Google’s Smartwatches Now Let You Leave Your Phone at Home

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by Robisan, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Robisan macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Will be interesting to see how wi-fi connectivity works in practice, whether there will lag etc. Steps that allow separation of watch from phone while maintaining function and utility are a pretty big development. Really looking forward to second gen watches (Android and Apple) to see how they refine and evolve.
     
  2. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #2
    Next step is to make it cellular ready like the Gear S. Man I loved the Gear S, but ultimately didn't like Tizen and missed Android Wear. The Gear S could be completely used as a standalone phone, or as a remote extension of your phone if left at home, with standalone calling, etc.

    I'm still having a hard time imagining when I would leave my phone at home and just take my smartwatch.
     
  3. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #3
    The answer is not anytime soon. Unless you want to look like an idiot talking into your wrist. :D

    Eventually, I think something smaller than a Motorola Hint and a watch connected to each other could replace the need for a phone, at least for those times you are on a run, bike ride, hiking, quick trip to the grociery store, etc... when internet, business, work aren't a neccessity. And while you might look like a crazy person talking to thin air, at least you would look like a douche talking to your wrist.
     
  4. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #4
    I don't think wearable tech is quite ready to effectively work as standalone devices--devices have to be too large to accommodate a battery that makes is worthwhile. I'd also love to see it happen but considering many smart watches without this capability are already pretty big, I think we have a ways to go before we get there.

    I was very happy to hear that the Apple Watch can continue to function in many ways when connected to know wifi networks and not solely rely on being within bluetooth range of one's iPhone. Wifi range is significantly better across my house so not worrying about keeping my iPhone nearby is beneficial. I can see some other use cases that make this useful. My wife won't need to necessarily carry her iPhone with her while she rounds at a hospital, or even in her own office when seeing patients, and still get important notification.

    I could also see this being useful at the gym--can leave your phone in a locker yet still have network access and presumably be able to still do things like stream audio.

    I'm glad to see Android Wear enabling this functionality in the near future as it sounds like a great many existing watches have wifi capability but it simply couldn't be used stand-alone.
     
  5. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #5
    Psstt... there's a new invention, just came out a couple of days ago... it's called a Bluetooth headset.

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    The Gear S lasted me an entire day and then some using it as a standalone phone. With a Bluetooth headset the screen on the Gear S turns off so it doesn't use that much battery. Hell I even used it a couple of times standalone streaming music over the internet to my Bluetooth headphones, that's with no phone at all.
     
  6. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #6
    Been there done that almost a decade ago with the Motorola RAZR V3 flipphone. Who wants an earpiece that can be seen and looks gaudy though?

    The Motorola Hint is inside the ear canal (nearly). Next gen of earpieces like the Hint should be smaller and paired with a smartwatch (that can link with multiple BT devices simultaneously <- keyword there), will be what I am looking for.
     
  7. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #7
    Not me, I like new technology and love Bluetooth headsets. But if you like the Moto hint why wouldn't you use that with a Gear S? I try not to limit myself to tech experiences from 10 years ago.
     
  8. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #8
    I'm still enjoying my Gear S. I use it alone all the time. I really don't mind leaving my phone at home any more. Riding bikes, running errands, etc. Even when I do take my phone, I'll just leave it in the car and go about my day.

    Give it two weeks and the above won't be said any more as all the Apple freaks will be doing it :p Actually, I use mine as a speaker phone and see no problem with it. Usually it's my wife calling me while I'm out and about shopping or running errands. Not a big deal.

    Otherwise, it pairs with all of our vehicles just as my phone would. Lastly, I do often keep my Jaybird wireless earbuds with me in the car. Useful at the gym or if I'm at Sam's club/stores, I'll wear them, listen to music, do my thing and answer the phone if needed.
     
  9. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

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    #9
    I don't use the Hint because the tech isn't small enough for my tastes. Next generation should hit the mark, then I'll buy.
    As for tge Samsung smartwatches... None appeal to me. And I'm waiting for Android Wear to be added to iOS before I buy another smartwatch. One that is round and looks like an actual watch and not a Casino databank from the 80's.
     
  10. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #10
    What happens if there's no wifi, and you need to use the phone. I can understand the appeal, but it has a glaring issue, wifi availability.
     
  11. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #11
    Yeah that was my point, I couldn't imagine not having my phone with me with any smartphone except the Gear S.

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    Yep that's what I'm saying. It's a cool feature, but inevitably might be useless depending on where you are. Heck can it even tell time without WiFi??!?
     
  12. Ffosse macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Frequently I leave my smartphone home and just take my SWR50 and SBH80 headset with me.

    GPS maps my walks/runs and I have my Walkman playlists with me.

    The addition of wi-fi support for the Sony will be great.
     
  13. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #13
    Sure, but I find the Gear S to be too big for my tastes--and I like large watches. That was my point.
     
  14. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #14
    I'm not a huge fan of its looks/design either. I'm hoping the LG Urbane LTE comes to the US soon. I'd much rather have a nice cool round watch. Apple is nice for what it is, but it's design is too neutral/unisex as they attempt to find a style that works for both men and women. Not my style.
     
  15. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #15
    Nothing wrong with that, the Gear S is a lot of watch to love. Personally even though I loved it, I use a Moto 360 mainly because of the aesthetics and also found more functionality in Android.
     
  16. epicrayban macrumors 603

    epicrayban

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    #16
    This year's generation of Android Wear watches will be really interesting to see now that Apple's released theirs. Android Wear has the potential to really pummel ahead since they got an early start anyway, and the Apple Watch is getting only decent reviews.
     
  17. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #17
    Has the potential but it really didn't get any noticeable traction in its first year, even with that head start. And we already now know what we can expect in the next Android Wear update. Some good changes/additions for certain but I'm not really seeing any revolutionary functionality on either side yet. Android Wear faces a pretty big uphill battle trying to overcome Apple's marketing machine. Hell, all my app updates over the past few weeks seem to be adding functionality for the Apple Watch (probably a few dozen already and the Watch still isn't out). How's the same going over on Android? (not trolling, genuine question as I don't have any Android Wear devices)

    Android Wear needs something truly unique to separate itself from the 'Elephant in the Room', so to speak.
     
  18. epicrayban macrumors 603

    epicrayban

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    #18

    Completely agree. The head start Google and the OEMs got is definitely more about the potential upgrades and advances both in software and hardware going into year two, and not so much about them gaining marketshare and users ahead of Apple. It's up to them to take advantage and make the most of that head start.

    Don't own any smartwatches myself, unless you count the Garmin Forerunner 220. Love that watch btw.
     
  19. pdqgp macrumors 68020

    pdqgp

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    #19
    IMO it's because it's not Apple. Apple could sell snow to Eskimos. The brand is strong even when the products aren't necessarily leaders in functionality.

    They need to take AW and incorporate a phone into it already. I'm still really surprised Apple didn't make theirs with the stand alone capability. I think they also need to insure aesthetically it steps up it's game too. The nicest thing I see with Apple is the interface is as good as the phone. Not so with the various non-apple wearable devices.

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    don't know as I don't really follow AW Devices, but having owned a Gear S since day one, I will say while it doesn't likely do everything Apple will or even AW Does, I'm not so sure I even need it to.

    I think having the capability for some things will be great but as others have noted, these are glance and respond devices, not devices you will want to use all the time for minutes on end. I really only need a watch or wearable to do so much. The rest of it, I can pull out my phone to do.
     
  20. Vegastouch macrumors 603

    Vegastouch

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    #20
    I hated wearing those headsets. Talk about looking like a dork. I dont like to wear a watch either so ill probably never get one of these.
     
  21. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #21
    Yeah they are not the greatest, but sometimes you gotta make money. There are also plenty of times I'm alone, like in my car. But now I have to weigh if I want to look like a dork with a Bluetooth headset, or with a Note 4 phablet against my ear, lol. A sad choice indeed. :mad:
     
  22. Vegastouch macrumors 603

    Vegastouch

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    #22
    I was in Best Buy yesterday and went by the SS station. I saw a Note 4 that had the Edge, but only on one side. I actually liked that and the Edge on it does a lot more than it does on the S6 Edge. The Notes are too big for my liking but i did love the back of it too. I would much prefer that back to the metal/glass back on my GS6.

    Also, Doesnt your car have bluetooth in it? My 2007 truck doesnt so i have a Motorola roadster. Great device.Car has bluetooh in it. Its a 2013.
     
  23. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #23
    I have Bluetooth in my car, but I like to have the windows or my convertible top down often and you have to use a BT headset for anyone to hear you.
     
  24. Robisan thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Big difference is that Apple Watch and iPhone must be on the same wi-fi network (a-la-AirPlay). Android Wear devices will connect to phones using any wi-fi via Google's cloud servers. If the phone is wi-fi connected you can access it on Android Wear via any wi-fi anywhere.
     
  25. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

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    #25
    That's great but I find the differences in use cases minimal. I'm sure if I stopped to think long and hard about it, I could come up with examples where this might be useful but they seem like very specific exceptions. For me personally, I plan to leave my phone behind only when active and mobile (running, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc) where a continuous wifi signal is unlikely and only having cellular connectivity would prove useful. If I'm at home, work or the gym and on wifi, my phone will almost certainly be nearby. I guess if I new I was only going to a very specific location where I knew I'd always have wifi, it could be beneficial. Will Android Wear still allow one to take calls? (Actually, I wonder if the Apple Watch will be able to take calls via wifi as well?)

    Not making an excuses for the Apple Watch, just don't see much real world benefit in the difference.....yet. ;)
     

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