Recently, Microsoft released their Torque Search app for Android Wear, and it is certainly an interesting idea of an app. It’s the Microsoft voice-search alternative to “OK Google” that you can wear on your rest. But here’s the twist, you literally turn your writs “forwards and backwards” to initiate Torque. And that’s the twist.
This app is an experimental project that has come out of The Garage, one of Microsoft’s innovation labs.
Microsoft is promoting Torque as an easier-to-use version of OK Google. This is the description in Google Play:
“Microsoft Torque Search brings the most powerful voice-enabled web search to your Android Wear or Android Phone. With a flick of the wrist, you can say what you want to search from your Android Wear watch. If you don’t have your watch, you can also shake your phone to do the same thing. Torque on your Android phone is both a Torque watch demo and a quick tool to complement existing mobile search without breaking the flow of your active application on your phone.”
Greg Sterling has been testing the app on his Moto 360 Android Wear, and this is what he had to say about it:
“In my tests this weekend it worked relatively well — when the wrist rotation triggered the app. I performed a lot of wrist-searches but Torque only successfully launched about half to two-thirds of the time. This unpredictability made it frustrating to use.”
Greg went on to say that, even though it didn’t work 100% of the time, that doesn’t mean people should drop or that Torque isn’t a viable alternative to OK Google. When it did work for him, Greg felt that, when compared side by side with OK Google, it did a good job of delivering similar kinds of content.
Ultimately, Greg felt that the overall Android Wear user experience was often frustrating, and not exactly intuitive. With this sort of opinion about the software, as well as the hardware, it shows that wearable devices still have a little distance to cover before they are truly considered great and truly a mainstream device-type for the masses.