Tag - Pebble
Smartwatch producer Pebble is bringing a function that allows the wearable device to respond to text messages received on an iPhone to more users, both within the United States and outside. Initially launched in a trial on AT&T in November last year before spreading to Verizon, the iOS Text Reply function is going to be available to subscribers of T-Mobile in the United States along with Pebble owners based in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands.
Pebble has issued some updates to its current-generation Time smartwatches, as well as the companion apps on both iOS and Android. Version 3.13 of the firmware upgrades Pebble Health to make it more accurate for recording a user's activities, as well as adding the ability to get better weather reports on the mobile device via a new pebble Weather app, among other expected bug fixes and performance improvements.
An upcoming wearable device recently unveiled by smartwatch manufacturer Pebble will allow owners to use Amazon's virtual assistant, the company has announced. Alexa, best known for being used on the Amazon Echo device range, will be integrated into the Pebble Core, allowing users to access Alexa's various abilities and ask questions using their voice, just using the Core and the device's standalone 3G connection to the internet.
Smartwatch producer Pebble has revealed three new devices it is adding to its range, with all three having a greater focus on tracking the user's fitness than the previously-released timepieces. The Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 are updates to the existing models that introduce built-in heart rate monitoring for the first time, while the Pebble Core is a compact device that offers fitness tracking but leaves out the smartwatch element entirely out of the equation.
Every so often, MacNN finds a deal that is too big or important to go into our usual deals lists, and is major enough to be highlighted in its own Big Deals post. If you've wanted to get onto the smart watch bandwagon but didn't want to shell out for an Apple Watch, there is a solution, with the MacNN Deals store offering a handy discount on the Pebble Time, the company's second-generation wearable device.
One of the companies who helped bring smart watches into the mainstream is preparing to lay off approximately a quarter of its staff, in order to save itself money. Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky confirmed in an interview that the company will be letting go of 40 employees this week, and squarely blames the difficulty in raising more funds from venture capitalists as the main reason behind the reduction in the smart watch manufacturer's workforce.
Pebble has announced it is bringing updates to all devices in its smartwatch range, upgrading the capabilities of both the original Pebble and the more recent Pebble Time collections. Pebble users will soon get to use the Timeline interface introduced with Time devices, while Time owners will benefit from the addition of activity tracking in the form of Pebble Health, bringing the smartwatch more in line with others on the market.
Pebble has added the ability to respond to text messages on an iPhone via the Pebble Time smartwatch range, but only to a limited number of users. US-based owners with a post-paid AT&T account are able to beta test iOS Text Reply, a feature that lets users either select a pre-defined text reply to incoming messages appearing within the iOS Messages app, or respond with a voice reply by speaking directly into the smartwatch.
Pebble is shipping the circular-faced version of its smartwatch on the 8th of November, starting with those who preordered the wearable device when it was first announced in September. On the same day as shipments begin, the Pebble Time Round will be available at retail in the United States, with the smartwatch appearing in Target and BestBuy stores from Sunday onwards, priced at $250.
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.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
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