Here is a list of features of smart watches available today, from basic on up. Keep in mind that new features are popping up frequently.
At this point, nearly all smart watches are in essence smartphone accessories, depending on the phones for their connectivity. There are a few exceptions. Neptune has a standalone model, the Pine, which requires its own cellular contract. And the Samsung Gear S can work as a standalone phone, although it can do a lot more when it’s paired to a compatible Samsung device.
Notifications and alerts
Paired with your smart phone, smart watches can notify you–via vibration, sound, or both–of incoming calls, texts, instant messages, social-media posts, and other app alerts. Many watches also display messages on their screens.
Many smart watches let you respond to incoming e-mail, texts, and IMs. Some offer canned replies, such as “Sorry, I’m busy right now” or “I’ll call you back later.”
Some let you accept, dismiss, and even initiate phone calls. Some smart watches let you conduct phone calls–mostly on your paired phone, but a few right on the watch itself.
Many smart watches measure your steps and movements. Some have built-in heart-rate monitors, barometers, and GPS, and many work with fitness apps that keep records of your activity and help you track your calorie intake and calories burned. Some claim to measure the length of time you sleep at night and even how restful your sleep was.
Voice control/voice commands
The Apple Watch and all smart watches that run on Android Wear let you use spoken commands to do Web searches, send texts, access watch apps, and more. Some other models, including ones from Martian and Sony, also include voice-command capabilities.
Smart watches, like other smart devices, can run apps, via your phone or right on the watch. These include apps for health and fitness, navigation, weather, social media services, and much more. And developers are coming up with new apps that can increase the functionality of these devices. The range of apps varies, depending on which operating system the smart watch runs on.
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