New indie project could lead to a bunch of Wear OS smartwatch competitors

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Soon, there could be a number of indie operating systems for your smartwatch, sprouting from an open-source code project launched last week. Indie developers making budget smartwatches can now use starting code from Project OpenWatch to craft their Android-based operating systems. The OpenWatch project is live as of last week. It was released by Blocks, the same company behind the forthcoming Blocks modular smartwatch.

Blocks’ head of engineering, Karl Taylor, said that the project is meant to “open up the smartwatch OS space to the open source community in a bid to loosen the stranglehold on the industry by other, essentially proprietary operating system.” He named Google’s Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) and Apple’s watchOS as the two…

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Wear OS developer preview with Android P announced, now available for Huawei Watch 2

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Google has just announced a new developer preview for Wear OS, which it says brings Android P platform features to wearables. It includes a number of additions, such as a dark system theme, limited background activity, radio deactivation when the watch detects it’s not being worn, and so on. Downloads are available right now for the Huawei Watch 2 Sport and Classic.

The blog post highlights a number of new features.

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Wear OS developer preview with Android P announced, now available for Huawei Watch 2 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Wear OS gets Android P developer preview for Huawei Watch 2

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Today, Google has released a developer preview for Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) by Google. The search giant has recently rebranded the operating system, perhaps in an effort to breathe new life into the otherwise neglected platform. The Wear OS developer preview is available only for the Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth and it can be installed on either the Sport or Classic versions. This new preview is based on Android P and offers a bunch of changes that make the OS both more efficient with battery life and offer improved performance. In its blog post, Google highlights some…

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Update Notes for YouTube, YouTube Music, Gmail, Wear OS, Google Assistant, and Creator Studio (Mar 24, 2018)

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Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don’t want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I’m going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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Update Notes for YouTube, YouTube Music, Gmail, Wear OS, Google Assistant, and Creator Studio (Mar 24, 2018) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Skagen Falster review: A very sleek Wear OS watch let down by terrible hardware decisions

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Over the last year, we’ve seen a tangible shift in Android Wear’s — now Wear OS — direction. Previously geared toward the demanding techie crowd that was tough to win over, Google’s smartwatch platform found a sort of reprieve in more niche markets. We’ve seen Wear watches made for extreme sports, outdoors, running, and a slew of fashion-forward models from recognized brands like Michael Kors, Diesel, GUESS, Fossil, Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, and more.

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Skagen Falster review: A very sleek Wear OS watch let down by terrible hardware decisions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Ticwatch E and S Android Wear watches now available in Europe at £120/£150

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Mobvoi’s Ticwatch S and E smartwatches are now available in Europe. The letters stand for “Sport” and “Express” respectively and the designs have already won awards – an iF Product Design award for the S and Good Design Award for the E. Anyway, the straps are the major difference between the two. The Ticwatch S has a GPS antenna built into the breathable wrist strap for superior reception. The watch also has a sporty bezel with minute markings. Mobvoi Ticwatch in Knight, Aurora and Glacier colors The Ticwatch E also has a built-in GPS receiver, though its antenna is in the…

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Hublot introduces its first smartwatch with Wear OS

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Google rebranded its wearable OS last week, and now we see one of the first smartwatches to be announced with Wear OS.Hublot, in partnership with FIFA, named the device Big Bang Referee 2018 World Cup Russia and will produce only 2,018 units, including custom-made versions for each referee during the tournament. Hublot is a luxury watch brand, so you should expect nothing short of glamour in this device. It will be constructed of titanium and Kevlar inside the 13,9 mm thick body. The default watchface will be an analog watch, giving the impression it is a standard conventional…

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Google improves Play Music experience on Wear OS, adds shuffle functionality

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Google rebranded Android Wear as Wear OS last week, but the change didn’t bring any new features with it. The reason behind the rebranding wasn’t stated explicitly, but it may be that Google wants to make the wearable operating system seem more platform agnostic — last year, one in every three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone, so dropping the ‘Android’ from the name of the platform might help even more people realize that Wear works with iOS devices, too.

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Google improves Play Music experience on Wear OS, adds shuffle functionality was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hublot intros $5,200 Wear OS smartwatch that’ll be worn by World Cup referees

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Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Wear OS smartwatch

Another luxury watch brand is getting into the smartwatch game.

Hublot has announced a new, limited edition smartwatch powered by Google’s Wear OS platform. The Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia is a new smartwatch that’ll be worn by FIFA referees during this year’s World Cup in Russia. Hublot says that it was asked by FIFA to craft “the perfect watch” for its referees, and this is what the company came up with.

The Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia features a 49mm case made of titanium. It’s got a 400×400 AMOLED display along with an accelerometer, gyroscope, microphone, haptic motor, and GPS, and its battery is rated to last “around 1 day” on a single charge. It’s also water resistant up to 50 meters.

On the software side, Hublot has added some special World Cup-specific features for soccer/football fans. There are special dials with the colors of the nations competing in the World Cup, and the watch can send you a notification 15 minutes before a new match starts. It’ll also alert you to yellow and red cards, and player changes. And when a goal is scored, the word “GOAL” will appear instantly. The dial can also show match stats when a game is being played.

Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Wear OS smartwatch official

As with other Wear OS smartwatches, Hublot’s model is compatible with smartphones running Android 4.4 and up as well as iOS 9 and up.

Hublot says that this watch will be limited to 2,018 units and will go on sale in Hublot stores around the world on March 1. Pricing will be set at 5,000 Swiss francs ($ 5,268 USD).

This isn’t the first luxury smartwatch we’ve seen, or even the most expensive smartwatch we’ve ever seen. It is notable because it’s another luxury smartwatch option for people interested in those devices, though, and while some of us can’t imagine dropping $ 5,200 on a smartwatch, there are luxury watch wearers out there that’ll be interested in this model. That’s especially true given its special World Cup ties and limited nature.

What do you think of the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia? If money were no object, would you buy one?

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Google Assistant on Wear OS now understands Spanish and Hindi

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Google Assistant’s language support is, to put it mildly, dumbfounding. The list of languages that you can talk to Assistant in varies between phones, tablets, smartwatches, speakers, Google Home, Allo, TVs, Autos, and every other medium you can find it on. But sooner or later, they start catching up to each other, and now two new languages are making their way to Assistant on Wear OS: Spanish and Hindi.

So if you were previously able to use Assistant on your phone in Spanish – and more recently in Hindi – but were baffled by the fact that your smartwatch, which is set to either of these languages, didn’t get Assistant, then you’re in luck.

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Google Assistant on Wear OS now understands Spanish and Hindi was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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