When Android Wear was released back in March 2014, there was a lot of excitement from the public that this new market that Google was making would be similar to that of the iPad that Apple made. Incorporating tech to wear all the time was something that had only been done before as a basic fitness tracker, mainly from the likes of Fitbit.
However, we are over three years on from the launch and it seems that Apple has dominated the market with their Apple Watch, with the market size now consistently the same in size. This has caused the iterations of smartwatches to slow down a bit, to the point that even some manufacturers have stopped producing them at all, like Sony has done with the Smartwatch 3. Be this as this may, smartwatches running Android Wear are still great devices. Here are the main pros and cons to Android Wear smartwatches.
- Saves battery on your smartphone. You will be surprised the amount of times, every day, people will glance at their smartphones to see recent notifications and to procrastinate. On average, it is hundreds of times. If you add up all of these times you glance at a smartphone, it is a lot of battery life draining for your phone. Android smartwatches prevent this by showing notifications at a glance on your wrist, so you should expect better battery life from your smartphone.
- Generally useful. Above all, Android smartwatches are really good at displaying notifications, especially with the recent release of Android 2.0. For example not every single notification that appears from your smartphone immediately means you should address and look at it. With Android smartwatches, you can swipe away those notifications that have little meaning or use and concentrate on the notifications that mean something.
- No standalone support. Unlike the newest iteration of the Apple Watch, Android smartwatches don’t yet have support to have all the functionality that they have when coupled with a smartwatch when not coupled with a smartwatch. This is because of hardware limitations where Android smartwatches have not got 3G/4G/LTE support.
- Notifications style. On the whole, when Google updates software, they usually make it better. However, when Google released Android Wear 2.0, it was a surprisingly step back from 1.0. Notification are no longer cards, in the style of Google Now cards. Instead, they fill the whole watch face with a grey background and central styling. The general feedback that the public have give on this update has not been good. Like the old saying goes, ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’.
Ultimately, if you have an Android smartwatch, it is probably worth investing in an Android Wear watch. However, how useful you will find it will depend on your lifestyle. Some people will absolutely find a smartwatch a necessity whereas others may get frustrated with it and not like the styling of it as a fashion piece.