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Android Wear Is Here

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the come-in-dick-tracy dept.

Android 129

An anonymous reader writes with this breakdown and comparison of the first two Android Wear watches available today. The first two watches built on the Android Wear platform launch today. One is from LG, the G Watch, and the other is from its arch Korean peninsular rival, Samsung, the Gear Live. Should you buy one today? Maybe. It depends on how early you like to adopt. Let's take a quick trip through analysis lane. First, let's talk about Android Wear, because both watches run on the same platform, and both of them have more or less the same software. Android Wear really does two main things, it moves app notifications to the watch's face, and it puts Google Now's voice-powered search capabilities on your wrist. That's about it. But that's pretty powerful.

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Call me (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 months ago | (#47399459)

call me when a charge lasts a week or so. So long as I have to charge it every day I'l keep my solar powered radio synced watch which has told me the time for the last 5 years without having to touch it.

Re:Call me (1, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47399507)

LOL, it's not meant to be used to tell you the time.

It's for ... well, apparently it's for app notifications and Google search.

Now you too can look dorky talking into your watch.

There will be early adopters, there will be people who subsequently think "WTF did I buy this for again?", and there will probably be people who will tell their friends just how awesome it is.

Me, I'm firmly in the "Meh, whatever" camp. But, apparently I'm not nearly as wedded to my phone as everybody else.

Re:Call me (1, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47400105)

The smart watches I've seen are coming bundled with phones now as part of a gimmick to get people to pay more. "Get the blah blah blah plan and a smart watch is included!" but in the fine print the watch requires its own subscription and raises your rate by more than the watch is worth. They do the same thing with the "Free tablet!" nonsense. They tell you that you only have to sign up for this program that costs an extra $10 a month and you get a free tablet... what a deal! but $10/month times 24 month contract = $240 for a tablet that cost them less than $150. The data package they made you pay for to get it is complete nonsense and costs them nothing. It's pure profit.

I see people walking around with the watches at work and can only think "You're proudly displaying the fact that you got scammed"

Re:Call me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400175)

That's what's nice about the Wear. It uses the phone for data, rather than requiring an additional subscription.

Re:Call me (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47401377)

but in the fine print the watch requires its own subscription and raises your rate by more than the watch is worth.

Citation?

The watch doesn't have a cellular radio, like some tablets do. It can't consume data directly.

Re:Call me (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47401717)

but in the fine print the watch requires its own subscription and raises your rate by more than the watch is worth.

Citation?

The watch doesn't have a cellular radio, like some tablets do. It can't consume data directly.

It doesn't have a cellular radio and neither do that tablets.
The idea is, you wifi tether your table/watch to your phone.
But, to get the deal, you need a larger data package because the tablet/watch will cause you to consume more data.
Or at least, that's what they tell you. It clearly wont cause you to use more data, but they hit you with the deal at the checkout so you don't have time to really think about it.
It's usually proposed like:
*you go in to get a new phone and contract and are almost done with the purchase*
Salesman:"Oh, hey, do you want a free tablet? There's a deal going on right now..."
You:"Free you say? Hell yea!"
Salesman:"Ok, let me write that... it's not letting me apply it... oh, you only have the 1gig data plan. You need the 2gig plan to qualify. But that's only an extra $10"
You:"$10 for a tablet? I could sell that on craigslist even if I didn't need it! Sold!"
*you get your first bill*
-activation fee for the tablet even though there was nothing to "activate"
-that $10 is monthly, they weren't exactly clear on that
-you asked for insurance on the phone and they gave it to you for the tablet as well, doubling the cost of the insurance
*you start banging your head on your desk as you realize you just paid over $300 for a $150 tablet*

They've tried the same scam on me twice now. Luckly I work with salespeople all day long and know if the word "Free" leaves a salesmans lips I'm about to get scammed.

Re:Call me (0)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 3 months ago | (#47401999)

It doesn't have a cellular radio and neither do that tablets.

Tons of tablets have cellular radios. You have no idea what you're talking about.

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Touch-e-Reader-Touch-Screen-3G-Special-Offers/dp/B005890G8O
https://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/04/20iPad-Wi-Fi-3G-Models-Available-in-US-on-April-30.html
http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-devices/tablets/tablets/GT-P1000CWAXEU

Re:Call me (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#47400191)

But, apparently I'm not nearly as wedded to my phone as everybody else.

I'm so not wedded to my phone that I'm browsing slashdot from my typewriter. Can we have a tech-person-rejecting-tech pissing contest?

Personally, I only use a candlestick phone, lit buy the light of an oil lamp (using only the finest endangered whale oil). It's quite bulky to fit in my pocket to be honest but the main thing is that sometimes other people, dogs and etc trip over the lead when I'm using it in a mobile fashion.

It doesn't tell the time however. For that purpose, take around a grandfather clock in a wheelbarrow.

Re:Call me (1)

snookiex (1814614) | about 3 months ago | (#47400549)

it's not meant to be used to tell you the time

Then they shouldn't call them watches.

Re:Call me (1)

Niris (1443675) | about 3 months ago | (#47400585)

Why not? They're called 'watches', as in you 'watch' them. They're not called time pieces.

Re:Call me (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47400967)

why not? i go months at a time without using the "phone" in my "smartphone"

Re:Call me (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 months ago | (#47399685)

Why don't thy have wireless charging on these things? It wouldn't be so bad if I took off my watch, threw it on the dresser, and went to bed. Having to stop and fiddle with a charger for multiple devices is a bit of a no go IMO.

Re:Call me (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about 3 months ago | (#47399743)

I agree. It seems like such a trivial thing but when you consider that its primary feature is basically not having to pull your phone out of your pocket it needs to not introduce any hassle whatsoever to make it worth it.

Re:Call me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399991)

Check out the moto 360, it probably wasn't mentioned yet because it isn't out, but i think it will blow the g watch and the samsung watch out of the water, plus it has wireless charging, and actually looks nice.

Re:Call me (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399913)

Why don't thy have wireless charging on these things? It wouldn't be so bad if I took off my watch, threw it on the dresser, and went to bed.

Since once the real ones come out instead of these "We don't really know what to do, but we've got to release something" pretenders, one of the features will be sleep monitoring, so you wouldn't even want that. An always-on display is almost out of the question.

I think the best ones will look like an analog watch and forgo notification display.

Re:Call me (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 months ago | (#47401799)

Why don't thy have wireless charging on these things? It wouldn't be so bad if I took off my watch, threw it on the dresser, and went to bed. Having to stop and fiddle with a charger for multiple devices is a bit of a no go IMO.

Maybe because the wireless charger circuitry will make the watch larger and more unwieldy? Because free space on a wearable makes a smartphone's cramped interior look spacious?

Personally, I'd rather more battery than wireless charging. I'm not going to carry my wireless charging dock/pad around with me and I can't imagine that a 2nd one at the office would be cheap. The Moto 360 supposed has wireless charging, but it does seem a bit ... heftier than a Pebble or even the LG one.

Re:Call me (1)

Krojack (575051) | about 3 months ago | (#47399707)

I only need to change my Gear 2 every 4-5 days. I plug it in about 2 times a week while sitting at home on my computer doing work or playing games. It charges rather quick as well.

Re:Call me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400243)

Wow one of the 5 people who bought a Galaxy Gear and didn't immediately return it. Now that's quite an exclusive club!

Re:Call me (1)

msk (6205) | about 3 months ago | (#47399937)

Your response is mine as well. Bought my current Casio in 2009 and it's going strong.

Re:Call me (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47400169)

Me to.
I ware a:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

which is super dorky looking and leads people to ask me about it. So I link them to:
http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

Yes, you can go to prison, without trial, for over 10 years, for possessing a $4 watch. It's important people know that.

Re:Call me (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47400995)

Yes, you can go to prison, without trial, for over 10 years, for possessing a $4 watch

was that the SOLE reason? or just a contributing factor?? did you know that ALL men and women in prison breathe air??

Re:Call me (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47401925)

Yes, you can go to prison, without trial, for over 10 years, for possessing a $4 watch

was that the SOLE reason? or just a contributing factor?? did you know that ALL men and women in prison breathe air??

The circumstances of their original detention are often a mystery. Many of the Guantanamo detainees were captured by locals and literally sold to the US Military. In many cases they have testimony of the group that captured these guys, but many question if it was more of a local dispute and one sect was trying to get another detained... etc... So your question is hard to answer in that way.

In 16 cases however, the only still existing physical evidence against those detainees is the watch that was found on them when they were captured. So is it the only evidence against them? Not really... there's questionable eye witness testimony from people that could likely never be found again if they're even still alive that was relayed to random military personnel in the middle of a war zone. But in the case of all Guantanamo detainees, the burden of proof is on the prisoner. They are required to prove they are not terrorists. They've no access to lawyers, research, the internet, newspapers and often the evidence against them is "Classified" so they're not even allowed to view that.

Detainee 154, Mazin Salih Musaid Al Awfi: Millions and millions of people have these types of Casio watches. If that is a crime, why doesn’t the United States arrest and sentence all the shops and people who own them? This is not a logical or reasonable piece of evidence.

Detainee 298, Salih Uyar: If it is a crime to carry this watch, your own military personnel also carry this watch. Does this mean they’re just terrorists as well?

Detainee 651, Usama Hassan Ahmend Abu Kabir: I have a Casio watch due to the fact that they are inexpensive and they last a long time. I like my watch because it is durable. It had a calculator and was waterproof, and before prayers we have to wash up all the way to my elbows.

What's worse is, you don't even need to have a watch:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K... [wikipedia.org]

They accidentally captured a German car salesman. Flew him out of the country, tortured him for months. Realized he was the wrong guy, but kept him anyway. The only reason he's still alive is because Condoleezza Rice accidentally found out about him and immediately ordered his release. You don't even need to have a scary looking watch. Simply being detained, and knowing how the process works is a threat to national security, so if they capture you by mistake, they'll hold you forever so you can't reveal what happened.

Re:Call me (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 3 months ago | (#47401381)

call me when a charge lasts a week or so.

I can't speak for those two watches. However, I've found on my Pebble that if I use a fuzzy-time watchface (the display right now reads "almost one", and doesn't need to change except about every 4 minutes or so), I only lose about 10% charge a day. That means, yes I only need to charge it once a week. In fact, it could be a week and a half, but I'm not the kind of guy who likes to live dangerously.

So they post notifications to your hand... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399461)

...instead of you reading them when you feel like, and they need ot be recharged every day. For $200. WOW!

Watches? (2)

Justpin (2974855) | about 3 months ago | (#47399489)

I don't think this will pick up tbh, there is a little social experiment you can perform, in a crowd ask people who are wearing watches to put their hands up, you'll find its mostly the older people who wear watches. I haven't worn a watch (34) since I was 23.

Re:Watches? (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 3 months ago | (#47399601)

And of those who wear watches, 90% of them will probably be wearing them as jewelry. The time keeping functionality is secondary. Even among the younger people I know who wear them, it's mostly just a fashion accessory.

Re:Watches? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 3 months ago | (#47399793)

And all the ostensible features of the watch that are worth something beyond geek chick are at the full whimsy of Google. Will they support this five years down the road?

Most people use their smartphones for watches these days, and the rest is usually for glitz or weaponry. Those values-- glitz and weaponry-- aren't dependent on vendor services from a vendor that tosses them away seemingly at will. Not gonna view a map on my wristwatch, so that's out. No phone calls. Movies are impossible. Browsing would be a joke, and a built-in camera would be pretty silly.

Dick Tracy aside, I can see some cultures adopting such a thing, but the prices are huge for such frivolity.

Re:Watches? (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | about 3 months ago | (#47400237)

I agree, as that was almost certainly me up until about a year ago. I wore a watch most of my adult life, and it became really useful when I became a pilot as time is absolutely key when you fly. So I had a nice watch that was functional in the cockpit and a nice piece of jewelry. However, as smart phones got more common and got more dependable, that went away. I started using my phone for time more than my watch because quite frankly I had a pretty good idea that my phone was accurate. While my watch also was always accurate, I traveled enough between time zones that resetting my watch became a chore... having the phone do it for me was golden.

Now, six months ago I got a Pebble. I hadn't worn a watch on a daily basis in years... but I got it because a good friend was clearing out some of the toys he had (he's a classic early adopter... buys stuff, barely uses it and then stores it... but was cleaning out his closet). As a result, I got it a good chunk below retail as a toy. And you know what? The surprising thing to me now is I use it. Daily. I wear it every day and use it a lot. The notifications are really nice, and it's really nice not to have to pull my phone out of my pocket. Particularly when I'm sitting down... the watch is just there. Oh, and the time's always right because it's set from my phone. And the face? Well, it can be whatever I want it to be... I can have it cluttered and techy one minute (my default 'cos I'm a geek) and the next I can push a button and have a clean, easy to read face. No muss, no fuss.

Plus, I just LOVE the "flick the wrist to turn the light on" function. It means I can check the time in the dark even if I only have my watch-hand free.

Having said all this, not really interested in either of these new contenders. The Pebble does everything I need it to and then some... the display is easily readable in every condition I've had it in and doesn't ever appear washed out. And I charge it maybe weekly... the battery life is really good on this. Yes, it does suck a little bit having to charge my watch at all, but it's not really any great chore. I just schedule to charge it on Mondays at work along with my FitBit :)

Re:Watches? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47401281)

Plus, I just LOVE the "flick the wrist to turn the light on" function. It means I can check the time in the dark even if I only have my watch-hand free.

Hmmm ... define 'flick'?

My Casio solar powered watch, when I hold my forearm horizontally and turn the wrist to where I'd be able to read it ... it turns on the light.

If I hold my wrist in any other position, the light doesn't come on.

It is a damned handy feature. Just look at your watch.

Re:Watches? (1)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 3 months ago | (#47401603)

It strikes me along the same lines as new TV set offerings. TV manufacturers are trying everything to get that next big hardware push like they had when people were converting to HD flat screens. They've tried 3D, Some of them are trying curved screens, and 4K is the next thing they'll try.

This strikes me as a similar last ditch effort to get their ecosystem out to more people and grab up a new segment of hardware. We went from Laptops to Smartphones first, then tablets, and now they're going to try wearables.

I think what we will find is that the consumer is not a bottomless well that will continue to buy into new hardware markets. Sure, some of them will, but the market penetration will get smaller and smaller as more odd-ball form factors are tried. It's probably a big enough market to have a couple products sell in okay numbers, but I think manufacturers will quickly realize that this market is not as big as they hoped and it will then stagnate as far as hardware improvements go.

Longer sentences. Will not hurt. You. (4, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 3 months ago | (#47399491)

>> Maybe. It depends on how early you like to adopt. That's about it. But that's pretty powerful.

Your writing style. Is the suck.

Re:Longer sentences. Will not hurt. You. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399735)

He's just ahead of you on the learning curve.

"For example, both SMS and email will let you send a reply right from your wrist. (And this is true of both Gmail and the Android Gmail client.) Admittedly, these work best in short bursts. 'Yes.' 'No.' 'Thanks.' 'I got it.'"

He's seen the future. It's short.

Recent graduate. (3, Funny)

drainbramage (588291) | about 3 months ago | (#47400003)

From the Kirk. School. Of writing.

Why the Displays? (5, Insightful)

NoZart (961808) | about 3 months ago | (#47399511)

Why the hell are they so fixated on using Displays? Give it an e-paper face and be done with it - you get "always on" and better battery live. And even monochrome displays can be made to look beautiful

Re:Why the Displays? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 3 months ago | (#47399919)

Not to mention you'll be able to tell the time when you're outside with eInk...

My dream smartphone has an eInk display too, but alas, that's not the way things are going right now...

Re:Why the Displays? (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 3 months ago | (#47400199)

Because the pretentious twat reviewer types will savagely treat any monochrome product. Moreover the trendy hipster crowd would never use anything not in full color. It would be a sales disaster. Practical? Who the hell ever got invited to parties for being practical?

Re:Why the Displays? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400555)

i am waiting for a mechanical automatic version.... or perhaps a steamworks version

Re:Why the Displays? (1)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 3 months ago | (#47400727)

Sadly, that last sentence defines a huge part of our social interactions.

Re:Why the Displays? (1)

dannydawg5 (910769) | about 3 months ago | (#47400831)

Does E-ink support touch?

If not, that's the only reason I can think of e-ink not being used. I assume essentially all android apps require touch support.

Fire TV has a mechanism to simulate touch with its remote. Something like that could be used, but it was pretty awkward the few times I used it.

Re:Why the Displays? (1)

nogginthenog (582552) | about 3 months ago | (#47401513)

Newer Kindles are touch.

In a watch, batteries should last a year or more (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47399521)

IMO, of course.

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | about 3 months ago | (#47400139)

I remember people said the same about smartphones. Waah, the battery only lasts a day, I'll never use one of those. Somehow smartphones still took over the world. People do go to sleep every night - a nice cordless charging stand seems like a relatively small issue if the devices are genuinely useful.

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 3 months ago | (#47400257)

But the smartphone allowed people to do things they couldn't already do. The smartwatch allows them to.... not take their smartphone out of their pocket. That's it, its a subset of all the functionality of their phone, and it doesn't do most of them that well. There's nothing compelling about them.

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 3 months ago | (#47400513)

Not everyone takes their watch off at night. I don't. It comes off my wrist for what is probably about 30 to 40 minutes or so cumulatively a week, which is about how much time I spend in the shower.

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about 3 months ago | (#47401703)

Leaving aside the part of my brain that is trying to figure out whether you consider only a few showers a week acceptable or are just really fast about them, I've never understood the point of non-waterproof watches. The extra cost is trivial these days, and you don't have to worry about them in the rain, or the shower, or washing your hands, or swimming, or cooking, or... you get the idea. Granted, not everybody needs a watch good to 50m - I'm a SCUBA diver, but I have a dive computer so the watch is somewhat superfluous while diving - but you can get ones good for 10m (33' or so, about one extra atmosphere of pressure) easily enough. The last time I had a watch I had to take off when bathing I was... 8?

I do still have to take the thing off at the damn TSA checkpoints, but that's the only times I have taken it off for years now. I think the battery is about eight years old?

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 months ago | (#47401855)

Leaving aside the part of my brain that is trying to figure out whether you consider only a few showers a week acceptable or are just really fast about them

If you're male and have the expected short hair, showers shouldn't take more than 5 min each (x7 = 35m), perhaps another 5 if you shave in the shower. Or are you from the Lester Burnham [1] school of showering? Regardless, still shouldn't take more than 1-2 min more.

[1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt01... [imdb.com]

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47400489)

You only can achieve year-long battery lifes with devices that just show time and don't do much else. It would be utterly impossible with an Android smartwatch like this, unless great advancements happen in technology. But indeed the current 1 day-battery life of that thing is kind of crusty. Even the manually-winded mechanical watches have more runtime. And to think about how the battery life drops even more over time as the battery ages (although modern Li-Pol batteries are increasingly better in this regard).

With rigorous innovating and careful engineering we could push the battery life from the current 1 day to 2 weeks.

Re:In a watch, batteries should last a year or mor (1)

Quantum gravity (2576857) | about 3 months ago | (#47402051)

Normal replacable batteries in a watch? I was under the impression that automatic quartz watches ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org] ) had taken over the market. Of cause they do have rechable batteries or a capacitor, you just don't replace it.

How do they handle water? (3, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#47399529)

Are these water-resistant? I wash my hands a lot and would hate to throw $200 away on a watch that's going to die a quick death when exposed to a little water.

Re:How do they handle water? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#47399581)

And, just as important, how rugged is it?

A normal watch is going to get bashed around, bumped into things, and generally get itself some abuse. The crystal is going to take daily abuse, and the strap needs to be pretty solid.

And I'm suddenly imagining someone with a busted screen on their expensive toy. And I suspect tech companies making a watch will not really be focused on the things which makes a watch serviceable in the first place.

Re:How do they handle water? (3, Informative)

jojoba_oil (1071932) | about 3 months ago | (#47399871)

They are both advertised as IP67 dust- and water-resistant.

Google's marketing claims they're even safe to wear while showering:
https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]
https://play.google.com/store/... [google.com]

Not sure I'd do that if I got one...

Re:How do they handle water? (1)

snookiex (1814614) | about 3 months ago | (#47400387)

For some reason I read "IPv6-resistant".

Re:How do they handle water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400551)

I got one at I/O (the Samsung) and figured I'd try it for shits and giggles. Seems to be fine.

Re: How do they handle water? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47401853)

waterproofness in such devices are a gimmick, like it is on the z series of sony smartphones, not a guarantee, like it is with casio wristwatches, for example

Moto 360 (4, Insightful)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 3 months ago | (#47399567)

Being square was like so 60's. I want round watches which don't resemble 80's Timex wrist calculators.

Re:Moto 360 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399979)

check the moto 360

Here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399655)

Wear?

Where? (1)

rexbinary (902403) | about 3 months ago | (#47399697)

Here. Android is where? Here! Where's here? Exactly!

Same old discussion (5, Funny)

gauauu (649169) | about 3 months ago | (#47399701)

Here we go again. Let's just skip ahead to the arguments made every time there's a story about smart watches. Please note that the exclamation point at the end of each argument is the indicator that THIS argument is right, and everyone else is a moron.

1. Nobody wears watches anymore, they are just jewelry!
  1a. These are too cheap and ugly to count as jewelry. I only wear a $180000 dollar watch to show off how awesome I am!
  1b. I wear a watch, because I hate pulling my cell phone out of my pocket!

2. These are dumb, the charge doesn't last long enough to be useful.
  2a. My $5 watch from 1993 never needs to be charged!
  2b. My $180000 watch doesn't have a battery, it is wound by a servant that comes into my room every night to care for the watch!

3. They aren't rugged/waterproof enough!
  3a. Neither is your $1800000 jewelry watch!
  3b. I don't care what happens to my $5 watch, but it keeps on working, what about these?
  3c. I regularly go scuba diving, parachuting, race car driving, and enjoying fine wine on my yacht. That's when I'm not busy having great sex twice a day. This watch won't work for me!

4. I don't want to be MORE plugged in! What happened to just getting away from all your notifications and enjoying life?

Ok, now that we've gotten those out of the way, is there any NEW discussion about these things, or should we just move on?

Re:Same old discussion (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about 3 months ago | (#47399741)

Well there goes everything I wanted to talk about. Thanks for hogging the forum and ruining my Monday useless internet conversation.

Re:Same old discussion (1)

l3v1 (787564) | about 3 months ago | (#47399849)

Hehh :) while I agree, I can't easily place my version in the list, so here it goes: I'd like it to not be bigger than a regular watch, to have looks closer to some jewelry than some nerdy toy thingy (i.e., no plastic, not rectangular), to be waterproof (at least to the extent as regular waterproof watches are), and the battery to last at least 24 hours straight (normally don't need that much, but I'm also thinking about long flights, e.g. LHR-SIN-SYD).

I don't even care if it's just a 'dumb' watch relaying every and each function and command to the phone and displaying notifications, don't need it to be any smarter than that, but until the above properties are met, I couldn't care less.

Re:Same old discussion (1)

gauauu (649169) | about 3 months ago | (#47399881)

Ah, your post reminds me that I forgot an argument:

5. The pebble already does this!

I'd like it to not be bigger than a regular watch, to have looks closer to some jewelry than some nerdy toy thingy (i.e., no plastic, not rectangular), to be waterproof (at least to the extent as regular waterproof watches are), and the battery to last at least 24 hours straight

Ok, the pebble fails at your couple requirements (while it's not much bigger overall than a regular watch, the rectangular corners and whatnot make it more cumbersome. It always get caught in my long sleeves. And it's cheesy-looking), it is waterproof and the battery lasts almost a week.

Re:Same old discussion (1)

adriccom (44869) | about 3 months ago | (#47400207)

Pebble Steel might meet your requirements. It's still a bit squarish but most people seem to think it looks nice enough.

https://getpebble.com/steel [getpebble.com]

-adric (still wearing my plastic KS pebble, thanks)

Re:Same old discussion (2)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | about 3 months ago | (#47400189)

My fundamental objection to these devices is that there isn't enough of a UI change to fit the form factor they're on.

One of the reasons Windows Mobile was kinda lousy was because they tried to shrink a desktop OS down onto a phone (and now they're making the same weird mistake by scaling a mobile OS up to the desktop). Fundamentally, these are different things, so they need different ways to interact.

These watches seem similar. A mobile OS that's been massaged a bit, but realistically makes more sense on your phone than on your wrist. Watches were (are) great for the amount of information they deliver in the time they deliver it. That is, a small snippet of info, delivered incredibly quickly. Your interaction with it is minimal. For a few things, like meeting notifications, maybe these smart watches make sense. But for emails or texts, they fall down a bit in my mind because you need more information than is readily absorbed at a glance.

One of my other problems with them is that except for notifications, they don't really make you any faster. Assume that you get an email, and your watch lets you know. From the demo slides I've seen, the watches let you see some information, delete the email, open the email on your phone, or start composing a reply--also on your phone.

For the last two operations, you have to pull the phone out anyway; I'm not sure what you get by starting to open them while you're still staring at your wrist. Deleting the email from your watch is potentially useful, but that's a bit of a stretch; I don't think I've ever seen an email that it's urgent to delete.

So, yeah. The problem isn't with any of the things you mentioned, the problem is that I think we're still trying to figure out exactly what the watch could possibly be used for, and basing the operation on the operation of a completely different device with a wholly different interaction model and parameters.

Re:Same old discussion (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47401887)

Why do people need to be notified that some status changed on their phone? Seriously I do not even see the need to pull the phone out of your pocket unless it is ringing. Are these watches essentially for Type-A personalities who feel they are so important that they must know whenever they get email?

Google play services required (1, Informative)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 3 months ago | (#47399713)

Google play required to use android wear. No chance in hell.

Re:Google play services required (0)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47399813)

You would want it to not be able to install applications from the best app store? That's a little odd. What's the story behind that?

Re:Google play services required (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 3 months ago | (#47400311)

If you want to run a custom rom for any reason (for example, privacy and securtiy) you can't run google play services.

Custom ROM? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 3 months ago | (#47400579)

WTF are you smoking? I've used phones with Cyanogenmod and custom ROM's etc for years and have no problems at all with the Play store.

Re:Custom ROM? (0)

AuMatar (183847) | about 3 months ago | (#47400767)

Not the Play Store, Google Play Services. Totally different things. Google Play Services is a bunch of functionality like maps, geofencing, fusion location detector, activity detection, etc that they only license for a fee to OEMs that agree to a large list of terms they have to agree on. Google Play Services is basically the carrot they use to force OEMs to play by their rules.

Re:Custom ROM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47401039)

I've used Cyanogenmod across about 4 different phones over the last 3 years and can say with 100% certainty that Google Play Services runs just fine on custom ROMs. I have one of the watches from I/O and it's working great with CM11 on my LG G2.

Re:Custom ROM? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 3 months ago | (#47401173)

Maps and navigation work fine for me. I haven't used the others, or at least I don't think I have (what's a fusion location detector?)

The only things I have had issues with are certain applications with DRM that don't like rooted devices, but that's not a Play issue.

Re:Custom ROM? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47401255)

yes, but it still runs just fine if inserted into a custom rom, it cant be shipped with it, but it does have all the functionality if added in after the rom is flashed. Its not something the avg user will do but i get all that without any issues running cyanogenmod after using the gutils.zip file

Re:Google play services required (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400771)

Really? Because I sure seem to have Google Play Services and all the associated apps that require it (hangouts, plus, gmail, now) on my custom ROM T989.

Re:Google play services required (1)

ne0n (884282) | about 3 months ago | (#47401871)

Install apps from f-droid or via saved apk. I regularly backup all my Play apps on a sacrificial phone (no privacy, never gets used) for use on EDC devices that do not have Play installed. It's a win-win: privacy while having the ability to purchase apps as needed, like Swiftkey/Minuum/Fleksy (no dodgy warez thx) and Lucky Patcher takes care of the shitty "licensing" garbage. If/when you become ready to unplug from the matrix there are red pills everywhere.

Dick Tracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47399783)

I don't know, I always thought that Dick Tracy looked kind of ridiculous talking to his watch.

Re:Dick Tracy? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 months ago | (#47400577)

So did people riding bicycles, at first. So did people talking to a phone. So did people talking to a hands-free (LOL a guy talking to himself). But they were fine after people got familiar with the concept.

No health tracking? (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47399803)

Why would anyone want to strap a watch to their wrist if it's not picking up heart rate, body temp, movement, etc... If it just has Android functionality, I already have a HTC One M8 that can do everything it does and more. I'll stick with my Basis smart watch until I can get the health tracking and the Android functionality in the same package.

Re:No health tracking? (1, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47399931)

Why would anyone want to strap a watch to their wrist if it's not picking up heart rate, body temp, movement, etc...

Because some people think digging in their pocket to find a phone just to tell them the time is stupid.

That's my reasoning, anyway. Can't speak for anyone else, nor would I care to.

Re:No health tracking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400117)

Because some people think digging in their pocket to find a phone just to tell them the time is stupid.

That's my reasoning, anyway. Can't speak for anyone else, nor would I care to.

How much shit do you have in your pockets? My phone in one pocket and wallet&keys in the other. Not exactly spelunking for treasure...

Re:No health tracking? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47401693)

It's pretty easy to find my phone in my pocket, and the phone is only pocketed when on foot. Maybe you're thinking of a large purse rather than a pocket.

Re:No health tracking? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#47402113)

It's pretty easy to find my phone in my pocket, and the phone is only pocketed when on foot. Maybe you're thinking of a large purse rather than a pocket.

I never said anything about difficulty. I said that some people find the practice of digging about in a pocket for a timepiece, when they could more easily keep one strapped to a wrist, to be stupid.

Which is an absolute fact (that some people feel that way, not that it's necessarily a stupid action).

My question is, why does it matter to you the reasons other people do things you don't? Don't try to say it doesn't, as it's plainly obvious you care at least enough to make a remark about it, then respond to someone who replied to your remark.

Re:No health tracking? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#47400131)

Why would anyone want to strap a watch to their wrist if it's not picking up heart rate, body temp, movement, etc...

I dunno? To tell the time?

I can't seem any situations where I'd care about heard rate, body temp and etc enough to wear a monitor. I quite like my decent looking, solar charging, automatically set watch for everyday stuff and a cheap sports watch for sport things.

The thing is there's about 7 billion people in the world and many of them own watches (even if only a Casio F-91W). I'm guessing there's niches for all sorts of different watches with all sorts of different weird and wonderful features.

The idea that it's unimaginable to wear a watch without a heartrate monitor is quite entertaining though.

Re:No health tracking? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#47401685)

>The idea that it's unimaginable to wear a watch without a heartrate monitor is quite entertaining though.

Of course it's not unimaginable, but a smart watch should do more than the phone that it's paired with. The conversation has nothing to do with dumb watches. Glad your confusion entertained you though.

Re:No health tracking? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 3 months ago | (#47401793)

Of course it's not unimaginable, but a smart watch should do more than the phone that it's paired with.

You mean apart from being smaller and wearable, rather than pocked carried? If so, why should it?

I really don't see the use case for a smart watch that monitors heart rate and body temperature the entire time you're wearing it.

Re:No health tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47401797)

The "Conversation" was you saying "Why would anyone want to strap a watch to their wrist if it's not picking up heart rate, body temp, movement, etc...". No direct mention of smart watches, you said "a watch".

Yes the article is about smart watches. I've been around /. enough to know that most of the comments are only loosely based on the article. Your words are important, choose them better.

It seems pretty clear from your other comments that you only really care about your situation. You have no real ability to put yourself in other people's shoes. You are also a bit of a jerk off.

Re:No health tracking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400565)

The Samsung does pick up heart rate, movement, etc.... (just not body temp, but I'm sure that'll be in someday)

Re:No health tracking? (1)

Shados (741919) | about 3 months ago | (#47402231)

The Samsung one already does that. I dunno if it has has many features, but it has the heart rate monitor and movement meter at least.

Future ones will most likely have all the bells and whistles. These are just early adopter models. They're mainly sold on the play store...hardly mass market.

Instead of buying a phone every three years... (1)

darylb (10898) | about 3 months ago | (#47399853)

you can now buy a watch every one to two years.

C'mon. There are three broad categories of watch people these days:
1. The "I have a phone, so why do I need a watch?" category. Most people under 30 are here.
2. The "My watch is the measure of my style." category. They either view watches as cheap and disposable (watch as fashion statement), or expensive and long-lasting (watch as jewelry or mark of status). Who among these will buy a $100-$200 device that will be obsolete every couple of years?
3. The "My watch tells me the time without fuss and hassle" category. These people buy watches that last, but don't really want to think much about it. It needs to tell time, and perhaps have an alarm. They don't want to charge it every day. (I'm in this category. My Casio G-shock cost $40 5 years ago. I've changed its battery once. Otherwise, it requires no maintenance.)

I don't know which of these people these Android watches appeal to. What possible advantage does a tiny display on an expensive item offer that really beats out what your basic smartphone can do, and which is still required in the equation?

meh. (-1, Troll)

JustNiz (692889) | about 3 months ago | (#47399921)

I'm completely uninspired by these bland boring android watches. There's no way I'd want one of these on my wrist. I mean for starters... plastic watch straps... really? what a retarded decision. Has no one at these companies ever actually tried wearing one of these for any length of time? especially in a hot climate?

The writing has been on the wall for years. Apple has shown over and over that people want and care about good design and quality materials, and will even pay through the nose for them. Evidently for many people, style is even more important than actual functionality in a buying decision, yet LG and especially Samsung are still releasing products (both phones and now watches) that look like cheap plastic wal-mart crap that cost at most 20 cents to make (not least because they saved on the cost of hiring a designer), but still the actual price makes it a non-trivial purchase. You get the worst of both worlds.

LG and especially Samsung should finally get a clue and take quality materials and good, interesting design as seriously as Apple (or better yet one-up them).

Re:meh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47400079)

* This post bought to you by the Apple Marketing Team

Meh... I'll wait (1)

chill (34294) | about 3 months ago | (#47399993)

I'll wait for this.

Bah! Humbug, last time I used google voice... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about 3 months ago | (#47400299)

...I tried to get some useful tip on how to grow corn at home.

It came up with - how to GET PORN at home.

well... (1)

sirber (891722) | about 3 months ago | (#47400523)

wear is it?

Trying to force a market (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 3 months ago | (#47401331)

The tech industry has been flirting with smart watches and the like for years now, despite nearly all of the market research showing that people generally aren't excited about it. At all. The whole reason people stopped wearing actual watches was because they started carrying phones with them, rendering the watch redundant. I think the industry knows it's bleeding itself dry with smartphones since they can't keep making them bigger (which is largely how they have kept prices up), and tablets have proven to be too limited in scope to necessitate frequent upgrades (my 10" android from 3 years ago still does what I bought it to do). I just don't see this market blossoming at all, but I guess all the manufacturers are afraid of missing the boat on the Next Big Thing so they're pouring money into wearables anyway. Which means we'll probably have to deal with 3 to 5 years of crappy or niche devices being hyped up by paid reviewers and pro sponsors, until a bean counter somewhere says enough is enough.

Re:Trying to force a market (1)

Shados (741919) | about 3 months ago | (#47402081)

When I was walking around with my Palm PDA, and later on, my Windows Mobile one, people were telling me the same thing.

Then Apple came in, made very very incremental improvement (remember, at the time the iPhone wasn't that special, no app store and all... it had a better touch screen tech that everyone was starting to use around the same time, a better scrolling paradigm, a decent browser and the biggest thing, came with unlimited data plan, which has nothing to do with the device itself). The market was taken by storm.

Maybe these watches are not cutting it. These particular ones definitely won't, they're prototypes more than anything (the Moto 360 and future models, as well as the iWatch, probably will be much better), but its just a matter of time before someone gets it right.

The line between everyday accessories and high tech gadgets is blurring. Soon there won't be a line at all.

Charge it every day (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 3 months ago | (#47401393)

Charge it every day == no.

Looking forward to it! (1)

um.yup. (2892409) | about 3 months ago | (#47401977)

Cool, a new platform!
And, as with previous platforms I'm sure they'll focus on security, privacy, stability, usability as well as allowing the user to easily have control over their own system.
Whoops, sorry, just noticed the OS in the title was "Android." Never mind.

Who wears watches, anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47402213)

No one needs a watch any more because cellphones have built-in clocks. People may wear them as status symbols (Patek Philippe or something), but no one needs a watch.

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