Tag - SmartWatch
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.
Do please let me say this before anything else: I could not design or build a smartwatch, I simply could not. Therefore, I have limitless admiration for anyone, for any company, that does this -- or I did, before this week. After one week with a Ulefone GW01 Smart Watch Pedometer Remote Camera Bluetooth Information Pushing Smartwatch, I'm afraid I found some limits to my admiration -- possibly starting with the length of its name.
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.
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.
Garmin's latest fitness tracker has been unveiled as one suited to those preferring to wear an analog watch, rather than a smartwatch with a screen for a display. The Garmin Vivomove appears to borrow the concept of a simply-designed analog face that pushes most fitness tracking functionality to the background from the Withings Activité range, with the Vivomove capable of monitoring the user's physical activity while still appearing to be a fairly normal timepiece.
As with most other products, Apple sold fewer of its Apple Watch wearable than it did in the previous quarter, dropping from about 5.1 million in the December quarter to around 2.2 million units between January and March. As a result, the iPhone maker dropped in smartwatch marketshare from 63 percent share to 52.4 percent, still comfortably ahead of all rivals. Samsung, in second place, saw a drop from 16 percent (an estimated 1.3 million units) to 14.3 percent (about 600,000 units).
After relative silence following a confirmation at CES, Samsung now appears nearly ready to offer iOS support for its Gear S2 smartwatch, based on an unfinished app that appeared on an Internet forum. While the leaked app could be fake, the company did confirm that it planned to offer iOS support for the watch, which launched last August, at some point this year. The Gear S2 is a round-faced smartwatch with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED 360x360-resolution display, powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor running Samsung's own Tizen OS, rather than Android Wear.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster's latest survey of American teens shows that the age group are still very interested in Apple's iPhone. Of the teens surveyed in the bi-annual study, 69 percent said that they owned an iPhone, while 75 percent indicated that they wanted an iPhone as their next smartphone. Both key indicators were up by a percentage point or two over the previous survey. Although teens favored the Apple Watch over other smartwatches on the market, only 12 percent of the same group of teens said that they actually owned a smartwatch of any type.
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.
In its latest report, industry analyst IDC has reported that Apple -- with a single product priced well above its competitors -- has already become the third best-selling wearables vendor in the world. As a result, Apple is just barely behind Chinese wearables maker Xiaomi, but presenting little threat to wearables fitness brand Fitbit, which shipped 21 million devices (estimated) compared the figure IDC believes represents Apple's first eight months with the Apple Watch, around 11.6 million units.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE