Posts tagged with: Wearables
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    It's time for Android Wear to join the first wave of Android phones on the journey to the latest and greatest system software; yesterday we heard a rumor that an Android 5.0-based update for Wear would start hitting smartwatches today, and Google's just gone ahead and made that news official, announcing the distribution of updates beginning today and continuing over the week to come. You won't need Android 5.0 Lollipop on your smartphone to take advantage of this new Wear software; anything 4.3 or better, and you're golden. And whether you've got an old Samsung Gear Live or the latest Sony ...

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    A few weeks back, a leak surfaced that attempted to reveal the next evolution of Android Wear, previewing some of the changes coming to the OS in the forthcoming Android 5.0 release for smartwatches. Those included some handy accessibility features, as well as the much-needed ability to recall previously-dismissed notifications. It all sounded great, but we didn't have much of an idea for just when we could expect Google to release it. There's still no official word, but a new rumor claims that distribution could begin as soon as tomorrow. So says the team at Phandroid, having heard from a ...

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    “But it's going to kill the battery. But I don't want to pay for a second cellular plan. But I always carry my smartphone on me, anyway!” Listen, not everyone's going to dig the idea of a smartwatch that pulls down its own cellular connection. And yes, there are a bunch of new issues that such products introduce. But as our experiences with the Samsung Gear S taught us, there can be a lot to love about models like this for the right users. We've already talked about the idea of LG joining Samsung with a cell-enabled smartwatch of its own, having spotted such a model at the FCC a couple ...

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    We're still months away from seeing the start of Apple Watch sales, but one thread that's been a pretty consistent part of rumors concerning how Apple intends to sell its first smartwatch have been this high-fashion, luxury angle: with all the different sizes, materials, and band options Apple intends to offer, to say nothing of the rumored multi-thousand-dollar price tags for the higher-end versions, it certainly looks like it would fit right in with such a market. While we don't yet have the full picture on Apple's intentions, new reports are doing their best to reinforce this idea, as ...

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    It's been over three months now since the Gear VR went official at Samsung's IFA Unpacked event, ready to bring new Note 4 owners into the world of mobile virtual reality. Last month the manufacturer told us that we could expect to see the headset land for sale in the US sometime in early December, but Samsung wasn't ready to reveal a specific date. This week, it looks like that time time has finally come, as we see the Gear VR quietly go up for sale on both Samsung's and AT&T's websites. Just as anticipated, the headset sells for a cool $200. Both Samsung and AT&T sales look to be ...

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    Tomorrow is December 6. And while that date may not mean a lot on its own, it marks the one month point from the official start of CES 2015, taking place in Las Vegas from January 6 through 9. Smartphone companies have already been getting their PR machines running, announcing plans for their respective CES press events: we heard from Sony a few weeks back, and earlier today we were talking about Xiaomi's plans. But now it's time for one of the biggest brands in mobile tech to schedule its own CES event, as Samsung clues us in to its pre-CES press conference. Samsung's event will start the ...

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    Samsung's Gear S is a very interesting smartwatch – there's little denying that much. From its curved screen to its integrated 3G radio, it clearly stands apart from the vast majority of its smartwatch competition. In a new blog post published today, Samsung attempts to remind us just how unique the Gear S is, talking about the decisions that led to its design. And while all that's very interesting, it also reveals a bit of tunnel vision wherein Samsung can't seem to see past its own product lines. Let's touch on those design choices first, because there really is some neat stuff here. ...

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    It's that time of year again: bargain-hunters bundle up for a long night out in the cold, armed with a vacuum flask full of coffee and a checklist of the stores they'll be hitting. Retail employees let out a resigned sigh as they prepare to begin a single shift that starts somewhere around Wednesday afternoon and lasts through Saturday morning. And if you're anything like us, you're staying warm at home, probably watching way too much Netflix, and hoping to snag a few good deals online. That's right – it's Black Friday time. What used to be a single day of retail hedonism has mutated ...

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    Well this was inevitable: owners of smartwatches are eager to configure their wearables to reflect the latest styles, and watchface galleries have been quick to spring up and offer users a broad selection of options. But where do all these designs come from? Plenty are full-on originals, but you won't have to look hard to find faces mimicking designs from TV, movies, and video games, as well as those copying the style of popular “dumb” watches. And while Rare might be cool with people rocking a Goldeneye 007 watch layout, luxury brands like Omega aren't being so accommodating, and have ...

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    With autumn very much making its presence felt, and the last days of 2014 looming ahead, the mobile electronics market is about to make another of its regular shifts, temporarily moving away from a time dominated by launch after launch, and instead focusing more on getting these products into our hands. We've just come off a couple big months of launches, led in by IFA in early September, and peppered with iPhone, iPad, and Nexus announcements in the weeks that followed. But now with the holiday season arriving as an unavoidable juggernaut, we're about to see the steady flow of new devices ...

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    Pebble's facing some of its stiffest competition ever, as new challengers on the Android Wear front continue to arrive, and the Apple Watch looms menacingly in the distance of 2015. It's not facing this fight sitting down, and has already been hard at work in recent months to deliver firmware updates aimed at giving its watches new functionality. That trend continues today, as we see Pebble release not just a new firmware for the Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatches, but updated apps for Android and iOS, as well. The big news on the firmware side is language support: if you're often ...

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    The start of Apple Watch sales is still a long way off, giving us plenty of time to play our favorite new game: predict how strongly Apple's smartwatch will sell. After all, this is a product very unlike anything the company's given us before, and while it has its excellent reputation to rely on, as well as its crack marketing team, convincing shoppers to go out and try something new can be a tricky maneuver. One week back, we looked at rumors coming out of Apple's own supply chain that suggested the company was planning to sell something like 30-40 million units. Now a new analyst report ...

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    Motorola's Moto 360 still feels like a relatively new smartwatch: it only went up for sale a couple months ago, and new variants continue to arrive. But it's easy to forget that this guy's been official since all the way back in March, over eight months ago. In that light, is it too soon to start thinking about what Motorola might be planning for a second generation Moto 360, maybe one that could launch sometime in the spring of next year? That's the talk emerging out of Russia this week, as comments from a Lenovo exec make it look like a new Moto 360 could be right around the corner. ...

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    Samsung's newest Gear is also its most ambitious. The Gear S smartwatch packs a curved two-inch display, IP67 ingress protection, and a custom Tizen UI into a cuff-like wristband that weighs in at a surprisingly airy 66g. Oh, and it packs cellular and WiFi connectivity along with the usual Bluetooth. That last important detail makes the Gear S more than just your typical smartwatch. As we discovered during our first hands-on at IFA 2014, the Gear S is capable of fully independent operation, smartphone or no. Sure, you still need a smartphone to set it up –and a Samsung one at that– ...

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    Wearable devices promise to be absolutely huge this holiday season, with more products out on the market than ever before. And while smartwatches might not be for everyone, with price, compatibility issues, and the promise of even snazzier products just months away serving to temper consumer enthusiasm just a tad, wearables of the activity tracker persuasion are that much more affordable and gift-friendly. Google's been doing all it can to make Android a welcome home for such devices, releasing Google Fit late last month and just this week starting distribution of a Play services update ...

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    There's a new iOS beta out for devs this afternoon, only this time around the interesting stuff doesn't really involve new features for the iPhone or iPad, but for Apple's burgeoning wearable platform, the Apple Watch. With the release of the WatchKit framework today, Apple is giving devs the tools they need to start crafting the software that users will first interact with when the smartwatch goes up for sale early next year. And in doing so, Apple's offered the rest of us a little insight into the types of app experiences we can expect. Well, at least some of this falls into “app” ...

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    Sometime early next year, be that the tail end of winter or the early days of spring, Apple will start selling its Apple Watch. With three primary models, each available in a couple sizes and with your choice of bands, there's going to be plenty of selection to go around. Between all the options, will you find a Watch that's compelling enough to make a purchase? Apple looks to be expecting some pretty substantial interest, with industry rumors reporting an initial sales target of 30-40 million of these smartwatches. That figure comes from sources apparently involved in the production of ...

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    Android 5.0 Lollipop is bringing a lot of important changes to smartphones and tablets, but this year has seen wearables also emerge as an important part of the Android ecosystem. What does the new software hold for Google's smartwatch lineup? Yesterday we got a preview of some Material Design changes coming to the Android Wear app for phones, and today this early look continues, with a leak continuing to reveal new features, including some on the watch side of things. Some of those changes to the Android Wear software on smartwatches appear to include the arrival of new accessibility ...

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    Sony surprised us all at IFA 2014 this year when it announced its SmartWatch 3. Well, we had heard that the product was gearing up to make its debut, sure enough, but rumors suggested that Sony would pull a Samsung with the SW3 and that its smartwatch would continue to run a proprietary platform, rather than the cross-device Android Wear. That ultimately turned out not to be the case, with the SW3 confirmed as a full-on Wear product. Since then we haven't had much cause to talk about the SmartWatch 3, which has quietly gone up for sale at Verizon in the interim. But now Sony's wearable has ...

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    We may not have counted on it going in, but this week is proving to be a pretty substantial one for smartwatches, and Android Wear in particular. Just yesterday we saw the LG G Watch R go up for sale in Google's Play Store, as well as Motorola introduce some new hardware options for its own Moto 360. Today we finish the week out with news of another Android Wear model going up for sale, as we learn about ASUS's plans to start making its ZenWatch available in the US. Last we checked in on the ZenWatch, we weren't quite sure what to think about its retail debut. We still hadn't seen ...

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    Did you get your Nexus 6 pre-order in during that all-too-short window in which they were open yesterday? Or maybe earlier today when Motorola itself had its own pre-orders open (which, to little surprise, have already closed)? Well, even if you missed your shot, Google intends to make some more stock available next week, but in the interim it's got a few new additions to its Play Store offerings, adding a few Nexus 6 accessories and a smartwatch to the products available for sale. Let's start with the Nexus 6 stuff: we've got a pair of cases to check out. First is the Naked Tough Case, a ...

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    When Motorola announced the start of sales for the Moto 360, you could pick up the smartwatch in a couple different shades of stainless steel, each with its own leather strap option. What we didn't get, though, were the promised metal straps, told that they'd be arriving sometime this fall, both as a default choice for new 360s and an accessory for already purchased models. Since then we've seen leaks indicating a possible November release, as well as a new color option, with the smartwatch appearing in champagne, complete with a matching band (and in two different thicknesses, no less). ...

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    By all accounts, the release of the Apple Watch is still many months away – and to hear the latest rumors, even that anticipated early 2015 start to sales may not be quite so “early.” But eventually, the smartwatch will go up for sale, and based on Apple's reputation alone, it's almost guaranteed to sell like hotcakes. When that happens, though, just how much will you find yourself shelling out for one of these wearables? We've heard rumors talking about the possibility of a sky-high price for the premium gold Watch Edition model, as well a quite-pricy-in-its-own-right steel version, ...

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    The smartwatch market is already full of some healthy competition, and with new devices like the Apple Watch over the horizon, that's only going to get fiercer. Right now, the various players are competing in terms of software features, hardware style, and price, but for all the success they can find in those fields, there's one issue that nearly everyone continues to struggle with: battery life. Companies have attempted to mitigate the issue with the largest batteries they can manage to squeeze into their wearables, as well as giving their hardware convenient wireless charging ...

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    When, oh when, will Apple fans be able to finally slap the company's upcoming wearable on their wrists? When the Apple Watch launched in early September, the manufacturer didn't have a lot of firm information to share regarding plans for the smartwatch's release, saying little more than that sales would begin sometime early next year. Well, what the heck's “early” supposed to mean, anyway? First month of the year? First half of the year? A few weeks after the Apple Watch went official, we heard some rumors that Apple might be envisioning a start date for sales that would make the watch ...

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