sell fruit or something. Whatever, we're here to talk about all the cool new stuff you can do with your Android Wear watch. So here are the best new apps and watch faces that have come to Wear in the last few weeks.
Wear Hydrate Me
Doctors say you should drink at least 35 liters of water per day to prevent bonus eruptus, a rare disorder in which the skeleton tries to jump out of the mouth and leave the body.
Apple has a big event scheduled to kick off whenever the hour, with folks looking forward to learning more about upcoming MacBooks and the Apple Watch. The latter will be a first-generation device, Apple's long-awaited debut into the wearables market.
But forget about that product for a moment and remember that, whatever the headlines, Apple's watch will hardly be the only decent smartwatch in town. Google has just released a short commercial showing consumers that Android Wear is a thing and that its watches are cool.
The 17-second commercial features plenty of young people wearing various circular and square watches all sporting different faces.
Sony slipped the official SmartEyeglass app into the Play Store yesterday, and now here we are with an official announcement on availability (sort of). The developer edition SmartEyeglass is available for pre-order in the UK and Germany today and ships in March. It'll cost you a hefty sum to get a piece of the next wearable concept. Sony is asking $840 (£520, €670) for the developer unit.
The Pebble continues to chug along even with Android Wear garnering most of the limelight among the Android faithful. Today's Pebble update adds a few new features, some borrowed from Wear, and some that improve on it. You'll need the recently released v2.9 firmware and the just released app (v2.3), but it's quick to update.
Sony is apparently really serious about creating its own Google Glass competitor. You'd think Google's inability to talk everyone into wearing a computer on their faces would give Sony pause, but here we are with the official Sony SmartEyeglass app in the Play Store.
As some may wait for the impending release of the metal version, Sony's SmartWatch 3 can be had for a pretty nice deal at Verizon. At a discounted $199, you'll save $50 or 20%, whichever sounds like a bigger deal to you. Even better is that this offer comes with free shipping, which is great no matter how you slice it.
Picking a wearable to buy can be a daunting task. While the choice was quite limited a few years ago, with mostly just Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike on the scene, the field has widened considerably since then. Withings, Misfit, Pebble, and various other companies have entered the market and offer strikingly similar albeit slightly different approaches to wearable gear. That's not to mention the various choices offered by each company alone — Fitbit for example has the One, Charge, Charge HR, and Surge to pick from. So how would you decide which one suits you best, especially if you still haven't plunged into the wearable segment yet?
Lenovo might own Motorola now, but the company is still doing its own thing when it comes to mobile devices. There are a pair of new Android phones today, as well as a wearable and a completely self-indulgent accessory—a selfie flash. Your life is complete now, right?
In just a few months, it will be the one-year anniversary of Android Wear's announcement (March 18th). Since the first two official Android-powered watches were released at I/O 2014, we've seen half a dozen total watches running Android Wear, each with its own pros and cons. These devices run the gamut from kind of ugly to truly gorgeous. A new wave of watches will be upon us in the coming year, but the current ones are still a great way to get into wearables. In fact, I bet there will be some solid discounts on these devices in the not too distant future.
If you simply can't decide which—if any—watch is the right one for you, here are all the strengths and weaknesses of the current crop.