Today is the day in which we have known details of the Apple Watch, smart clock from Apple which we had already advanced what we knew until a few hours ago. What better time, therefore, for do a review all that gives us each of the main platforms in this segment.
In recent months, it seems obvious that the four platforms that will try to compete for this market will be Android Wear, Tizen, Pebble, and the operating system of the Watch Apple which it seems will be called WatchOS. Back left – seems – some other proposals like Sony will see if continue to maintain in the future, but among those already mentioned, which offers more and better options?
Chameleon watches in your interface
One of the capabilities that most users look for in this type of device is its customization capability, and here these platforms it is clear that they have tried to offer all kinds of options. Since the Pebble appeared on the market have been made famous the “watch faces”, the templates that They allow to show the time with various aspects.
Here each platform offers different customization options – see how behaves the watch of Apple in this regard – but it seems that Android Wear is especially prolific and that developers – with very complete guides in this respect – are able to take good advantage of these screens and those resolutions.
That allows you to display the time in virtually any imaginable format and play with that section in a way that the first paragraph of the interface We differ from other holder of this type of device. There are designs for all tastes, from which mimic traditional watches – are digital or analogue/mechanical – those who innovate or represent almost a challenge to read the time level.
This section will also be key operation of those screens to display the time. Most have systems that allow to activate the screen only when we really want to interact with the clock (or simply consult the time), while in cases such as Pebble, with a slightly different screen technology, the time is displayed permanently Thanks to the reduced consumption.
Notifications are the key… for now
Protagonist a function in these smart watches today is that of access to notifications. Notices and alerts that appear on the screens of our Smart Watches place them as the perfect companions for a mobile phone that We will not have to take both Pocket If I do not want.
Here all platforms make a bet that is still evolving, but that allows you to make mobile applications for smartphone “talk” with the smartwatch and display certain content directly on the small screen. In Android Wear will be able to see them, discard them and even in some cases interact with some of them.
Apple Watch seems particularly ambitious in this section and in addition to notifications with which we can interact seems has been especially enhanced the section to communicate with our contacts without using the phone directly. As we saw in the initial presentation of the clock, We can send them light doodles, animated emoticons and even our beats so that receive them also in their respective clocks.
Voice attendees come to our dolls
While in Tizen and Pebble this section at the moment is not so present, both Google and Apple have taken advantage of the power of their voice Assistant to offer the performance of Google Now and Siri (respectively) on their devices.
The interface of Google Now has adapted considerably to smart watches based on Android Wear we have seen so far, and that intelligence that increasingly is most noticeable in this singular wizard seems to be one of the most promising features of the smartwatches based on this platform.
In the case of the Apple Watch, Siri is also present and thanks to that inclusion, we can for example reply to text messages directly from the clock with some predefined answers. This is without doubt one of the sections that probably most end up defining the power of a few devices with which the touch paradigm that works on smartphones and tablets is not so appropriate.
The voice will be essential as a way to take advantage of these benefits, and here it should be noted that both Tizen (with S Voice) and Pebble Time benefits that dictate or run small script. Recognition of these options is priori stronger on the platforms of Google and Apple, but it is clear that all platforms are committed increasingly by that kind of interaction.
Smartwatches control: touch screen is not the only resource
Contrary to what is happening with smartphones, in the segment of watches smart touch screens are not the only method that we interact with these devices. The most extreme case is Pebble, that it does not touch support into their devices – in the original, or the new Pebble Time – and that it bases its operation in the physical buttons on the side.
In Android Wear the concept is more similar to which have Android smartphones: the touch screen is still the protagonist of exception, while the physical button (if present) allows normally act as Start button. The voice, as we were discussing, has turned in a important complement to for several of the functions of that interaction. In that touchscreen interface (for now) there is no gesture like allow zoom on a smartphone, and not multi-touch support.
Apple Watch also provides support for the touch interface, but here Apple goes a little beyond with his Force Touch technology that allows that the touch control also allows to have as well as a right button of the mouse, and especially with the Crown It allows to navigate between the different options in different sections.
Tizen paradigm is quite similar to the Android, but as we saw in the Gear, the have a keyboard on the screen it is curious. Indeed the keyboard Fleksy seems to be the taste of those who have tried it on that small screen, but otherwise we have a interface that is very similar in different sections and in which the voice also has its role.
However, the most original of our protagonists is probably the Time Pebble, with that concept that combines the three physical buttons with desktops corresponding to the past, present and future of our agenda and our activity with this device. Even though the interface and that screen limit choices – I’m not very fan of those finishes almost toy – the truth is that the success of this project has been overwhelming on Kickstarter.
Danger for quantifier bracelets
Companies like Fitbit or Jawbone they should take into account the future that awaits them If it seems like all smart watch manufacturers offer solutions that also serve for personal quantification. And all, of course, have been taken into account.
It is the case of Android Wear, Tizen, Apple Watch or Pebble, with various options that make these benefits at the time of that track more or less accurate and complete, but it is always interesting to users. Some clocks even begin to integrate GPS receivers that is the case of the Sony Smartwatch 3 – while others prefer to provide data such as heart rate.
One of the major efforts here comes undoubtedly from Apple that long time comes invest in the field of health. This ambition goes beyond quantification, and Apple add to that physical activity monitoring certain elements who try to encourage us to move more, but they mostly offer a promise: of that next to your iPhone, or your iPad and the development of ResearchKit these watches could become one day – probably not this iteration – in most complete device in this sense. For now, however, that personal quantification is eye-catching, but basically equivalent to the competition.
A world of applications
Other paragraphs that define the future of these devices is the catalog of available applications. At the moment that seems more complete in this respect is the Apple Watch, that thanks to the launch of the WatchKit It will be released with a pretty decent offer for developers.
Android Wear, still taking longer in the market, seems to have a somewhat smaller options at the moment, but what is clear is that many third-party developers are moving tools that already exist on Android Android Wear, and others are limited to something logical: make your current tools work well to provide extra possibilities in the watches notificacioneso.
Tizen also has taken off with a decent offer – many applications They seem to use HTML5 and there isn’t just “native” – offer, but here Samsung has the disadvantage of being alone at the danger: no other manufacturer will bring devices based on a system that has it hard by this circumstance.
More surprising is the bet of a Pebble that Yes, it has a good range of applications but that given the avalanche of competitors has wanted downplaying the traditional concept of application. Instead in its new Time Pebble those virtual desktops combine information of past, present and future collecting it from your mobile device to present it in a way attractive and (theoretically) useful. We’ll see if that bet proves to be so versatile in practice as its creators would have us see in videos and promotional web sites.
The smartwatch as stand-alone device
In recent months we have seen how some manufacturers have tried to take a step ahead of his generation: convert to these smart watches in autonomous devices. We have the best example in the amazing Samsung Gear S based Tizen, while Android Wear Sony family sought to bring a characteristic differential with GPS making it especially suitable for athletes.
In the other cases, that Yes, these watches are still second our smartphone screens. No more. They offer convenience to users who take advantage of their benefits, since we will avoid to take the mobile many times and we also leverage the convenience of notifications.
However the reliance Mobile also limits to these devices, something that adds to their other big problem: the battery life, that would be even (it is lower in the Gear) if in addition had to take advantage of that connectivity to mobile data with some frequency networks.
Apple even seem to consider at the moment that future – that we assume will come sooner or later – but it seems logical to think that advances in speech recognition, the assistants like Siri or Google Now and, above all, efficient components – here Pebble wins the game of long – and battery technology can offer an independence that today has more shadows that lights. But don’t worry: we are witnessing the birth of a whole market. This promises, and we are here to go informandoos of the new.
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