analysis

Why smartwatches have failed and how companies can save them

Why smartwatches have failed and how companies can save them

If there were a poster boy for smartwatches, it would probably be Pebble, in no small part thanks to its always successful Kickstarters, dirt cheap prices, and media hype. So when Fitbit practically killed off Pebble by buying it, it’s unsurprising that some would be led to ask if smartwatches, as a whole, are an endangered species. With Apple Watch sales doing “just OK”, and Android Wear devices descending into obsolescence, it is perhaps time to look back again to see why smartwatches have failed to become as widespread as our smartphones and perhaps come up with solutions on how they can still be saved. That is, if they’re worth saving at all.

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Android distribution in 2016: updates are still a mess

Android distribution in 2016: updates are still a mess

Google has just updated its Android developer dashboard, the last time it will do so before the year ends, and the numbers are in. Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop, not 6.0 Marshmallow, has the largest piece of the pie. Android 7.0 Nougat, which was released to the public back in August, is only installed on 0.4% of the devices in the market, mostly Nexus and some third-party ROMs. While it might seem good, at a glance, that devices and OEMS are converging on just two to three versions nowadays, the numbers show one undeniable fact. Eight years into its existence, Google and its partners still can’t get updates right.

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The Apple Tax – A concept of economics

The Apple Tax – A concept of economics

For those who’ve been monitoring consumer technology long enough, the term ‘Apple Tax’ will be familiar. It’s a phrase coined in the late aughts to cleverly describe the high price tag of Apple devices, like the Mac. Prices are still high, but with other manufacturers creating similarly beautiful and expensive machines, ‘Apple Tax’ has slipped out of our vernacular. Without us paying attention, Apple resurfaced it as a real tax levied against how you use your devices.

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Comcast is rolling out data caps because it doesn’t want to compete

Comcast is rolling out data caps because it doesn’t want to compete

Comcast has revealed that it will soon begin implementing data caps in 18 new regions, which means that most Comcast customers will be subject to a 1TB cap by the end of the year. Comcast, of course, has its own shaky reasons for this, claiming that those who use more internet should pay more than those who don't. Just in case there was any confusion, I'd like to remind you that this has nothing to do with fairness, but has everything to do with greed. Comcast's cable arm is currently dying a slow and (warranted) death thanks to companies like Netflix, and instead of actually competing with them, Comcast has just decided to be a baby about the whole thing and charge you more for the internet you currently have.

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Apple should acquire Twitter

Apple should acquire Twitter

With Google and Disney bowing out — and Salesforce throwing cold water on a deal — Twitter’s acquisition hopes seem dead on arrival. Though an internal struggle over any acquisition may be bubbling, there’s one company that remains a dark horse; a company that has every reason to want a news platform that moves at the speed of light, but has a social layer attached along with some streaming media add-ons. Yup, we’re talking about Apple.

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Google Assistant: How Google is making the OS irrelevant

Google Assistant: How Google is making the OS irrelevant

Days before the Google Pixel finally broke cover, there was a lot of talk about the possibility of a certain Andromeda OS being revealed as well. Andromeda was an intriguing though highly debatable idea, a true unification of Google’s two operating systems, Android and Chrome. In the end, of course, it didn’t come to pass. But what Google did was not only not announce any such Android and Chrome OS merger, it actually revealed something that, in the long run, would make both of those irrelevant, or at least invisible, to the user, in a future where everyone has their own, personal, Google Assistant.

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What the Google Pixel means for the future of Android

What the Google Pixel means for the future of Android

By all accounts, the new Pixel smartphones “Made by Google” should be the Android smartphone that the Android faithful should be rooting for. Though the design choice might be a bit debatable, the Pixel boasts of features, not to mention a price, on par with this year’s flagship models. It does, in all fairness, put Google’s best Android foot forward. And yet almost ironically, the Google Pixel is inducing ambivalence and uncertainty, sometimes even from the same reviewer. And it’s not because of what the smartphone itself has but because of the narrative behind it that could drive Android’s future in the mobile industry.

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Raspberry Pi: how it sold 10 million in 4 years

Raspberry Pi: how it sold 10 million in 4 years

Even for only $35 a pop, 10 million units sold is no joking number. Especially for something that’s been going on for four years, where it has had the possibility of going out of fashion or being displaced by something newer or even better. But that is exactly the momentous achievement that the Raspberry Pi is able to brag about today. But what is all the fuss about an electronics board that doesn’t even come with case? And how exactly did the Raspberry Pi gain that much attention, users, and loyalty? We take a look back in time to find out.

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Chinese smartphone makers are putting old giants on notice

Chinese smartphone makers are putting old giants on notice

Warranted or not, the phrase “Made in China”, even in tech, evokes all sorts of negative imagery and emotions, mostly related to the quality or originality of said products. Never mind that nearly almost all smartphones, including the iPhone, could trace their origins to China, be it from components, manufacturing, or both. That bias, however, has led many to underestimate, even ignore the slumbering dragon that has now woken up and is taking the smartphone market by storm, much to the detriment of the old guard like Samsung and Apple.

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What smartwatches are still getting wrong

What smartwatches are still getting wrong

It's been more than three years since the first modern commercial smartwatches, the Pebble and the Sony SmartWatch, hit the market and this wearable device category still hasn't taken the industry by storm. In the meantime, less powerful and less featured smart fitness bands are flooding the market and is giving some well-deserved and long overdue attention to healthier lifestyles (at least hopefully). These two device categories sometimes share some features, like notifications and activity tracking. Sometimes they even share in price tags. And yet smarwatches aren't regarded with the same esteem and market share as their health-centric cousins. The issue might not just be because smartwatches answer the problems wrong. They might also be answering the wrong problems.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens SDCC trailer: 15 things you may have missed

Star Wars: The Force Awakens SDCC trailer: 15 things you may have missed

The following is an in-depth analysis of the tiniest of details in the newest Star Wars teaser video. This analysis runs over the odder bits and pieces. It pre-supposes that you've been keeping up just a tiny bit with the news on this film, and assumes you've seen the other teasers - all two of them. Let us know if you find anything other than what we've found here, or if you find something interesting or completely contradictory to what we're presenting. We'd love to chat! This is the Star Wars: The Force Awakens "Making Of" teaser from SDCC 2015.

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Apple’s (beta) App Analytics tool is now rolling out

Apple’s (beta) App Analytics tool is now rolling out

Developers looking to get insight on why their apps may or may not be making it onto iPhones and iPads now have a new diagnostics tool. Simply called “App Analytics”, the tool is Apple’s way for Developers to discover all kinds of info about their apps, even how many page visit their app received in the App Store. The service is still in beta, and is being seeded on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re a Developer not on the list, it’s not too late to sign up.

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