Sunday, 3 May 2015

Android Wear - is it worth it?

With the release of the Apple watch it is claimed that this watch has 3000+ apps which can work on it now, so how does Android wear compare?

Android Wear

Android wear is the operating system for android smartwatches. It is a pared down version of the full Android system and allows apps to use the watch.  The Smartwatch itself allows the apps to show notifications as well as start and stop apps on your Android phone.

Android Wear is tied to the Android system currently, as the AppleWatch is tied to the Apple iPhone 6 currently.

Android wear does have a few apps of its own as well as some basic games, most notable of which is a space invaders game as well as some bespoke fitness apps including my favourite app FitCloud which is a great app for cyclists and runners as it keeps a track of your whereabouts through GPS and can log the whole event with details such as Start and finish times, Average speed, Max Speed, Average Pace, Max Pace,Distance,Duration, Average Moving Speed, Average Moving Pace, Min/Max Altitude, Loss.Gain, Min/Max Gradient, Average Heart Rate and Max Heart Rate, Average Cadence and Track Points.

The key to Android Wear is using the built in devices in the Android Smartwatch such as the heart rate monitor and also using apps on your smart phone such as the  GPS app to bring hear rate and location data together.

Is there any difference between Android Wear Smartwatches and Apple watches?

Yes, There are relatively few apps on the Android Wear Play store.  Most of the store is full of watch faces, which are fun to have but do not enhance the functionality of the Smartwatch itself.

That said, I prefer the Android Smartwatch customisation ability as well as the ability to make your own custom watch faces with apps such as Facer. I am waiting for the new Android 5.1 update for the watch to come through and will write more on it then.