Apple Watch announced at media event, device to be available in early 2015

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Date: Tuesday, September 9th, 2014, 15:21
Category: Hardware, News, Wearables

This definitely fit into the category of “one last thing…” that Apple historically concluded its keynote speeches with, but it might be worth the hype and anticipation.

On Tuesday, Apple announced its long-awaited Apple Watch, a device that the company said will define the emerging wearable devices market.

Per AppleInsider, the device uses a “digital crown”, a physical dial that rests on the right side of the device. Using this, users can interact with the device without a need to touch the screen, which would obscure it.

iwatchface

The crown button also acts as the home button, and can be pressed to return a user to the main screen. A button located below the crown allows users to quickly access contacts.

The face is also an input, with unique “tap” and “force press” gestures enabled by special electrodes capable of sensing pressure.

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Rumor: Apple to unveil iWatch alongside iPhone 6 at September 9th media event

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Date: Thursday, August 28th, 2014, 08:28
Category: iPhone, Rumor, Wearables

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In spite of the rumors of delays, Apple’s “iWatch” may be introduced to the public sooner than expected.

Per AppleInsider and the well-connected John Paczkowski of Re/code, who referred to the device as a “new wearable” that will be worn on the user’s wrist. He also reaffirmed claims that the device will tap into the new HealthKit and HomeKit functions of Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8 mobile operating system update.

Paczkowski had previously reported in June that the “iWatch” event would be held in October, but said on Wednesday that plans appear to have changed recently. He still expects that the company will hold an October event, presumably to introduce its fall lineup of iPads.

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Apple hires two more Nike FuelBand engineers, looks to be focusing on wearable/fitness project

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Date: Thursday, July 10th, 2014, 00:50
Category: News, Wearables

Nike-logo-orange

It all comes down to the recent hires.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple has apparently snagged two former Nike FuelBand engineers for what could be its wearable technologies/iWatch project. The new hires are Jon Gale, who wrote FuelBand firmware code for Nike and Ryan Bailey, who worked as a hardware engineer on the FuelBand team. While not officially confirmed by Apple, it’s been surmised that the two will be working on an Apple fitness tracking device effort

Mr. Gale’s title at Apple is Sensing Systems Engineer, according to his LinkedIn profile, and Mr. Bailey is a Mechanical Design Engineer. Both have plenty of experience with the FuelBand fitness tracker.

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Pebble releases Pebble firmware update 2.2

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 9th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Accessory, Features, iOS, Software, User Interface, Wearables

Pebble 2.2 updating-crop

Last Wednesday, Pebble deployed the latest update to the firmware of the Pebble smartwatch. The Pebble iOS app was updated the week before on May 27th bringing it to version 2.2, not to be confused with the firmware for the watch itself which is once again in sync with the app’s version.

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A quick look at Qualcomm’s Toq Smartwatch

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Date: Tuesday, May 27th, 2014, 09:50
Category: Accessory, Android, Hardware, Wearables

People were pretty disappointed to hear that Apple wasn’t planning to introduce or speak about any new hardware at WWDC, so an iWatch may still be a ways off…or a complete surprise. With no signs of an Apple smartwatch on the horizon, other companies are trying to get the jump on the watch market. Among the contenders is Qualcomm’s Toq Smartwatch. The Toq (toke…tock…not sure) so far only works with Android devices and presents a set of the typical features we expect from a smartwatch such as access to calendars, calls and texting, notifications from social services, music control, etc.. Information-wise, it doesn’t provide any more than a Pebble, but it does have some other nice features.

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Google Glass is back in the public’s shopping cart

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Date: Thursday, May 15th, 2014, 08:23
Category: Accessory, Gadget, Google, News, Wearables

google_glass_headsetEarlier this week, Google put Google Glass back “on the shelves”, so to speak, as it made the wearable device available for public purchase again. Still at the premium price of $1500, Google hopes it can get its Explorer program to expand by making it available again. Google posted the following on its Google+ account;

“We’re still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand: google.com/glass

We’re ready to keep meeting new Explorers, and we can’t wait to hear all your experiences and feedback to continue to make Glass even better, ahead of our wider consumer release.”

That last part is of particular interest as 9to5Google suggested a month ago that maybe a more affordable version is down the road;

“In addition to the insane price tag ($1,500 for Galaxy Nexus specs is crazy, Google), a consumer release of Glass is still expected to take place this year. That means improved hardware and a far cheaper price should be on the horizon.

That release should come this fall, with Glass news hopefully being a major point at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference.”

Hopefully soon, we’ll also see some kind of development toward the ongoing privacy concerns regarding wearables in general, of which Glass is in the spotlight.

 

 

Nike axes the FuelBand and most of its development team

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 21st, 2014, 09:24
Category: Accessory, Consumer Electronics, Hardware, News, Wearables

Nike-FuelBand-WM0105_001_AIt looks like there will be one less company competing in the wearables market with the iWatch. According to CNET, Nike is closing down its wearable hardware development, which includes the FuelBand, in order to focus on its software efforts. As a result, the 70 employees on the FuelBand team are being let go, with a handful staying on until May.

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An iWatch as soon as this summer?

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Date: Wednesday, April 9th, 2014, 16:29
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, Rumor, Wearables

xl_Apple iWatch 2-1The latest rumors on Apple’s supposed entry into the wearables market suggests that the device may hits the shelves as early as this summer, sometime after WWDC. The report comes from the Economic Daily News out of China and is claiming that Taiwan’s Quanta Computer will be the exclusive manufacturer of the iWatch, initially producing sixty-five million of the devices. Apple is thought to be producing a chip specifically for the iWatch based on the same architecture as the A7 which currently runs the iPhone 5S, and will be produced by Samsung. As Cult of Mac points out, regardless of the heated battles between the two companies, Samsung is still the only place to go for high-output production of ARM based chips. The report goes on to reveal many of the details we’ve heard before, such as the display being made from sapphire glass and that the watch’s functions will be focused on biometrics and integrate tightly with Apple’s Healthbook app.

 

[iWatch concept courtesy of Venestudio Designs]

 

 

Pebble 2.1.1 update now in the App Store, appears to solve crashing issues

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014, 14:05
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconSometime yesterday, Pebble’s updated iOS app to fix the problems introduced by the 2.1 update, appeared on the App Store. Version 2.1.1, in our experience, has resolved the problems, in particular the inability to launch the iOS app. I simply installed the new version over the old and everything started up fine. There was a method posted on some sites for removing 2.1 and reinstalling the old version, but I do not know the results of trying this. Pebble’s response was little more than a confirmation that the updated app had been submitted and then the fact that the 2.1.1 version was showing up in the App Store. The following in the list of changes introduced by the 2.1/2.1.1 update:

Pebble iOS App (v.2.1.1) Release notes:

  • Share apps with friends via email, Twitter, Facebook, and text message.
  • New apps added to the appstore.
  • Fixed issues with version 2.1 (released 31-Mar-2014)
  • Bug fixes.

New features, if upgrading from v1.x app versions:

  • Pebble watchapp directory: browse, find and install the latest watchapps for Pebble.
  • List of prior notifications are now stored on your Pebble.
  • Watchapp locker: keep track of your favorite apps and manage the apps on your Pebble.
  • Completely revamped and improved user interface design.

 

Let us know in the comments if you are still having any trouble.

 

 

iOS Pebble 2.1 app critical fail [updated]

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014, 09:46
Category: Accessory, Announcement, App Store, Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Software, Wearables

Pebble_new_appiconThe latest version of Pebble’s iOS app has proven to be a problem. Released on March 31st, the 2.1 version has totally disabled the app, generally crashing when anyone attempts to run it. Pebble advises anyone who has not yet updated the app not to do so until a fix is in place. If you are one of the lucky ones, it is recommended that you turn off Automatic Updates on your iPhone. Pebble has stated that a 2.1.1 update has already been submitted to Apple, but there is not yet any information on when it will go live on the App Store. While some sites are reporting that the buggy update prevents the smart watch from working, that is not necessarily the case. Being one of the unfortunate upgraders, I find that my Pebble is still working normally, but that I simply can’t make any changes other than what is available through the watch’s on-board settings. This includes switching out apps and watch faces from your Pebble locker, which is controlled by the iOS app. The iOS multitasking manager even seems to think that the Pebble app is open and running, which may indicate that the app is not actually crashing, but that something is wrong with the app’s ability to present its interface. Hopefully Apple will recognize the need for approval urgency and the new update will appear shortly, so keep a sharp eye out for it and let us know when you see it hit the App Store.

Update: 04-03-2014

Version 2.1.1 has been submitted and is now available in the App Store. The updated appears to have resolved the problems. More details here.