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Wearables

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Google rolls out new Assistant features to Wear OS

Google ignored Android Wear for a long time, but now it's got a new name and some new features. The next step in Google's quest to keep Wear OS from dying is to enhance Assistant. In the coming days, you'll be able to access more Assistant Actions and get contextual suggestions when you interact with the watch. It'll also talk, at least sometimes.

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[Deal Alert] Fitbit Ionic down to $240 on eBay ($60 off)

The world of smartwatches is starting to dry up, and as sad as that is, I can't say that I'm surprised. However, there remain a few diamonds in the rough, one of which is on sale over on eBay. The Fitbit Ionic, in all three color variations, is going for $239.99, a nice $60 off. 

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Casio's new PRO TREK Wear OS watch has a slightly lower price and a flat tire display

Wear OS devices aren't exactly flying off the shelves, but that hasn't stopped Casio from announcing a new one. The new PRO TREK WSD-F20A has the same rugged design and flat tire display as Casio's other Wear device. It's a little cheaper than other Casio wearables, but it's still costly overall at $400.

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TicPods Free are affordable true wireless earbuds with touch controls from Mobvoi

Now that multiple Android OEMs have launched phones without headphone jacks, consumers have had to reluctantly concede that true wireless earbuds need to be a thing. And they are, with some compelling options out there from the likes of Jaybird, Bose, and Zolo (by Anker). They're still by no means cheap, however, so it's exactly the right time for the TicPods Free from Mobvoi to enter the fray.

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The Fitbit Versa is available today for $199.95

Fitbit has shown a commitment to smartwatches that few other companies have. It launched the Ionic late last year and pushed a number of major software updates to it. Now, the Fitbit Versa is available for purchase. It's Fitbit's second true smartwatch, and I like it better than the first one. It's also cheaper than the last watch at $200.

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Fitbit Ionic long-term review: Fitbit may be on track for a wearable win

I reviewed the Fitbit Ionic when it launched late last year, and at the time I didn't much care for it. I was not into the design, and there were multiple software issues. I've continued to wear the watch on and off since then, and I spent about a week with the Fitbit Versa just recently. The Ionic has gotten several updates since my original review, including the recent bump to FitbitOS 2.0 that matches what ships on the Versa. With Google's Wear OS still on a downward trajectory, I'm giving Fitbit's flagship smartwatch another shot.

With the software improvements, I find myself liking the Ionic much more than I did when it launched.

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Update for Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Fit2 improves how information is displayed

Samsung has announced an update for its Gear Fit2 and Gear Fit2 Pro smartwatches. The new features are designed to improve the display of data on the devices. New functions are also included, such as Weight Management and Fitness Program, previously only available on the Gear Sport.

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Fitbit Versa review: Fitbit's cheaper smartwatch is also a better smartwatch

Fitbit has become a household name in fitness tracking, and it's not shy about its desire to get into smarter wearables. It acquired bits of Pebble's carcass a while back and then launched the Fitbit Ionic. That first smartwatch was somewhat lacking in features, and it didn't offer enough to justify the $300 asking price. Now, Fitbit is back with a cheaper smartwatch sporting almost as many features and a less "retro-future" design. In fact, the Versa looks quite a lot like another famous smartwatch.

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Mobvoi's Ticwatch S and E are available in the UK from today

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Google-backed Mobvoi launched the Ticwatch S and E in the US last year, following on from the impressive TicHome Mini Google Assistant speaker. The stylish Ticwatches now run Wear OS 2.9 out of the box (Android Wear 2.0 at time of initial release) and are making their way across the Atlantic to the UK. They're both available to purchase from today.

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Google Pay on Wear OS officially spreads to three new countries

When you're itching to try out a new feature on your favorite mobile device, there's little that sucks more than facing a geographical restriction; while your friends abroad are playing with the latest and greatest tech, you're stuck twiddling your thumbs and waiting until the powers that be decide to let you in on the action. Earlier today we noted that one of these restrictions appeared to be lessening, as some Huawei Watch 2 users who were shut out when an update disabled Google Pay (then Android Pay) outside the US and the UK started getting their access back—that was a clue, but not the whole story.

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