You make a smartwatch, you make a smartwatch, and you make a smartwatch. In what feels like a reverse Oprah giveaway, every tech company in the game is apparently contemplating the idea of producing an intelligent wristwatch of their own. A new Forbes report suggests that Microsoft too is ready to throw its hat in the ring, and soon. What makes this interesting isn't the idea of a Windows Smartwatch OS.
The Sony SmartWatch 2 still goes for $199.99 new, but today you can get one around your wrist for less than half the price. Cow Boom, a Best Buy brand, has pre-owned Sony smartwatches in stock that it's willing to let go for $79.99. These may come with scratches and dents, but they're still going to work. I'll admit, that may not sound entirely compelling, but that's the risk you take whenever you buy something used.
It looks like Samsung is at it again. The company that unveiled a successor to the Galaxy Gear after only a few short months is already planning on releasing yet another smartwatch. This time the wrist-bound device should function as a standalone phone and not require something to pair to. According to the Wall Street Journal, we can expect it to drop sometime this summer.
This product, which follows behind the Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit, will differientiate itself by shipping with a SIM card and the ability to place calls.
Yesterday Pebble-wearing Android users gained the ability to control Pandora from their wrists. This was cool stuff for Pandora listeners, but now the brainy watch is getting an update that will affect all owners, regardless of their listening preferences. A 2.1 firmware upgrade is rolling out to devices via the Android companion app.
On the user-facing side, there's one standout new feature - the watch now has a menu entry for clearing your notification history.
The Sony Smartwatch 2 companion app received an update last month that introduced a new watch face editor and some other enhancements. Now Sony is updating its SDK for developers to take advantage of these goodies. With the Sony Add-on SDK 3.0, developers can enable their apps to run in low-power mode, extending how long a user can go before having to plug in their watch. The change lets the app run in the foreground while the backlight is off.
Well I'll be gosh-darned. The Rufus Cuff, a super-sized smartwatch-smartphone hybrid powered by Android, has met and surpassed its ambitious $200,000 crowdfunding goal. It appears that at least a thousand people or so are excited enough by the prospect of a gigantic touchscreen wrist communicator to lay their money down. I'm going to assume that at least 800 of them are extremely dedicated Turanga Leela cosplayers.
The Rufus Cuff is technically a smartwatch, because it relies on a Bluetooth-connected Android device or iPhone for data when not in range of a WiFi network.
Smartwatches get all the credit, but they're largely nothing without the companion app calling all the shots from a nearby smartphone. So when said companion receives a pretty substantial update, it breathes new life into the accessory it's paired with. Today Sony has rolled out such an upgrade for its Smartwatch 2 companion app, introducing a brand new watch face editor.
From this interface, wearers can choose which watch face and widgets (weather, calendar, etc.) that they want on their watch.
Music Boss is a robust way to control playback of various media apps via your Pebble or Pebble Steel smartwatch, and it was also one of the very first additions to the official Pebble app store. The tool is light-years ahead of the basic music player built into the Pebble, allowing users to launch and switch Android music apps, adjust volume, and integrate with more esoteric apps like Tasker.
The Pebble can handle plenty of functions thanks to a wide range of third-party apps, but interacting with messages typically remains a passive experience. Naturally, someone had to address this. Reqallable, an app that provides smartwatch wearers with the ability to respond to email and text messages without pulling out their phones, has added the Pebble to its list of supported devices.
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.