Android Wear passes 5 million downloads

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/maislam)

Android Wear hasn't taken off as much as Google would have liked at this stage – hence the company doesn't share exact sales – but the platform now seems to be growing much faster if downloads of its companion app provide any indication.

Back in March last year, the Android Wear app passed the one million downloads mark. As of yesterday, Google switched over the 'app...

By Ryan Daws, 13 September 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Google, Smartwatches.

Research: Wearable payments expected to hit $100bn by 2018

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Many of us are expected to utilise our wearables for payments by 2018, if projections by Juniper Research are correct. The research firm expects contactless payments through wearable devices to reach $95 billion annually by 2018, up from less than $35 billion last year.  

Apple’s entry into NFC gave the industry a much needed boost, and...

By Ryan Daws, 11 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, NFC, Payments, Research, Smartwatches.

Vuzix rolls out SDK for M300 Smart Glasses to foster app development

Picture credit: Vuzix/YouTube

In order to foster the development and testing of apps among developers, Vuzix has begun delivering Alpha copies of its SDK for the M300 Smart Glasses, slated for launch in the summer of 2016.

The development and testing will be undertaken utilising the Android emulator configured as an M300 device. The new SDK will be delivered in stages and include frequent updates as they become available in the spring of 2016.

The Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses provide a “hands free”...

By Wearable Tech, 04 April 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apps, Developers.

Kaspersky beefs up Android security to include wearables

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Kaspersky Lab has introduced a new version of its Internet Security for Android product to also facilitate management of protection through Android Wear devices, as well as improving performance speed and protection quality.

The new version allows a user’s smartwatch to show notifications from Kaspersky Internet Security for Android when it is installed on a paired smartphone or tablet. A user can also remotely give commands to the product on the watch by pressing keys on the...

By Wearable Tech, 18 March 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Privacy, Security.

Ford develops wearable and app to boost efficiency at manufacturing plants

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In order to improve the accuracy of quality checks and to boost efficiency at its manufacturing plants, Ford has developed a wearable and an Android app. This innovation at the automaker began at its plant in Valencia, Spain, and the technology will now be rolled out to other plants.

Prior to the launch of the technology in Valencia, workers made use of a paper-based system that that involved walking to and fro for more than one kilometre on a daily basis to refer information on...

By Wearable Tech, 12 February 2016, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Apps, Case Studies.

Google releases Android Wear API 23 SDK for Marshmallow

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Developers are now able to start optimising their apps for an upcoming Android Wear update to ’Marshmallow’ thanks to Google's release of the API 23 SDK. The latest SDK allows developers to improve the experience for users, as well as offer better privacy. 

Android Wear, like its mobile counterpart, is available in various forms. When developing apps for...

By Ryan Daws, 19 November 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Developers, Google, Smartwatches.

Fossil is the next fashion brand to adopt Android Wear - debuts four new wearables

(Image Credit: Fossil)

Watches should be stylish, but few smartwatch manufacturers know how to combine fashion with technology due to a lack of experience. Traditional watchmakers are looking to fill that void and deliver an iconic timepiece which pays homage to decades of history – and Fossil is next up to lend their expertise. 

The watch manufacturer has announced four new smart wearables ahead of the holiday season – one of which is an interesting Android Wear...

By Ryan Daws, 21 October 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Fitness, iOS, Smartwatches.

Review: Hands-on with the Huawei Watch

You can look at the specs and features of a wearable device, but little gives you a sense of how it feels and performs day-to-day without using it. In this article, I'll go over my personal experience after spending a week using the Huawei Watch and exploring some of its unique features. 

Earlier in the week I posted a review of the design of the Huawei Watch, which is superb. In this article...

By Ryan Daws, 16 October 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Applications, Apps, Devices, Fitness, Health Monitoring, iOS, Smartwatches.

Review: Huawei Watch honours the classic timepiece

For such a beloved item with a long history of tradition, smartwatch manufacturers have an uphill struggle to convince mechanical watch owners to make the switch. However, there's a strong argument to be made that Huawei's debut watch is the first to pay true homage to decades of classic timepieces and it could be enough to entice a few more wrists over to a new digital lifestyle.

Buyers of high-end watches like Rolex or Cartier will know the premium experience starts with the packaging. Most...

By Ryan Daws, 09 October 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Google, Smartwatches.

Opinion: HTC's upcoming 'Halfbeak' smartwatch could be the stand-out Android Wear device

(Image Credit: HTC)

Earlier in the week I posted my concern at the lack of Android Wear devices which could support mobile payments in the future – due to a lack of NFC – leaving an open goal for the Apple Watch and Samsung's upcoming Tizen-based Gear S2 smartwatch. 

One manufacturer which has been completely absent from the smartwatch race thus far is HTC; despite being named as an OEM for...

By Ryan Daws, 09 September 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Google, Mobile Wallet, NFC, Payments, Smartwatches.

Opinion: Lack of NFC gives Android Wear a problem

NFC is a technology which Android users have bragged about having access to over iOS for years – but now some manufacturers of Google-based devices have abandoned it whilst Apple has embraced it with success for mobile payments. 

Google Wallet launched in May 2011 as a disjointed service which had little support due to a shaky relationship with retailers and banks after Google wanted details of transactions stored for its advertising business. Apple, meanwhile, as a hardware business...

By Ryan Daws, 07 September 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Google, NFC, Payments, Smartwatches.

Opinion: Samsung's Gear S2 faces hurdles away from Android Wear

(Image Credit: Samsung Mobile)

When it comes to design - both hardware and software - there's little dispute that Samsung's Gear S2 has upped the game with its unique rotating bezel and UX. It's even attracted legendary Italian designer Alessandro Mendini. However, it's become clear the Korean giant has some hurdles to overcome when it comes to software and services. 

The issue lies...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2015, 2 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Ecosystems, Opinion, Payments, Samsung, Smartwatches.

Pebble's future seems uncertain - despite $18 million in the bank

Despite holding a fond place in my heart as one of the OG smartwatches, it seemed inevitable that Pebble would find itself struggling against the titans of the industry.

Sources close to the company report that employees are unhappy with Pebble's direction as it attempts to fight Apple and Google

With the launch of Google's Android Wear platform, came a serious competitor with far more resources. This is something which has heated-up even more since the Apple Watch launched out of the...

By Ryan Daws, 21 May 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, iOS, Smartwatches.

Gear SDK reveals features of Samsung's next smartwatch

Samsung was among the first to release an Android Wear smartwatch, but the Korean giant has been focusing its efforts on a Tizen-based watch called 'Project Orbis" which is due for release later this year.

Being based on Tizen, the firm would have more control over the experience than the limited changes which can be made to Google's smartwatch OS. The upcoming device has not yet been fully-revealed, but Samsung hasn't been shy about its existence with invites teasing "Get...

By Ryan Daws, 13 May 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Ecosystems, Samsung, Smartwatches.

Android Wear lands Wi-Fi support, "Always-On" apps, and hands-free gestures

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Fans of the Apple Watch are just starting to get the company's debut into the wearable market, whilst Google has decided to treat customers who own one of the six available Android Wear devices to a tasty new update which brings some major new features to the platform.

Most of the smartwatches available on Android Wear ship with an "Always-On" display to ensure that the...

By Ryan Daws, 20 April 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Applications, Apps, Google, Smartwatches.

Research: Smartwatches affect drivers more than phones

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Tests conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in Wokingham have shown that reading a smartwatch whilst driving is more distracting than reading a smartphone and results in longer reaction time to perform an emergency manoeuvre.

A driver reading a message on a smartwatch took 2.52 seconds to react in an emergency, whilst using a handheld mobile caused a 1.85 second delay. The TRL also tested...

By Ryan Daws, 13 March 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, iOS, Regulation, Research, Smartwatches.

MWC15: Round-up of Wearable World Congress

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Everyone was either showing off hardware, or discussing the future of wearable devices at Mobile World Congress this year. Smartwatches took most of the attention, but was stalked by some impressive VR headsets from a range of manufacturers...

Huawei

Huawei somewhat stole the show with their smartwatch unveil. The manufacturer is often known for great smartphones which often undercut the...

By Ryan Daws, 06 March 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Devices, Eyewear, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Samsung, Smartwatches.

Broadcom aims to solve the problem of low battery life in Android Wear devices

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Semiconductor solutions provider Broadcom has introduced a new smartwatch platform that reduces power consumption for Android Wear devices.

Broadcom claims the platform reduces power usage by up to 40% by offering a smaller form factor, shrinking the circuit board size by a similar figure and reconfiguring certain features, such as offloading some tasks from the applications processor to less power-intensive parts of the system. With this, OEMs can also add features, or include a larger...

By James Bourne, 27 February 2015, 0 comments. Categories: Android, Connectivity, Devices.