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.
We've always had a soft-spot for Nokia's Asha range here at SlashGear, and the Asha 230 is no different, an even smaller, more affordable point of entry to the Finnish company's well-designed touchscreen handsets. Paring back the pricing even more, thanks to skipping 3G and WiFi, the Asha 230 (and its dual-SIM variant) is the smallest Asha touch model yet, fronted by a compact 2.8-inch QVGA touchscreen.
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.
Samsung may bring more than one new smartwatch to Mobile World Congress next week as part of its Galaxy Gear wearable refresh, reports suggest, with the wrist-worn companion devices said to run Tizen rather than Android. Star of the company's Unpacked 5 show on February 24th is still expected to be the Galaxy S5 flagship Android smartphone, but industry chatter indicates upstart-OS - and, some within Samsung are hoping, savior of the company from its current position intertwined with Google - Tizen will also play a considerable role.
Wearable tech will break the consumer market in 2014 after the segment was buoyed in 2013 by fitness-tracking bands, one research firm has predicted, though smartwatches are expected to cannibalize more basic models from Fitbit and Jawbone. The "smart band" segment made up of smartwatches from manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, and Pebble will reach around 8m shipments in 2014, Canalys suggests, estimating that figure will rise to more than 23m units by 2015, and in excess of 45m units by 2017.
Flappy Bird's creator may have yanked the game out of concern for players' addiction to the hit title, but fake versions may do damage to their wallets instead, with trojan malware flooding the Google Play store. Beleaguered developer Dong Nguyen opted to pull the official downloads of Flappy Bird because the thought of players unable to put down the simple game was giving him sleepless nights. However, its absence opened the gates for clones to take its place, some of which have been found to make unexpected premium charges to monthly smartphone bills.
Well before Flappy Bird was taken offline by its creator (just this weekend), there were plenty of clones to be played by the public. Today it's become a rather lucrative enterprise, potentially, as users have (apparently) gone so far as to buy iPhones specifically because they have Flappy Bird pre-installed. Don't be fooled, though, aside from the extreme ease with which you'd be able to hack your device and side-load the original game for free, there are plenty of alternatives to be had, some of which are better than the original.
Samsung will launch not only the Galaxy S5 later this month but an updated version of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, insiders claim, a surprisingly early refresh to the wearable which arrived with great fanfare late in 2013 but reportedly disappointing sales. The two new flagship devices will share a stage at Samsung's "Unpacked 5 2014 event", invitations for which went out on Monday, the NYTimes reports, which will open Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 24th.
CES 2014 has come and gone, and as the dust settles it's time to pick over the remains of the show. The Consumer Electronics Show demands a theme - or at least we in the industry demand a theme of it - and 2014 proved to be wearables, with a little competition from Ultra HD (again) and big, curved TVs (again). That came as no great shock, since analysts have been telling us 2014 is to be "the year of wearables" pretty much since 2013 started out; if there was any degree of surprise, it was in quite how "me too" the various devices were on show.