You will hear many things about today's Pebble acquisition by Fitbit - that it was about software, firmware, engineers, intellectual property, or simply that Pebble was unable to continue on as it existed. The one examination you should take to heart, though, is that Fitbit just straight up wrote a check to kill a competitor. There's really not any other way to slice this deal from Fitbit's end: Pebble was competition, even if not necessarily in a big commercial sense these days, and this was an easy way to smother a company that had hogged much of the wearable limelight.
Fitbit even goes so far as to make expressly clear that they are not acquiring any assets or personnel related to Pebble's hardware division - only its software and firmware teams, and some intellectual property. Read More
Everyone was intrigued when Fossil announced it would make Android Wear devices. After all, it makes "real" watches, so maybe its smartwatches would be a cut above. The Q Founder was an okay smartwatch for its time. It was a little big, but it looked nice and had a fast Intel SoC. Now, Fossil is back with the Q Marshal and Q Wander. These smartwatches are some of the first to have the wearable-focused Snapdragon 2100 chip, but is that enough to make them a good purchase? Sadly, not really. Read More
According to the IDC, sales of smartwatches globally declined an absolutely catastrophic 51.6% in the third quarter of this year versus the same time frame in 2015. While there are several mitigating factors at play, this is even more staggering than the numbers from the previous quarter, in which sales dropped only 32% ("only") year over year.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of the bleeding comes courtesy of Apple, which just released its newest Apple Watch devices. Those new watches were only on sale for two weeks in the third quarter, so their impact will likely be felt more in Q4, though I'm really not sure by how much. Read More
Android Wear hasn't received much love in the past few months. The first major update, Android Wear 2.0, was announced back in May. Two months later, we revealed the first leaks of Google's own smartwatches, set to debut with the new update. Although developer previews for 2.0 are still arriving, the update itself has been pushed back to 2017, and multiple companies won't release any new AW devices this year. Read More
A few days ago, Garmin announced its newest wearable for kids: the vivofit jr. Despite the name being in lowercase, it sounds like a pretty neat device. Garmin claims that it is water-resistant, comfortable, durable, and that it has more than a year's worth of battery life. Like other fitness trackers, the vivofit jr. will monitor the child's steps, sleep, and physical activity. Read More
We're in a bit of a dry spell for Android Wear releases, so this might be the perfect time to pick up a refurbished last gen watch on the cheap. Daily Steals has the 2nd gen Moto 360 on sale for a mere $154.99. It's refurbished, but Motorola does still sell this version of the device for $350. This is US only, though. Read More
In recent years, a raft of new smartwatches would launch each fall in time for holiday shopping, but not this time. There were a few fitness-oriented watches released earlier this summer, and some new Fossil watches have started popping up at retail. But where are the big names like Motorola, LG, and Huawei? Cnet has gotten confirmation from all three companies that they won't be releasing any more watches this year. Read More
Fossil announced Q Wander and Q Marshal Android Wear watches way back in March, but neglected to provide basic details like release date or price. I'd almost given up hope they'd actually come out, but now the date has been set—both watches go on sale August 29th, but you can pre-order them this Friday. Read More
One of the reasons the Samsung Gear S2 was quite so interesting was its primary input method. Similar to the Apple Watch's 'crown' button, the bezel around the watch's screen could be used to navigate menus and perform other functions. Even now, it's one of the best input methods I've seen on a smartwatch. But if a research project from the University of St Andrews holds practical promise, similar interactions - really, even more powerful ones - could be implemented on Android Wear, and without any new hardware.
WatchMI is a new technology being developed by computer scientists at St Andrews. The WatchMI software hooks into the smartwatch's accelerometer, gyro, and magnetometer sensors to detect pressure and twisting motions. Read More
For the past two years, Samsung has unveiled its Tizen-powered Gear smartwatches at IFA Berlin; the Gear S was shown off for the first time at IFA 2014, and the Gear S2 and S2 Classic were released at IFA 2015. Judging from the watch hands on the press invite the company sent us, it intends to continue this trend.