Prime Day – Big Savings on Huawei Phones & Watches

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Today is Amazon Prime Day, the biggest sales event for the online retailer each year.  As part of the sale, Huawei has lowered the prices on virtually all of their Android phones and Wear OS by Google smartwatches.  And in some cases, the savings are huge.

·         $300 off the Huawei Mate 10 Pro smartphone – $499

·         $30 off the Huawei Mate SE smartphone – $219

·         $80 off the Huawei Watch 2 Sports – $219

·         $80 off the Huawei Watch 2 Classic  – $289

·         $20 off the Huawei Band 2 – $49

Keep in mind that Prime Day started at 3:00 pm Eastern today, or Noon Pacific for those on the West coast.  Things will sell out very quick – they always do – so if you are wanting to pick up one of these great deals, do it sooner rather than later.

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Ticwatch Pro Released Sporting 5 Days of Battery Life

Ticwatch Pro

After a few months of rumors, the Ticwatch Pro is finally official.  Price at $249 and available in both Silver & Black, the Pro sports a massive battery life of a minimum of 5 days on a single charge and can go up to 30 days in what the company is calling an “essential” mode.  Powered by Wear OS by Google, it has a AMOLED display with a secondary FSTN LCD display that is the key to the essential mode of the watch.

The new Ticwatch Pro is powered by the Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC, comes with 512 MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.  The AMOLED display is 1.39″ on the 45 mm stainless steelcase.  It has a 415mAh battery, Bluetooth, WiFi and, thankfully, NFC.  The popular Ticwatch S and E models from last year didn’t have NFC so this is certainly a step in the right direction.  Finally, it is IP68 rated for water and dust intrusion.

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Mobvoi Ticwatch Update to Wear OS and Oreo Now Rolling Out

Ticwatch E

It has taken a bit longer than the company expected but if you have a Mobvoi Ticwatch E or S model, you should have your Wear OS update that brings Android Oreo available.  The company, in a recent post in their forums, indicates that 100% of devices should have the update now available and installed (or ready to install).

Originally the company had indicated that the update would roll out in March of this year but “Due to unexpected circumstances” the updates were delayed.  The company then began rolling out the update early last week with the 100% mark for all devices hit on May 16th.

I can confirm that my Mobvoi Ticwatch E has been updated.

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Google Assistant on Wear OS Can Now Give You Sports Scores

Sports Scores on Wear OS

While it has been pretty clear the past couple of weeks the work that Google has put into Google Assistant on phones, that isn’t the only place they have been improving things.  Wear OS by Google has also been getting a lot of updates lately around Assistant and other features which has significantly improved the overall usefulness of Assistant on your wrist.

Just before Google I/O, Wear OS got a big update that, amongst other things, brought support for Actions in Google Assistant.  As part of that, you can now ask Assistant on your watch to give you a game or score update and have the information displayed on your screen in an easy-to-view format as well as an audio update on the game.

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Google Assistant for Wear OS Gains Actions Support

WearOS_Blog_Weather_Suggestions_Ticwatch

Google today announced several new improvements coming to Google Assistant on Wear OS by Google.  The updates will take a few days to roll out to everyone and will give Assistant on your watch the ability to leverage Actions from Assistant and improved voice responses.

Google Assistant on Wear OS is not new.  It rolled out with the latest generation of watches running what was then Android Wear 2.0.  Rebranded as Wear OS by Google over the course of the past few months, Google has been focusing efforts on overall improvements in the platform as well with Assistant.

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Google Releases The First Developer Preview for Wear OS Running Android P

Wear OS by Google Logo

Google has released the first Android P based developer preview of Wear OS today, giving developers a chance to take a sneak peak and giving consumers a preview of what to expect in the next major release for the platform.  The developer preview is aimed squarely at developers and only works on the Huawei Watch 2 Bluetooth or Huawei Watch 2 Classic Bluetooth.  Installing the preview is a manual flashing process and Google has made it clear, this is not ready for consumers to test out.

As for as new features are concerned, there are some exciting ones to look forward to in this build.  A dark theme will now be available and will be set as the default.  This should improve glanceability of notifications and other information on watches.

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Google Play Music Gets Shuffle and Next Track Preview on Wear OS

Google Play Music on Wear OS

For those of you who like to control their music from their Wear OS watch, today is a good day for you.  The Wear OS team, via the product forums, has announced that new features have rolled out to the Wear version of the Google Play Music app that allows for things like Shuffling music and previewing the next track to be played.

The new features impact the Google Play Music app that is installed on Wear OS devices and is rolling out now.  When you get the update (likely you already have you will be able to slide up when music is playing and enable a Shuffle feature on the playlist or album that you are listening to at the time.  Further, you will be able to swipe to see which track is next so you can decide if you want to play it or skip it.

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The Survival of Wear OS Depends on a Pixel Watch

Wear OS by Google Logo

The rebranding exercise last week from Google on Android Wear was an important one, if nothing more than superficial.  Now known as Wear OS by Google, the flavor of Android designed to run on watches, the name change reflects many things that have been changing with the Android naming convention over the past few months.

But the problems for Wear OS are far deeper than a simple name change can fix.  Sure, Google can address the iPhone user market who, they report, is one out of every three Android Wear user today. The fact is, a premium Wear OS watch experience needs to happen and it needs to come from Google.  Just as they have done with phones and Chromebooks, a Google “Pixel Watch” would unleash all the potential of Wear OS to the masses.  But there are big obstacles in the way that have to be addressed.  If there is a company that can sort it out, it is Google.  The question is if they want to do it.

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