The market for the smart watches really has come a long way since the original Pebble exploded the Kickstarter records back in 2012. So today it’s finally possible to make an informed decision about buying the right smartwatch for you, due to how many of the models and brands have delved into this industry since…
Fast-forwarding those four years between the Pebble’s year of 2012 and the Apple Watch’s year of 2016 makes things loo drastically different by now.
But that doesn’t mean that iOS users are limited only to the Cupertino’s offering. Android Wear based watches are now finally able to work with iPhone, as well as Pebble and a range of other companies.
Samsung smartwatches are powered by the company’s own Tizen OS:
most of its older devices (like the Gear 2 Neo) only work with a limited number of Samsung phones, although the new Gear S2 is compatible with a much longer list of recent Android developed handsets.
Android Wear watches, which is surely surmising from their name – have for a long time only been built to work with Android phones An additional restriction was that the phone should have run an Android OS version 4.3 or newer… Google has added iPhone compatibility to the OS, which should mean most future Android Wear devices are iOS-friendly as well, but not vice-versa.
As with smartphones, Google works on the software – which is based on Google services such as Google Now. But right after the job is done, they will leave you to a will and diligence of the manufacturer, like Motorola, LG, Sony, Samsung and HTC to build the watches.
However, the tech giant gets brushed aside, and Android Wear has been the go-to OS for some exciting and unreleased watches.
Tag Heuer and Fossil have chosen the software for its smartwatch, but so have New Balance, Nixon and Michael Kors, which are entering the market later this year with their own designed and manufactured smartwatches.
Theoretically, all Android Wear devices are made equal, but that’s not the case anymore.
New architecture updates from Google are highlighting differences under-the-hood and now there’s actually a vast abyss in a range of functional and technical features if different watches by different brands get compared. Reading a side by side best Android Wear smartwatches review will be probably the only option left to untangle all the mystery.
Though in a majority of situations a smartwatch runs intact with your smartphone, they still have app stores which enable you to add to the default features of the watch – just like a smartphone.
Apple’s the leader here and it currently has over 8,500 compatible apps in its store at the last count (you can expect this number to adjust considerably over time).
What’s more, as its apps can be merely extensions of iPhone apps, it’s easy for developers to make them converted – and they’re doing so in droves. Now that watchOS 2 has added support for native apps we will get quality apps, not just quantity apps from the App Store.
Samsung’s Tizen is also showing good numbers with its Tizen OS, and there are over one thousand apps as of now.
The Pebble watches have a decent array of apps made by their loyal fans and enthusiastic developers who backed their effort well since the Kickstarter campaign kicked off the whole smartwatch frenzy thing… But those usually lack the quality of the Apple selection. There’s just a smattering which takes advantage of the Time’s color e-paper screen or Timeline functionality. The same way, Android Wear also has a up-and-coming store, but like the early days of Android smartphones, it still lacks new solutions and ideas, just as well as competitive quality over a year after Wear’s launch.