Right before consumer electronics companies hit IFA in Berlin and unleashed a barrage of smartwatches, Google confirmed plans to bring offline music playback and GPS support to Android Wear. Good thing, too, since some of the devices unveiled at the show included those very features.
Google actually promised us two updates, one that would bring offline music playback and support for GPS and one that would bring custom watch faces to Android Wear devices. With October almost over, we’re finally getting the first of those updates.
Android Police reports that Android Wear 4.4W.2 Build KNX01Q is rolling out to G Watch users and packs support for offline music playback and support for music playback. The G Watch, without any GPS radio, doesn’t have any need for the GPS support that would allow you to track exercise or trips without the help of your smartphone.
We reported in September that this update would likely arrive just ahead of Sony’s SmartWatch 3, which just hit Google Play with a ‘coming soon’ tag last week. Priced at $279.99 CAD, the SmartWatch 3 is on the high-end of the scale price wise, though it does pack a 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU, a 1.6-inch 320 x 320 display, and 512 MB of RAM, so it’s not lacking ooph under the hood.
Of course, it also has that all important GPS chip, and the ability to interact with other Bluetooth devices. The SmartWatch 3 can sync songs and playlists via the Walkman app and play them back through your Bluetooth headset.
Still no official announcement from Google about the Android Wear update, though Android did receive confirmation from the search giant that this was the update we’ve been waiting for.