Tag - Wearable
Editor's Note: as we count down the last days of MacNN, we've been picking some favorite stories to re-run. We've seen it all across these 21 years, and we've pointed to some of the biggest stories we've ever covered, but just as memorable are the oddball ones. This is another of those: the phrase "detachable beeper disc digital gym shoe computer wrist watch" won't leave our minds anytime soon, nor Ms. Washington-Gross' demand for $5 billion in recompense from Apple (and not anyone else in the wearable field, it would seem). The case was dismissed about a month after it was filed, but it lives on in our hearts.
Samsung has launched two new products aimed at the fitness market. The Gear IconX wireless earbuds are reminiscent of the rumored wireless EarPods that Apple is said to be developing for a future iPhone, that could ship without a standard 3.5mm jack. Along with the announcement of the earbuds, Samsung has also announced its latest wearable, the fitness-focused Gear Fit 2, with a curved AMOLED display.
Garmin has expanded its range of Forerunner GPS-equipped sports watches with a new flagship wearable that is also one of the producer's lightest. Offering many of the features of others in the watch collection, the Forerunner 735XT includes a built-in heart rate monitoring sensor, as well as a new "Suffer Score" added to the list of metrics it provides users, one that ranks how hard the wearer trained during their most recent activity.
A new study by e-commerce analytics firm Slice has shown that most early adopters of the Apple Watch were men, but that women have now come close to closing the gap, with the split now about 60-40 in favor of male buyers compared to the 80-20 split during most of the device's first year. By contrast, the only wearable product that outsells the Apple Watch -- the various Fitbit models of fitness band -- was predominantly and still is more popular with female buyers, with the percentage of women buyers growing.
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).
Nokia is attempting to get back into producing consumer-grade devices and jumpstarting its wearables product catalog, by acquiring health company Withings. The French wearable device and fitness tracker producer is being bought by the former smartphone producer for €170 million ($191 million), subject to regulatory approval, with the cash deal expected to close early in the third quarter of this year.
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.
Yesterday Misfit announced the Shine 2, the next generation of the Shine Fitness and Sleep Monitor. The update of the device originally brought to market by co-founder John Sculley brings more accurate activity and sleep tracking, better progress management, and text and call notifications with a silent vibration to the new iteration of the wearable.
Polar is adding another item to its wearable device range, with a fitness tracker capable of monitoring the wearer's heart. The Polar A360 is able to measure the heart rate while the user is working out or doing activities, helping users keep it up during intensive training, as well as other important items such as the amount of activity, step counts, calorific burn rate, workouts, and the wearer's sleep patterns when resting.
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.
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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