Google to Offer GPS Support and Offline Music on Android Wear Devices

Android Wear smartwatches are far from being perfect wearables, but for the time being Google intends to improve their functionality. GPS support and offline music playback will be offered in the form of updates in the coming months.

Moto 360 went on sale today for $249.99, and hands-on reviews are already available on major sites. That sounds like great news, as this was one of the most anticipated wearables this year, but this Android Wear device is not without downsides. The most prominent one must be the poor battery life, and while that can be slightly improved through future updates, Google’s main focus now is on providing current and future Android Wear smartwatches with GPS support and offline music playback.

David Singleton, Engineering Director, Android Wear mentioned in a blog post published today what you should expect soon on an Android Wear smartwatch near you: “First, we’re bringing offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Go for a run or bike ride with your Android wearable and leave your phone at home. You’ll be able to listen to music stored on your watch via Bluetooth headphones. And if your watch includes a GPS sensor, you can track your distance and speed too.

The second update will enable downloadable watch faces, so you can customize the visual design of your swatch’s home screen to show the information you want to see most—like your calendar or fitness sensors. Developers will soon be working on watch faces, making them available on Google Play.”

If I’m not mistaken, Pebble had downloadable watch faces from the very beginning, so Mountain View is a bit late at that. Still, it’s great to see that the company offers some degree of flexibility and that it encourages developers to work on new watch faces.

As for the GPS functionality, that’ll definitely prove useful when working out. I really hope that such fitness tracking apps as Endomondo will be adapted for Android Wear, even though their developers didn’t show much interest for wearables.

The Android Wear line will soon grow larger, as other anticipated smartwatches will join in. Asus Zen Watch, LG G Watch R and Sony Smartwatch 3 will prove in the near future what Android Wear is capable of. Obviously, each of these will come with unique features, in order to guarantee some differentiation.

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