WWDC 2014 is over, and while it may not have brought us new hardware, it did give iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite their official reveal, key software launches in Apple’s master plan. As is so often the case, though, the devil is in the details, and in among the developer sessions a picture of context, device ubiquity, and cross-platform identity gradually made itself clear; one which could have huge implications for Apple’s upcoming push into wearables.
Apple aims to launch its first wearable device at an event in October, insiders claim, with a standalone launch for the new hardware range. Form-factor for the new device is unclear at this stage, though long-standing rumors point to an "iWatch" smartwatch with a health focus that would link into Apple's new HealthKit platform.
Smartwatches are finding their way in the world, but there are still those who prefer a regular wristwatch. For them, the decision to get a smartwatch is a bit more troubling. Do you lose the mechanical reliability for cool notifications? A new gadget named Glance doesn’t force you to make that decision.
As LG, Samsung, and Motorola jump in on the smartwatch environment this year, HTC is tipped to arrive with a device called HTC One Wear. This device has been tipped to be released between late August and early September of 2014 and will come with a round display, similar to the Moto 360. This device will also run Android Wear from Google.
Samsung's Galaxy Gear is dumping Android in favor of Tizen, with a new update for the 2013 smartwatch bringing it in line with the newer Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. The firmware, v2.2.0, leaves the wearable's software ostensibly identical to what was running before in terms of UI, but under the hood significant changes have been made.
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.
Smartwatches are a funny thing. On one hand, we want all the functionality we can pack into it, and a device that will let us leave our smartphones in our pocket. On the other hand, we want a timeless watch design that actually looks like a watch. A concept fro a company named Kairos has both bases covered, and they say they’ll be shipping devices later this year.
A French website is reporting the Moto 360, the highly anticipated Android Wear smartwatch from Motorola, will be available this summer. They’re also giving details on pricing, which they say will run a touch more than the LG G Watch, Android Wear's other landmark device.