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Spotify has had a dedicated streaming app for Wear OS for years, allowing users to control the music that they’re listening on their smartphone or computer. Although wrist-enabled controls were convenient on some occasions, we still needed to carry around our smartphones or laptop to stream music from. This rendered the existence of the Spotify app on a watch almost useless when you don’t have your phone around like when you’re cooking, running, or doing activities that prevent you from taking your phone out of your pocket every single time.  

The streaming service is now solving this problem in the latest update that’s coming to Wear OS devices. This is possible thanks to a new feature – the ability to download Spotify tracks directly on your watch for offline playback. In this post, we’ll discuss how offline playback works with Spotify on Wear OS, how to make it work, and how to download content directly on your Wear OS smartwatch. 

Related: Spotify Group session: How to create, join, leave or end the session

How does Offline Playback work on Spotify on Wear OS?

With the latest update, Spotify has given users the ability to download songs and podcasts on their smartwatches without needing to connect their smartphone or computer. Users can now store their favorite music and podcasts on their watch and listen to them offline when they’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network or their smartphone. Since Wear OS allows you to connect with a pair of Bluetooth headphones directly, you no longer need to have your phone with you when playing music or podcasts on Spotify. 

This can be helpful in situations when carrying a phone with you can be inconvenient or when you find it annoying to take it out of your pocket time and again. When you download albums, playlists, and podcasts with Spotify on your Wear OS device, you will be able to access it without needing to connect your watch to the internet for as long as you remove it from your watch. 

The new Wear OS-based feature comes just a couple of months after Spotify rolled out a similar feature for Apple Watch users for a true offline and phone-free experience. At the time of its release, the ability to download playlists, albums, or podcasts from Spotify was available on Apple Watch Series 3 or later, with watchOS 6.0+ with a cellular connection or Wi-Fi. 

Related: How To Chromecast Spotify From Your PC, iPhone and Android

Requirements

In order to get offline playback to work for Spotify on your Wear OS device, you need to make sure you have the following things sorted. 

Your smartwatch is running Wear OS 2.0 or higher

You should have the latest version of the Spotify app on Wear OS

Your watch is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth (and your phone’s cellular data)

You should be a Spotify Premium member to download all tracks (Free tier users can only download podcasts)

When the Play Store opens up, scroll down on the screen on your watch and select the ‘My Apps’ option. 

If there is an update available for the Spotify app, it will be visible inside the ‘Updates available’ section. If the Spotify app is up to date, it should be listed under the ‘Recently updated’ section and you can access its new feature directly by opening the app. 

Related: How to Search Songs by Lyrics on Spotify

How to Download Songs/Podcasts for Offline Playback on Spotify on Wear OS

Once you’ve fulfilled all of the above requirements to use Spotify’s new Offline Playback feature on Wear OS, you can get started by opening the Spotify app on your watch. 

When you launch Spotify on your watch, you should see the main playback screen load up. Since you need to access the tracks to play and download on your watch, swipe from right to left on this screen to bring up the Spotify Home Screen. 

Before you can download a track inside Spotify, you need to know that you will need to download full albums or songs from a playlist that’s recommended to you inside the Home Screen. You cannot download single tracks but you can save individual episodes from a podcast on your watch. Also, since the Spotify app on Wear OS doesn’t let you search for tracks yourself, you can only download those tracks that are listed inside the Home Screen. 

Downloading playlists and albums

On the Home Screen, select the playlist, or album you want to download. 

Spotify will now start downing the album or playlist you selected and you should be able to see the number of tracks that will be downloaded in the process. 

You will now see the progress of your download on the screen.

When the download is complete, you will be able to play it directly from your watch on a connected device without using your phone. 

Downloading podcasts

On the Home Screen, select the podcasts you want to download. 

Once the selected episode appears on the screen, tap on the ‘Download to Watch’ option under the episode title to start downloading it. 

You will now be able to see the progress of the download indicated by a green circle on the left side of the ‘Downloading’ text. 

Related: How to Share Content With Spotify Code and How to Scan It

How to Access your Downloaded Tracks on Spotify

Spotify offers a neat way to check all the tracks you have downloaded onto your watch. You can access all of the downloaded content by first opening the Spotify app and then swiping from left to right on the playback screen. 

If you haven’t downloaded anything using Spotify on your watch, this section will remain empty.  

If you downloaded a playlist, album, or podcast, it will show up on the next ‘Downloading complete’ screen. To play the tracks that you have downloaded, tap on your selection.

Inside the album or playlist, tap on any track you want to play on your watch.

If it’s a podcast you’re playing, select the episode you have downloaded and tap on the Play icon at the top on the right side of the episode title.

If you haven’t played Spotify from your watch yet, tap on the ‘This watch’ option under ‘Select a device’ on the next screen. 

You’ll now see your watch’s Bluetooth settings screen load up. On this screen, make sure the ‘Bluetooth’ toggle is enabled. Now, tap on the wireless earphones that you want to connect to. 

Once the earphones are connected, you can go back to the Spotify app to play your downloaded track. 

How to Check if a Track is available for Offline Playback

We’ve explained above the easiest way to access your downloaded tracks on Spotify but is there a way you can check if a playlist, album, or podcast you’re browsing already has something you’ve downloaded previously? Yes, there’s a clear way to see if a track has already been downloaded on a smartphone. 

Tracks or podcasts that have been downloaded from a certain album/playlist can also be visible in other playlists. If you see a little green Download icon (the one with a downward-facing arrow) adjacent to a track, then it means that this song or episode has already been saved onto your watch. 

How to Remove Downloaded Tracks from Spotify on Wear OS

On the next screen, select the playlist, album, or podcast you want to delete from your watch. 

The selected tracks will now be removed from the ‘Downloading complete’ screen and will be deleted from your watch’s storage. You can remove downloaded content from Spotify to save space for other tracks or episodes to download at a later time. 

Offline Playback on Spotify: Limitations?

As convenient as it sounds, Spotify’s new Offline Playback functionality comes with a few caveats that you should know before you try out the feature yourself. 

First things first, the ability to download a playlist, album, or podcast on Spotify’s Wear OS app is only accessible to Spotify Premium subscribers. Premium users can download any number of tracks and episodes on their watch as long as the watch has the storage space for it. However, Spotify’s free users won’t be able to download playlists or albums on their watches.

Instead, users of Spotify’s Free tier can only download podcasts on their Wear OS device. If you wish to play songs on Spotify with a free subscription, you’ll have to make things do by streaming your tracks in Shuffle Mode with an active internet connection. 

Secondly, Spotify only lets you download tracks that are bundled inside an album or a playlist that’s available inside the app’s Home Screen. You won’t be able to store individual tracks but will have to download all the songs from a particular album or playlist, which might be annoying when you only like a handful of songs from one album playlist. 

This is not aided by the fact that you cannot search for songs you want to download directly from the Spotify app on Wear OS. Since Spotify’s home screen only shows recommended content for you to listen to based on your usage history, the options to personalize what you want to download onto your watch is minimum. At the moment, Spotify only shows you playlists based on your listening habit, podcasts and shows you frequently play, your top mixes, and more playlists and podcasts that you may like. 

That’s all you need to know about using Offline Playback on Spotify on Wear OS.

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How To Enable Offline Dictation In Os X Mavericks

Last year, when OS X Mountain Lion was introduced, a new feature, Dictation, was also introduced to the blogosphere. This Dictation service gives users a quick way to enter text into practically any application’s text input fields by simply speaking into your computer’s microphone, provided the application supports the aforementioned feature.

A bad thing about this service is that it requires an Internet connection to work. When you speak, the audio sample is sent to Apple’s servers, where it is converted into corresponding text, and return to your Mac where it is inserted into the application. This unnecessary requirement made a quite useful service somewhat inconvenient, especially if you wanted to enter longer paragraphs. It also made having an active internet connection necessary for using the Dictation feature, which made some people quite disappointed.

In Apple’s new highly anticipated OS X Mavericks, Apple has changed this by offering offline Dictation, a local service that runs on your machine instead of requiring to connect to Apple’s servers.

This much-needed change comes with a couple of key benefits as outlined below:

1. No Active Internet Connection Required – Instead of requiring users to wait for audio samples to be uploaded and processed by Apple, you can use this service even when there is no network connection available.

2. Continuous and live dictation – Instead of limiting the length of spoken phrases and then waiting for the entire audio recorded to be returned as text, you can now see the live processing of your phrase as it is entered word for word into your document as you speak it.

If you want to enable this offline Dictation feature, simply open up “System Preferences” and go to the “Dictation and Speech” section. Here you will find a checkbox, “Use Enhanced Dictation”, which allows offline use and continuous dictation with live feedback.

One thing to note is that enabling this feature requires a fairly large download, about 491 MB in size for me. Some others have reported it between 700 and 800 MB, so we suspect that this is dependent on your chosen language.

There are also a number of dictation commands to help you with the formatting and punctuation. These are just the same as they are in Mountain Lion, however they become much more useful with this new enhanced dictation feature. Apple provides a full list which can be accessed here, and it contains things like “all caps”, “smiley face”, “new paragraph” and “next line”.

This is only one of the many addition Apple made to Mac Mavericks. However, we feel that this is not enough for Dictation to be a serious competitor to commercial alternatives such as Dragon Dictate. For example, Apple should add a quick and easy way to edit existing text and correct transcription errors, without using a keyboard or mouse. It would also be great if the system automatically learnt from your corrections over time, or allowed manual training through the addition of tricky words such as names and places to the dictionary.

Maybe in OS X 11?….

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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How To Enable And Use Gmail Offline

Gmail is the go-to email app for pretty much everyone. The very word is often used interchangeably with “email,” and no one bats an eyelid. It’s a feature-packed email client. With a little tweak, you can even use Gmail offline, browsing existing emails and composing emails so they automatically send when you’re back online.

Here’s how to enable and use Gmail offline.

A bunch of new options and information will appear telling you how much storage space Gmail is using on your hard drive. You can also pick how far back you want Gmail to store your emails offline and whether or not to download attachments.

Security-wise, the last option is really important. By default, Gmail offline will of course store data locally on your PC. (That’s the whole point, isn’t it?) With these security options, however, you can choose whether you want Gmail to store your data locally if you log out of your Google account on that PC.

Want more Gmail-related tricks? See our list of the best new Gmail features you need to know about. Also see our guide on how to save Gmail attachments on Android.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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Google Extends Android To Wearables: Introducing Android Wear

Wearable computing is set to take off in a big way as the Internet giant Google on Tuesday introduced Android Wear, as previously promised.

Android Wear, as the name suggests, is meant to put Android on wearable devices such as smartwatches.

The company will be releasing soon the official Android Wear APIs to device vendors who want to put the power of Android in their health and fitness bands, smartwatches and other wearable gizmos.

Wearable devices driven by Android Wear include ‘OK, Google’ functionality and Android’s rich notification system. Moreover, they can show users timely information and suggestions akin to Google Now.

Perhaps the most interesting bit is the ability of Android Wear devices to relay your voice commands to other devices such as smartphones, tablets or Chrome devices. Starting today, programmers can download a Developer Preview to tailor their existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear.

The company said that first Android-powered wearables are coming later this year. Jump past the fold for more information and a pair of pretty good promotional videos…

Google says it’s partnered with fashion brands like the Fossil Group, hardware manufacturers such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung and chip makers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm to “bring you watches powered by Android Wear later this year”.

Here’s a quick video tour of Android Wear.

The video is pretty nicely done.

That being said, I must admit that I really can’t picture myself talking to my watch on the train. It makes for a nice video presentation, but I just don’t see people around me conversing with Siri in public.

Although Android Wear is starting with smartwatches, the project is conceived to go well beyond wrist-worn devices and should include health and fitness bands and other form factors.

Some of the highlights of Android Wear include, according to Google:

Useful information when you need it most – Android Wear shows you info and suggestions you need, right when you need them. The wide variety of Android applications means you’ll receive the latest posts and updates from your favorite social apps, chats from your preferred messaging apps, notifications from shopping, news and photography apps, and more.

Straight answers to spoken questions – Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions, like how many calories are in an avocado, what time your flight leaves, and the score of the game. Or say “Ok Google” to get stuff done, like calling a taxi, sending a text, making a restaurant reservation or setting an alarm.

The ability to better monitor your health and fitness – Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.

Your key to a multiscreen world – Android Wear lets you access and control other devices from your wrist. Just say “Ok Google” to fire up a music playlist on your phone, or cast your favorite movie to your TV. There’s a lot of possibilities here so we’re eager to see what developers build.

Developer should check out a new section focused on wearables on the Android website.

Google says a bunch of existing Android apps that support notifications should work well with Android Wear. The company will be soon releasing more developer resources and APIs soon.

LG has confirmed (via Engadget) that it is now working on an Android Wear smartwatch that should be released by this summer.

So, this is Google’s smartwatch project then.

Your move, Apple!

What are your initial thoughts on Android Wear?

Can Google replicate Android’s success in smartphones and tablets, only this time with Android-powered wearable devices?

What Is Bedtime Mode? How To Enable It On Android?

1. Once activated, your device silences all incoming notifications, including calls and texts, for the configured bedtime period.

3. You can integrate Bedtime with the Google Clock app to set daily sleep and wake-up reminders on your phone.

4. Additionally, you can set custom schedules to automate bedtime, removing the hassle of manually configuring it each day.

Need help with your bedtime routine? 😴

— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) June 16, 2023

1. Open the Settings app and tap on the Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls option.

2. Next, tap the Bedtime mode beside focus mode and turn on the toggle for ‘Based on a Schedule‘ to configure a custom schedule for activating Bedtime mode.

4. Conversely, if you often charge your device at bedtime, you can pick the ‘While Charging at Home‘ toggle to silence all notifications while charging your phone during sleep.

5. Further, you can expand the Customize tab to control additional options for Do Not Control and Bedtime Mode on your phone.

6. Finally, if you don’t wish your device to transform to grayscale or dark mode, you can configure ‘Screen options at Bedtime‘ to disable them with their respective toggles. Additionally, if you have an active Always-on-display, you can turn off the screen completely during Bedtime by turning on the toggle for ‘Keep the Screen Dark.’

1. Go to Google Play Store and install the Phone Silencer app on your phone.

2. Next, provide the necessary permissions required to run the app.

3. Press the + button at the bottom right corner of the homepage and create a new custom silent profile.

5. That’s it! The app will silence all notifications automatically for your configured period each day.

Alternatively, you can try out other nifty methods and apps to silence your phone during your bedtime.

Do you regret wasting your precious sleep time after scrolling the YouTube timeline endlessly, the next day? Don’t worry; with its recent update, the YouTube app can remind you of your bedtime so you can save the video interests for the next day. Follow our detailed guide to enable YouTube Bedtime Reminder Feature to learn more about it.

A: You need to open the Digital well-being and parental control option in your settings app to configure Bedtime mode on your device.

Q: How to grayscale your screen after enabling the bedtime mode on Android?

A: To grayscale your Android screen after enabling the Bedtime mode, tap on the Screen Options and turn on the toggle for Greyscale.

Q: How to turn off Bedtime mode on Android?

Q: Can I delete my bedtime data on Android?

A: Yes, you can delete the bedtime data on your android phone, we have a dedicated guide to delete bedtime data completely.

Hopefully, you have learned to configure the Android bedtime feature through the steps listed in this explainer. If you find it helpful, share this guide with your loved ones so they can develop a good and peaceful sleep utilizing the Digital Wellbeing features. As always, subscribe to GadgetsToUse and check out the below links to improve your sleep cycle.

You might be interested in the following:

Developing For Android Wear

Using Android Studio

Creating A Basic Watch Face

The main activity for the “wear” module contains a lot of parts. Each doing a certain task to make sure everything runs smoothly. Let’s break it down. These examples are from the chúng tôi from the SDK.

Code

private class Engine extends CanvasWatchFaceService.Engine

This is the implementation of the watch face. Any Paint variables among other variables would go here, for example: Paint mMinutePaint;

Code

public void onCreate

This is where you will setup the UI, including defining your Paint variables, for example: mMinutePaint = new Paint();

Code

mMinutePaint.setARGB(255, 200, 200, 200); mMinutePaint.setStrokeWidth(3.f); mMinutePaint.setAntiAlias(true);

The first line declares a new Paint object. The second line sets the color using ARGB with the first set of three numbers setting the opacity. The third line defines the width of the hand itself and the fourth line turns on antialiasing. One thing to note when creating a background for your app, you can use a higher resolution image like 480×480 and scale it back down to the watch’s resolution, this in turn makes a huge difference and makes the background look a lot better. We were unable to scale the hands. They would need to be made into the exact size required.

Code

boolean mLowBitAmbient;

Some smartwatches have a low bit ambient mode, this is basically a toned down version of the regular ambient mode found on the Moto360 for example. You would want to use this to make sure every watch is compatible with your app. One way to use this would be to set up an if statement:

Code

if(mLowBitAmbient = true) { statement } public void onDraw(Canvas canvas, Rect bounds)

This is where the watch face is drawn onto the screen. Here you are able to call on the Paint objects and use the canvas class to rearrange everything how you want. You can also setup variables to add the date, time and battery information with just a few lines of code. This is also the area where you define what happens when the watch goes into ambient mode and what happens when it wakes up. Getting the battery information will require one extra line of code for it to work in our experience: Context context = getApplicationContext(); This will need to go just before Intent and the registerReceiver that get the battery information. Without this line of code we could not get the battery information to work properly.

The MainActivity in the mobile module is a lot simpler:

Code

public class ApplicationTest extends ApplicationTestCase { public ApplicationTest() { super(Application.class); }

This is the whole program for a basic watch face, more files may be required depending on what you want to accomplish. One of the main reasons to have more programs would be add the weather to the watch face, which would require getting the weather from the weather service from the phone and sending that information to the watch.

Setting up the manifests

The chúng tôi for both modules will be very similar to each other. Each are setup just like a regular Android application. The mobile manifest will also include the wear module’s permissions as well as it’s own. If the permissions listed in the wear manifest and the wear permissions listed in the mobile manifest do not match, you will not be able to build a release apk. An example of each manifest is available in the SDK to use.

Android Virtual Device Manager Quirks

The Android Virtual Device Manager can be a great tool, but having a real watch to test your app can make a huge difference. In our experience developing Android Wear apps, the AVD does not always display the content correctly nor does it always communicate with the phone like an actual watch would. For example, when creating a watch face that uses images as hands, the AVD may position the hands slightly different than on the real thing. While the hands may appear centered on the AVD, they are off centered on the watch to either side. This is an easy fix. If it happens to you just adjust the coordinates of the hands in the program. Regarding connecting with the phone and retrieving information such as weather, the AVD seems to work better than the actual watch. So just because it works on the AVD doesn’t mean it will work on the watch. Keep this in mind if you just have access to the AVD.

Wrap-up

Developing for Android Wear is relatively easy using the same tools you would use to develop for Android. Just remember that instead of one module there are two. One is for the part of the application that goes to the watch and the other module goes to the phone. Android Studio works very well when handling everything on the mobile side and watch side, however, some AVD quirks do not make this a perfect experience and you should check everything twice if possible.

Since Java is the most common language used for Android there are a lot of tutorials and guides on how to do most of what is required to make a simple Wear application. Google offers some great samples included in the SDK, these are a great place to start.

Let us know your Android Wear developing experience below!

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