Android Wear

Pebble now lets you interact via Android Wear notifications

Pebble now lets you interact via Android Wear notifications

With some slight variation, most smartwatches are essentially the same. The face shape and specs may change, but the overall interaction is equal, with notifications being the main reason people like them. One of the first smartwatches around, Pebble, has done a remarkable job staying relevant in the face of flashier options from Motorola, LG, and Apple. Now, your e-paper screen is getting a taste of Android Wear itself, with Pebble gaining the ability to show you Android Wear notifications.

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Android Wear “Lollipop” update brings brightness boost, ease in use

Android Wear “Lollipop” update brings brightness boost, ease in use

A new update is coming to Android Wear devices this week straight from Google. This update will bring Easier Navigation to smartwatch face UI, a set of new Modes (including Sunlight Mode for amped-up brightness), and App Improvements - including control from the smartwatch for notifications and additional per-app information in the Android Wear smartphone app. This system update will be released alongside a Google Play update with a new category: watch faces - over a dozen of them right off the bat.

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Android Wear watch faces hit Google Play

Android Wear watch faces hit Google Play

For the first time in the history of wearables, Google Play has its own wearables category for Android Wear - only it's not just dedicated to apps, it's made for watch faces. The "watch faces" category on Google Play will be launched today with dozens of "official" designer, artist, and brand-made watch faces for Android Wear devices. Google is also releasing new developer tools for Android Wear, including an official Watch Face API, so that additional watch faces can be made by all developers with great speed.

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Watchmakers going after pirated smartwatch faces

Watchmakers going after pirated smartwatch faces

A word of caution: if you’ve fallen head over heels for a smartwatch face recently, it might be time to reevaluate your admiration. How your smartwatch looks, at least when it’s not doing smartwatch-y things, may soon change. While we like smartwatches for their contextual awareness and ability to force-feed us notifications, we still want a watch. To accomplish the look of a “real” watch, some smartwatch software designers and Developers actually borrow from existing, often high-end watches.

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Google Fit partners with Adidas, Polar, Withings for dev challenge

Google Fit partners with Adidas, Polar, Withings for dev challenge

This week the folks at Google have let it be known that they're ramping up efforts to embolden Google Fit. To do this, they're teaming up with Adidas, Polar, and Withings to create the Google Fit Developer Challengs. This challenge will have developers submitting smart wearable fitness apps to Google by the 17th of February, 2015 for a chance at fabulous features and prizes including all manner of Android Wear, Adidas, Polar, and Withings smart devices to continue development into the future.

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ASUS ZenWatch hits Google Play, but you still can’t buy it

ASUS ZenWatch hits Google Play, but you still can’t buy it

The ASUS ZenWatch might be one of the better Android Wear devices around, and it’s finally available via the portal you might expect an Android Wear watch would be. The ZenWatch is now available on Google Play, and carries a price we’d been expecting. At $199, it contradicts a previous listing at another retailer, Best Buy, undercutting it by $30. We’d heard since ASUS announced the watch it would run in that sub-$200 price range, so it looks like Google got it right.

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Sony SmartWatch 3 joins LG G Watch R on Google Play

Sony SmartWatch 3 joins LG G Watch R on Google Play

Joining a whole collection of Android Wear devices in the Google Play market this week is the Sony SmartWatch 3, the first Sony SmartWatch to be offered direct by Google. This is also only the second time Google Play has sold a Sony device from their online store, the first being the massive Sony X Ultra Google Play Edition. Sony comes with their third-generation smartwatch with Android Wear while previous editions used a unique version of a slightly less wearables-aimed Android, before Google jumped in.

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ASUS ZenWatch hits Best Buy stores November 9

ASUS ZenWatch hits Best Buy stores November 9

As they tend to do, ASUS is coming on strong with a decent product at a more than affordable price tag with the ZenWatch. A new report suggests the newest Android Wear watch is coming, and soon. Starting November 9 (that’s two days away!), you can pick up the latest Android Wear smartwatch via Best Buy. As expected, the ZenWatch checks in at a much lower price point that the smartwatches it competes with. At $199, it undercuts the rest, but doesn’t skimp too much on the spec sheet.

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Gold Moto 360 hands-on – Let’s talk smartwatch luxury

Gold Moto 360 hands-on – Let’s talk smartwatch luxury

Can a smartwatch be stylish? That's an argument set to run and run, but of the options on the market right now, a majority would probably point to the Moto 360 as the poster-child for looks, even if its Android Wear OS is still a work-in-progress. It was joined today as a range with a Champagne Gold version complete with a thinner, 18mm band, along with a range of new leather straps, so I brought my very best wrist along to try out Motorola's take on an altogether glitzier wearable.

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Moto 360 goes gold in pre-Apple Watch luxe hunt

Moto 360 goes gold in pre-Apple Watch luxe hunt

Motorola has made its two new variants of the Moto 360 smartwatch official, adding Champagne Gold and a second Light Metal to the list of offered finishes. The Android Wear smartwatch keeps the distinctive circular display - though gives it some new watchfaces to match the casing colors - but throws in a narrower metal band than Motorola offered before. At 18mm wide, though Motorola isn't saying it directly, it's quite possible that the company is targeting would-be female wearers who may well have been dissuaded by the thicker 23mm metal bracelet previously announced.

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