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.
Now AAPL Stock: 92.04 ( -1.36 )
French show carries on with iPhones
Following a prolonged power loss in a French TV studio, the crew was able to use a combination of limited studio lighting and a number of iPhones to continue taping the Saturday episode of talk show On n'est pas couché ("We're Still Awake"), using the resulting footage in the first edited episode. The Plus-model iPhones used for the impromptu shoot completion were either iPhone 6 Plusses (which shoot in 1080p) or 6s Plus models (which can shoot in 4K). The decision to use the iPhones to complete the show was made after a power outage at France 2's studio stretched to more than three hours. http://bit.ly/299wqDt
Scrivener for iOS to arrive in late July
For some long-time Scrivener users, to quote Paul Simon, "these are the days of miracle and wonders." As it marks its 10th anniversary in business, developer Keith Blount has announced that the long-awaited iOS version of his creative-writing tool Scrivener is to be submitted to the App Store, following strong praise from beta-testers. The program, expected in late July, will sell for $20 and work with both the iPad and iPhone. When we interviewed Blount last January, he added that Scrivener 3 for Mac would follow along shorty afterwards. http://bit.ly/2901XLE
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