LG G Watch - Gadgetwhore

LG G Watch

LG G Watch - GadgetWhore

This review of the  LG G Watch is coming a little bit later than most of the reviews that came out when the device was first released.   I figured that I would live with the device for a few weeks before I gave my impressions of it.

It is difficult to give a review of the base watch features because the meat of this device is the android wear OS. It pulls in all of your Google Now and notification information seamlessly.  Google does not let manufacturers skin android wear, so the experience is consistent across all devices running it.   This should also make it much easier for Google to roll out updates across the entire platform at once.

Android Wear - GadgetWhore

I was hoping to disagree with the countless reviews that said that the android wear devices were not ready for primetime.  I came away with with a very similar opinion, but I do think that the device is ready for primetime.  The core android wear features become instantly useful and enjoyable.  This isn’t a revolutionary platform yet, but the seeds have been planted for this platform to become infinitely more useful in the near future.  This is only the first iteration of the platform and improvements are expected as the platform matures.  The seamless integration will become more obvious as android’s new material design UI elements invade the next version of the android OS.

I did find myself reaching for my phone far less than normal.  I estimate that my phone handling at work went down by 70%.   I normally play music from the stock android music player and the skip feature wasn’t as useful as just clicking the next track button on the lock screen on android 4.4.  The music player functions are not as useful in that case, but they can be incredibly useful if you are listening to music while working out or jogging with your phone in your pocket or pouch.  I did find the calendar updates to be very useful because I often neglect looking at my calendar widget.  The weather cards are useful too and they normally are location aware, so you will always know the temp and forecast for your location.  The time to get a certain location card is a very nice feature.  My device gives me an update if the traffic on my way home is delayed and it gives me an estimated time to get home.  The card will also let you know if traffic is normal, so you are made aware of any situation.  I don’t really use the search by voice feature for anything useful, but I did set a reminder to not forget my food in the office refrigerator before I left work.  It doesn’t sound like that feature would be useful until you realize that I had left my lunch in the refrigerator the previous two times I place it in there.  I think I also used the search by voice feature when we were debating how tall Tom Cruise was during a slow period at work.  The device instantly gave me the info.  He is 5′ 7″ if you are curious.  The voice dictation for text, hangouts and email are good, but the lack of a final CONFIRM BEFORE SEND feature makes me a little nervous. The other non-essential, but fun feature is the step tracking.  It appears to be fairly accurate and it did not mark false steps when I tried to trick it.

The device comes preloaded with several watch faces that vary in coolness.   Some of the watch faces are downright funky looking.   If  you aren’t happy with the selection of digital and digital made to look like analog faces, you will be happy that several cool watch faces are available to download on the Play Store.   One of more cool app titled WatchFaces installs several nice watch faces and also allows you to create your own custom designs.

The design of the LG G watch is fairly plain, but I think that it looks better than the Samsung Gear Live.   Several other reviewers have disagreed with me and seem to think that the Samsung device is the better looker of the two.  The clean and simple design of the LG G watch isn’t as bad as many people are saying it is.  I think that it is good for a watch to just blend in.  The lack of a physical on/off button is a little annoying and the battery is not very good when left on always on mode, but it is quite good in the mode that goes to sleep after a few seconds.   In that mode, the device comes back to life with a quick flick of the wrist and is ready to take voice commands.  The lack of an ambient light sensor is also a bit of a bummer because you will have to adjust the brightness manually when you go outside from being indoors.

All in all, this watch is fun to use and comes in handy quite often.   Is it a must have device?   I think that you can live without it and I am sure that devices six months down the road with have much nicer design elements and most likely better specs and device specific customizations.  This $229 device will most likely be much cheaper if you wait until Thanksgiving to purchase it.  As of now the device is only compatible with android devices running version 4.3 and above.  This mean all of the iOS users won’t be able to use it.  If you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket and you love being an early adopter, this is a cool device at a reasonable price point.

Here is our score below:

LG G Watch
8
Features
7
Display
5
Battery Life
9
Ease of Use
8
Memory/Storage
7
Design
9
Operating System
10
Sturdiness
9
Mod/Hack Friendliness
GW Score 8.0
Users Score (1 vote) 6.6
Leave your rating
Features 0
Display 0
Battery Life 0
Ease of Use 0
Memory/Storage 0
Design 0
Operating System 0
Sturdiness 0
Mod/Hack Friendliness 0

 

Custom Android Wear Watch Face

Create Your Own Custom Android Wear Watch Face

The LG G Watch and the Samsung Gear Live are out and people are searching for custom digital watch faces.  The Samsung Gear Live  and LG G Watch have basic standard watch faces and custom watch faces designed specifically for their devices. There are already several custom android wear watch faces available on the Play store.

What if you just want something more personal?  You are in luck because an app named WearFaces has been released that lets you create very basic custom watch faces.  It is a fun little app to play with.  The app is currently free, so show the developers some love with a good rating on the Play Store if  you like it.

Custom Android Wear Watch Faces

WearFaces is available on the Play Store to create custom android wear watch faces

 

Here is a little video that the developers put together.

Here are the template files that you can use to create your custom android wear watch faces.

Custom watch face for LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live

Custom Android Wear Watch Face

custom_hour

Custom Android Wear Hour Hand

custom_min

Custom Android Wear Minute Hand

 

Here is a graphic of the instructions:

Custom Android Wear watch face

 

We gave it a shot and downloaded the app and template files and spent a few minutes creating a GadgetWhore branded Custom Android Wear Watch Face.   This is a very crude design based on a design that we saw from the Moto 360 contest and the minute markers came out messed up.   This was our first attempt and it really doesn’t look that bad.  You are going to need the  template files and software to edit the images. You can leave the default hour and minute hands while you are testing your new watch face on your LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live.

 

Custom watch face for android wear

Custom GadgetWhore Branded android wear watch face.

 

Please share any of your design in the comment section and show off your designs.

 

If you were looking custom watch faces to download rather than create, you  can find some here.

Binary Watch Face

Wear Watch Faces

ACW Watch Face

Band O’Clock For Wear

Strava App Now Supports Android Wear

Strava Android App Now Supports Android Wear

image

Download Strava on the Play StoreDownload Strava on the Play Store

Strava Android app updated to support Android Wear.

This is one of our favorite running apps.

Runtastic Android Wear Update

Runtastic Gets Android Wear Support

image

Download Runtastic on the Play StoreDownload Runtastic on the Play Store

It looks like more apps are getting an Android Wear update in preparation for next week’s LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live release.  Runtastic just released an update for Android Wear.

What’s New
Enjoy Runtastic 5.1.2 with optimized functionality & new features!
Android Wear Integration: Control your Runtastic app with Android Wear
* Start a run or bike session via voice command
* Read your favorite stats from your wrist
* Display your post-workout session details, including maps, on Android Wear

 

Buy A Smartwatch On Amazon
Google Play Android Wear Apps Available

Android Wear Apps FINALLY Available For Download

Google Play Android Wear Apps Available

 

Download Android Wear Compatible AppsAndroid Wear Official App Available and Also 3rd Party Apps

 

If you are one of the lucky few who received a LG G Watch or a Samsung Gear Live, Google Play just created a special landing page to download Android Wear Compatible Apps.  The list is fairly limited for the time being, but the official Android Wear app by Google is available for download.

Other notable apps include IFTTT, FLY DELTA, EVERNOTE, GOOGLE MAPS, HANGOUTS, EAT24 and PINTEREST.

android wear apps 1 android wear apps 2 android wear apps 3 android wear apps 4

LEO: An intelligent wearable fitness device that actually monitors your body

Leo on GadgetWhore

It seems like we see a new fitness wearable come along every few months.  Most of the fitness ‘gadgets’ that hit the scene in 2014 are based on similar concepts, so you have to decide what actually distinguishes one from other.  The only thing that truly differentiates a product is the team behind the product.  The Canadian team behind LEO is scrappy and ready for a long road ahead.  This device is scheduled for release in APRIL 2015.  The indiegogo campaign is over 40% funded already, so the LEO is well on its way to becoming a reality.  That is a really cool accomplishment because most backers want instant gratification with a product in hand in a few months.  Lets hope that the LEO team isn’t hurt by setting such a realistic release timeframe.

We are getting way ahead of ourselves here, so this is what the LEO does:

SUPPORT THE INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGNSupport LEO on Indiegogo

WHAT IS LEO?

LEO monitors your body’s biosignals in realtime and translates the data into actionable recommendations.  While many similar products aim at just telling what you are doing, LEO gives you that information and tells you how to optimize your workout to avoid injury. LEO integrates biosignal monitoring technology with the capabilities of all the best fitness wearables, measuring: muscle activity, fatigue, heart rate, lactic acid, hydration, calories, technique, and much more. LEO translates this complex bio-data into straightforward and actionable recommendations, and notifies you if something is amiss, all in real-time.  LEO is the first fitness wearable that measures YOU in a time when most wearables measure themselves on a virtual 3d-axis.

HOW CAN LEO OPTIMIZE MY WORKOUT?

LEO PERFORMANCE

LEO gives you intensity updates and lets you know when you are cheating your progress by working out at low level and lets you know when you are working out inefficiently or with muscle imbalances.   The most important part of working out is staying healthy and consistent, so LEO’S injury avoidance algorithms can warm you about oncoming injuries. LEO can even make sure you are properly hydrated and gives you hydration notifications.

LEO Can Detect Muscle Imbalances

WHAT CAN LEO SENSE?

THINGS LEO CAN SENSE

WHAT MAKES LEO UNIQUE?

Some of LEO’s unique features are actually slated to be included in some of 2014′s most promising fitness wearables.  LEO can give you data on muscle intensity, muscle targeting, muscle coordination, muscle fatigue, efficiency, hydration, balance, lactic acid and technique analysis.  I have not seen any of the current or upcoming devices say that they can measure lactic acid, so that does sound like something very unique.

How Leo is unique

THE APP

The LEO application

 

How Does LEO compare?

LEO17

 

TECHNICAL

LEO21

 

Our only problem with Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaigns is that we noticed that the extended wait times for fitness wearables to be released seem to drive people(us included) crazy.  We haven’t seen a fitness wearable product that hasn’t been delayed by at least three to four months.  With technology changing so quickly and new products like android wear and the upcoming iWatch, it is difficult to determine if the technology will be old news in the year that it will take to come out.  We tend to focus on what happened with Amiigo and how it seemed to advanced a year ago and now it just seems like old technology. Who knows what the fitness wearable environment will look like a year from now.

The Gymwatch

GYMWATCH: Wearable Fitness Tracker that Measures Strength & Motion

July 2014 Release Date – Updated price of $159

Take your fitness to the next level and order this powerful training tool today!

The Gymwatch

GadgetWhore/GW Gadgets loves fitness wearables and we just found out about this awesome looking device named the Gymwatch.  Much like other notable fitness wearable devices, the Gymwatch measures  many different aspects of your fitness routines.

THE WORLD’S FIRST PATENTED FITNESS TRACKER THAT ACTUALLY TRACKS EVERY FITNESS EXERCISE WITH HIGH PRECISION

The Gymwatch can measure force, maximum strength, one rep max, strength endurance, speed strength, starting strength, explosive strength, muscle strength, volume, power. count reps,  sets, speed, calories burned, distance, step count, step duration, step length, cadence, stroke rate and many more. The Gymwatch is currently on sale via their Indiegogo campaign for $149 plus $20 for shipping outside of Germany.  One of the very cool features the Gymwatch offers is the personalized audio training.   The device gives you audio coaching as you perform many fitness activities.  The device can notify you if you are performing exercises too quickly or without using the proper form.  The Gymwatch is the most feature packed fitness/exercise tracking device we have seen so far.  If the demo video is accurate, this device is leaps and bounds ahead of Amiigo and  Atlas Wearables.  The web platform can  be output via HDMI to display on your television during workouts.  You can basically live stream all of your workout data to your television.  It is an amazing experience that I hope makes it to market in July as reported by the team out of Germany.

Workout Data On Your Television

Gymwatch Data On Your TV

Here is where they are in the development process as of today:

Gymwatch Current Development Status

 

Here is what the Gymwatch team has to say about the device.

We developed the first patented sensor to measure strength and motion across fitness exercises, including machines, free weights and bodyweight. The sensor records the full range of motion of an exercise, determines every strength component, repetitions and detects incorrect exercise execution to help ensure exercises are performed properly and desired fitness goals are reached.

Data that the GYMWATCH can track

Training Data - Gymwatch

Real-time Data

Get visual and auditory live feedback on any screen or through your earphone.

Gymwatch Realtime Feedback

How is GYMWATCH different?

  • We track actually every Fitness Exercise
  • We measure all strength and motion metrics
  • Sensor and Smartphone support you in the execution of fitness exercises with visual and auditory feedback
  • The sensor is made in germany and patent protected.

 

 USE TWO SENSORS IN A DUO AND GET ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS

Gymwatch Dual Sensor

 

Apple Will Drink Android Wear’s Milkshake…and Pebble and Samsung’s too.

Apple Will Drink Your Milkshake

Everyone is excited for the upcoming release of the Moto 360 smart watch powered by Android Wear.  It is a bit larger than a normal wristwatch, but it is one of the first smart watches that can pass be worn daily without drawing unwanted attention.  It has one of the few features that most smart watches makers seem to leave out, the device actually looks great.  The press was quick to announce that android took the steam out of any announcement that Apple can make in the future about their mysterious smart watch that has been talked about for years.  I think that everyone forgot what happened 13 years ago when Apple was three years behind other Mp3 manufacturers with the release of the iPod.

Moto 360 Smart Watch

In 1998, Diamond released the Rio mp3 player that was a quiet hit and adopted by a small segment of music lovers who had various legal and illegal methods for obtaining music.   The Rio proved that mp3 players were a viable alternative to portable CD players and took the mp3 off of the computer and into your pocket.  With the success of the Rio, more companies were willing to take the plunge into this new electronics market.  RCA released the more refined Lyra in 1999 and it was even more evident that a new era of music listening was upon us.   The following year Archos released the Jukebox 6000 and Creative released the Nomad series of mp3 jukebox systems.   It wasn’t until three years after Diamond released the Rio that Apple evaluated the current state of portable media players  and created the iPod.

 

Steve Jobs went on stage to claim that there were no market leaders in the digital music category.  He went on to say that electronics market leaders like Sony have failed to have any success in the field.  Jobs pointed out that the four type of music storage/player devices at the time were the portable CD player, Mp3 CD Player, the flash storage media player and the hard disk media player that could carry 1000 songs when the next closest device could carry only 150 songs.  Apple provided the idea of carrying your entire mp3 library in your pocket.  They improved the small things and went back to basics with a minimalistic design and faster USB transfer speeds than any other mp3 player out at the time.  They also added a quick charge 10-hour battery than was able to get a 80% charge in about an hour.  The device was beautiful(at the time), had a simple UI , it was quick charging and it played well with your existing music collection.   The killer utility came a little later with the release of iTunes. Over the next few years, Apple improved the ipod and eventually morphed it into the iPhone and changed mobile in the same way that it change music. 

Pebble Smart Watch

Apple is great at sitting back and waiting for things to mature a little before they jump in, simplify and re-imagine a device to make a better experience for the user.  People claim that Apple lost a clear vision of what customers are looking for when Steve Jobs passed away, but I believe that Apple still is sitting on ideas and technology that will change our lives for the better.

Samsung Tizen Devices

I believe that Apple will release an ‘iWatch’ after the Moto 360 and other Android Wear devices are released.  They will most likely figure out a way to make it easier to use and offer functionality that the current wearables are not even considering.   If the rumors are correct the Apple wearable device will have advanced health tracking features and offer iOS notifications.  I think that Android Wear will be a good competitor because it will likely be more affordable than anything Apple releases.  Devices like the Pebble and Samsung’s Tizen OS wearables are sure to be dead in the water. I would have to guess unless the Pebble does a massive price drop, they are dead as soon as the Moto 360 is released.   The Moto 360 appears to have taken a minimalistic design approach ahead of Apple’s release, but Apple and Jony Ive are the kings of minimalistic design.  The higher end Apple products are just designed more beautifully than any devices out there.  The web is full of rumors every month of what kind of features the Apple wearable device will have and how it will look.  Fans of Apple are even creating designs of how they would like the device to look like.  (see below)

iWatch Render

Apple is at the pulse of what the world wants and interesting enough, I bet their device will give you a pulse reading.

I just hope that 2014 is the year the we finally get to buy one of these devices.

amiigo13

Amiigo App Screenshots 03/31/14

 

 Get the Amiigo apps here:

iOS Logo

 

 

Android Amiigo App

 

 

 

Update: 05/03/14 – Team Amiigo released a very important update today confirming that all 200 early bird devices have been shipped. They also released a summary of the types of activities that can be tracked. Below is the txt from today’s update on Facebook.

Can Amiigo Track My ______ ?

We’ve loved all the questions lately, regarding exactly what Amiigo can track. We’ve had folks ask about nearly everything – from Horseback Riding to Badminton to Water Hockey.

The Amiigo system is the first to classify complex activities. As many might remember, a few months back we decided to open up system and let YOU choose what Amiigo tracks….

In “workout” mode, Amiigo will track a wide variety of resistance and cardio activities. You do not need to ‘upload an activity’ in order for it to be tracked, as long as it is repetitious and continuous.. Amiigo will find all activity regions and their reps, duration, form, consistency, speed and calories.

However, if you do choose to upload activities beforehand, Amiigo will also attempt to name each activity region and of course, track the details. See the image below, which shows what you might expect to see in the app if you perform an activity that has been ‘uploaded’ prior to the workout, and what you’ll see if you perform an activity that was not ‘uploaded’.

Samples of the activities that Amiigo tracks are:

Kettle Bell Swings
Standing Shoulder Press
Deadlifts
Squats
Shoulder Shrugs
Calf Raises
Shoulder raises
Dumbbell straight arm pullover
Dumbbell Hammer Curls
Dumbbell sumo squat
Dumbbell flies
Dumbbell front squat
Dumbbell overhead press
Dumbbell curls
Crunches
Bench press
Bent over dumbbell rows
Hamstring curls
Hanging knee raises
Jumping jacks
Lat pulldown
Leg press
Military press

Jogging
Cycling
Elliptical
Treadmill
Stair Stepper

..the list goes on.

Most resistance machines work very well with Amiigo too, because the way you perform the activity is often fluid and repeatable. In order to successfully upload an activity, you must complete 15+ “clean” reps or 30 seconds worth of movement for cardio based activities. The more you teach Amiigo, the smarter it becomes. The list of activities that Amiigo supports is growing by the day – thanks to the users we have now and their feedback. We can’t wait to see where we can take this with your help. We’ll leave it to you to find the limits, and we’ll do our best to overcome them.

Now its our turn.. what will you use Amiigo to track?

amiigo app in action

Update: 04/19/14

Several ‘Early Bird’ users have reported receiving their Amiigo devices and even posted pictures online.  User Kyle Newton posted pics here and user Bao Bit posted this pic of how the device looks when unpacked. Below is a copy of the text that they posted to their Facebook profile:

Update: 04/04/14

Here is the link to the Amiigo App on the Google Play Store. amiigo app on Google Play

A source was nice enough to send us screenshots of all the Amiigo app screens. This is going to take a long time to load the page.

Our source was also nice to point out a few of the things that were missing from the app.  The original indiegogo campaign promo stated that the app would have social features and competitions, but the current app has no mention of any of those type of events.  Also, the oxygen reading that the original promo video displayed in NOT in the app at all.   Our source also pointed out that it appears that you will have to set the device to sleep mode.  It does not automatically enter sleep mode like some of the newer wearable devices out now. As stated by Amiigo earlier, the heart rate readings are only resting, but the app does give you the option to check now.

I’m sure that the app is a work in progress, but it is very basic as of this initial release.

 

email

amiigo1

amiigo2

amiigo3

amiigo4amiigo5

amiigo6

amiigo7

 

amiigo8

amiigo9

amiigo10

amiigo11

amiigo12

amiigo13

amiigo14

amiigo15

amiigo17

 

20140331-005421.jpg

Vudu for iOS and Android Finally Work With Chromecast

Vudu for iOS and Android now support standard definition(Update: HDX streaming now available ) streaming via Chromecast.

It looks like support is limited to only standard definition(Update: Vudu for iOS is now streaming in HDX)for now, but that may change soon.  The movie description pages have been updated with the Chromecast icon to identify the titles that are currently compatible.

We will let you know more details after we’ve had a chance to check out more of the features.

Vudu also added this link to explain how to use Vudu and Chromecast together.

 

Vudu Chromecast Support

 

Vudu Via Chromecast on iOS