is rolling out an Android ar update that adds features for local music storage on-board G tracking—two nifty tricks that will let you leave your smartphone at home when it’s time for that epic jog. I’ve just posted a how-to that explains how to use Android ar’s offline music feature, but G tracking isn’t so accessible for now.
Announced in a Thursday blog post, Android ar 4.42 adds support for G tech built directly into watches. This will allow you to track data points like distance, speed, mapping when you’re out for a run, all without packing along your cumbersome smartphone.
But there’s a critical gotcha: None of today’s three available Android ar watches include hardware G. Nor is G available in the G tch R, which will hit stores in early November. The first Android ar watch that can take advantage of the new G feature is Sony’s Smartwatch 3, which is available for pre-order from Verizon should ship within a week.
The other big feature is support for onboard music storage Bluetooth headphone pairing, this will be available to any watch that gets the ar update. In a nutshell, you’ll be able to place music tracks directly in your watch’s onboard storage, listen to that music directly through Bluetooth headphones paired with the watch. The practical upshot: You won’t have to bring your smartphone along for exercise sessions, you won’t have any wires tethering your earbuds to your wrist.
l of today’s Android ar watches come with 4GB of storage, though obviously, not all of that capacity will be available for music. The feature works well, but I haven’t yet had a chance to suss out offline music playback’s impact on battery life. Our Moto 360 loaner has already been updated to 4.42. Ditto my G tch R review unit. It’s not immediately clear in the Android ar app (or watch interface) how to get music on the watch, so make sure to check out my how-to if you’re confused.
says owners of the G tch, Samsung Gear ve Moto 360 will receive the ar update in the “next few days.”
y this matters: at have you done for me lately? That’s what every phone user asks of his or her mobile OS. And now that attitude applies to smartwatches as well. If you’re not constantly moving forward iterating, you’re basically moving backward.
It’s critical for to prove that Android ar is a vibrant, living, ever-maturing platform, Thursday’s update underscores this point. And, of course, on a practical level, these new features help address a significant smartwatch pain point: That annoying reliance on direct smartphone pairing.