In a crowded wearable market, Fitbit reigns supreme. In Q1 2014, research firm Canalys says Fitbit occupied 50% of overall shipments, leaving the rest of the market searching for a foothold. When it came to smartwatches, though, another tried-and-true leader in Pebble is outshining the rest.
Pebble has rolled out a bunch of updates today, bringing forth new firmware for the smartwatch, as well as updated iOS and Android apps. All of them have just rolled out, with the smartphone app updates being available through the respective app stores, and the firmware update being available through the Pebble smartphone app.
Smartwatches will be everywhere this year. With Google announcing Android Wear and companies already showing off devices at CES and Mobile World Congress, it won’t be long before a slew of smartwatches are sitting on store shelves.
Of course, smartwatches are already available. In fact, several companies, from Samsung to Pebble, have offered their interpretation of wrist-worn wearables. The trouble for those firms, however, is that so far, those products haven’t taken off. And it’s unclear whether even Android Wear could go a long way in pushing smartwatches onto more wrists.
ASUS' upcoming wearable will use hands-free movements or voice commands for remotely interacting with a smartphone, company chairman Jonney Shih has teased, blaming small display sizes for requiring alternative methods of control. Shih had confirmed ASUS would launch a wearable device - expected to be a smartwatch like Pebble or Samsung's Gear 2 - sometime this year while back at a company event in late January, though was tight-lipped about functionality.
This week Pebble 2.0 has launched for Android in full after a brief Beta period which was in full play as recent as earlier this week. This version of the Pebble app will bring on a full-fledged look at the Pebble browser for apps and watch faces, including all compatible software connections to Pebble 2.0 and firmware version 2.0.1. This app also adds the ability to troubleshoot issue and make suggestions to the Pebble crew straight from the software itself.
Google is targeting a March release for its own smartwatch, a Bluetooth LE wearable designed to work alongside an Android smartphone, though insiders on the project are reportedly pessimistic that the current timescale is realistic. Google has already pared back on the complexity of the design it's said, switching from a metal strap to a plastic one, but even so there's a strong possibility that the ship date could slip to June 2014 or see Google launch the gadget with even fewer features than initially intended.