Android Wear

Skagen Falster puts Wear OS in a small package

Skagen Falster puts Wear OS in a small package

The future of Wear OS, formerly known as Android Wear, isn't going to come from traditional device makers. It will come from fashion brands who are learning how to perfectly mix technology and style. And one of the most prolific is the Fossil Group, which has put out almost dozens of smartwatches, both full ones and hybrids, under its name as well as under its subsidiaries. One of those is Skagen, and its new Falster Wear OS is one of the more fashionable ones around.

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Wear OS dev preview shows what’s coming next for smartwatches

Wear OS dev preview shows what’s coming next for smartwatches

Google has just rebranded Android Wear, now formally “Wear OS by Google”, this month but nothing has really changed under the hood. It’s the same old, same old situation that might not inspire much confidence in Google’s smartwatch platform. Today, Google announced the first developer preview under the new Wear OS branding that points at the direction that the Android-based OS is going. And it might not all be good news for developers and users.

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Wear OS by Google gives Android Wear a smartwatch reboot

Wear OS by Google gives Android Wear a smartwatch reboot

Android Wear has relaunched with a new name, with the smartwatch platform now called Wear OS by Google. The decision, Google says, was a fairly straightforward one: a growing percentage of Android Wear smartwatch owners were actually using it connected to an iPhone. Indeed, in 2017 the company claims, one in every three new Android Wear watches was paired up to an iPhone.

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Android Wear to Wear OS: more than just a name change

Android Wear to Wear OS: more than just a name change

This is one of those pebbles that could send ripples in all directions. Or have no effect at all. It seems that Google is on the verge of giving its Android Wear smartwatch, technically wearable, platform a new name and a new logo. Most rebranding doesn’t exactly mean much, especially when you’re like Google who switches logos and names with no discernible pattern or pace. But considering what has been happening so far, or not happening rather, there might be some bigger changes in Android Wear, er Wear OS, afoot. And it’s probably high time that something did.

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BLOCKS Project OpenWatch to bring Android Oreo to smartwatches

BLOCKS Project OpenWatch to bring Android Oreo to smartwatches

It has been years since the first smartwatches came to market and while that market is more or less stable, it hasn’t exactly grown. That’s especially true for Android Wear that remains a disappointment to many fans. So rather than waiting for Google to either step up or step down, some smartwatch enthusiasts are coming up with an alternative. Led by modular smartwatch maker BLOCKS, the Project OpenWatch offers smartwatch believers an alternative, one that is powered by Android as well.

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Wearables can detect early signs of diabetes using machine learning

Wearables can detect early signs of diabetes using machine learning

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks are the buzzwords of the tech industry and are often used to make lives more convenient, either for consumers or for the companies selling them products and services. But these technologies are now being utilized to also help make people healthier and even save lives. A recent study made by health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco revealed that even your common fitness-centric wearable is capable of detecting early signs of diabetes. With a little help from neural networks, of course.

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Android Wear 2.9 unread notifications dot coming soon

Android Wear 2.9 unread notifications dot coming soon

Google seems to be trying to make up for lost time in smartwatch land. Just last week, it rolled out Android Wear 2.8, a minor update focused on improving contrast and readability. While Android Wear 2.9 isn’t yet going out, Google is already prepping developers for what’s to come. First up is a feature that more or less puts Android Wear almost on the same level as Android Oreo, which it is now based on, by adding unread notification dots and visual cues.

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Android Wear 2.8 app update improves readability, battery life

Android Wear 2.8 app update improves readability, battery life

One of the most basic uses of a smartwatch, which sets it apart from a fitness tracker, is that it can show you notifications and messages. That purpose, however, is defeated when you can barely make out what’s on the screen, especially in brighter lighting conditions. To help improve that situation, and perhaps marginally extend battery life, Google is rolling out a small update to the Android Wear app, now at version 2.8, to increase readability by using a darker background.

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TAG Heuer Connected Modular 41 puts Android Wear in a smaller form

TAG Heuer Connected Modular 41 puts Android Wear in a smaller form

It might seem like a distant memory but, once upon a time, smartwatches were made by smartphone makers. Having lost interest in what was deemed a business failure, the wearable market was salvaged by fashion and luxury brands instead. One of the first such saviors is TAG Heuer who just last year launched the Connected Modular 45 Android Wear smartwatch. This time, it’s announcing the Connected Modular 41, designed for smaller wrists. Its petite size, however, can be deceiving.

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Android Wear Oreo: which smartwatches are getting it and when

Android Wear Oreo: which smartwatches are getting it and when

There might be hope for Android Wear smartwatches yet. It hasn’t been a year since Android Wear 2.0, based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, came out (which should have actually rolled out late last year) and now a new major update is coming to Google’s smartwatch family. Well, semi-major. It’s no Android Wear 3.0 but the update does bring the Android 8.0 Oreo to wearables. But just like the fragmentation that plagues Android itself, the biggest question is which smartwatches will get it. Fortunately, Google has a list.

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Android Wear Oreo update begins rolling out today

Android Wear Oreo update begins rolling out today

Just as Android 8.1 Oreo is beginning to roll out to Android phones, Oreo is now coming to Android Wear devices as well. The roll out begins today, though that doesn't necessarily mean that your watch will receive its Oreo update right away. That, as always, is dependent on your watch's manufacturer.

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Misfit Vapor smartwatch is here and shipping next week

Misfit Vapor smartwatch is here and shipping next week

Vaporwear it is no more. Misfit has finally announced that their first ever touchscreen smartwatch, the poorly named Vapor, is ready to go on your wrists in less than a week’s time. Powered by Android Wear 2.0, the Misfit Vapor brings more conventional smartwatch capabilities to its smart and stylish trackers, like the Ray and the Shine. But perhaps more interestingly, the Vapor also brings what is perhaps the most affordable Android Wear smartwatch in the market that doesn’t look like an out of place prototype.

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