1. Ralph Basile's Avatar
    I have had a Wear watch since the OG Moto 360. My current watch is the Mobvoi Pro. Just got it a week ago. I really like it. I have really liked all of my Wear watches. I had the second generation Moto 360 in Gold and I can tell you I have never gotten so many complements on a watch before or since.

    Wear OS is incredibly useful. I get notifications on my wrist, even if my phone is not handy. Notifications I don't want, I turn off (such as emails). When driving, or riding a bike, I can look at my watch for turn by turn directions when using navigation - and not need to consult the phone. This proves incredibly useful - particularly in rentals when I am in a strange city. I use the voice prompts on the phone, but I can look at the screen on the watch to see what the next turn will be.
    I have an app Wearcast that allows me to play podcasts on my watch when I am running. The same watch, of course, logs my run. It counts my steps.

    I can consult the weather. I can get news and sports updates.

    Oh yeah, and it even tells me the time .

    In short, I find my Wear watch incredibly useful and am glad everyday that I have one.

    So why do tech journalists hate Wear OS (and Android Wear before it)? I do not get it. I know they b!tch about it all the time and consider it "hot garbage" or "a dumpster fire." And this opinion seems practically universal amongst the tech scribes. But I have never heard one of them articulate a reason for hating Wear OS so thoroughly - except for maybe one - Wear OS is a pain when switching devices.

    Whether it is a new watch, or a new phone, when you go to pair, devices, it is a relatively long, multi-step process. So if that is the reason for the hate - I understand. Tech journalists are getting new phones all the time. So having to go through the hassle of pairing up with their Wear OS watch probably does not seem like it is worth the effort. I wish that Google would address this one glaring weakness and make the transition to new devices easier.

    But I also wish the tech journalists would also just make it clear this is why they do not use or like Wear OS. Their's is a special use case - one not likely to apply to the vast majority of their audience.

    If I got this wrong, and there are other reasons to hate Wear OS, please enlighten me.
    B. Diddy and Nostromo79 like this.
    02-27-2019 05:44 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    I don't quite understand it myself -- I've enjoyed my experience with Wear OS (currently using a Michael Kors Access Grayson on the H update, just updated to the February security patch). Whenever I listen to the guys on either the Android Central or Android Police podcast ripping into it, the usual argument is that Wear OS isn't good for fitness tracking, especially the social aspect of it -- and since Apple <chorus of angels> does that so well, then Wear OS is terrible and doomed. Maybe it is, but I've never been particularly interested in using my watch as a fitness tracker, since I've always felt that I can get myself to the gym or otherwise be active on my own. And the social part of fitness tracking just doesn't register in any part of my cortical or subcortical brain -- I don't really give a rat's patootie how many steps my friends are taking.

    What I like about it is having a good looking watch (MK/Fossil always does a nice job) whose watchface I can change every day (like having 30 watches in one), and whose notifications can help me from having to pull out my phone in the middle of patient care.

    BTW, you had posted this in the Wear OS for iPhone forum, presumably by accident. I moved it to the general Wear OS forum.
    Dankees likes this.
    02-27-2019 06:50 PM
  3. kramer5150's Avatar
    Android wear was a GREAT experience / turned terrible for me on a moto360 gen2, 46mm. GREAT hardware by moto, but just an AWFUL software maintenance experience. It was great for 11 months, then they rolled out android wear 2.X and thats when I had all kinds of problems.

    Biggest problem is the AW 2.0 install would not import my google profile information onto my phone, and there was no way to manually enter my personal information from my google account. The install simply spooled, crashed and timed out at that point. That really shouldn't be THAT big of a deal... One would think I just run the old AW 1.X... Right?... WRONG!!

    Somehow in the process of that broken installation, AW2.0 completely killed my bluetooth notifications, and nothing I tried could recover them. So I basically had a dumb watch with a ~30 hour battery, where I just used it as a night stand clock (a $370 night stand clock!!). Finally after ~3 months sitting on my night stand they got it right and it was AW~2.6 that FINALLY installed cleanly.

    The performance was laggy, bluetooth notifications crapping out at random were my 2 biggest complaints. There was something else too... I think it was pressing the button, and it opened up the swap faces scrolling screen. I found that TOTALLY useless for the watches only mechanical hardware UI interaction. No one needs to change watch faces THAT regularly.

    So a crappy install, terminating bluetooth notifications for txt/voice/gmail at random were my two biggest complaints. Secondary complaint was the poorly thought out UI ergonomics. My watch was never the same after AW2.0

    Prior to that AW 1.X was awesome for a year, I LOVED it!!... they didn't need to change anything!! For some stupid reason they did, for the worst. When AW2.X finally did install (after ~3 months) it was buggy, laggy, didn't work, changed the UI around a lot for no real reason. Not very well thought out from my experience.

    Now in 2019 I do like WearOS much MUCH better. Its still a little funky/inconsistent during updates though. I have gotten 4 since Dec 2018 on my fossil gen4 explorist. The updates are unpredictable when they hit you, and the most obtrusive update forced itself on me in the morning and I had no way to wait and install it at a later time when I wanted.

    I LOVE the fossil gen 4 explorist btw... awesome hardware, crisp sharp display. It looks like a traditional watch... which I like. WearOS gets a "little" laggy and stutters a little every once in a while. But not often enough to be a problem for me.

    So IMHO this platform is GREAT when it works. When it doesn't, it has me reaching for another watch that day. For that I have reservations about openly recommending it to others.
    Nostromo79 likes this.
    02-28-2019 11:08 AM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Speaking of Fossil, they're running some deep discounts right now on their site: https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/0...as-low-as-134/
    02-28-2019 11:37 AM
  5. kramer5150's Avatar
    My experience with a fossil gen4 explorist, purchased Dec 2018.

    1st WearOS update, Mid January 2019
    I took the watch off the over-night charge, it would not turn on. It was simply a blank screen. The WearOS app on my phone said it was trying to connect over bluetooth. I long press the power button hoping to boot-cycle. After a couple tries it did re-boot, where I was greeted with a ~30 minute OS download. During the update it was chugging through battery at a rate of 10% every ~7-8 minutes. I had to leave it on the charger throughout. At no point was I given the option to pause or stop the installation and resume later at a time of my choice. Furthermore I suspect it needed to maintain the wifi connection. Luckily it was a monday morning, and my schedule was wide open so I had time to waste. I do not know what would have happened if I had to leave the house wifi half way through the update procedure. Would it still be functional with half a download? Would it revert back to the last known OS version? Would it brick the watch?

    2nd WearOS update, Mid Ferbruary 2019:
    I was wearing the watch as I normally do during the work week and I noticed I stopped getting bluetooth notifications for text messages. Notifications worked fine for everything else. WearOS on my phone said it was bluetooth connected fine. I cleared cache on the phone, re-booted phone and watch... nothing changed, so I left it alone. Got home in the evening played around with it and realized there was another WearOS update on my phone waiting to download/install. It only took 10 minutes to download and install this time between the phone and watch. As before the watch needed to be plugged into the charger. What's disturbing this time is how a WearOS update waiting on standby to install managed to kill my text message notifications from android messages.

    3rd WearOS update, Early March 2019:
    I took it off the charger one morning and the bluetooth radio did not connect. Even though the watch bluetooth connectivity screen says connected to my phone. WearOS app on my phone only says "Connected"... not "Connected via bluetooth" like it normally does. I try and use the WatchMaker app to change watch faces over bluetooth and it results in a watch not connected warning.

    At that moment I received a gmail message... and I get no notification for that on the watch.

    I checked the Google playstore app and sure enough, there was another update waiting for me to download. It was a quick update, a few minutes and once I did that everything was fine.

    4th WearOS update: March 8, 2019:
    This one went fine and without a hitch. Nothing disconnected on the watch and notifications were uninterrupted. Minor update, took just a few minutes to download and install.

    5th WearOS update: May 24, 2019
    This one was a doozie. It took a good ~10 minutes to download and another 7-8 to install itself. Then it took another ~1 hour to "settle down". During that settle down period my phone ran hot to the touch and WearOS was guzzling the battery, about double the rate of my screen or the next highest consumer. That was not the worst part. The worst part was it could not maintain connection to my watch until later that evening. I have no idea what WearOS was doing but it clearly was struggling, choking and gagging on itself. Once it established connectivity and slowed down the battery my phone temperatures dropped back down to normal in the evening. BUT in the process it terminated permission settings with Android Messages. Even though I fully allow ALL permission settings on the watch and phone app. Fortunately another YT-er instructed me to toggle the permission settings OFF then ON with the watch... and this fixed it. All is well now.

    For whatever reason, WearOS updates waiting to install, remotely disrupt operation of the watch. There is no warning, no heads-up, and many times no option to decline the update or delay it to a latter time of my choice. Out of the blue at random I have a non functioning watch. These are the very same things I did not like about Android Wear, 3-4 years prior. Clearly Google has made no progress improving the ecosystem maintenance.

    For comparison-sakes I have owned an Amazfit stratos literally in parallel with the Fossil, both purchased mid Dec 2018. It received 3-4 updates for the watch or phone app. Over that time that went completely without incident. Amazfit app updated automatically and pushed itself over to the watch via bluetooth. At no point did the watch lose functionality, or if it did it was so seamless and quick enough that I didn't even notice.

    So in all honesty I can NOT openly recommend any WearOS watch to just anyone. My opinion is its a tech-savy product that I think requires a tech minded mentality to maintain. Its not the ideal product for the general consumer. For the competent Android tech-mind, be forewarned its a LOT like the earliest days of Android, and its predecessor Android Wear... buggy, laggy, unreliable, and you need to be pretty tech-savvy to maintain the ecosystem. You have to find ways to keep the ecosystem running. It does not maintain itself very well at all.

    UNLIKE your android phone however, updates waiting on standby will terminate basic functions of the watch. This is my biggest complaint.

    The general YT tech-review communities have not openly embraced the platform for various reasons. I think the overall dislike for WearOS is "too little too late". No one likes the SD2100 and the newer SD3100. They can be a laggy and janky at times, and battery life still only tops out at ~2 days (YMMV). And I agree, as a BASIC bluetooth notifier / step counter there is really not much of a noticeable difference between them and the old SD400 in my 46mm moto 360 (which BTW still today runs on WearOS). The SD400 and motorola product dates back to 2014.

    5 years is an ETERNITY in consumer tech. Look back at Apple, Samsung, fitbit, Garmin and the RELIABLE improvements they have made to their products over that time. They
    have managed to leave this android platform in the dust. 4~5 years ago Android Wear was with Sony, ASUS, LG, Motorola... all are long gone from this market. Remember the Verizon Wear24?... that thing was on their store shelves for what ~ a week, a day? I have NEVER seen a consumer product discontinue itself that fast. Even the Galaxy note 7 had a longer shelf life... despite burning people and threatening to crash airplanes. Huawei has now moved on to their own proprietary OS. AFIAK Nixon has not released a smartwatch in a couple years. Although Casio, Fossil and Diesel are still holding the fort from those earlier days.

    It is what it is.... shrug.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    03-01-2019 10:29 AM
  6. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Wow -- you ought to write for tech sites, if you don't already! All very good points, although I would say that I haven't noted the update issue on my watches (but then again, I wasn't watching closely for that kind of behavior). You don't happen to have more than one Wear OS watch, do you? It'd be interesting to compare them, to see if the same behavior occurs on both.
    03-01-2019 02:33 PM
  7. kramer5150's Avatar
    LOL... thanks.

    no I am not affiliated with any tech site. I'm just a hobby-ist. I just have my fossil and my moto 360. I am thinking about getting a full Android watch though. Lemfo LEM8 or LEM-X. Might try and track down a michael Kors too. I don't have too may TJ Maxx stores around me though.

    That Huawei Watch GT looks really good too.

    My posts come across a bit harsh... I really am happy with the Fossil gen 4 explorist. Despite all the weird things with the OS updates I really do like it. I have the all black one with rubber sport strap. I think it looks stunning. I have been wearing it all week, while the Amazfit stratos is just at night for sleep tracking.

    LOVE the watchmaker app too... I check its user forum every night for new watch faces to download.
    B. Diddy likes this.
    03-01-2019 06:29 PM
  8. pizza_pablo's Avatar
    I don't understand it either, but they surely have no love for Android Wear OS!

    I really hated the version with swipe left or right for watchface change, but I really like my smartwatches.
    The version that took that away is what should have been version 2.0!
    03-10-2019 08:02 PM
  9. kramer5150's Avatar
    The other pain point is battery life... The only way I make it a full day is to turn off everything except bluetooth vibration for txt, call and g-mail, and daily pedometer-step count. Screen is always off, no NFC...etc...etc.

    Below example 1 is a good-battery day. I took it off charger at 6:15AM, 45 minute GPS walk around noon and ended the day at 10:11 with ~44% battery. This is not the norm, I would consider this a best case. Normally I finish a day like this at ~15%.



    The battery percentage chart shows what I think is the biggest battery problem with WearOS. "Watch Idle" for me is always the biggest battery consumer by a significant amount. Sitting idle WearOS consumes most of the battery without significantly enhancing the end user experience.

    Below example 2, another good day but without 45 minutes of GPS...
    This cycle I got about 2 days. I got a TON of txt message notifications during day-1, where I glanced at them on the watch screen just to identify the senders. I did not do any interactions with them on the watch screen. It's easier to just pull out my phone.

    25 hours from 6:30AM-day1 to 7:26AM-day2, no overnight charging. Battery was 49% consumed (51% remaining at 7:26AM-day2).


    There still are a lot of background processes eating up battery. 26+4+3+2+1=36% and does not add up to the full 49% depletion,there is 13% depletion unaccounted for. Between 26% "watch idle" and the unaccounted 13%... that's 39% of the 49% depletion being used for background and idle processes. I am not sure what WearOS is doing with that 39%, It seems pretty wasteful though. . It's certainly not being used to enhance the end user experience, as far as I can tell.

    It doesn't seem like Google/Android is a very good platform for a smartwatch OS. It's just too expansive, too big, too vast. It requires too much battery power doing (basically) nothing but sitting idle. None of the WearOS, or full Android watches get longer than ~2 days with 1.5 days between charges being typical.
    03-19-2019 11:08 AM
  10. Dankees's Avatar
    LOL... thanks.

    no I am not affiliated with any tech site. I'm just a hobby-ist. I just have my fossil and my moto 360. I am thinking about getting a full Android watch though. Lemfo LEM8 or LEM-X. Might try and track down a michael Kors too. I don't have too may TJ Maxx stores around me though.

    That Huawei Watch GT looks really good too.

    My posts come across a bit harsh... I really am happy with the Fossil gen 4 explorist. Despite all the weird things with the OS updates I really do like it. I have the all black one with rubber sport strap. I think it looks stunning. I have been wearing it all week, while the Amazfit stratos is just at night for sleep tracking.

    LOVE the watchmaker app too... I check its user forum every night for new watch faces to download.
    Which forum(s) do you check for new faces?
    05-20-2019 07:28 AM
  11. anon(661246)'s Avatar
    not so much hate for wearos but hardware that is way too old
    06-12-2019 07:06 PM
  12. recDNA's Avatar
    I wish there were a forum here with comments on Playstore watch faces. I like to read about others' experiences before wasting 2 bucks on a watch face that drains the battery in an hour or bombards you with ads
    08-08-2020 11:02 AM
  13. B. Diddy's Avatar
    I wish there were a forum here with comments on Playstore watch faces. I like to read about others' experiences before wasting 2 bucks on a watch face that drains the battery in an hour or bombards you with ads
    This is my favorite, but the problem is that I think they pretty much ended support for it. A couple of years ago, I paid about $10 for permanent access to the whole collection, which is still very good. At some point, I think they changed to an ongoing subscription plan. You can try installing the app and seeing what the options are. It does have a number of good free watchfaces, so at least you can use those. I haven't experienced any significant battery drain with any of their watchfaces.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...dd.watchmaster
    08-09-2020 10:23 PM
  14. recDNA's Avatar
    Thanks! I tend to shy away from any apps that even include a subscription option. I accidentally got into one last year and had trouble getting out.
    I also do not want to support any developers who even ask for customers to commit to ongoing payments.
    08-09-2020 10:27 PM
  15. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Yeah, I can understand that. But still, it does have some free watchfaces, so still worth checking those out.
    08-10-2020 11:22 AM
  16. Ry's Avatar
    They're not bad. It's just they're not as good as Apple Watch or Samsung's...
    08-11-2020 12:54 PM
  17. recDNA's Avatar
    They're not bad. It's just they're not as good as Apple Watch or Samsung's...
    I like them better than Samsung because there are so few decent apps for Samsung watches.

    Apple watches are so good I'd almost switch to an iPhone... almost.
    08-11-2020 05:19 PM
  18. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Personally, I hate how the Apple Watch looks. Call me old school, but I still want a watch to look like a nice elegant watch.
    08-11-2020 08:21 PM

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