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Yesterday there was a big rumor about today’s official announcement for the Lollipop update in Android Wear and now things are going as per the schedule. Google has now officially announced the Android Wear Lollipop update and to our surprise, the good thing is that the company has announced an official Watch Face API too. All the features that were rumored yesterday are now included like the organized shortcut menu showing up most of your actions, dismissed card, quick sound/brightness modes that includes Theatre and Sunlight mode and some new options for viewing storage and battery info easily.

Some unexpected changes include a swipe-down gesture from the home screen. Earlier a bit of swiping down would show the date and battery info and a full swipe would result in muting your watch. Now this new swipe-down gesture shows up a quick settings menu to view in notifications and change few brightness settings. Muting notifications has now become easier from certain apps on the watch only instead of doing it from the Android Wear app on smartphones. Needless to say, the biggest update is the inclusion of the Android Wear Watch Face API. Your phone’s Android Wear app is updated making it easy to browse, swap the watch face and even download stuff. At the existing moment, there are a lot many watch faces all over the Play Store which needs to be updated to have compatibility with the official API. However, Google has warned developers to have patience before updating their watch faces until the Android 5.0 update gets completed or else the watch faces would become invisible.

The new API feature will help developers to pull background service data like calendar events and watch faces. An inclusion of universal settings options to change between 12 and 24 hours clock displays is also done. Moreover, developers would be able to put customizable watch faces in a single package and even make use of OpenGL graphics. The update is likey to arrive in the coming week and Google also has partnered for some special watch faces (images below) for options from Porsche, Plants vs Zombies, Hugh Turvey, Despicable Me, Pac-Man and others.

Android Wear Watch Face 1Android Wear Watch Face 2 Android Wear Watch Face 3 Android Wear Watch Face 4 Android Wear Watch Face 5 Android Wear Watch Face 6 Android Wear Watch Face 7 Android Wear Watch Face 8 Android Wear Watch Face 9 Android Wear Watch Face 10 Android Wear Watch Face 11 Android Wear Watch Face 12 Android Wear Watch Face 13 Android Wear Watch Face 14

source: Google Blog

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Just after the release of the Pebble App Store for Android, the makers of the smartwatch have gone open encouraging various developers across the globe and putting a price of $5000 for the best app voted. The company has released a new Pebble App Challenge which aims to get the best app on the smartwatch dais. The company has kept a price of whopping $5000 for the winner of the contest and its next 16 finalists will get Pebble Steel smartwatch as consolation prize. Well, one thing is sure that users of the Pebble Smartwatch are going to get a best app on their Pebble. The contest has begun just yesterday and will last till 23rd March (5PM PST).

pebblechallenge

The judge for the best app are users themselves and the winner will be decided on user voting. After 23rd March users will vote for the best 16 apps for next four days from 24th-27th. From April’s first week comparison between duels will take place where the better app proceeds ahead in the competition and the weaker one gets eliminated. In this way the app that remains undisputed till the last will be declared as the winner. Get more details moving to the official website here.

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Pebble recently announced its Pebble 2.0 and its App Store for Android along with many more apps that go hand-in-gloves with this software release. Few days back we saw that the Pebble 2.0 was in beta stage of its development and now users will be able to get it updated from Google Play. Now users will be able to download new watches faces and apps to get their Pebble customized. Some of the new partner apps like Time Warner Cable, eBay and Evernote have also been launched.

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The Evernote app facilitates users for checklists, reminders and notebooks. However, with the Time Warner, you will be able to control the thermostat and other features. The eBay allows users to add few products to their watch lists which can be later viewed on the smartphone.

evernote-pebble 140308.TWC_ 140307.eBay_

 Few release notes for Pebble 2.0:

  • New and improved UI design.
  • Pebble’s own watchapp directory that allows users to browse, search and install the latest watchapps for Pebble.
  • New Watchapp locker which will help manage apps on your Pebble and keep track of your favorite apps.
  • Storing of prior notifications to your Pebble.
  • Users who have used the Beta release of Android 2.0 application will initially see only the old app in Play Store. The Beta version must be deleted to see the public version properly.
  • Side-loading apps from the “Downloads” app or Gmail may fail. This is a known issue—users must currently use another method (e.g. Dropbox, downloading with an alternate browser, copying manually to a SD card, loading from the File Manager, etc.)
  • At current, side-loading of apps from Gmail or “Download” apps may fail. Thus at moment users should resolve to some other methods like downloading with an alternate browser, Dropbox, loading from the File Manager, copying manually to a SD card, etc.
  • If your Pebble is disconnected from the paired device for a longer period of time, you may need to manually relaunch the Pebble app and reconnect to Pebble.

So Pebble owners navigate quickly to the Play Store and download the 2.0 software  and enjoy plethora of apps.

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One of the major issues that Samsung had to face with its Galaxy Gear is that there was very little number of applications available on the device. Samsung always offered access to its few selected partners only and hence there was no scope for new developers to showcase their talent on a common platform like the Software Development Kit (SDK). With the launch of Gear 2 earlier this week at the CES 2014, the company also promised to release an SDK for its latest wearable and as declared, the company has delivered its promised word.

img_banner_shealthsdk (1) img_banner_shealthsdk

There’s a bit of a difference between the Gear and the Gear Fit kits, however. The Tizen-based Gear SDK will make it possible for developers to create applications that run on both Gear 2 watches (using both Android apps and web apps), while the Gear Fit version offers an emulator and the ability to control the device from an Android app. We’ll continue to update you as we get more information at this morning’s keynote.

However, the Gear and the Gear Fit kits are a bit different. The Tizen SDK for Gear will allow developers to make applications which run on both Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. The Gear Fit smart wearable will work on android app support. Check out the SDK here.

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Smartwatches take an upper edge over other conventional watches as it allows users to sport different watch faces giving your smartwatch a fresh and new look every time and anytime you want. For all Sony Smartwatch 2 owner, you have got a Clocki application which provides different watch faces to your smartwatch.

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Having multiple watch faces embed in a single application helps users quickly swap over various choices. With Clocki, users will get 25 different clock styles along with an option to display the current weather and other information. Clocki even helps to turn off your backlight and even customize different colors.

To caution you previously, the clock faces may suck more battery juice resulting into faster drain of battery. But this comes at a cost of making your device look completely new. Clocki is priced at $2.00 on the Play Store.

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Smartwatches provide users with the essential interface to help your smartphone notifications reach your wrists, but for most of times you are unable to act on those notifications and it observed that most of the time you have to take out your smartphone to respond. The team at reQall has noticed these issues and has released their first application named reqallable for the Sony Smartwatch 2 in order to bridge the gap. Reqallable makes your notifications more actionable, analyzes you message and displays the portion that requires a response. Check out the video.

On analyzing the message, users will be able to send a pre-determined quick response straight away from your wrists without the need to take out your smartphone from your pockets. The app will even prioritize messages from important contacts. The app also monitors your calendar events, as well as give information regarding traffic conditions notifying you when is the best time to leave. It also allows you to respond you to any missed call with a text message straight away from your watch without the need to take out your smartphone from the pocket.

Well, Reqallable is certainly a good app that can manage multitude of your daily activities right on your wrists.

Download reqallable for your Sony Smartwatch 2

With various companies participating in the wearable smartwatch competition, the smartwatch market is getting denser day by day. Sony few months back had launched the Sony SmartWatch 2 and is making every possible attempt to stay ahead of the pack. Well, the new Call Handling Pro enables various features for managing phone calls.

Call Handling Pro

For that first you need to ensure that uninstall the Sony call handler application if you have it as simply disabling it is not enough.

On completion of the task, straight away head into Google Play and download Call Handling Pro, which is currently priced at $3.49. Here are the few features that you would get with the app.

  • Displays contact picture as background
  • Hang up call
  • Start up on outgoing call (on/off in settings)
  • Answer with loudspeaker (on/off in settings)
  • Vibrate on incoming call (on/off in settings)
  • Reject call with a SMS

The list of functionality that Sony offers with its new Sony Smartwatch 2 is just tremendous and the pricing seems to be quite a value for money.

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Just few days back, at the CES 2014 expo, Pebble officially declared its app store along with the Pebble steel. Now, the company seems to have started the work on a faster pace and is making every attempt to invite API Developers for its app store applications. ProgrammableWeb made a recent talk with Thomas Sarlandie, Developer Evangelist at Pebble regarding how API developers will play their role and contribute to the app store, deciding the company’s future.

Pebble invites API developers view

Here is what Sarlandie had to say.

“In general, our SDK and APIs are global to anyone at our developer website,” Sarlandie told ProgrammableWeb. “Anyone can build an integration, but for companies like Yelp and Foursquare we do give them a little more attention… we want them to also be a source of inspiration for developers. The amazing Pebble community already had an unofficial appstore, but the new official Pebble appstore will be a part of every user’s experience with Pebble. We will be focusing on supporting independent developers and looking at how they can build a strong user interface on Pebble. The goal is always to show end users what they can do with Pebble.”

Initially there will not be any paid apps on the app store. Sarlandie even encouraged third party developers to share their ideas to smartwatch lovers. On this, he further said “Right now we don’t support payment in the appstore, but we are considering it in the future. In the meantime, in the new Pebble appstore, developers can link to their companion iOS or Android apps in the iTunes and Google Play appstores. This gives them some publicity to their paid app on those platforms. Developers can also sell Pebble watches on their own website and we offer an interesting affiliate commission model for them.”

Pebble invites API developers 2 view

Pebble app store is expected to go online this month end. Let’s see whether it gets the same appreciation and response like the Pebble smartwatch.

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Well, just few hours before the CES kicked off yesterday, some pics showing the Pebble steel smartwatch had leaked out and yes its official now! Pebble sticks-to-its-guns and delivers the promised word of “something special” to arrive at the CES. And it could certainly be said that the new Pebble Steel has upped the style ante of the smartwatch.

Pebble Steel view

The Pebble Steel will be completely compatible to all Pebble apps. The new Pebble Steel consists of two stainless steel version-matte black and the brushed metal. The matte black version is made with the same Physical Vapor Deposition technology as used by the luxury phone maker Vertu.

Pebble Steel 2 view

The rich, premium and corporate look that the new Pebble steel smartwatch sports is absolutely praiseworthy. Users get two wrist straps in each box-one metal and one black leather. Some more hardware additions include a RGB color LED charging indicator and the Gorilla Glass with anti-fingerprint coating. Other all features are the same like the e-paper display, 5ATM water resistance and the button positions as well. But now the buttons will be of metal here!

Pebble Steel 3 view

The new Pebble steel is priced at 249$ and Pebble will begin the shipments from 28th of this January. So don’t wait a moment and pre-order your Pebble Steel on the getpebble.com.

In addition to this, Pebble also confirms the launch of its “dedicated app store” that we covered earlier!

Apart from this one more big news from Pebble is that it has teamed up with various blue-chip companies in diverse business segments like automobile and Television. The list of its partners includes Mercedes, ESPN and Pandora. All the three will be presenting their cool new apps on the Pebble at the CES.

Espn on Pebble Pebble and Mercedes Pandora on Pebble

 

 

 

 

Below are the two official videos for promotions of the new Pebble Steel.

  • Introducing Pebble Steel Smart Watch

  • Pebble Steel – Dressed- Official video

Source

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Pebble is making every possible move to satisfy its users and give a neck-to-neck competition to the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Recently, Pebble announced that it will have a dedicated app store for its Smart Watch. News are that the Pebble app store will be available in the early 2014 and will have a dedicated Pebble app on the iOS and Android. Thus you will have a single destination to shop for all the apps that your smartwatch needs.

Pebble App Store view

On the Pebble app store, you will get seven different categories which includes Daily, Games, Notifications, Remotes, Tools and Utility, Watchfaces and Sports and Fitness. In each category you will get to see the best apps as well as the newly featured ones.

Pebble app categories view

Thus developers have a new platform to try their hands on and it is believed that they will start submitting Pebble apps that uses recently announced SDK 2.0. Moreover, if the app requires a companion app from the App Store or Google Play, they will include a direct link to it.

The dedicated app store from Pebble is certainly going to pull-up more people filling up their wrists with the Pebble Smart Watch.

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