Qualcomm did not have a great 2015 with the issues surrounding the 810, but it's looking to turn that around in 2016. The Snapdragon 820 might help, but the fancy high-end chips aren't everything. Qualcomm has announced several new mid-range ARM chips, as well as a new modem and a wearable-specific SoC. Read More
Most smart watches and similar wearables use re-purposed phone processors like the Snapdragon 400. MediaTek is trying to offer a more focused alternative with the just-announced MT2523. It's a complete system-in-package (SiP) for wearables with GPS, dual-mode Bluetooth LE, support for high-resolution screens, and a highly efficient Cortex M4 CPU. Read More
Google's attempt to make a wearable face computer didn't go so well, but maybe the masses just weren't ready. Now, Google Glass is reportedly on its way to businesses with a new Enterprise Edition. This assumes even businesses have a use for Glass. Google has yet to acknowledge the existence of this device, but images are now up on the FCC's website. It looks a lot like the original Explorer Edition Glass. Read More
Until now, all the Android Wear watches you could buy were made by technology firms moonlighting as watchmakers, but now there's the Fossil Q Founder. This is the first widely available Android Wear smart watch designed by a company that makes regular watches. In some ways it looks more like a real watch than any of the others, but there are also some design concessions that remind you Fossil is new to the whole wearables thing. Read More
Fossil makes things you can wear, Misfit wears things you can wear. Fossil wants to make smart wearables, Misfit makes smart wearables. Fossil does fashion, Misfit does fashionable gadgets. If it sounds like a match made in heaven, then you know what the two companies were thinking when they brokered a deal to make Misfit part of Fossil's corporate portfolio.
The purchase is valued at $260 million, no small bet on the part of Fossil on the legitimacy of both Misfit and the smart wearable market in general. Fossil had until now only just begun treading into this area, releasing an activity tracker and forging some partnerships with bigger players. Read More
Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch. Read More
AT&T is almost ready to launch a new feature that ties together multiple devices under one phone number. The feature is currently called NumberSync, and the carrier expects it to launch on a single device (weird) very soon. More devices will launch later this year, making the feature actually useful. Read More
The original Asus ZenWatch was one of my favorite first-generation Wear devices because it had a slick design and competitive price ($200). It wasn't perfect, but it offered a good alternative to expensive devices like the G Watch R. The ZenWatch 2 is going to hit shelves in a few days, and at first glance it's very much like its predecessor.
Asus actually made a number of notable changes, but not all of them are positive. At the same time, the price is very attractive and there are two size options—the large one starts at $129.99 and the smaller will be $149.99. Read More
The Huawei Watch is a nice smartwatch with a nice screen, good battery life, and what I would call an above-average level of construction quality. If you want a Wear device that is nice and usable and doesn’t have anything seriously wrong or annoying about it, this is a great option. A pricey one, to be sure, but still very, very good. But above all else, it really does feel like the Huawei Watch is the smartwatch for the consumer seriously concerned about the Moto 360’s flat tire. That is most of this watch’s real appeal to enthusiasts, so let’s just lay it out there. Read More
"The Beeb on your wrist" might be mistaken for Cockney slang by some poorly-travelled American blogger, but in this case it's the latest feature to hit the official BBC Worldwide news app. The update to 3.2 for BBC News UK and BBC News Worldwide will send short snippets of stories to your Android Wear device. The only other changes are bug fixes and some layout adjustments for the primary, non-wearable app.
BBC News on a watch is surprisingly usable. A title, header image, and short paragraph for each story are displayed in a sort of mini-RSS style. The layout lets you swipe horizontally and vertically: go up or down to move between the "Top Stories," "My News" (selected on the smartphone app), and "Most Read" categories, and swipe left or right to move between individual stories. Read More