This week I had the oppotunity to use the new Android LG G Watch.
This new smartwatch uses run Android Wear as operating system. Android Wear acts as a card-based information center for apps on your phone. Most of the information comes from Google Now; we can think the G Watch as an external appendix of Google Now dashboard. In addition to surfacing notifications from other apps, the smartwatch includes a pedometer (integrated with Google’s newly announced “Fit” tracking service), a wrist controller for a few phone functions like music playback, text messaging and phone calls. Android Wear is entirely controlled by voice, taps and swipes.
Right now third party app support is pretty limited: I received notifications from Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp but that’s it. Only some apps, such as Runkeeper, have their own card with options to control or launch an activity. I’ve also noticed that marking as read a new notification doesn’t mean the notification appears read on the phone as well.
After a few day usage, I feel confident complaining about:
- Google Now: Google Now cards pop up on the smartwatch, the idea being that they appear precisely when you need them. In theory, this works well, but it presupposes your complete devotion to te whole google ecosystem. Even after the complete Google Now configuration showed cards weren’t really useful or consistent but seemed mostly randomized.
- Input method: to run some actions the only input method available is the voice control, consider yourself forced to set a timer saying “ok google remind me to buy bread in two hours” on a bus. Are you willing to?
Furthermore without an internet connection you won’t be able to use voice control on your smartwatch.
Battery: I’ve always placed the watch in its charging plug before going to bed each night even if the battery wasn’t completely gone. LG uses a flat magnetic proprietary charging cradle; you can’t simply plug a micro USB cable into these things for a recharge.
Smartwatches are still new, and like the newest technologies, they need to be fully develped yet.
All major tech brands have released their version, but all this devices are some kind incomplete and most of all they need to find a real usage in our daily life.