Roughly a month ago, Google had announced its plans to provide more stand-alone capabilities for Android Wear watches. Last Thursday, the tech giant has released a software update that should make Android Wear watch less and less reliant to smartphones. Google made the announcement via the Official Android Blog, further stating that apps for Android Wear watches can now tap directly into a GPS radio that is fitted into a watch. On top of that, all Android Wear watches can now function as standalone music players.
As of now, there is only one Google Android Wear watch equipped with a GPS radio. That distinction goes to the Sony Smartwatch 3, which you can now pre-order from Verizon Wireless for $250. That means that for now, only those who purchase the Sony Smartwatch 3 can experience for themselves the advantages of having a wearable device that can tap directly into the GPS radios in their watches. And there quite some advantages -- they can have their apps track their location, their movement, and even determine how far they are relative to a fix coordinate like, say, the nearest Starbucks. This is really refreshing news because previously, Android Wear watches have been far too dependent upon smartphones, connecting to them in order to use the smartphone's GPS.
As mentioned earlier, this major update to Android Wear by Google also turns your wearable devices into music players. Android Wear watches have always had the capacity to store audio files, but now they can be played back directly using a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Of course, Android Wear watches still have the ability to play music via a connected smartphone, but with this latest major update, the phone is no longer a necessity. Which means can just leave their phones when they go out for a jog or a quick errand.
Google is quick to note that the Android Wear major update will also be pushed to other wearable devices in the foreseeable future. These include the Samsung Gear Live, the LG G Watch, and the Motorola Moto 360.
With Android Wear already getting its first major update, should users be more wary of apps specifically designed for wearable devices? Google wants to help in that department. As a matter of fact, the tech giant has established eight new categories in Google Play in order to assist users in browsing Android Wear apps more easily. These categories are Features, Health & Fitness, Travel + Local, Social, Tools, Communication, Productivity, and More Apps. Google further claims that there are already tens of thousands of apps enhanced specifically for Android Wear, all ripe for discovery by wearable device users. And there is even more to come in the next few weeks or months.
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