After the release of the Android Wear in July 2014 by Google, many updates rolled and the software is functional and more full-bodied. Many of the features that we expected to see at the time of the announcement of the mobile giant’s platform of the searches are only being added now too because of the arrival of Apple’s Apple Watch. Below, you can see how Android Wear matured in ten months and as software for wearables can assist in your daily life.
What is Android Wear?
Android Wear is an operating system for wearables, like smart watches and bracelets. The idea is to integrate the use of these devices to smartphones, tablets or even smart TVs. Other examples of software in this style are the Citizen for wearable devices or even the Pebble.
What differentiates the Android Wear of the Android OS, the Google bar the interface of manufacturers, thus maintaining a unique and consistent visual identity among the gadgets that run with this software. The nice thing about this is that we have a more consistent experience with the platform and, of course, operating system updates are not a problem.
The way we use the Android Wear reminds that we have with the Google card Now, it couldn’t be different, since the voice of Google is the soul of the platform. So, the OS revolves around the shared user data from the Google account or third-party applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Runtastic, for example, uses the location via GPS or mobile device shipped, and sends notifications from services like Gmail, WhatsApp, Play Store, weather forecasting and other applications such as Keep or Duolingo. In most cases, the information appears when you need to, especially because we are talking here of reminders that facilitate everyday life.
How does Android Wear?
The first thing you see on the display of the smartwatch clock, in addition to the watch display, is a card with the time, reminder, message or any other card that highlighted the moment you turn on the device screen. When I’m leaving the AndroidPIT, for example, the card showing how long it takes to get home appears first.
To activate the screen you need to make a move to bring the arm until the reach the eyes, as if checking the time. The screen remains in standby mode by default and you can activate or deactivate the screen always on mode, which is good for when you are using the appliance in the evening. When you want to activate the screen, can also play in it and, by placing the Palm of his hand on it, you put the gadget in standby mode again. Everything here is quite intuitive, to mute the software, check the battery percentage, intermediate between the screen modes and access the settings, simply slide your finger on the screen from top to bottom.
Once the screen is active, you can interact with the software through movement and voice commands.
With the screen turned on, a blow up shows the first card by sliding upwards you will through the cards that come in an order of importance set by software, as said above. To get rid of a card, simply slide your finger from left to right. If you are interested in more information on a particular card, just click on it. So, if you have received an email by clicking under the card, you can see the content, with a blow to the right you crumbles in the notification, with a blow to the left you will be able to “archive” the e-mail, with another blow to the left you will be able to “respond” to email using a voice command, so far is the only input mode of information Since the software does not have a native keyboard. In addition, you can always open the app on your smartphone for more options.
As well as Google Now, again, the Android Wear allows voice commands to practice actions. The intelligent capabilities based on context and task automation follow the same software features used in Intelligent Assistant Google voice. Thus, both the hotword “Ok, Google” as the voice commands function perfectly in Portuguese, but always with the screen turned on. Although I think a little invasive give voice commands to start actions on Android Wear, I have to say that when you are on the move and with your hands full is actually quite practical. For example, yesterday, I was running late and my mode of transportation is my bike, with the Gear Live on the wrist, while I shifted I sent a message to my team leading the gadget next to my face and saying “Ok, Google, send a message to Daniel saying that I’m going to be late!”. Without the Android Wear that would not be possible.
In addition, by using a voice tag, you can do basic research as the age of Dilma Rousseff or know how many inhabitants have São Paulo. It is still possible to use a voice command to launch a video on Chromecast or even listen to a specific song on mobile using YouTube, for example.
Android Wear-User Interface and features
With regard to the appearance of Google’s mobile platform for wearables, it is interesting to note that most of the applications you use every day in your smartphone are integrated into the system and work very well. Thus, any notification that you receive on your cell phone will run automatically on your watch. In this way, taking as an example the Gmail, you’ll find the same options it finds today in your notifications bar smartphone, but the smartwatch clockscreen, such as “check message contents”, “file”, “answer” or access the application in question. And all this even comes with the face of Google’s cards Now.
Since your launch, Android Wear has been increasingly optimized optimized applications to the platform are available at Play Store as well as a larger number of native resources are coming to OS. And this is quite evident in these 10 months I’ve been using the software. One of the factors that always tell in my tests with apparatus of this genus are related to the role of media control. Unfortunately, Android Wear still leaves something to be desired in this regard, as well as the Pebble, the Gear line watches and bracelet from Samsung and Sony, it is not possible to navigate between the albums present in your smartphone’s memory, just between songs of a particular album. So, once you are inside your list of Linkin Park in Spotify, for example, you can only hear the songs on this list, otherwise you will have to access the cell phone.
Another feature quite Android functional Wear is to see the way to certain location on wearable device screen, like the LG G Watch R using Google Maps, however, at some point is inevitable does not pick up the phone, which has a larger screen and step-by-step instructions.
In recent months, especially after the arrival of the Apple Watch the market, Google began releasing updates quite important and that were already a long needed for anyone who uses a smartwatch clock. With the last update support added Wi-Fi which causes users to be more independent of the smartphone in time to use a gadget running Android with Wear. Below, you can see the list of the main changes in the latest version of the platform:
Handsfree: to rotate your wrist out now you advance to the next screen “and turning into we go back to the previous screen. When driving the look for your wrist, the unit will display the main information highlighted for you quickly and easily, without the need to use your hands.
Without the phone: features like offline music and Wi-Fi support do not need to have the smartphone around. If it is online (using mobile data or Wi-fi) and if the watch is connected to a Wi-fi network available, they can work together (without having to share the same network). Very similar to what we’ve seen in the operation of the Google Glass.
Screen and always-on applications: now it will be possible to leave active applications, without the screen go into off mode. IE: If you’re running and you want to leave the open Maps to find your way, or is shopping in the market and want to leave your list of Google Keep turned on to access it easily, it is possible.
Draw Emojis to answer messages: if you want to quickly answer a message with an emoticon (using SMS, or Hangouts any messaging application), but don’t want to use the voice, just draw a emoji on your watch face.
Connecting Android Wear to your mobile device
Android Wear works on devices running on Android 4.3 or higher and uses a gadget connected via Bluetooth to your Android device. You will also need the Android application Wear so that you can access and transmit data and contacts. The latest version of the application (v 1.1) allows multiple pairing wearables and different agenda accounts.
Despite the improvements that have been made by the team of Google in connection with the services offered by the Android Wear, the connection with the mobile phone is still one of the biggest issues of the software. Now that the operating system supports Wi-Fi, when we are under the coverage of a wireless network, the experience with the gadget running with Android Wear has been optimized. However, when the internet connection through the data plan (3 g/4 g) is still a bit frustrating to use the full potential of a smartwatch clock.
Applications for Android Wear
Speaking of apps for Android Wear, the search giant has a dedicated area at Play Store for apps developed for Android Wear. In these 10 months, new applications have been made available in the store and, with the launch of smartwatches increasingly, the ecosystem of applications for Android Wear is bigger and with more options.
- The best apps for Android Wear
Devices that support Android Wear
In Brazil, today are available the following smartwatches models compatible with Android Wear: Motorcycle 360, LG G Watch and Sony SmartWatch clock 2 (initially released with Sony’s own software for wearables). However, since the middle of last year, we had a large number of smart watches with support for the OS from Google for wearables coming to market:
- Samsung Gear Live
- Sony Smartwatch clock 3
- LG G Watch R
- LG Urbane
- Huawei Watch
- Asus ZenWatch
After the optimizations performed by Android developers Wear, it is possible to say that the platform is more mature and functional. Voice commands and movement have been improved and expanded applications ecosystem.
With the popularization of smartwatches, the experience of use of gadgets that support software for wearables from Google is better. The fact that Apple have released the Apple Watch made more people look at this market as an alternative to facilitate communication and everyday tasks. Furthermore, when we look at the portfolio of devices running on Android Wear, the options are varied in relation to the design, functions and price.
However, regardless of what you think about the software, the Android Wear won’t replace your cell phone, the idea is to make your gadget will serve as a complement to your smartphone and, sometimes, allow you to have a certain independence from your cell phone.
So, what is your opinion about Android Wear? Will the smartwatches will be more popular in Brazil in 2015? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!