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Android Wear

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[Update: Rolling out now] Android Wear v2.9 will add unread notification counter and more

Google just started rolling out Android Wear 2.8 earlier this month, but it's already talking about Wear 2.9. Like the last update, this one isn't making huge changes to the nature of Wear. It does, however, include a few new options for notification counters on your watch face and some changes to the way developers handle complications.

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[Update x7: Huawei Watch 2 and 5 others] Google announces which Android Wear watches will get Oreo update, and which already have it

As the name implies, Android Wear is simply a variation of Android specifically tailored to smartwatches. This year's Wear 2.0 update ran on top of Android 7.0 Nougat, and while some components can be updated through the Play Store, the underlying system can only be updated through normal OTAs.

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Fossil Q Control review: A good smartwatch, but not a good value

At this point, Fossil is probably pushing Android Wear more than any other company. It's continuing to release smartwatches under many of its brands, including Skagen, MisfitKate Spade, Michael Kors, and others. The third-generation Fossil Q watches first went on sale in September of last year, with the most notable improvement being the fully round screens (as opposed to the 'flat tire' displays that older watches used).

Another third-generation Fossil Q watch arrived in November of last year - the Q Control. It's the first sports-oriented smartwatch under the Fossil brand, and its design stands out from the company's other watches.

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Google app update fixes laggy Android Wear behavior when Ok Google detection is enabled

Back in December, we made a surprising discovery: if you had Ok Google detection enabled on your Android Wear watch, it could cause a lot of lag and jittery behavior all the time. Disabling the setting completely turned the behavior around and made it so that the watch was smooth and stutter-free. I recorded a video back then to show the night and day difference and many of you chimed in reporting that disabling the detection had the same beneficial effects on your watch as well.

Finally, it looks like this bug has been fixed now. As shared on the Google Issue Tracker, the issue has been resolved since the Google app version 7.18.50.

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[Deal Alert] Verizon's discontinued Wear24 smartwatch is down to just $49.99 ($300 off) with coupon code [Update: Deal is done]

Last May, Verizon thought it would be a good idea to start selling a $350 Android Wear smartwatch. Several months later, it discontinued the Wear24, and the leftovers have been popping up at a steep discount ever since. Today, the Wear24 has hit an all-time low price of just $50. That's $300 less than the original price.

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Skagen Falster Android Wear smartwatch now available for $275-295

Earlier this month, Fossil announced new Android Wear-based smartwatches, under its Kate Spade and Skagen brands. Both watches use the same round frame that the Misfit Vapor and Fossil Q Control have, but with different lug styles and bands. Now you can buy the Skagen Falster smartwatch, starting at $275.

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Android Wear v2.8 app update adds darker background and 'improved notification glanceability'

Gone are the days when OTA updates were necessary to add new features to your Android Wear watch. Now, Google can add new features via the Android Wear app. A new version of the Wear app is rolling out today with a few notable changes. The theme is darker, and notifications are getting some potentially interesting changes.

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TAG Heuer has an Android Wear watch that costs $200K

TAG Heuer's been showing off a bunch of its watches in Geneva, and one model, in particular, has caught our eye. In addition to the new smaller and cheaper Modular 41 announced yesterday, TAG Heuer has been teasing a diamond-encrusted white gold version of its Modular 45. This Android Wear-powered ostentation can be yours for a mere $200K (190’000 CHF). 

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TAG Heuer releases the Connected Module 41, a smaller, cheaper version of the Connected Module 45

TAG Heuer, the famous Swiss watchmaker whose name is notoriously difficult to pronounce (it's actually pronounced "tag hoy-yer"), has just announced the TAG Heuer Connected Module 41, a smaller version of the Connected Module 45 that was launched in Q1 of last year. As the name would imply, the watchface on the Connected Module 41 measures 41mm in diameter (that's one and five eighths of an inch if you love fractions and imperial units), which isn't exceedingly small for a watch, but which should hopefully begin to address one of Ryan's largest complaints with the Connected Module 45.

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Google partially delays policy change for Android Wear apps scheduled for next week

In late August of last year, Google announced some updates to its Android Wear policy which would affect the requirements for an app to obtain an "Enhanced for Android Wear" badge. Whereas previously, apps could qualify simply by implementing enhanced notifications, Google's planned policy change for January 18th, 2018 imposed some stricter restrictions.

The new policy would require apps to work as standalone Wear apps and force Wear APKs to be uploaded to the Play Store as a multi-APK instead of bundling them within phone apps. However, feedback on the multi-APK system has forced Google to delay fully implementing the policy, according to Hoi Lam, an Android Wear Staff Developer Advocate.

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