Which fashion-forward recipient will you gift with a smart watch?
Wearable devices have become an important part of the technology industry this year, with almost every manufacturer producing a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or some other form of technology designed to be worn, not carried. If you feel the need to buy a present for someone you know who wants a wearable item, here is Electronista and MacNN's first gift guide of the season, covering the newest expansion of mobile technology.
LG rumored to include non-removable SIM card in G Watch
LG may follow Samsung in providing a standalone smart watch, according to a rumor. >em?Inews24 claims LG will be including a non-removable SIM card inside its G Watch, which would allow it to connect to the Internet for notifications and search queries. It is also claimed the Android Wear-powered smart watch will be made available through the Google Play Store, with more details apparently set to be revealed at Google I/O next month.
Patent applications hint at gesture recognition using both hands
Samsung's wearable devices could include gesture recognition in the future, according to one of a number of recently-published patent applications. Listings on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website suggest the company is looking into ways to add gestures to its smart watch, not only through the movement of the device, but also by recognizing actions close to it.
Price of Moto 360 in contest rules a guide for tax purposes, final price uncertain
The upcoming Moto 360 smart watch from Motorola could cost $249, according to details revealed in a recent competition. Despite being priced in rules the company itself wrote for a contest of its own devising, Motorola has denied the reports, claiming the price listed is just for tax purposes, with the final retail price for the smart watch yet to be finalized.
Patents filings outline design, features of Microsoft's smart watch entry
Recent patent information has given those awaiting a Microsoft entry into the smart watch race something to look at. A patent award for an "electronic band," and an application for a "wearable personal information system" filed by the company, give information on what is to come from the software giant.
LG teases Android Wear-based G Watch device in video
LG has teased its upcoming G Watch with a new video on YouTube. Though light on detail, it provides a closer look at the design of the Android Wear smart watch, as well as highlighting its compatibility with non-LG devices, its metal body, and its waterproofing. Earlier rumors suggest the watch will be launching sometime in July, and could ship for around $300.
Rumored Samsung smart watch with cellular connection heads to India
Samsung's Gear Solo has been spotted for a second time, suggesting a launch of the standalone smart watch is on the way. The listing on Zauba, an Indian import data site, shows the device being transported from South Korea for "R & D" or research and development purposes, though the name has been tweaked from the original Gear Solo registration to the Gear 2 Solo instead.
Google Drive adds option to broadcast presentations to Chromecast
Presentations stored on Google Drive can now be viewed on the Google Chromecast, it has been discovered. Android Police notes the Present option in the presentation creation tool within Google Drive now lists Chromecast devices on the same network under the "Present on another device" option. While the desktop browser version adds the Chromecast support, the Google Drive Android app does not, but could receive it in a future update.
Smart watch from LG will keep display turned on at all times
LG's G Watch will be water and dust-resistant, and could be used outdoors, according to new details on the official website. The Android-based smart watch will also ship in a choice of two color options, with the plain black face surrounded by either a "Stealth Black" casing and band, or a "Champagne Gold" version with a white wrist strap and a golden body.
Flagship Samsung smartphone, smart watches go on sale today
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has gone on sale in 125 countries, as part of its global launch. Initially unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February, the flagship smartphone is being sold in stores and through carriers in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the majority of Asia, flanked by the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit smart watches.
Samsung Gear Solo may be smart watch with own cellular access
Samsung's smart watch with cellular connectivity is apparently called the Gear Solo, according to reports. Continuing earlier rumors, the device being worked on between the manufacturer and SK Telecom is said to have its own cellular radio, allowing it to work as a standalone device using its own SIM card instead of connecting to a smartphone.
Black Eyed Peas member shows smart watch during interview
Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am is producing a smart watch, the musician has revealed. Appearing on a chat show in the United Kingdom, he gave a demonstration of the device's capabilities, claiming that unlike the Samsung Gear range and other smart watches, his version is able to make phone calls without needing to be connected to a smartphone.
Samsung adds baby monitoring feature to Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 can be used as a baby monitor, when used in conjunction with a Gear smart watch. SoyaCincau discovered the Samsung flagship includes a "Baby crying detector" feature that will send a vibrating alert to a paired Gear if it hears a nearby child makes a sound. Leaked screenshots note it will work best when the smartphone is placed within 1 meter (3 feet) of the child in a room with no background noise, followed by a large number of parental warnings and disclaimers.
Clearer image shows simplified design of LG G Watch
LG's United Kingdom branch has teased its upcoming smart watch, by posting another image of the device on Twitter. The G Watch, a wearable device running on Google's Android Wear software platform, is shown in greater detail than the darker original teaser, complete with its square watch face and a notification from Google Hangouts on the display.
Pre-orders for Galaxy S5 start tomorrow on both carriers
(Updated with T-Mobile launch details) AT&T and US Cellular will be putting up Samsung's flagship smartphone for pre-order tomorrow, with AT&T also preparing to sell the manufacturer's new wearable devices. The Samsung Galaxy S5 on both, as well as the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smart watches and the Gear Fit on AT&T, will be available to order through the carrier's stores and websites, with devices set to ship in early April.
Pebble lowers price of Steel smart watch with leather strap
Pebble has cut the price for one version of its metal smartwatch. The leather-strap version of the Pebble Steel is now reduced to $229 for both the brushed stainless and black matte models, representing a $20 saving on the metal-band variants, reports SmartwatchFans. Potential buyers will have to wait, as the leather-strapped models are now back-ordered, while the metal strap versions are listed as "unavailable." The original version of the Pebble is still listed as in-stock.
Summer launch in United States expected for Motorola smart watch
Not to be outdone by LG and its G Watch, Motorola has teased its first smart watch. The Moto 360 will run on Android Wear, also announced today, will differ from most other smart watches on the market, in offering a "round face and premium materials" instead of the squarish appearance shown in the Pebble, the Samsung Gear, and similar devices.
Wearable device operating system to first arrive on smart watches
Google has announced its operating system software for wearable devices, called Android Wear. Hinted at during a South by Southwest interview by head of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai, the software will allow hardware producers to build devices, such as smart watches, with the platform claimed to offer many of the functions typically associated with smart devices, but with a Google twist.
Cash prize, Pebble Steel offered to highest-voted Pebble apps
Pebble has launched the Android version of its smart watch app store, just over one month after the iOS version first became available to use. The app's update to version 2.0 comes at the same time as the company launches a hackathon to create new apps for the crowd-funded device, with the developer of the highest-voted app receiving a grand prize of $5,000 in cash.
Health tracker manufacturer reportedly bought by Intel
Intel has picked up health tracker producer Basis Science, beating off competition from Apple and Google, according to a report. The acquisition, yet to be confirmed by either company, is said by multiple sources to be worth $100 million or $150 million, and extends Intel's wearables portfolio from the SD card-sized Edison computer and the combined headset and smartphone combination known as Jarvis.
New form follows speculative renderings
After unveiling the Gear 2 on Sunday, Samsung made a surprise announcement--the Gear Fit--during Monday's Mobile World Congress event focusing on the Galaxy S5. The Fit departs from the squarish, chunky form of the first- and second-generation Gear watches, opting instead for a narrow display and focusing on fitness applications. Electronista donned the Fit to see if the sleek design equates to an improved experience.
Interface presented on curved AMOLED display
Samsung has continued its Galaxy introductions with another watch, the Gear Fit, which will be sold alongside the Gear 2 and Neo. As its name suggests, the Fit focuses on fitness features and brings a more compact build than its larger cousins. Central to the new design is a 1.84-inch curved AMOLED display with 432x128 resolution.
Tizen-powered Galaxy Gear successors are incremental upgrade
Samsung has unveiled two smart watches as successors to the Galaxy Gear, confirming rumors from yesterday. Launched the day before Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy S5, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are updated versions that retains the styling of the original but makes a number of improvements, including switching from running on Android to Tizen, and removing the Galaxy branding altogether.
New smart watches will apparently not use the Galaxy branding
Rumors of Samsung offering multiple models of its smart watch in the future may in fact be true, based on leaked images. A low-resolution image of two follow-up devices to the Galaxy Gear was posted online, followed by a second, higher-resolution version, though it turns out the smart watches may not actually be part of the Galaxy device range at all.
Fenix 2 can automatically record laps, activity for sporting activities
Garmin is releasing an updated version of its ruggedized Fenix GPS watch, with a number of smart watch-style improvements. The Fenix 2 offers a similar set of features meant for outdoor enthusiasts as the original, except it adds more to its recording capabilities, and is now capable of displaying call and message notifications from a connected smartphone over Bluetooth.
HTC smart watch will be shown privately at Mobile World Congress
HTC will be showing part of a collection of smart watches behind closed doors at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. Bloomberg claims the company will use the trade show to demonstrate two prototype watches, one of which is apparently based on the Qualcomm Toq offering the same low-powered Mirasol display, Bluetooth connectivity, and music playback functionality.
Next Samsung smart watch said to use Tizen instead of Android
Samsung could launch multiple new models of the Galaxy Gear smart watch at Mobile World Congress next week, according to a report. A separate report also claims the electronics giant will also change the software running on the device, away from the version of Android used in the current version and onto the lesser-used Tizen mobile operating system.
Wearable fitness tracker could be purchased for under $100M
Fitness tracker producer Basis Science could be acquired by a major technology company in the near future, according to rumors. A report claims the wearable device manufacturer behind the Basis B1 fitness tracker is in talks with Apple and Google, with a further claim of discussions with Microsoft and Samsung over a possible sale, though not necessarily for a high price.
Cut in price of smart watch by AT&T, Best Buy
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has received some cuts in price in the United States, with both Best Buy and AT&T discounting the smart watch. At the same time, more reports are claiming to confirm a successor to the wrist-based device will be revealed at Mobile World Congress later this month, alongside the Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy Tab 4.
Battery, display issues hampering HTC smart watch development
HTC is still planning to compete with Samsung and others in the smart watch market, by shipping a wearable device later this year, the company chairwoman has revealed in an interview. Work on a smart watch has been stalled by battery issues and other problems, according to Cher Wang, though the company hoping to launch some form of wearable item sometime before the holiday shopping season.
Inductive charging, screen-mounted solar panel, movement charging touted
Apple is experimenting with alternative charging methods that could be used in the rumored iWatch, claims the New York Times. Rather than charging a smart watch by plugging a wire into a port, Apple is apparently looking into using magnetic induction charging for the device, with a solar-charging layer added to a curved glass screen also touted by report sources.
App store allows up to 8 apps on Pebble smart watch at a time
Pebble will be launching its app store on Febrary 3rd, allowing developers to sell apps and watchfaces for the crowd-funded smart watch, the company has revealed. The iOS version of the companion app will be updated with the store on Monday, with a beta version of the store launching on Android shortly afterward, with the first apps set to go on sale from 10am PST, 1pm EST.
Revised Samsung smart watch will have updated design
The successor to the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch could be launched in March or April at a London event, according to a report. The smart watch is also said to have a curved or flexible OLED screen, instead of the original's 1.6-inch AMOLED version, along with a new updated design that could help Samsung gain more acceptance in the wearable devices market.
Razer Nabu offers fitness band tracking with smartphone notifications
Razer has seemingly stepped outside its comfort zone and developed a life-tracking wristband, something a large number of other companies have also done at CES. The Nabu is a mix between a smartwatch and fitness tracker, combining the movement tracking elements of items such as the Fitbit Force with smartphone notifications and added social and gaming features.
Smart watch, fitness wristband touted alongside LG G3
LG is said to be still working on wearable devices, though it appears to be more than just a smart watch, with a number of potential specifications for the company's next flagship smartphone also leaking. A new report claims that the electronics producer will catch up with Samsung and its Galaxy Gear by releasing the G-Arch smart watch, with a health and fitness wristband dubbed "G-Health" also being touted as a second, separate release.
Pebble updates software with alarm settings, notification controls
Pebble has updated the software for its smartwatch, adding a new "Do Not Disturb" setting. As well as allowing wearers to designate a period of time when notifications are not displayed, the update adds changes to the way it handles alarms, including adding multiple alarms, toggling them on and off, and a new "Snooze Alarm." Added controls for notifications, improved iOS performance, and a number of bug fixes are also included.
Pebble cuts price of smart watch from $150 to $130 for Black Friday
Pebble has reduced the cost of its smart watch by $20 on its website for Black Friday, bringing the price down from $150 to $130, and effectively counters most of the cost of a delivery upgrade to 3-5 days instead of weeks. The grey model of the Kickstarter-funded wristwear is backordered, though the jet black, cherry red, orange, and arctic white versions are still available.
Mega releases cloud storage app for iOS, iPad version due in future
Mega, the cloud storage service operated by Kim Dotcom, has launched an official iOS app. The free download allows users to browse their account, preview and stream specific documents and files, and to send links to files and folders to other people. Support for the iPad as well as photo synchronization are touted as future upgrades.
Mirasol smart watch could ship long after original December 2 target
Qualcomm has opened up pre-orders for its Toq smartwatch, ahead of its December 2nd shipping date. The smart watch now appears in the Qualcomm online store as available to buy, though the component producer does advise that the device will be shipping "within 1-3 weeks," meaning that some customers may face a considerable wait for their order.
Separate reports suggest lower sales, shipment figures
The Samsung Galaxy Gear has sold more than 800,000 units since its September launch, according to the company. The revealed sales figures comes after recent reports claiming that the number of Galaxy Gear devices being used by consumers is closer to 50,000 units, something that Samsung feels the need to correct.
Toq smartwatch uses low-power Mirasol display, boasts multi-day battery life
Qualcomm will be releasing its own interpretation of the smart watch at the beginning of next month. The Qualcomm Toq uses a low-power Mirasol display, something which will help the always-on device to have what is claimed by the company to be "multiple days of battery life," while also remaining visible in bright sunlight.
Pebble releases iOS 7 app update with greater notification support
Pebble has updated the iOS version of its smart watch app, one which introduces support for iOS 7 notifications. The update, which allows for updates from a host of watched services to be pushed to the Pebble display, also introduces support for Bluetooth LE, which will lower the amount of power used by the smartphone and the Pebble when communicating.
Smart watch app fully integrates with Notification Center
Pebble has made a number of announcements about its Kickstarter-funded smart watch, for both iOS and Android app developers. The new iOS app introduces full integration with the Notification Center, while version 2.0 of the software development kit adds four new APIs, allowing app creators to do more with the smart watch.
Google smart watch could be mass produced within months
Google is currently in the later stages of developing its own smart watch, which could be ready for mass production "within months," according to the Wall Street Journal. A new report claims that Google is in talks with suppliers based in Asia to start the production of the device, following on from earlier rumors and patent-related discoveries.
HTC previously worked with Microsoft on smart watch, claims CEO
HTC is still working on a tablet and may also bring out a wearable device in the future, according to management at the troubled phone producer. CEO Peter Chou and chairwoman Cher Wang advised that, though it left the US tablet market after underwhelming sales of devices such as the HTC Flyer, it could return to the market with "something nice and disruptive."
Nokia rumored to launch smart watch on 22nd, Google on 31st
While Samsung, Sony, Pebble and other manufacturers have launched their smart watches, two other companies are rumored to be getting closer to launching their own devices. Google's Gem is said to be heading to launch later this month, while leaked photos appear to show a prototype smart watch from Nokia.
AT&T commencing Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch orders at midnight
T-Mobile will be opening up pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 later this week, starting from the 18th. While T-Mobile will commence sales of the Samsung phablet from Wednesday, AT&T will be doing the same for the Galaxy Gear smart watch from midnight tonight, having already started its Galaxy Note 3 pre-orders earlier.
Watch monitors driver, provides car feedback notifications
Automobile manufacturer Nissan has revealed its own concept of smart watch, designed to work in tandem with its line of performance sports cars. The Nismo Concept Watch, instead of providing the usual features associated with smart watches such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Pebble, focuses on monitoring the driver as well as offering messages and details relating to the car itself.
Previously showed 1.5-inch always-on Mirasol display panel for watches
Qualcomm has registered a new trademark, relating to smart watches. The filings for Qualcomm TOQ, on June 26th and July 17th of this year, suggest that the chip producer is looking into either making components or complete smart watches in the future, bringing it in line with other manufacturers believed to be creating their own.
Gear smart watch expected to debut alongside Note III
Images from a patent application filed earlier this year appears to show the design for Samsung's forthcoming Gear wearable computing device. Korean site MovePlayer uncovered the application on Saturday, and the images shown in the filing may or may not be the final design for the device. It is expected that Samsung will unveil the device in the coming months.