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Tag - Fitbit
Fitbit has launched a new fitness tracker that aims to offer a more fashion-conscious styling than other wearable tracking devices, with a slimline bangle-style appearance. The Fitbit Alta is a thinner tracker compared to others in the Fitbit range, using a narrow OLED tap display inside a sweat and splashproof stainless steel and elastomer band, but it still retains the same activity tracking capabilities as its stablemates.
Fitbit has added another device to its wearable fitness tracker range, one that is more like a smartwatch compared to previous releases. The Fitbit Blaze has a color LCD touchscreen, a first for the company, which can be used to show a variety of smartwatch notifications, remotely control music, and reject incoming calls, as well as other fitness tracking functions usually included in fitness trackers, making it a more functional all-purpose device usable outside of activity monitoring.
Fitbit has released software updates for some of its activity trackers, enabling them to automatically detect the kind of activities the wearer is performing. SmartTrack for the Charge HR and Surge trackers is capable of recognizing movements typically associated with certain sports or exercises, and will record the amount of time spent performing the identified activity in the Fitbit companion app, among other new features.
The Apple Watch may be helping improve the sales of other wearable devices, according to the head of one smartwatch manufacturer. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky suggests the introduction of Apple's own wearable has pushed consumers into considering using smartwatches and other wearable devices, increasing sales for competing devices instead of acquiring existing smartwatch users away from other platforms.
Google Keep, the search engine's note-taking app, has finally arrived in the App Store, two and a half years after it launched on Android and in the browser. Available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later, the free app allows users to save notes and lists on cards, with individual notes able to be searched, assigned colors, and have time or location-based reminders assigned to them. Notes synchronize with Google's servers, so they can be accessed from multiple devices, and can even be shared with other users for collaborative purposes.
Jawbone is attempting to increase the pressure against competitor Fitbit, this time by filing a patent infringement suit. The second lawsuit between the two wearable fitness tracker manufacturers has Jawbone claiming some of Fitbit's products infringes on its patents relating to a "wellness application using data from a data-capable band," and is seeking an injunction to halt any further Fitbit sales in the United States.
Fitness tracker producer Jawbone has sued Fitbit for acquiring confidential documents, shortly before its competitor holds its initial public offering of stock. Filed in a California State Court on Wednesday, Jawbone accuses Fitbit of "systematically plundering" confidential commercial information from it by hiring Jawbone employees, some of which acquired the secret data before departing to the competition.
In the wake of the "Spring Forward" full reveal for Apple's watch, other fitness-oriented wearables have been struck from the inventory of both the Apple online store, as well as the retail lineup. Confirmed as removed are the Nike FuelBand, and the Jawbone UP. Some more specific health monitoring peripherals still exist, however.
We wrote a bit about Sync Solver for Fitbit app back in November. We have a Fitbit Zip, which tracks steps -- but doesn't do flights of stairs and sleep analysis, nor does it connect to Apple's Health app. Still, we'd like to get our steps into Health, and that's where a third party app like Sync Solver comes in.
Fitbit is under fire from some users of a recently-launched fitness tracker, as skin-related issues are starting to resurface. The Fitbit Charge, an updated version of the Fitbit Force from last year, has been subject to complaints from some users claiming to have irritated skin after using the device, with the company response suggesting the instances to be less severe than the earlier wearable tracker.
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Apple Music in Taiwan, now up to 113 countries
Apple Music has now added its 113th country, Taiwan, to its expanding list of areas where it offers its paid subscription service. The price in the country will start at NT$150 (about $4.50 US) for an individual subscription, and that now includes (as it does in the rest of the world) the formerly free-but-ad-supported iTunes Radio feature, which as in other countries will be customized somewhat to offer channels of locally-popular music styles. Apple Music is now available in 16 countries and regions -- including China, India, Russia, and Japan -- where Spotify has not yet arrived.
Invisible wall mount for iPad Pro, mini
Computing hardware mounting company Wall-Smart has announced the availability the new "invisible" wall mount, with models for the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 -- all with no bezel. The invisible mount includes Power Over Ethernet to USB, which allows charging while in-wall, and is available for both drywall and solid surfaces such as solid wood panels or partition walls. Prices vary widely by iPad model, and required mounting hardware. http://bit.ly/1SE5jCO
Kingston buys IronKey secure USB tech
Kingston Digital today announced it has acquired the USB technology and assets of IronKey from Imation. In addition to Kingston's acquisition, encryption services leader DataLocker has purchased the IronKey Enterprise Management Services platform which provides centralized management to encrypted USB drives. Kingston and DataLocker claim that there will be no interruption in service provided, or available products as a result of the consolidations. http://bit.ly/1QQk9SZ
View-Master VR device in Apple Store
Apple has started to sell a Google Cardboard-style VR headset modeled on a classic Mattel toy. Initially launched early last year, the View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for $30 is designed to use an iPhone as a display, with a Preview Reel and lever system mimicking the toy's switching between images to take users between different VR apps and scenes. http://bit.ly/1RhJW8y
Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t