Sony SmartWatch Android remote
Bluetooth strap-on second coming
Review Sony has tried this remote phone manager and viewer malarkey before with its LiveView that first appeared almost two years ago. The idea was sound but the execution was somewhat undermined by the fact it just didn’t work. Evidently, Sony thinks it’s time for another crack at this concept with the SmartWatch
Sony's SmartWatch: works on phones running Android 2.1 or higher
As before, this accessory is designed to connect to your Android phone using Bluetooth and enables control of your music as well as at-a-glance updates of your messages and social network feeds. All in all, it endeavours to manage your mobile life without you needing to actually touch your handset.
To get it working you need to download the free Sony LiveWare and SmartWatch apps from the Play Store and then download more mini-apps into LiveWare to add functions beyond telling the time. It’s a bit of a faff but it only needs to be done the once.
Management screen – individual apps have to be downloadad
Sony has developed around a dozen in-house SmartWatch apps that allow you to see Facebook and Twitter updates; check the weather forecast; control your phone’s music player; read SMS messages and calendar notifications; manage calls and access your phonebook.
To add more functionality you can download an increasing number of third-party apps from the Play Store. I headed straight for the K9 mail notifier, battery widget and an app that shows your location in Google Maps. These choices, along with the Sony apps, all worked perfectly on my HTC Desire HD – so owners of non-Sony Android smartphones can buy without fear, just as along as the handset runs v2.1 or better.
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Re: Dear Sony
And yet the wristwatch took over from the pocket watch because on the wrist is more convinient for some tasks than in a pocket.
>Please someone tell me the point in this?
You talk like you've never heard of Dick Tracy.
Re: Please someone tell me the point in this?
Okay. I'm a race-walker. I spend many hours out on the roads using my phone and Endomondo to track my training. You might not have noticed but in the UK in rains a fair bit. My phone sits in the pocket on my bottle belt. If I want to check on my progress I have to reach around, unzip the pocket, take the phone out, turn it on and unlock it. That's assuming I CAN unlock it. If it is REALLY pissing down the water buggers up the capacitive screen and I'm stuffed. With one of these, I just glance at my watch.
Granted, I could get a GPS watch like the Forerunner 310 CX - but that costs about £240 and I would STILL need to take a phone with me for emergencies etc.
I can also read texts to see if they are important without getting the phone out etc. etc.
"To charge the SmartWatch you get a USB cable with a proprietary connection"
Considering people like me will always be forgetting to charge it (I never charge my watch after all) you'd have thought Sony would have tried to go for the industry-standard micro-USB charging connector wouldn't you?
But what would I know, I'm no industrial designer.
These sorts of things
Are just begging for a reasonably open two way, OS agnostic, low power protocol over bluetooth which allows a device such as a watch, remote control, car dash etc. be able to display an interface to an app running remotely somewhere else.
Watches are just one niche example. Smart remotes are where the action is. Imagine a remote control which shows a mini EPG, or shows you a chapter selection from a DVD, or lets you turn your thermostat down. Car dashboards could benefit too (safety permitting) by allowing users to see their contacts, view maps, or other apps which operate remotely that run on their phones.