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[Discussion] [MIUI Device Team] MIUI Monthly Talk - September 2016: Amazfit, Wear and More!

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07:35, Sep-18-2016 | From PC
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Go to reply no.
This post was edited by larstas at 04:08, Sep-20-2016

monthly_talk.png



Hello, MIUIers
Welcome to MIUI Monthly Talk.
A month have passed since our last talk by @soumya_2002. This means that it's time for a new talk about the tech trends. So here we go.

Tech of the Month

The Tech of the Month, according to our decision is the Amazfit SmartWatch.

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amazfit_photo2.jpg
amazfit_photo3.jpg

Xiaomi and its sub-brand Huami presented their first smartwatch at a launch event on August 30th. This wearable device is definitely a step-forward for Xiaomi. Previously only fitness trackers by Xiaomi were available, but now the all new Amazfit Watch changes the game.

It is water and dust resistant ( IP67 certified) and is the first smartwatch in the world, which is equipped with 28mm GPS sensor. It sports a 1.34-inch display with 300x300 pixels resolution, a heart rate sensor. Amazfit Watch includes a 1.2GHz CPU coupled with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. With all this stuff included its 200 mAh battery gives us up to 35 hours of usage while GPS tracking is enabled and up to 11-12 days if you only track steps. The bezel of this smartwatch is made of ceramic so it is scratch resistant. It also allows you to change the wristband to suit the style defined by you. This smartwatch can be paired with any Android or iOS device with the help of a special AmazFit SmartWacth application (Amazfit Smartwatch is not driven by Android Wear).

I think this is what will become very popular when it comes out globally. What do you think about the Amazfit Watch? Let us know your impressions!

If you want to learn more, our mates have created some awesome threads fully dedicated to Amazfit Watch. Read them to expand your knowledge.


Talk of the Month

As we started to talk about smart wearables in the previous segment we will dedicate Talk of the Month to the Evolution of Android wear.

android_wear1.jpg
What is Android Wear?

Android Wear is a specially designed Android OS version, which was created by Google for being used in smart watches and other wearable devices. It allows your wearable to be paired with your Android smartphone and integrates Google Now functionality and your mobile notifications from it right into your watch. Currently Android Wear also supports installing Android apps and limited functionality for pairing with iOS.

In an expanding world of "smart" devices it's impossible to imagine that this world could live with only bigger ones - like Smartphones, Tablets, TV-sets, Car PCs and Smart Houses. This lead Google to inventing a new form-factor of devices. Well, not really inventing the form-factor itself, but customizing it to make it also be smart. This is where the story of Android Wear begins.



First Android Wear Appearance


Android Wear was first announced by Google on March 18, 2014. That was a day when Google released a developer preview version of its new operating system. By that time Google has already found some partners for manufacturing new products, which were driven by it. Those were Motorola, Samsung, Asus, LG and HTC. That summer's Google I/O brang us the launch of the first devices - on June 25 Samsung presented its Gear Live and LG presented its G Watch. LG G Watch was also the first Android Wear device to be shipped.
After that, one by one, Android Wear partners started to present their smartwatches.

android_wear2.jpg


The first working Android Wear builds were based on Android 4.4. Their functionality included not so many features. The main feature of any watch is, of course, showing time. First version of Android Wear did not allow changing clock faces ( this feature was included in the update v1.3 - based on Lollipop, on August 20), but included possibility to use both - squared and round faces for OEMs to chose. It also included a rather simple Card based UI, voice commands support and was able to show you notifications from your phone. Additionally, an SDK was released for developers to start making their own applications to interact with smartwatches. This allowed Wear to expand, but still was not enough.



The Process of Improvement

As the first Android Wear versions had not much to offer to general users who were not geeks, Google had to invent more to attract them. This lead us to a new major update, which was based on Android Marshmallow and was introduced on the 4th of February 2016. It had a version number 1.4. By that time Android Wear was already supporting Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular connections, some new gestures like activating the display with a wrist move and new faces.

android_wear3.jpg

Among the most important changes new update included even more gestures, ability to send voice messages from smartwatches and support for speakers, which allowed Wear to be used for music, calls and other functions. This was the moment when a dream to make calls via watch came true.



More Possibilities to be a Standalone Device


On 18 May, 2016 the new Google I/O event was held. The new update for Android Wear was announced there and got a version number 2.0. It gave much more independence to devices running it. New features include standalone apps, which can be run directly on your watch without pairing it with a smartphone. Those apps can be installed through Google Play store for Watch. More than that, Android Wear now officially supports handwriting recognition as well as onscreen keyboards.

This update brang also a redefined user interface, which now looks more polished and material design compliant. It also redefined the way to interact with messages and notifications from third-party apps. With this year's update the new Fit Platform Activity Recognition API was also introduced and gave Android Wear an opportunity to become also a fitness coach for you.

android_wear4.jpg



The Evolution Will be Continued

Given that the history of Android Wear has started just two years ago and in that period of time it has grown so much, we shall expect Google to bring more and more changes and improvements to Android Wear in future. Evolution is a constant process and bigger changes and improvements are yet to come. But what we can say by now is that wearable smart devices have earnt their right to live in our world. Do you agree with me?

MIUI's ahead

What is your favorite feature of MIUI8? In every thread we can see that one of most liked features in it is the scrolling screenshot feature. New updates also bring a three-finger swipe for screenshot taking functionality.

Scrolling screenshots can't be taken on any of the devices running vanilla Android. There are some apps in Play Market for it and it is also included in TouchWiz, but it is still not included in official Android distribution. What does it allow us to do? It allows us to make a screenshot of a long conversation in an SMS app for example. Or to post a single picture of About phone section. Or to save a full webpage screenshot ( no need for PDF now). You can find what it is suitable for in your own case, but it definitely has to be a part of a mobile OS.

long_screenshot.gif

The other feature, which is related to screenshots and seems very interesting is the new gesture to take a screenshot. Now you don't need to press multiple physical buttons or open notification drawer to do that. You just swipe from top to bottom with three fingers and get a screenshot made. You can also combine both described features.

3fingers_screenshot.gif

Discussion of the month

In this segment we are going to talk about flagships.

flagship.jpg
According to Wikipedia, flagship is a vessel used by commanding officer of a group of ships, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known. But we know that this word is nowadays used more and more in the world of electronics. You can often hear this word when a new product made by one of the companies is presented. But what does this word mean to you? What is the way to understand if a device is a flagship or is it just a pre-flagship device? And finally, what is a flagship phone for you? Please, share your opinion in a poll below and in comments to this thread.




Special thanks to @soumya_2002 for managing this initiative and his great ideas and to @marcus_keong for his animations of screenshot features. Thanks to all the Device Team members for the inspiration and helping hands.
Thanks also go to @Mi_Bua for the thread banner.

Image source - Android Authority, Tech Crunch, Google, Google Images.



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What is a flagship to you?

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17:19, Sep-18-2016 | From PC
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Thanks for sharing this awesome and informative thread.  Well done

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larstas + 5 Thanks for your corrections and styling
navya@j + 5 Agreed!

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waiting for this thread

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17:51, Sep-18-2016 | From PC
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This is great however im sure this is not available in saudi arabia...
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