Tag - Jawbone
Jawbone has hit back against a rumor that it was exiting the fitness wearable industry, one claiming it had ended production of its Up fitness trackers and passing remaining stock of the devices to a reseller. A statement from the manufacturer about the report advises "Speculation that Jawbone is exiting the wearables business or going out of business altogether is false," and that it is still working on wearable devices.
Jawbone may be looking to streamline its operations, with separate rumors claiming two very different parts of the company may be on the chopping block. One rumor claims Jawbone has ceased production of its fitness trackers and sold its remaining inventory to a reseller, while another report insists that it is selling its speaker business, in order to redistribute its resources and focus on its health and wearables business.
Fitbit is now less likely to endure an import ban for some of its fitness trackers into the United States, following a ruling made by a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge yesterday. In a dispute between Fitbit and Jawbone over alleged patent infringement, ITC Judge Dee Lord ruled the last of the contentious patents owned by Jawbone to be invalid, though the ordeal is not yet over for either of the companies involved.
Jawbone today launched a new design for the UP2, and 10 new colors for the UP2 and UP3, further expanding the company's portfolio of activity trackers. In addition, Jawbone released a range of new features for UP2, UP3 and UP4 that improve product functionality and reliability through a free over-the-air firmware update.
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.
Jawbone has launched two new fitness wearables, with one hinted at by a report yesterday. The Up2 is the successor to the Up24, taking the form of a more modest fitness tracker compared to the delayed Up3, while the Up4 is a more advanced device that will be able to make payments in retail stores via a partnership with American Express and an NFC chip.
Yet another wearable device will be offering alternative payments in the future, according to a report. According to the Wall Street Journal, American Express and Jawbone are planning to announce a new system that will allow AmEx card owners to use the manufacturer's fitness bands to make payments at a number of retailers in the United States.
Jawbone is finally going to be releasing its Up3 fitness tracker, four months later than initially planned. Expected for release at the end of last year, the tracker was delayed due to waterproofing issues, a problem that not only forced the late release of the fitness wearable, but has also prompted the company to admit it will not be as water resistant as it had hoped.
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.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R