Say what you will about smartwatches - and we do, at every occasion - but you'll never see a Rolex or Omega watch that improves with just an app update. The latest version of the companion app for Qualcomm's unique Toq does just that, with an emphasis on the watch's built-in activity tracking. Specifically, the 1.4 update allows you to set daily activity goals (a la Nike's Fuelband and other fitness trackers) and access a detailed history of your activity and workouts.
File this under more is better – Qualcomm has just announced new ARM chips with more bits and more cores than ever before. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are the chip maker's new 64-bit mobile processors, and the 615 packs eight CPU cores. Despite the big headlining features, these aren't intended to be flagship chips.
Qualcomm is in the habit of making custom CPUs for its ARM chips – those are the Krait cores you hear so much about.
The Battery Guru app from Qualcomm promises to learn how you use your phone and make small tweaks to improve battery life. Glance, a new app from Qualcomm, uses that same usage data to build an intelligent lock screen. Battery Guru is required, so that means this is a Snapdragon-only experience.
Glance integrates a lot of supposedly intelligent features that tailor themselves to your usage. It lists upcoming appointments, apps you might want to use, frequent contacts, and the weather (because everything has to show the weather).
If you've had your eye on Qualcomm's super-special Toq smartwatch, but couldn't bring yourself to pay for one that doesn't match your Colonel Sanders-style white suit, you're in luck. The limited-edition white Toq is now on sale from Qualcomm's online store for the same $350 price as the sober black edition. You can also find it on Amazon, but it's the same price and marked as "shipping within 1 to 2 months." Any takers?
HP sold off most of webOS to LG last year, but it was still sitting on a lot of the patents it got when buying the company back in 2010. Qualcomm has announced today that it was happy to take those patents off HP's hands, along with some other choice bits of IP.
In addition to the Palm patents, Qualcomm is getting IP covering HP's now defunct IPAQ devices and Bitfone mobile software (from an acquisition back in 2006).
Qualcomm wants you to imagine a world where your mobile device is always connected. No, not that phone in your pocket. Nope, not that tablet either. Bigger. That 3,000 lb. mobile device sitting the driveway. Imagine a vehicle with a screen embedded both in your dashboard and behind every headrest, all syncing up with the screens that sit in every lap except for, ideally, the driver's.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon Automotive Solutions offering combines a Snapdragon 602A processor with QTI's 3G/LTE wireless modems and WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity to provide this connected in-car experience.
There will probably be untold heaps of smart watches announced at CES, but Qualcomm isn't just sitting on the sidelines. It has dropped the price of its limited-run Toq smart watch by $50, but it's a limited time offer. The new $299 price tag puts it right in line with the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
The Toq plugs into your Android device over Bluetooth to deliver notifications and control a handful of functions.
Lenovo has been hanging out in the bottom end of the Android market ever since they gave up on the ThinkPad Tablet, but it looks like they're finally ready to ship some high-end hardware. Enter the Lenovo Vibe Z, a 5.5-inch smartphone with an LTE radio - a first in the company's Android lineup. As usual, Lenovo doesn't seem interested in western markets for this phone. According to the press release, it will go on sale in February in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Philippines for $549.
The Qualcomm Toq is a limited run device, but it seems there are enough floating around that Qualcomm isn't handling all the sales itself. The Toq debuted on the Qualcomm site last week, but now you can buy the device from Amazon with free Prime shipping for the same $349.99 price.
The Toq is a little more expensive than the recently released Galaxy Gear, but it uses a color Mirasol screen for profoundly long battery life.
Samsung isn't saying exactly how many Galaxy Gears have been sold, just that it shipped 800,000. The Qualcomm Toq is going to be a much more limited in scope. Qualcomm is only going to make about 100,000 and now is your chance to get one. Yes, as promised, the Toq is on sale direct from Qualcomm starting today.
The Toq will be $50 more expensive than the Galaxy Gear at $349.99.