back to article Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

Some optimists are betting on Google own-brand devices to save the smartwatch. Others are betting that new generations of Google-free Android-based hardware will do the same thing. And one of the latter is IDC. IDC has predicted the smartwatch category will return to growth in the next few years. How so? IDC points out that …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. iron Silver badge

    @AC

    Play Store is two words numpty!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @AC

      The reply buttons on the bottom right of each post, numpty!

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: @AC

        I think you'll find that it's "button is", or, if you absolutely must, "button's".

        While technically okay, using a contraction on the only verb in the sentence makes it read a bit weirdly, you numpty!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @AC

      > Play Store is two words numpty!

      Maybe he had used a non-breaking space?

  3. ganymede io device

    .. utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think smart watches are a pretty neat idea ...

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Alien

      Smart watches are a pretty neat idea ..

      Pathetic earthlings... who can save you now?

      - M.T. Merciless

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Have humans ever lived in a time where industry was just so disconnected from consumers???

        More surreal IoT news below... As someone who has to stay in hotels a lot, I'd settle for beefed up cyber-security protecting Credit Cards / Wi-Fi in hotels. Hell, how about tech to stop conferences outside your door at 5am / letting doors slam?!

        .

        ----------------

        Today's early adopter, hyper-connected global traveller wants a level of personalisation unlike ever before, and that means being able to control their hotel experience with the sound of their voice

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44534597

        -----------------

        WTF is this, CIA / NSA / 3-letter-spying-agency Hotels Inc?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Have humans ever lived in a time where industry was just so disconnected from consumers???

          It will be a cold day in Hell before#CONFIRMING AIRCONDITIONING TEMPERATURE CHANGE#I stay in a hotel#CONFIRMING ADDITIONAL ROOM BOOKED#with voice controls.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pathetic earthlings... who can save you now?

        FLASH! AAA-AAAAAAAAAA

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That photo of the cloth-covered device

    The proportions look all wrong for a smart-watch type of device. The first thing that came to mind when I first saw the picture was the sort of ankle tags that crims get fitted with

    1. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: That photo of the cloth-covered device

      That might be because it's a VR headset.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Root & reflash

    Lineage OS (formerly CyanogenMod) base install doesn't include Google Play Store, so can be relatively Google free. Up to you whether the store is installed, along with a selection of Google apps.

    If your device is supported, worth a try (current versions pretty stable).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Root & reflash

      After installing that, I thought the boot-up screen was a sad face to tell me something was wrong.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Root & reflash

      With microg.org you can even avoid Google and the Play store for apps.

      But even with Google services, Lineageos is still worth it for the absence of manufacturer crap, the ability to minimise the amount of Google stuff on the home screen and to get weekly updates for 5 year old devices

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google-free Android kit....

    ....now....I might buy some of that....just so long as someone can tell me that the "Google-free Android kit" is COMPLETELY free of spyware....and can be kept free of all of the secret and invasive c**p which infests all Apple and Google kit.

    *

    I guess I'll be waiting for hell to freeze over!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: someone can tell me

      How about you take a look yourself instead of expecting other people to do the work for you?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: someone can tell me

        You'd need a team of auditors to screen applications for spyware - the job is too big to do it yourself. This auditing could be open source (for apps whose developers wish to disclose the source code to all and sundry including competitors), or could be run by a company that uses its business model (hardware sales plus hefty percentage of app store sales) as a differentiator to Google's (data collection to fuel advertising). You'd have to pay a bit more upfront for the latter, and even more so if you use the same administration software that sensitive organisations use (e.g Blackberry Suite for iOS).

        Auditing the source code is time consuming and thus unfeasible (remember how long it took a team to audit TrueCrypt) but I guess a middle ground might be crowd-sourced monitoring - i.e, everyone inspecting packets sent from a phone with 'Bob's Scientific Calculator' installed against a control. However, this would only catch the trawlers, not the tailored attacks.

        Another approach is to spoof the data harvesters with false information as Safari has done for a few years now. It's still cat and mouse, but at least you're denying them the low hanging fruit.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: someone can tell me

          Which doesn't help unless you can also audit the binary blob inside the cellular modem (hint you can't) and the CPU - at the mask level.

          But you can stop every key stroke and every web site being automatically sent to Google - "to serve you better"

        2. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: someone can tell me

          > You'd need a team of auditors to screen applications for spyware

          Not really... you can put it behind a router or firewall, and see what connections it makes. It's not infallible, but if the device starts blurting data all over the place, you can put it on the naughty step.

          1. doublelayer

            Re: someone can tell me

            That doesn't really get very much of it. Here comes a big data blob out, and another one in. What was that? Was it spyware sending your data to a C&C, with the next set of data coming back? Or was that your music player syncing your playlists, or even just checking for updates? There are many devices that would be caught by something like that, but the more you attempt to have the thing online, the more data it will send that you can't make any sense of. If you can't be certain that the connection to the cloud for the GPS data to be interpreted (that's something that won't run on a watch for a while) doesn't also contain anything sneaky, worry is justified.

    2. Tchou

      Re: Google-free Android kit....

      ... It is completely free of spyware. There you go.

      Sincerely,

      Nsa public relation bureau

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What do people want in a smartwatch?

    It's a simple question that nobody ever asked me, and I doubt anyone ever asked anyone. Instead they just think what can we put in it and hope it will sell.

    BTW my list is:

    Over 7 day battery life

    Accurate time and date always on the screen

    Alerts from my phone

    Pedometer with google fit integration

    Pulse meter with readings every few minutes

    Water resistance would be nice too

    1. elwe

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      I have been waiting for an android/wearos watch to be released that meets my requirements since Motorola lost my moto360 when it was sent back for repair 2.5 years ago.

      My list of requirements, in rough order of importance, is:

      Android/WearOS

      Round screen (can have a flat tyre, it doesn't actually matter)

      Changeable straps

      NO LTE (not needed, adds too much bulk, destroys battery life)

      Qi charging

      Pedometer

      GPS

      Heart rate monitor

      NFC

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

        Your list is bobbins! this is mine:

        Proper video calls like in the films

        Laser weapon that can cut through a mustang engine block

        Holographic projector to make me look like anyone I choose

        Holographic projector to make me invisible

        Universal (not just earth) real time voice translation

        anti gravity function

        tells the time

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

          @sabroni

          You missed:

          Changes the time.

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

            If you can find a watch that "Changes time", now that would be wonderfull.

            1. Dave 126 Silver badge

              Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

              White hands on a dark grey background - it's rare to see a watch display the time as clearly as an Omega Chronostop. A new company called Roue* come close but no cigar.

              *On the subject of targeted advertising, I saw an advertisement in the Register for Roue after writing a post about the sheer functionality of old Omega, Braun and Seiko wristwatches - the very brands Roue state as their inspirations.

              1. Mike Richards Silver badge

                Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

                Mondaine are the other company that comes to mind with their Swiss Railway watches. Looks good, tells the time, battery lasts ages.

          2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

            @sabroni

            You missed:

            Changes the time.

            Then you'll be wanting the Homura Akemi model watch.

        2. Patched Out

          Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

          ... and all encased in a classic Omega analog time-piece. With kinetic recharging capability.

        3. Sam Liddicott

          Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

          "tells the time" <-- wooden bobbins, I tells ya!

          My list is:

          * time-travels you to whatever time you want it to be -- never be late again!

          * charges "Instantly" by time-travelling after charging back to the point at which it need charging

          * split-time heirloom mode where on the death of the first heir it time-travels back to be inherited by the second heir (using the diagonal slash rule to cope with any number of heirs and sub-heirs).

          * time travel shopping - buy a holographic anti-gravity translator combination from etsy-bay in future end-of-line close-out sales at bargain prices

        4. Green Nigel 42

          Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

          Had to vote this, to take it up to 42!

          Add teleport function as per Blakes 7

    2. King Jack
      Holmes

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      All I want is a watch that tells the time accurate to the second. Battery life measured in decades. Other complications would include date, day. stopwatch, etc. Waterproof and shock proof.

      It already exists. My watch is all the above and solar powered. The only thing I need do is look at it. Everything is automatic. I give you the old Edifice waveceptor range by Casio. Ruined now by the inclusion of bluetooth and phone pairing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

        I have one of those. Great bit of kit.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      What I want from a smartwatch:

      week-long battery life

      ability to act as an extension to my phone: see incoming calls and texts, see notifications, vibrate when a call or text arrives at my phone, display navigation directions.

      That's about it.

      What I don't want in a smartwatch: the ability to replace a smartphone.

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

        @JohnFen: Your comment about your requirements are exactly the same as mine! Can we really be the only two people who want something so straight-forward? ("What I want from a smartwatch:

        week-long battery life

        ability to act as an extension to my phone: see incoming calls and texts, see notifications, vibrate when a call or text arrives at my phone, display navigation directions.

        That's about it.

        What I don't want in a smartwatch: the ability to replace a smartphone.")

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      Perhaps you should look at a Garmin Fenix 5, does all that and more.

      1. GIRZiM

        Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

        A watch that is actually smart and not just a device that notifies me that I need to get my phone out of my pocket - I've already got one of those: my phone.

    5. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      Ok, I have some very specific things I want from a smartwatch:

      At least a couple of days battery (mine has that)

      Stupidly cool watch faces like animated Matrix dropper, incomprehensible binary watch with blue lights, mechanical flip watchface and a watchface based on circular bands wiv numbers onnit and a text based watch that displays stuff like 'It is twenty past four' (mine has that too!)

      TV Begone clone for surreptitiously switching off all the TVs in JB HiFi (well, would you believe it? mine has that one as well!)

      I'm a man of relatively simple (as in childish needs)

    6. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      One that tells me the time, and optionally the month/day.

      Add in the parameter that it doesn't some fugly Jony Ive-inspired design, and you get the "smart" element (as in it's "smart-looking").

    7. abedarts

      Re: What do people want in a smartwatch?

      Fitness tracking seems to be what people want, with a few smartwatch features thrown in. Fitbit et al are selling by the bucket load.

      They have a pedometer, sometimes with google fit integration

      They measure Heart Rate etc.

      Some are waterproof (though you'd have thought that was a basic feature of a fitness tracker?)

      They give alerts from your phone (in case by some amazing fluke its not in your hand/pocket/bag)

      The smartwatch is alive and well, its just not what we thought it was.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google-free becomes Baidu based device?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Baidu is more or less the Google in China

      Web search giant.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

    Lol, watch this crash and burn without a trace.

    Nobody wants a Google free experience. The Google experience is simply too good..

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Google-free Android kit tipped to sell buckets

      Precisely! The Chinese cannot get the Google experience, so that's where there is an opening!

    2. GIRZiM

      Re: Nobody wants a Google free experience.

      Thanks for your input, Larry - we'll get back to you on that.

  10. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    His name made me chuckle...

    Mr. Ramon T Llamas immediately brought to mind the Monty Python "Ralph the Wonder Llama" credits gag. I hope Mr. Llamas didn't get too bad of a ribbing for his last name when that skit was aired. =-}p

  11. DougS Silver badge

    Apple Watch

    While it looks like a 'failure' or at best a niche product, that's only because it is measured against the iPhone monster. Tim Cook said the Watch business was about the size of a Fortune 300 company. That's a business the size of eBay or Netflix! I should think many companies would be hungry for even a small piece of that.

    That said I still don't see the need for a smart watch. I own an iPhone but have no plans to get a Watch, and while I work out a lot I haven't ever really desired a fitness band. I don't care what my exact heart rate is. If I can feel it pounding and I'm breathing hard I know I'm getting a good workout regardless of what the numbers might be.

  12. jaffa99

    Irrelevant outside China

  13. Delbert

    Perhaps preventing the supply of phones with built in snap malware would be a good start, otherwise breaking away from google seems like a good plan certainly save on the data they hijack each time you connect.

  14. Dapprman
    FAIL

    Still a solution looking for an answer

    I actually do own and use a smart watch - a pebble, but I was aware of what little it really would do for me before I bought it. It works for me. I'm also a geek. makes me a very small sub-set of smart phone user base. For most people out there, smart watches offer nothing, so there's no point to them. Note I consider fitness watches to be a side branch with an actual market, but that group is still small.

    Where Apple have managed to get it to work is by playing on their 'luxury brand' image. The Apple Watch has now replaced the Rolex among the younger generations as a sign of 'I have made it', along side the Montblanc fountain pen and the Porsche car. Sure there's plenty of people who get good use out of an apple watch (probably a lot on here) but it's still small fry numbers.

  15. imanidiot Silver badge

    How about something small

    I don't wear a watch anymore since nothing is available these days of a modest and small size. EVERYTHING on the market even for normal "dumb" watches is "statement" sized and feels like strapping a smegging brick to my wrist. Even ladies watches are massive.How about something under 5 mm thick and 50mm diameter for a change. It was possible in the past, why not now?

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: How about something small

      For around 25000 you can get one of these

      https://int.piaget.com/watches/rose-gold-ultra-thin-automatic-watch-g0a43120

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: How about something small

        Wow, that is close to what I would be looking for (preferably in an understated brushed stainless finish though instead of that garish rose gold) but that price has at least 2 zeroes too many.

        @David Nash,

        Unfortunately I also haven't found anything in the second hand market in my sort of price range. I'm an engineer, I don't WANT to be wearing anything over 50 euros on a daily basis in my job.

    2. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: How about something small

      Why does it have to be something available these days? My watch was bought about 23 years ago, it's still fine, although I have changed the strap a few times.

    3. Tannin

      Re: How about something small

      "I don't wear a watch anymore since nothing is available these days of a modest and small size. EVERYTHING on the market even for normal "dumb" watches is "statement" sized and feels like strapping a smegging brick to my wrist. Even ladies watches are massive.How about something under 5 mm thick and 50mm diameter for a change. It was possible in the past, why not now?"

      That's because of the technology gap. Nobody has figured out how to make electronic circuts as small and reliable as all those wheels and cogs and springs and things. It is probably impossible.

      Er ...

  16. jason 7

    Pretty much...

    ...everyone I know who bought a smartwatch, is back with a normal watch.

    They all rest in the Junk drawer!

  17. RobertsonCR7

    yeah i would love to get my hands on one of these beauties

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