Google wearables: take two.

Believe it or not, Google has been a leader in the wearables space for some time with Google Glass. Glass gives users fast access to information and an easy way to see and deal with (certain) incoming notifications, but the form factor is physically and socially awkward. Wear seems like an evolution of the quick information access that Glass pioneered, all in a more comfortable, less invasive device.

I've used quite a few gadgets in my time, and I've never seen anything become as instantly useful as Android Wear has. It's not just me, either. At Google I/O, every attendee got an Android Wear watch, and after a single day, it seemed like everyone's behavior had changed. A notification sound would go off, which would normally send everyone within earshot rummaging through bags and pockets, but by the second day of I/O, we all just learned to check our watches. Strapping on a Wear watch for a few days changes your mobile workflow. It's an extremely useful device that I plan on wearing from now on for the simple reason that it makes me more productive.

The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch aren't as essential as they want to be.
Just like Android, Android Wear is an OS that will end up on many different devices. The way the software looks and works is what's most important, so just like in our KitKat review, this article will be focusing on the software only. We're taking a look at the first hardware, the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, in a separate article.


When you hear a beep, you have to dig into your pocket or purse, fish out your smartphone, turn on the screen, unlock the phone, pull down the notification shade, and see what caused the beep. How you feel about Wear depends a lot on how you feel about that process of digging out your phone to check those notifications: if you do it a thousand times a day and it drives you crazy, then Wear is pretty exciting.

Wearables will never be an "essential" piece of technology, and that's not the standard by which they should be judged—a smartwatch is a luxury item that's tied to your smartphone and doesn't really introduce any new functionality. What a good wearable can do, though, is let you do stuff faster and easier than you can with your smartphone, and it's by that standard that Wear is a useful product. The days of having to find, turn on, and unlock some lost piece of plastic are over, and now addressing that ever-present beep just takes an effortless glance at your wrist.
Much more at ARS...

Are any AQ members planning on getting an Android Wear device?