updated 05:32 am EDT, Wed March 20, 2013
New Sony SmartWatch update brings new watch faces, other tweaks
Sony has given its SmartWatch the first major software update since its release. The device reached US shores nearly one year ago in April of 2012, during which time it has received one of two minor software revisions. The new update brings with it six new watch faces as well as other tweaks, arriving at a time where there is renewed interest in smartwatches thanks to reports that both Apple and Samsung are working hard to bring their own devices to market.
The new firmware update includes new retro, wacky and contemporary watch faces that be set to only be visible when the watch is manually activated, or automatically when it senses movement, or with a quick double tap. Additionally, notification previews have now been added, allowing users to see snippets of messages, tweets and wall posts. Other tweaks include a more consistent UI between the SmartWatch and the Android smartphone app upon which it depends entirely.
The Sony SmartWatch, which is Android-based, differs in operation and function from the rumored devices from both Apple and Samsung. Leaked screenshots from the Samsung device suggest that it includes onboard Wi-Fi as well as cellular connectivity, while Apple's rumored smartwatch is also expected to function independently of Apple's iPhone. Sony's smartwatch relies on its Bluetooth connectivity to drag information from the connected smartphone. However, Sony is quick to highlight that there are now over 200 widgets for the SmartWatch that have significantly extended its functionality since it debuted. A new set of wristband colors has also been made available at $20 each.
We have had extensive hands-on experience with the Sony SmartWatch and will return to the subject at hand again in the next few days with our thoughts on the new update.Stay tuned.