Music Boss now supports control of Chromecast volume and playback from your Pebble smartwatch

by Alihassan Mahdi on
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Music Boss allows you to control the playback of the various media apps on your Android device directly from your Pebble or Pebble Steel smartwatch. That said, you can add you favorite media/audio apps to Music Boss and then control a media app via your smartwatch such as play/pause, adjust volume, go to next track and much more.

In addition, you can also launch and switch the media apps on your Android device via your Pebble smartwatch without having to touch your Android device. But that’s not all, the app recently received an update that brings a host of new features. Now you can easily control the volume and playback of your Chromecast media right from your Pebble. » Read the rest

Sony won’t use Google’s Android Wear OS for its smartwatch

by Alihassan Mahdi on
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Ravi Nookala, head of Sony Mobile’s US arm, told CNET today that Sony won’t be using Google’s new Android Wear OS, an Android OS designed specifically for wearable products, for its smartwatch products. He said that they would continue to use their own Android-based platform designed for their smartwatch products.

“We’ve already invested time and resources on this platform, and we will continue in that direction,” Nookala told CNET in an interview.

Google announced its Android Wear OS designed for wearable products last week, which is heavily based on Google Now voice-recognition technology. LG will be the first to implement the Android Wear OS on its G Watch followed by Motorola’s Moto 360, while Samsung has already opted for its own Tizen OS to be run on the Galaxy Gear 2.

Source: CNET

Qualcomm says Snapdragon power coming to smartwatches

by Jeff Causey on
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Google announced earlier today the new Android Wear platform for wearable devices and mentioned a variety of manufacturers and chip makers promising to support further development. Qualcomm has released a statement letting fans of their Snapdragon line of chips know they have been “working behind the scenes” with Google and other OEM customers to develop devices powered by Snapdragon chips.

Qualcomm mentions they have experience with the smartwatch platform already thanks to their own in-house Toq product. Combining that experience and their collaborative efforts with Google, Qualcomm says their chips will enable manufacturers to deliver “outstanding performance and user experiences.”

source: Qualcomm

Motorola announces the Moto 360, an Android Wear smartwatch coming this summer

by Justin Herrick on
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Motorola has announced the Moto 360, a smartwatch that runs Google’s new Android Wear platform. In its introductory video, Motorola calls the Moto 360 “a truly modern timepiece.” The Moto 360 features a premium build centered around a circular watch face. Like all other Android Wear smartwatches, Google Now is the focus and can be activated by saying “OK Google.” Once activated, the features are just like the ones found on a smartphone or tablet. Sports scores, transportation times, reminders, and even sending a text message can be handled through the device.

The Moto 360, according to Motorola, will be available this Summer in a variety of designs. You can sign up for alerts from Motorola here. Motorola is also holding a Google Hangout tomorrow at 2pm EST, March 19, with the Moto 360′s lead designer, Jim Wicks.

Hit the break for a trailer explaining the Moto 360′s design. » Read the rest

Google may be partnering with LG for the LG G Watch

by Jeff Causey on
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Google has announced a new platform for wearable devices called Android Wear and already word is out that LG may be working on a Google device using this new platform. Early indications are that the device is being called the G Watch and besides the Android Wear platform, Google Now will be featured on the device as well as the ability to initiate voice commands using “OK Google” similar to Google Glass devices or the Motorola Moto X. If accurate, this would be the fourth device produced by the duo of LG and Google, joining two Nexus smartphones and a Google Play Edition tablet. » Read the rest

Google officially enters the wearables game with Android Wear, smartwatches coming later this year

by Justin Herrick on
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It has finally happened. Google has officially announced Android Wear, a version of Android designed specifically for wearable devices. In an official blog post, Google explains that Android Wear will focus on getting key information to users at the right time, displaying health and fitness information, and providing an extra display to use throughout the day. As you can see in the image above, Android Wear (for smartwatches) is designed to closely resemble Google Now and, basically, it functions the exact same way. In fact, voice searches are still done through the “OK Google” activation.

Who is making Android Wear devices? Here is what Google had to say about that:

“We’re also already working with several consumer electronics manufacturers, including Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung; chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm; and fashion brands like the Fossil Group to bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year.”

» Read the rest

Samsung plans on expanding Gear compatibility to outside devices at some point

by Justin Herrick on
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Want to buy a Samsung wearable but don’t own one of their smartphones? In the future, Samsung does actually plan on expanding Gear compatibility. In an interview with Android Planet, Luke Mansfield, leader of Samsung’s product innovation team in Europe, said that “I don’t know what the roadmap is for that, but I’m confident that that would be the case.” Samsung is clearly not turning away from the idea, which is a good sign. The reason for this is that the switch to Tizen-powered devices allows for more smartphones to be supported.

For those unaware, non-Samsung devices cannot be used with their wearables. Because of this, non-Samsung device owners have to turn to other wearables which can occasionally mean a less feature-packed experience. So what is the timetable for this expansion? Certainly not this year, that is for sure. If it is on Samsung’s “roadmap,” this could mean it is two or more years away.

Source: Android Planet
Via: SamMobile

Pebble App Challenge launches, will provide $5,000 to top developer

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Pebble’s standalone app store has officially launched, and the company is doing a lot to help developers begin producing useful apps for the up and coming smartwatch platform.

In fact, Pebble is starting its own “Pebble App Challenge,” which will award $5,000 to the first place app developer, and a Pebble Steel for each of the top 16 finalists.

The contest will accept submissions from today, March 10, until 5 p.m. PST on March 23. The public, developers and Pebble owners will be able to vote for their favorite apps between March 24 and March 27, with the top 16 moving onto the final rounds.

In April, Pebble users only will be able to vote for a different “app matchup” each day until one app, the winner, is left.

If you think you could do well in the competition, think about signing up at the link below.

Source: Pebble

ASUS shares a little more info on upcoming smart watch device

by Jeff Causey on
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Like so many tech companies, ASUS is scrambling to become a player in the “wearable device” market. According to previous reports, their first device to reach the market is shaping up to be a smartwatch that will be “feature packed.” In an interview over the weekend, chairman of the board Jonney Shih indicated the new device will likely be used to complement a smartphone as opposed to being a standalone device. He also hopes to incorporate “more natural user interfaces such as voice or movement controls.” » Read the rest

BLOCKS aiming to launch modular smartwatch by 2015

by Jared Peters on
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A new company called BLOCKS is looking to jump into the increasingly competitive smartwatch market to compete with offerings from Sony, Samsung, and eventually Google and Apple. Taking a cue from Google’s own Project Ara, BLOCKS wants to differentiate their smartwatch by making it completely modular and customizable.

The smartwatch is still in the prototype phase, but if everything goes well you’ll be able to change nearly everything about the device, from screen size to color to what apps come preinstalled. There’s also a plan for third parties to design modules specific to whatever needs they may have, which sounds like a fantastic selling point.

Unfortunately, we won’t see the BLOCKS smartwatch anytime soon, as the earliest they plan to have it released is mid-2015. Modular mobile devices are still pretty new, so there’s a ton of R&D that still needs to go into it, but we’re excited to see where this goes either way.

source: Techno Buffalo