Updated Detailed User Guide for Version 6.2.1 – here.
In Short – very positive.
New Sony SW2 Detailed User Guide http://bit.ly/HNluv5
- It is now my main daily watch – hence my focus in Augmented will be for this new watch with even more potential
Update Sept 25 –
Sony updated their Smart Watch 2 app and SDK 2.0. IMO they regressed a bit backwards so the current version of Augmented does not behave as I had it running on their prior Beta SW as follows:
- After a notification is shown it will go back to the home screen for about 8 seconds or so, and then show the default watchface. Prior to this update the default watchface was shown immediately after the Augmented notification. This is a minor issue (assuming no major hit to the battery life) – will monitor it.
- The options and back buttons show different menu options within Augmented. Prior to this update, the display of these menus was very smooth. Now the display is “jerky” as it paints the menus twice. I cannot seem to prevent this with the current Sony SDK/firmware but will monitor with future updates.
Update Sept 19 –
I will be presenting at two conferences very soon – FITC and Android BBQ. One aspect I will be discussing is criteria when considering purchasing a Smart Watch. I list the following: Environmental, Battery, Connectivity, Software Capability and At a glance/Hands-free. I review the Sony SmartWatch 2 (SW2) here based on these criteria and after 10 days of use
Environmental – In short very positive – water resistant and ability to view in sunlight have both been addressed admirably. My only negative is that viewing the SW2 display with polarized glasses is challenging. With the always on watchface it also looks like a regular watch.
Battery – With the MN2 I had to charge every day (to be safe) and I consider my daily use-case to be intensive. With the SW2 I can go two full days so I am pleased. Moreover since the battery connector is a standard micro-usb, I don’t have to worry about carrying the special charging cable (as I did with the MN2). The Pebble is better in this regard. In fact I have been not topping off the Pebble daily to see how many days (edit it is @ 5 days) it can go without any charging (since I don’t have to worry about it running out as it is not my main device today).
Connectivity – In short, even with beta software on the SW2, it is rock solid. Note I am connecting the SW2 to a Sony Z Ultra (so I cannot comment on connectivity with non Sony phones just yet). I noticed it does disconnect whenever I connect a Bluetooth headset but it immediately reconnects.I have added the auto reconnect logic in Augmented as a fail-safe also which works like it does with the Pebble. So in short it is 100% reliable – not something I can say about the Pebble in this regard (when using Canvas).
Software Capability – I only need Augmented and the Incoming Call app – both work very well on the SW2. In experimenting with various things, I can trigger the Sony firmware to get to an unstable state (requiring a reboot), but I have now tuned Augmented SmartWatch Pro to avoid these trigger states – so it is indeed 100% reliable. I also rooted my Sony Z Ultra so I can now get Sender/Subejct and Email Preview for Exchange email and GMail via Augmented SmartWatch Pro.
At a Glance/Hands-Free – With Augmented SmartWatch Pro, this is the primary use case which is now optimized for the Sony SW2. I eagerly await the low power mode support in the Sony SDK2 to always have Augmented “displayed” similar to using Canvas on the Pebble. I currently do have a “Alpha” version of this but it is not yet 100% stable (hence the Alpha designation).
I am pleased that Augmented SmartWatch Pro 5.2 will be fully optimized and tuned for the new Sony Smartwatch 2 right out of the gate in time for the global release of this watch. Compared to support for the Sony Smart Watch (MN2), Augmented SmartWatch adds the following new capabiities unique to the SW2 (in addition to the legendary support for rich notifications):
- Tasker Integration
- Music Playback controls
- Canned SMS Responses
- Display tuned for the higher res-Sony SmartWatch 2 (which is >
- 2x the display resolution of the MN2)
- Ability to configure key options using the app on the SW2
- (Stealth Mode, Vibrations and Alerts)
Update 4 days with the new Sony Smart Watch 2:
- Battery life impresses – at least 2x the battery life of the Sony SmartWatch 1 even with Beta software.
- Sony is delaying the release of the Smart Watch 2 to the end of September
- The current software is buggy – 3 times now, it gets into a state where I need to either use NFC to restart the Sony Watch 2 (what do those that do not have NFC do if they get into a similar state?) or the Augmented App gets into a state where notifications are not displayed – I can eventually recover but I am not yet sure on what needs to be done to recover as I have tried several different things – my current theory is that killing the Smart Connect software is the key thing to do (as otherwise the Sony software reports back incorrect capabilities to the application software it appears).
- That said given that it is Beta software – I am confident it will be resolved by the end of this month prior to the global release.
- Augmented SmartWatch 5.1 will really shine with the Sony SmartWatch 2. Other than the issues above, I am quite happy with the new Sony Smart Watch 2 so far
Key Improvements over the Sony Watch 1:
- Battery life – while too early to say but it seems very good – much better than the 1 and may even better than what I saw on the Pebble
- Always on watch to tell the time
- Vibration is stronger than Sony 1 and Pebble – I reduced the pulse on time 300ms and only 1 pulse. I also added the option for no vibrations as in meetings it may otherwise be distracting to others
- Disconnects/re-connects – 100% stable so far – always automatically reconnects – does disconnect when I disconnect a Bluetooth speaker (connected to the same android) but it quickly re-connects
- Water resistance – not yet tested but should be comparable to the Pebble
- Battery charger is now standard (micro-usb)
- Sunlight viewing – much better
- Software SDK – some keys features
- larger display area (220×176) which is more than 200% more pixels than with the Sony 1
- dedicated soft keys (back, home, options) – image below shows Icon options for music controls
- low power mode to allow an app to continue to be displayed – not yet available in SDK
Still lacking vs Pebble:
- The Pebble magnetic charger is nice but non-standard – so I am not sure if this is a pro for the Pebble
- Music controls still better on the Pebble – less buttons to do something – but Augmented on Sony Watch 2 now has all capabilities
- Always on watchface – Canvas and Augmented was a killer combo (IMO), I hope with the low active mode by Sony I can at least have the ability to leave Augmented running on the watch all the time.
Waiting for from Sony:
- Widget mode has been eliminated (for now)
- Ability to add to new events queue is gone
Augmented SmartWatch Pro 5.0 for the Sony SmartWatch 2:
- I am bringing over the best from the Pebble to the Sony Watch 2!
- Optimized view for 220×176
- Tasker integration
- 2-way canned SMS responses
- Music controls
- Will continue to focus on an “optimized” experience for Augmented on the Sony Watch 2 (as was done in the past for the Pebble and Sony 1)