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Briefly: podcasts listeners prefer Apple, Watch buyers happy

07/20, 1:25pm

Podcast audience overwhelmingly on iOS, use default player

A new report by audio platform Clammr that pushes the notion that podcast listening is on the verge of breaking into the mainstream of American culture (due to popular podcasts such as Marc Maron's WTF and Welcome to Nightvale) reports that the vast majority (66 percent) of podcast listeners are on mobile devices, and that 82 percent of that audience are using iOS devices -- with 78 percent using the default Apple player.

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Hands On: OmniFocus for Apple Watch

07/02, 10:30am

Good enough to be a To Do app on its own

It's not even an app. The actual app is OmniFocus 2.5.3 for iOS, it's just when you get that, you get this. Yet the Apple Watch version of OmniFocus is good enough, and complete enough, that you could genuinely use it by itself. You'd be mad to, with the iPhone on your person or two feet away from you, but you could -- and it's a remarkable example of what can be done on the Watch right now.

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Hands On: Dark Sky 5.0.0 (Apple Watch, iOS)

06/23, 11:02am

Gorgeous weather app gets even more handy

We always feel old when we get excited by a weather app. Mind you, we're in the UK. Weather is what we do. If you live in an area where you get flood alerts because rain has been seen on an old TV rerun, you don't need this. If you've never seen the grass beneath all that snow, you're fine. For anywhere else, though, weather apps can be supremely handy, and Dark Sky 5.0.0 is at least among the best. It has to be: you've already got a weather app on your Apple Watch and your iPhone already; this has to be better, or no one would ever need it.

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Kickstarter-funded CST-01 e-ink watch project fails

06/23, 6:42am

Two years of work, $1M in funding not enough for 1mm-thick watch to ship

A million-dollar Kickstarter project for an e-ink watch is highly unlikely to provide backers with a finished product, its creators has revealed. Central Standard Timing has admitted that, despite raising over $1.02 million from over 7,600 backers and working on the project for over two years, it is not expecting to complete any of its orders, and is instead looking to sell itself off or publishing its designs or, failing that, publish its designs for use by others.

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Pointers: Make 'Hey Siri' work on Apple Watch

05/15, 7:39am

Pro tip: bellowing at your wrist won't work

If you've got an Apple Watch, you've said 'Hey Siri' to it and it hasn't worked. It seems to fail the most whenever you try to show it off to someone but really, it fails enough that you stop using what is really a superb feature of your Watch. Just do this: lift the watch up and –– most important –– wait until the screen wakes, then begin 'Hey Siri' immediately followed by whatever you want to ask.

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Pointers: Apple Watch Calendar

05/11, 9:59am

It doesn't work quite how you'd expect

One of the many fine things about Apple Watch is how it can show you what your next appointment is. Right there on the watch face, you can choose to see what's coming up next for you. It is gorgeous and handy but there is a whole Calendar app on Apple Watch and that's not as completely, entirely, totally wonderful. It's limited as you might imagine but the problem is that it doesn't do things quite the way you expect. Here's how it does what it does – and how to get the most out of it.

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Hands Off: This is My Apple Watch, not yours!

05/01, 3:16pm

When your partner's Watch arrives before yours does

My wife Angela is classy, elegant, charming and considerate -- but she can afford to be, she's just got an Apple Watch. I bought it for her at the precise same second I bought one for myself yet while hers just raced through the Preparing to Ship and on to Dispatched and is today on her wrist, mine is stuck on Processing, with as far as I can tell two million others'. You can call me romantic for buying her one and actually I'd like it if you did, it would help me feel better that mine is nowhere in sight yet.

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Living With: a (non-Apple) smartwatch

04/26, 7:30pm

Beyond the cool-gadget factor, can they really improve on the smartphone?

Anyone who's been listening to The MacNN Podcast knows there's been some discussion among the staff about wearing smartwatches, and if they think it would be beneficial to do so. Some of us are dubious it would be a useful addition to our workflow, some are skeptical but hopeful an application of value will arise, and some have already ordered theirs and are waiting patiently. Recently, a friend of ours scored several refurbished MetaWatch Frames from Meh.com for what we're going to call "a really good price." So we bought one, in an effort to see if there was any point to wearing a smartwatch.

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Hands On: Airy (OS X, Windows)

02/28, 8:40am

Download and keep YouTube videos with this simple app

The newly-updated Airy - YouTube Downloader for Mac does what almost every word in its title says. It downloads YouTube videos, it runs on a Mac. Run this, grab a YouTube video, and save it to your Mac to watch later. It's so simple, you'll be surprised YouTube itself doesn't come with this functionality.

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Hands On: Silver Screen 1.1.1 (OS X)

02/10, 4:28pm

Stream any video, from nearly any original source, to your Apple TV

One of the very handiest things about Apple TV is that with it, you can use your television to watch any video on your Macs -- except you really can't, if you operate outside Apple's garden at all. If that video is in iTunes by hook or by crook, you're all set. If it isn't -- and we know you have some that isn't -- then you need to buy Silver Screen: it will stream any video, of just about any format, to your TV.

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CES: Alcatel OneTouch Watch will work with Android, iOS devices

01/07, 7:16am

Smartwatch from Alcatel OneTouch includes heart rate monitor, USB charger in strap

The Alcatel OneTouch Watch will be shipping in March for $150, it has been revealed. The recently-launched round-faced smartwatch also uses its own software rather than Android Wear, allowing the device to work with iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 or later, as well as Android devices running version 4.3 or later of the mobile operating system.

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Analysis: Apple's media unveiling of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch

09/09, 8:00pm

Electronista, MacNN staff discuss the new announcements from the fall event

A great deal of conversation between the MacNN and Electronista staff happens behind the scenes, especially when something like keynotes are ongoing. This week's annual Apple mobile announcement is no different. Writers Mike and Jordan, along with editor Charles, tackle some of the issues surrounding the mass-media Apple reveal that Tim Cook helmed today, showing the iPhone 6 family, and the Apple Watch.

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Mini review: Swatch Sistem 51

09/08, 7:03am

Swatch Sistem 51 is a very smart traditional watch

While the gadgets that we usually cover on the site are high-tech, occasionally a 'low-tech' gadget comes along that can be just as desirable. The new Swatch Sistem 51shows that there is still plenty of innovation taking place in the traditional watch market, despite all the attention shifting towards smartwatches. Recently launched in the U.S., the Swatch Sistem 51 is the Swiss company's first automatic watch and was made to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Like the original Swatch quartz watch released in 1983, which was comprised of 51 components, the namesake Sistem 51's minimal 51 part count making it the least complex automatic watch ever made - which, ironically, took substantial engineering efforts to bring it to market given most automatic watches contain over 100 parts.

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Withings Activité hides fitness tracker inside traditional wristwatch

06/24, 6:44am

Plain dial of Withings Activite hides activity tracking, sleep monitoring hardware

Withings has unveiled a fitness tracker embedded in a traditional-looking watch. The Withings Activité combines the typical functions of a fitness tracker, such as the Pulse, but hides the majority of its functionality behind a plain watchface, with the only clues to the device's capabilities being the logo and a secondary dial showing the percentage of progress made towards a fitness goal.

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Review: Phosphor Touch Time watch

05/08, 5:00pm

Digital watch adds touchscreen, applications in uncomfortable platform

Watches have been around far longer than any Internet denizen has been alive. First appearing in the 15th century, they have been important to functionality and timeliness of people for hundreds of years. However, watches haven't changed much -- outside of the invention of the crystal-based digital watches dating back relatively recently. Now, smart watches from companies like Samsung and (allegedly) Apple are looking to change watches again. But is there still room for advancements in standard of watches that people will widely adopt? Phosphor aims to find out with the Touch Time.

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Garmin reveals Forerunner 15 GPS watch for run tracking

05/06, 2:44pm

GPS running watch can track heart rate, synchronizes with online service

Garmin has introduced what the company claims to be its lowest-priced GPS-enabled running watch. The Forerunner 15 is a step down from the more-recent Forerunner and Fenix releases, in that it keeps track of standard running-related statistics and activity tracking functions, but without adding enhanced features nor smart watch-style smartphone connectivity.

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Garmin launches Forerunner 220, 620 sports watches for runners

09/16, 8:06am

Watches connect to app, able to predict race completion times

GPS producer Garmin has added to its sports watch line with two new thin devices. The Forerunner 620 and Forerunner 220 have one-inch Chroma color displays that can alert the user to their fastest mile or other important milestones, with the Forerunner 620 also adding the ability to monitor the wearer during the run itself.

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Microsoft said to be working on own smartwatch with LTE connectivity

07/15, 3:23pm

Smartwatch being prototyped by Surface team, using translucent aluminum

The team behind the Microsoft Surface are working on a smartwatch for the company, according to reports. The wrist-based device, surfacing in rumors back in April, is apparently being prototyped by the team, which could end up adding Microsoft to an ever-increasing list of companies that are manufacturing smartwatches.

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Sony reveals SmartWatch 2 with larger, higher-resolution screen, NFC

06/25, 6:04am

Sony SmartWatch 2 can pair with smartphone using one-touch NFC

Sony has revealed it is making a second wearable computing device, something the company teased at the end of last week. The Sony SmartWatch 2 offers a larger 1.6-inch, 220x176-resolution touchscreen display compared to an earlier version of the watch, and this time adds a casing that's declared to be both dust and water resistant to an IP57 rating.

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Briefly: Pebble UI changes in update, EE starts 30-day SIM-only plans

05/30, 4:14am

Pebble smartwatch firmware update adds multiple notifications, watchface

The Pebble smartwatch has received a firmware update, introducing more changes to the user interface. Notifications have been updated to allow for multiple items to be viewed, the UI for setting the time has been reworked, and the wearer's current speed in the RunKeeper app can now be viewed from the Pebble display. The minimalist Simplicity watchface has been added as an option instead of the Fuzzy Time watchface, which has now been transitioned to the watchapp library, according to the version 1.11 firmware release notes.

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Pebble e-paper watch shipping to Kickstarter backers Jan 23

01/09, 1:46pm

Factory creating 15,000 Pebble watches per week

The Pebble smart watch will be shipping to backers on January 23rd. Company CEO Eric Migicovsky made the announcement at CES, adding that the e-paper timepiece will be shipping in batches, and is good news to Kickstarter backers that have waited for the wrist-based gadget, including through a number of production delays.

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Bluetooth-enabled Casio G-Shock watch on sale after delay

12/05, 12:34pm

Simplified smartwatch boasts two-year battery, shockproofing

Casio has started shipping a wristwatch with built-in Bluetooth connectivity to the US. The G-Shock GB6900, shown off late last year and faced delays coming to market caused by flooding in Thailand, is capable of connecting to Bluetooth 4.0 smartphones such as the iPhone 4S, and showing various updates on the watch face.

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Google patents Project Glass-style flip-up smart watch

10/03, 4:42am

Timepiece could provide Glass system without headset

Google has patented a smart watch where the front turns into a flip-up transparent touchscreen. According to the patent, the wirelessly-connected timepiece would allow the user to see notifications and messages from other devices, like other smart watches, as well as providing some of the functionality of Project Glass when using it to look at nearby objects.

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Garmin adds rugged Fenix outdoor watch to GPS range

07/10, 3:59pm

Scratch-resistant watch includes smartphone connectivity

Garmin is introducing another product in its watch-based GPS line. The Fenix Outdoor Watch, aimed at outdoor enthusiasts such as mountaineers and hikers, packs an assortment of instruments including optimized altimeter, barometer, and compass sensors alongside the satellite navigation system.

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Review: HTC One X with LTE

04/29, 6:55pm

Our look at HTC's 2012 Android 4 flagship phone

For HTC, 2011 was sometimes considered a write-off: what looked to be a promising year with an early 4G lead saw the company overwhelmed by Apple and Samsung, and even by its own at times confusing lineup with problematic phones like the Thunderbolt. The One series for 2012 is the reboot, a return to basics with an emphasis on high-end design and even stripping back the custom Sense interface layer. We'll determine in our review of the HTC One X in 4G LTE trim, and to some extent the Evo 4G LTE, whether HTC is back to being a fierce competitor for the iPhone and Galaxy roster.

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HTC buys stake, patent deal in cross-platform SyncTV service

03/26, 12:10pm

HTC stake in SyncTV signals video service plans

HTC on Monday bought a 20 percent stake in SyncTV for what could be a sign of larger content ambitions. The deal comes partly in return for patent licenses from SyncTV's parent Intertrust Technologies and gives it access to SyncTV's techniques for digital copy protection. The exact aims weren't mentioned other than a "broad strategic technology partnership" between the two sides.

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HTC Raider comes to North America via Bell, Rogers with LTE

10/27, 10:00am

HTC Raider arrives in Canada ahead of the US

Preempting the US event for the Rezound next week, HTC on Thursday planned to bring its international equivalent, the Raider, to North America first through Canada. Both Bell and Rogers are getting the LTE-based 4G version of the phone and can stream HD videos or otherwise get online faster still than either carrier's regular HSPA+ network. Accordingly, either version can tap into HTC's Watch movie store or use the 4G for a hotspot, although low LTE bandwidth caps may discourage using either feature often.

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Amazon CEO: if just building a tablet, you won't succeed

09/29, 2:35pm

Amazon CEO says ecosystem key to tablets, more

Most of those who have failed at tablets and other home electronics were too focused on the hardware alone, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview following the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet. He explained to TechCrunch that Amazon would do well with the Kindle Fire because it treated the Android slate as an "end-to-end service," not just an isolated design. It was the software and the content that defined a tablet, and those who didn't create a complete effect have struggled.

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HTC Sensation 4G official for Bell

06/16, 4:20pm

HTC dual-core Sensation 4G gets Bell release

Bell gained the distinction of being the first if not only Canadian carrier to get the HTC Sensation 4G. Its version will be much like the international version of the 1.2GHz, dual-core Android 2.3 phone but switch over to Bell's HSPA frequencies, also shared with most Canadian carriers and AT&T, and carry 14.4Mbps. The carrier is pushing its Mobile TV app for live streaming but also plans to carry HTC's Watch movie store.

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HTC Evo 3D confirmed shipping with 3D movies, games

05/31, 11:55am

Evo 3D gets 3D Blockbuster, HTC Watch, Gameloft

Sprint on Tuesday confirmed plans for the HTC Evo 3D to ship with 3D content both on and ready for the phone. The dual-core Android hardware will come with the recently hinted 3D version of Green Hornet and tap into 3D movie services as well. Both Blockbuster and HTC's own Watch will be onboard with 3D movies as an option to buy or rent from either store.

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Best Buy to take HTC Flyer pre-orders April 25

04/22, 9:20pm

HTC Flyer up for Best Buy orders April 25

Best Buy wrapped up Friday by detailing more of its launch plans for the HTC Flyer with Wi-Fi. Pre-orders will start on April 25 and will see the 16GB tablet cost $499. The release date was kept vague and only promised a release in the spring.

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Garmin unveils Colorado, Forerunner, Nuvi 5000 GPS

01/04, 2:35am

New Garmin GPS systems

Garmin recently unveiled its Colorado series of handheld GPS units, and the Forerunner 405 wrist-worn GPS device, as well as the super-sized Nuvi 5000 for use in large vehicles. The Colorado 400t uses a 3-inch color screen to display three-dimensional topographic maps, and is pre-loaded with a complete map covering the US. Tracks, waypoints, and geocaches can be wirelessly transferred with other units, and the devices Rock n Roller thumbwheel makes the device easy to navigate. Garmin will show the new lineup at CES 2008, and although a release date was not mentioned, the Colorado 400 series devices sell for $600.

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