Is Android Wear DOA?

Discussion in 'Android News' started by pc747, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Last year Android Wear rolled unto the scene with different companies such as LG, Asus, Sony, and Motorola all creating their own version of Android Wear watches. Here we are year two and we are seeing some of those same manufacturers ditching Android Wear for their own operating system. This have me asking whether manufacturers are boycotting Google for not allowing them to use a custom skin to differentiate themselves from other watches in the game or if they feel they can do a better job on their own. Do you think Google should lax their standard and allow for custom skins or stand their ground?

    As much as we hate fragmentation it has helped force Google to step their game up as far as look and feel. Though it led to things such as bloatware, locked bootloaders, and custom features. I personally would hope Google would lax their standards just a little so we can allow manufacturers to put out a better product that integrates with the other devices they make. If Google want to continue putting out a reference device they should allow a manufacturer(s) to make a Nexus Watch.
     
    #1 pc747, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2015
  2. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    I don't think android wear is at that point yet.

    Look at the history of android phones. The G1 was stock vanilla android. The OG Droid was the same. It wasn't until after the Droid blew up android's popularity that manufacturers started tinkering with their own skins. To me, it hasn't been that long in the world of android wear.

    And, whether they like it or not, Moto and others have been backing off of heavily skinning their devices slowly but surely. Samsung is arguably the worst out of all of them, but even they have been VERY slowly toning TouchWiz down.

    I think it's more a greedy powerplay on the part of the manufacturers. They see the potential of the market and are trying to get the biggest piece of the pie as quick as they can. Oversaturation isn't something that a fledgling tech needs. You start getting devices like the Gear S, that doesn't NEED a Samsung phone to function, but DOES need one to be setup when first booted up. I'm sure it also functions better with a Sammy phone, especially when you consider things like S Health, that my LG g watch doesn't integrate with.

    I dislike this trend for the same reason other love it. I'm not a "brand snob" by any means. I want devices that work the same with each other, regardless of manufacturer. Ie, if I get a different phone, I expect my watch to work the same with the new one. If I get a new watch, I expect my phone to function the same with it.

    While others have mentioned in threads about the Gear S that they wanted it because of their love for Samsung's devices, I run the other way because it runs Tizen and not android wear. That's not to say that I don't get where they're coming from completely, it's just not the way I feel.

    I'm an android fan first and foremost, even if my last 3 phones have been made by Samsung. TouchWiz, for all complaints about it, does offer some useful functionality that I'm sure I'll miss when I move on from Samsung devices (which many will remember me saying I intend to do when I go to upgrade from the Note 4).

    As someone who love tech, especially new tech, I read up and watch videos and know the difference between manufacturer skins, but (and I've said this before too) the more variations we get of this one great idea, the more confusing it's going to be for less tech-savvy folks who just want devices that work and work well, together.

    Choices are wonderful and a big part of why so many of us love android, but too many can be overwhelming for the "average consumer."

    ***Gets off soapbox***
     
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  3. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Very good point JK. I guess my argument was I am not saying allow them to go crazy, but then if you allow them an inch...... I guess I was open to allowing them a little freedom to skin it a little. You want to know the irony of this debate @Jonny Kansas, I own a nexus 6 because I was tired of manufacturers skins and bloat and you own a note 4 because you do not mind it as much. Yet here I am lobbying for Google to lax their standards just enough to allow for custom skins while you are saying leave it the same.
    But you are right in we need to give it time as we have yet to see where the market will take smart watches. What we will know this year is whether people like the Google approach of clean and simple or if the like the apple approach of mini apps and icons. Depending on where the market goes will determine where android wear as well as smart watches will go in the future.
     
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  4. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    There is an Android app, Gear For All, that would make your new non Samsung phone connect with Tizen based watches.
    I agree the non AW push is about revenue more than Google rules. As we've written about in other threads rumor has been stated that HTC is looking for their delve into the smartwatch to be compatible with both Android and ios, thus more potential revenue to a cash strapped corruption possibly grasping at straws.

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  5. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    Tizen working with android is different than android wear imo. Sure, they both rely on a companion app on the phone, but idk. It just seems different. I guess part of that could just be my distaste for the idea of Tizen as a thing...Haha

    And @pc747 That's a good (and funny) point you make about our device choices. I guess I kinda just think that it makes sense to skin the software on the phone, given its size. Samsung has gotten better about beefing up specs to counteract the negative effects of TouchWiz on performance, but there's only so much room to play with specs in a tiny little smartwatch and the visual changes that they'd make, to me, won't make much of a difference when it comes to the tiny screens.
     
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  6. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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    Good point considering the main thing you see are the watch faces. The only thing they could do but open it up across the board is if HTC, Samsung, and other manufacturers offer their apps and custom watch faces via the play store. Say you have a LG watch but want Samsung Fitness app you can get it from the play store. But yeah the only thing they can modify that matters would be watch faces as we rarely go to the app drawer or settings page.
     
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  7. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    I think they have their own faces pre-installed. Someone posted a pic of an LG face on g+ that I thought I had downloaded in a pack, but it wasn't on the moto.

    Sent from my Note 4 via Tapatalk
     
  8. LoneWolfArcher

    LoneWolfArcher Silver Member

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    Wait. You mentioned: LG, Asus, Sony, and Motorola

    Then said some of those companies were creating their own OS? But I thought only HTC and Samsung had. Did I miss other announcements?
     
  9. Ollie

    Ollie Droid Does

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    I think there is room for everyone to have their way. It would be very simple for Google to demand that AW be shipped unadulterated OOTB. Connect the device to wifi and then OEMs could have an optional skin/features download available on first boot. Google should make them do this with all Android phones as well.
     
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  10. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    I AGREE SO HARD HERE! Haha

    Sent from my Note 4 via Tapatalk
     
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  11. pc747

    pc747 Administrator
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  12. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    Isn't this exactly what Google is pushing for with their most recent stipulations if oems want to use gapps? I seem to remember reading an article that they said oems MUST put "powered by android" on the boot screen & make more of their proprietary apps standalone updates.

    Sent from my Note 4 via Tapatalk
     
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