Google Inc (GOOGL)’s Android Wear in Vintage, if Somewhat Clumsy Form in New Moto 360 Smartwatch

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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Android Wear is no stranger to the slowly proliferating wearables industry. The mobile OS has appeared in Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch (the Samsung-developed Tizen OS was used for the Gear S and Gear 2 smartwatches), as well as LG’s G Watch. Most recently it’s appearing in Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch, which according to The Verve in their review of the new device today, raises the smartwatch bar just ahead of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s expected iWatch reveal on Tuesday.

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Of the three smartwatches, the Moto 360 is the first to put Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Wear to work on a circular watch face,  and the results are not ideal according to the review. The OS was clearly optimized for rectangular screens despite Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s  claims that it is circular compatible, and the result is text and images that can get cut around the edges of the watch’s 1.65 inch screen.

Otherwise, the Moto 360 functions similarly to the other Wear smartwatches, with alerts like notifications, emails, texts, and tweets all appearing in a scrolling bar along the bottom of the watch face. There’s also an Android Wear app called Runtastic that provides some fitness tracking features (the Moto 360 also has a heart rate monitor and pedometer, though these aren’t as accurate as standalone fitness trackers). Nor is Runtastic one of the few Wear-compatible apps; thousands of apps have been updated with Wear functionality according to Wear’s engineering director, David Singleton, during an interview with CNET.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is preparing a couple of different updates for the Wear OS, both of which will be released before the end of the year. The first will allow for GPS and offline music playback, while custom watch faces will be enabled in a future update.

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Wear figures to be the leading platform for wearable devices, much like their Android OS has become for smartphones. The newly announced Asus ZenWatch will use the OS, while Sony will finally make the jump to Wear with their SmartWatch 3, after sticking with their own OS for the SmartWatch 2.

Appaloosa Management, run by fund manager David Tepper, is now one of the largest hedge fund shareholders of Google with over 600,000 shares, all of which were purchased during their last filing period, which was reported on June 30.

Disclosure: none

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