With so many people asking me about my smart watch, I decided to share My experience with my LG G Watch R and the many benefits of Android Wear.
This past CyberMonday 2014 I made the leap and bought my first smart watch, an Android Wear Device the LG G Watch R powered by Android Wear. It took me countless hours of research before I made the leap. I was torn between the Motorola 360, the Asus ZenWatch and the LG G Watch R. The biggest challenge to my decision process was trying to catch a rare glimpse of one of these devices in the wild, as I like touch and feel before I buy. In November 2014 there were plenty of teasers out there talking about the devices and Android Wear, and the companies websites often said their devices were at Best Buy, but the ZenWatch and LG G Watch R were impossible to find anywhere, only the Motorola 360 was available.
My Initial Goal
I saw a smart watch as a tool to enhance my experience with my phone, an extension of my HTC One android device, while allowing me to distance myself from it, something important for my relationship with my wife and kids. As the owner of Head of Lettuce Media, I am in an industry where everything revolves around being connected, often the devices that connect us to others, can separate us from those we really care about. How often have you gone to a restaurant, a park or an event to see something like this?
I looked to my LG G watch R and Android Wear to streamline my interactions with the regular alerts, push notifications, text messages, and ill-timed phone calls. Having access to dismiss all of these interruptions without ever having to look at my phone is priceless. Almost instantly I recognized the benefit of not having to pull my phone out, but also the new silence of never hearing another alert or phone call (my watch vibrates with alerts, and dismissing them is as easy as swiping your finger across the screen.)
The benefit of “OK Google”
A surprising benefit of android wear is how easy my watch makes it to interact with the “Google cards” and voice interactions that make an Android phone such an underestimated blessing. Just by saying “Ok Google, remind me the next time I’m at Target to get Coffee” to my watch, I am alerted the next time I am at Target to get Coffee. I can make quick reminders like “Ok Google, remind me next Tuesday to finish my Blog”, without ever having to pull my phone out of my pocket, and then be reminded on that same watch of things to do in the future. While adapting to the alerts on the watch was an instant benefit, adjusting to the voice prompts took some time to get used to, but I found myself to be more efficient at making reminders to contact people or follow up on meetings.
Replying to Text Messages has become so easy, I just read the message on my watch, and scroll the screen to the left, then taping reply. I just dictate my responses, and the system shows me my text for me to approve and send. Google has done such a good job on their voice input, that no matter what the ambient noise is, I am able to respond with voice. I have even responded to settings with loud music and ambient noise, with no problem.
It has now been over 3 months since I got my device, and every day I am thankful that I jumped off the fence and committed to buying my device. I look forward to seeing how wearable devices will evolve, and no matter how far they might jump forward on the next iteration, I will be forever thankful for the device I have now. If I decide in a year to update, I will feel the money was well spent on my current device, even if I upgrade, as the benefits have already paid for themselves in the way my life has been improved.
If you are considering a smartwatch, get one, you will be so glad you did. Feel free to leave a comment on your experience with Android Wear, or any questions you might have on the value and benefits I have found.