Do not make the mistake of ignoring the Samsung Gear S2. As Andrew will show in his review this week, it's an imperfect smartwatch, but also one that's lightyears ahead of its similarly Tizen-powered predecessors. Far better both in physical design, as well as where Samsung's brought the software.
I was surprised by the performance more than a month ago in Berlin. And couple that with the best damned AMOLED display you can find anywhere, and you have the makings of an excellent alternative to Android Wear. It's not going to supplant it. (Though it'll be interesting to see what sort of marketing muscle Samsung puts behind its new watches. And whether Google revives its excellent "Be together, not the same" campaign.) And while a good many of the apps Samsung showed us on the Gear S2 aren't actually available yet, I still think it's going to give Google a run for its money in that department, too. (And I wonder if Samsung subsidized any of those costs for the developers.) On the other hand, it's not like Google's stopped development on Android Wear. We know new things are in the works.
I'll let Andrew dive into the reasons why the Gear S2 has sent me back to the Huawei Watch (and finally, this week, I'll give the new Moto 360 a shot). But that said, it's still going to serve a lot of Samsung faithful (and others) very well.
A few other thoughts on things:
- An excellent job from Russell looking at Android 6.0 Marshmallow as a whole. It's tricky "reviewing" Android as an OS, of course. Who knows what Samsung and Sony and Motorola and LG and HTC and the like will end up doing to it.
- There's nothing wrong with a vanity project, of course. And I can't wait for everyone to see what Alex has been working on. (I can't wait to see it either, for that matter.)
- I used to go to Stone Mountain on occasion as a kid. Nice to see it finally changing with the times.
- Google Play Music on Android Auto could really use some better search. Pandora almost is a better option at this point.
- Since the second-gen Moto E apparently won't be updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Motorola either needs to quit selling it, or put a big disclaimer on its product page. (At the very least it could update its tech specs to 5.1.1.)
- Look for v2 of the Android Central App this week. Again, this is a basic (though pretty comprehensive) Material Design refresh. It's not a perfect one, however. Some features need a larger reworking of the code, which we're starting to work on now.
- Every time I wish I knew how to code and start looking at learning it, I'm reminded that my brain just isn't wired that way.
- I don't always agree with Mother Jones, but good on them for fighting (and winning) this one. My paper went through the same sort of thing a decade ago.
- No, USA Today. Just ... no.
That's it for this week. Lot's to come. Y'all have a good Sunday.