Latest update focuses on Android Wear, responses
The latest set of updates for the Pebble smartwatch include a number of major updates useful to Android users, with relatively few iOS improvements also included. The biggest changes in firmware 2.9 and the Android app relate to Android Wear, allowing the smartwatch to display notifications for apps that take advantage of Google's operating system for wearable devices.
Redesigned BlackBerry Passport keeps specifications, adds round corners
BlackBerry is bringing BBM to Android Wear devices in the near future, the manufacturer has revealed. At the same time, it announced the BlackBerry Passport will be heading to AT&T with a new rounder look, after BlackBerry redesigned certain aspects of the smartphone's external appearance following requests from the carrier itself.
Drivers can now use their watch for remote start
Hyundai is among the first automakers to bring its connected-car features to wearable devices, introducing a Blue Link app for Android Wear. Electronista checked out the new service at CES, where Hyundai brought a connected Sonata and a few Android-powered watches to demonstrate the capabilities. Owners of select vehicles can already access the full range of Blue Link features via their smartphone, and the Android Wear implementation simply serves as the watch-based extension of the service.
Instagram adds five new filter options, filter management
Instagram has updated its famous photo filters, for the first time in two years. The Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua effects have been added to both the Android and iOS versions of the app, each shifting and softening the photograph's colors in varying ways. The app has also updated how the various effects are displayed, providing a blurred preview of filters, while a "Manage" button will allow users to hide the rarely-used filters from view.
Developers gain new API to help create faces for Android Wear devices
The latest update to Android Wear is adding more user-personalizable options to the smartwatch software, among other improvements. Dozens of watch faces for Android Wear wearables are being made available to download, with a new Watch Face API also being introduced to make it easier for developers to create new faces.
Android Wear search app spreads to mobile phones, adds more answer options
The Microsoft equivalent of Google Voice Search is now available on Android. Initially released from Microsoft Garage for Android Wear devices, Torque is a search app which provides card-style answers to questions in a similar manner to Google's own voice-controlled product, though instead of being triggered by a voice prompt, it starts up by shaking the phone.
Google Nexus 6 pre-orders begin in United Kingdom
The Google Nexus 6 will be going on sale soon in the United Kingdom, with a number of retailers offering pre-orders for the device. Carphone Warehouse is selling the smartphone SIM-free for £499 and £549 ($780 and $860) for the 32GB and 64GB models respectively with delivery expected on December 1st. Amazon UK is stocking the 32GB model at the same price, but with a later release date of December 15th. Google Play does list the Nexus 6 for the UK, with identical pricing for both versions, but it is not allowing for pre-orders, nor states when it will be available.
LG G Watch R delivers breakthrough high-quality circular P-OLED display
We have previously taken a look at the LG G Watch, LG's launch device that helped to usher in Google's wearable platform, Android Wear. LG has introduced the next model in its Android Wear range, the LG G Watch R, which is a much more interesting and thoughtfully-designed smartwatch. Where the rectangular G Watch is quite nondescript in appearance, the G Watch R incorporates much more design flair and much more interesting technology.
Android Wear smartwatch from Asus uses rectangular display, offers fitness functions
Asus is bringing its attempt at an Android Wear smartwatch to the United States this weekend, a report claims. Initially revealed at a pre-IFA event in September, the Asus ZenWatch will ship in the US on November 9th, with Best Buy being the first to sell the smartwatch before a wider general release via Google Play at some point afterward.
Nexus 6 goes on sale via Motorola, sells out within hours
Motorola is now selling the Nexus 6 directly in the United States, via its own online store, giving potential customers an alternative route to Google Play to acquire the smartphone. At the same time, the company is introducing its recently-leaked metal strap options for the Moto 360 through the store, as well as a champagne gold colored version of the Android Wear smartwatch.
Smartwatch, phone lock screen may be used to control music playback on Sonos speaker network
Sonos is looking to extend the usability of its audio products, by allegedly testing the ability to control its networked speakers using a smartwatch running Android Wear, as well as the iOS lock screen. A photograph shared by a supposed member of the company's beta program is said to show notifications on the Moto 360 and provide some level of control, while iOS users may gain a lock screen widget providing similar functionality.
Curved face Android Wear smartwatch gets $5 price plan on T-Mobile
Samsung's Gear S will be going on sale in the United States at the start of next month, with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all carrying the Android Wear smartwatch. The carriers are also varying the way they host the standalone smartwatch on their network, with T-Mobile introducing a new plan specifically for wearable devices.
AT&T confirms it will sell LG G Watch R smartwatch in future
AT&T has advised it will be selling the LG G Watch R when it goes on sale in the United States. Though the brief announcement does confirm the carrier will host the Android Wear smartwatch, complete with a round P-OLED display, AT&T states it will be announcing pricing and availability at a later date. LG recently revealed the watch will launch in Europe at the start of November, with "key markets" including North America gaining the watch shortly after.
Android Wear update makes smartwatches more useful without smartphone connection
Google's first major update to Android Wear will be preparing the operating system for use on standalone smartwatches. The software update adds support for GPS sensors built into devices, as well as the ability to store music on a smartwatch instead of a smartphone, with audio able to be played through a paired set of Bluetooth headphones.
Next Lock Screen, Journeys and Notes, Torque released from Microsoft Garage
Microsoft is taking the unusual step of trying to court Android users, by releasing three new apps for the platform. The first from Microsoft Garage is the self-explanatory "Next Lock Screen," which provides a handy notifications and app launching interface, the second lets travelers pass notes to others following the same route, while a third allows Android Wear users to search Bing directly from their wrist.
Exclusive version of Xperia Z3 heading to Verizon alongside Sony SmartWatch 3
Two more Sony devices will be added to Verizon's mobile device roster later this month, the carrier has revealed. A repackaged version of the Xperia Z3 will be going on sale, a smartphone called the Xperia Z3v, while the company's Android Wear device, the SmartWatch 3, will also be heading to the carrier's stores in due course.
Google announces Chromebook business features aimed at office environments
Google has announced the release of new business-focused features for its Chromebook laptop. Users can now switch easily between personal accounts and one's organization's credential-secured account, and its new single sign-on feature allows for logging in with the same credentials and identity provider used in the rest of an organization. Certificate management for wireless networks is also included, with provisioning Chromebooks with client certificates to access 802.1X EAP-TLS networks now being easier for businesses, schools and government institutions.
Jawbone Up platform to work with Android Wear, Healthkit, Fitbit
Data from the Jawbone Up and Up24 fitness trackers could be used by more apps and devices in the future, courtesy of the device's new API. The company's platform, itself called Up, will be able to incorporate data from multiple devices and sources, including Fitbit, Android Wear smartwatches, and devices compatible with Apple's HealthKit.
Innovative and beautiful Huawei smartwatch on the way, suggests company head
Huawei will be joining the growing collection of companies creating an Android Wear-based smartwatch. CEO Richard Yu has reportedly advised that the manufacturer is working on its own wrist-based Wear device, though apparently it will not be heading to market until next year, long after other similar smartwatches become available to buy.
Stainless steel Motorola smartwatch shipping today
Motorola's long-awaited smartwatch is going on sale in the United States. The Moto 360, complete with its round-faced 1.6-inch 320x290 display clad in Gorilla Glass and stainless steel, is being sold from Motorola directly and via a number of other retailers, though the choice of bands will be limited just leather options at launch.
SmartWatch 3 uses Android Wear, SmartBand Talk adds voice control
As expected, Sony has launched two wearable devices at IFA during its main press conference. The SmartWatch 3 continues the SmartWatch line but switches over to Android Wear rather than Sony's own software, while the SmartBand Talk is a lifelogger which adds a display and voice control to the previous model's spartan design.
Best Buy discounts LG G Watch price by $50
Best Buy has cut the price of the LG G Watch by $50. One of the first Android Wear smartwatches revealed and released, recently superseded by the G Watch R, has been spotted by Android Police priced at $180 for both the black and white models. Despite the discount, it is likely the G Watch will continue to be sold for some time, most likely as a budget option compared to the round-faced stablemate's estimated $300 price tag.
Second LG Android Wear smartwatch has round face, heart rate monitor
LG has surprisingly revealed its round-faced Moto 360-like smartwatch ahead of next week's IFA trade show. The G Watch R follows on from the original G Watch launched in July, though instead of a square display of the original, LG has exchanged it for a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) screen, measuring 1.3 inches across and with a resolution of 320x320.
Second LG smartwatch launch touted months after original released
LG may have a second Android Wear smartwatch being prepared for launch, according to a report. Months after the G Watch went on sale in the United States, the electronics manufacturer is allegedly looking to launch a follow-up of the wrist-based device at IFA next month, with the device said to have a number of upgrades compared to the existing model.
Close-up shots of Moto 360 point to heart rate sensor pedometer
Motorola's upcoming Android Wear smartwatch, the Moto 360, has allegedly been spotted being used with its charging station. The leaked photographs appear to show the smartwatch attached a charging dock for the first time, with the leak also providing a considerable number of close-up views of the Moto 360's sides and back, and demonstrates its size when worn and in comparison to the LG G Watch.
Meeting between executives concerned Android Wear, Tizen use in smartwatches
Google is unhappy by Samsung's choice to use Tizen for its main smartwatch platform instead of Android Wear, according to a report. CEO Larry Page is said to have spent time earlier this month with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee in a "tense private meeting" over the smartwatch software issue, with Samsung allegedly spending more on devices running Tizen than Google's new Android offshoot.
LG G Watch and Android Wear don't deliver a revolutionary wearable experience
There is a term in product development called "Minimum Viable Product," used to refer to products that are designed only to be sufficient for getting feedback or market testing a concept. Enter the LG G Watch. It is like a blank canvas that represents the minimum requirements to showcase Google's nascent Android Wear mobile platform. However, at $199, it represents a relatively affordable entry point into the world of wearable devices for early adopters who want to see whether Android Wear could be the next big thing.
Android Wear devices can take photos using paired smartphone camera
Google has updated its Camera app, allowing it to work in tandem with a smartwatch running Android Wear. Version 2.3 of the app, slowly rolling out on Google Play, adds the ability for Android Wear devices to remotely control the camera app's shutter function, though the update also introduces a few other new additions to the software at the same time.
Bundled Wear apps not reading encryption file correctly, only free apps install
Earlier this week, a significant issue was discovered in Android Wear devices, keeping users from installing paid applications on the wearables. According to news from Android Police, when the apps are downloaded to the phone and then channeled to the watch, a key piece of information isn't accessed correctly. In the process, the encryption key that ties an app to a device, as part of Google Play's App Encryption, cannot be read -- leaving the apps unable to be installed.
Google adds Android Wear section to Google Play
Google has started to compile a list of apps compatible with Android Wear smartwatches. The "Apps for Android Wear" collection, spotted by The Next Web, currently includes 29 apps, including Google's own Android Wear companion app, with the list consisting of a number of contributions from prominent apps and their developers, including IFTTT, Duolingo, Pinterest, and American Airlines.
Android Wear, TV, Auto must use stock appearance
Android Wear, Android Auto, and Android TV will only use the stock visual style, according to a report. Google engineering director David Burke advised in an interview that third-party device producers, including LG and Samsung, would not be allowed to change the user interface at all, with Google not only controlling the overall appearance of the software, but also the underlying software.
Budget Android Wear device from Asus could cost as little as $99
Asus will launch its smartwatch at a far lower price than other Android Wear devices, according to a report. The Taiwanese computer producer is said to be looking to charge at most $149 for its wearable device, and potentially as low as $99, heavily undercutting both the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch, and is likely to be far below the Moto 360 when it ships.
Three staffers discuss the good and the bad of the 2014 IO keynote
With a massive industry keynote, such as yesterday's Google I/O event, comes discussion. Google gave us a lot to toss around with L, Android One, Android Auto, and Android TV, all four both good and bad simultaneously. Join MacNN editor Charles, and Electronista writers Mike and Jordan as we evaluate the ins and outs of the 2.5-hour keynote kicking off Google's annual I/O conference.
New Android branch specifically for wearables sped up, made more flexible
At Google's 2014 I/O conference, the company has given more details on the its previously-announced Android Wear platform. Amongst other improvements, the operating system for wearables supports both rectangular and circular screens natively, in a large array of sizes. Some of the abilities of the platform, such as instant data sync across devices were demonstrated. Additionally, sending data to a linked phone was displayed by swiping the note over to the device.
Rumored Android Wear device from Samsung has similar specifications to Gear 2 Neo
Samsung's rumored Android Wear smartwatch, expected to be unveiled at Google I/O today, is reportedly called the Samsung Gear Live. The same report also claims the device will have a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display and a resolution of 320x320, along with a list of specifications relatively similar to that of Samsung's existing smartwatches, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.
Android Wear notifications meant for glancing, different from smartphone notifications
Google has given more of an idea of what to expect from wearable devices running Android Wear, such as the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch. A video from Google Developers expands on an earlier YouTube clip about notifications for the smartwatch operating system, reiterating that there is "No work required" for smartphone notifications to exist in a basic fashion, though adding a few lines of code to apps will make the notifications more useful for users.
Google Fit to collect data from fitness trackers, health apps, smartwatches
Google could be following the lead of Samsung and Apple by creating its own healthcare platform, according to Forbes. The search company is said to be preparing to launch Google Fit, a service which will collect and combine data from fitness trackers, health-related apps, and potentially Android Wear devices, in order to expand the amount of data available for app developers to work with.
Notifications on Android Wear smart watches could spread across multiple pages
Google developers have started to show what kind of notifications Android Wear users will expect to see on their smart watches. Example notifications from apps for Nest devices, Clash of Clans, and calendar notifications showcase the kind of experience Google expects users to see when they glimpse the Moto 360, the LG G Watch, and other Android Wear devices.
LG teases Android Wear-based G Watch device in video
LG has teased its upcoming G Watch with a new video on YouTube. Though light on detail, it provides a closer look at the design of the Android Wear smart watch, as well as highlighting its compatibility with non-LG devices, its metal body, and its waterproofing. Earlier rumors suggest the watch will be launching sometime in July, and could ship for around $300.
Smart watch from LG will keep display turned on at all times
LG's G Watch will be water and dust-resistant, and could be used outdoors, according to new details on the official website. The Android-based smart watch will also ship in a choice of two color options, with the plain black face surrounded by either a "Stealth Black" casing and band, or a "Champagne Gold" version with a white wrist strap and a golden body.
Executive reveals existing investment in smart watch software prevents use of Android Wear
Sony will not be using Google's Android Wear platform for its smart watches in the future, an executive has revealed. Ravi Nookala, head of Sony Mobile in the US, said in an interview that the manufacturer will continue to use its own SmartWatch platform for the immediate future, instead of switching to Google's recently-announced wearable device platform.
Clearer image shows simplified design of LG G Watch
LG's United Kingdom branch has teased its upcoming smart watch, by posting another image of the device on Twitter. The G Watch, a wearable device running on Google's Android Wear software platform, is shown in greater detail than the darker original teaser, complete with its square watch face and a notification from Google Hangouts on the display.
Read-it-later service reveals prototype app for Android Wear platform
Pocket, the read-it-later service that syncs articles across devices, has revealed a preview of its prototype app for Google's Android Wear platform. An Android Wear smartwatch is designed for delivering concise information, such as notifications, news alerts, and more; Pocket's prototype offers the ability to save content to Pocket from an alert. In a blog post, Max Weiner of Pocket gives an example of a friend sending the user an interesting article, which sends an alert to the Android Wear smartwatch. If the user wants to save that article to Pocket to read later, they can swipe, and an action pops up to save to Pocket. Considered a work in progress by the company due to Android Wear's SDK still in Developer Preview, a release date is not yet available.
Summer launch in United States expected for Motorola smart watch
Not to be outdone by LG and its G Watch, Motorola has teased its first smart watch. The Moto 360 will run on Android Wear, also announced today, will differ from most other smart watches on the market, in offering a "round face and premium materials" instead of the squarish appearance shown in the Pebble, the Samsung Gear, and similar devices.
Wearable device operating system to first arrive on smart watches
Google has announced its operating system software for wearable devices, called Android Wear. Hinted at during a South by Southwest interview by head of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai, the software will allow hardware producers to build devices, such as smart watches, with the platform claimed to offer many of the functions typically associated with smart devices, but with a Google twist.