Wearable

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 Wear Magic Minute wants to show smartwatches are hip

Android Wear Magic Minute wants to show smartwatches are hip

Are smartwatches still hot? Fitbit might not exactly think so, since it only bought Pebble’s software and shutdown its hardware. Other manufacturers might not think so as well, with smartwatches dropping like flies from the Google Store (though there’s one new addition). Google, however, wants everyone think these smart timepieces are still a thing, which is why it has launched a new Magic Minute Project, which is basically a marketing campaign that’s trying to salvage what little is left of Android Wear’s market.

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The Pebble Post-Mortem: The Wisdom of the Crowd

The Pebble Post-Mortem: The Wisdom of the Crowd

You don't have to be writing about the tech industry long to see a company go from bright and shiny startup to bankruptcy; Pebble lasted longer than many. Then again, the wearables firm was always being predicted for imminent death, even as it was raising millions of dollars in crowdfunding cash for the original Pebble back in 2012. "The Apple Watch will crush Pebble," we were told, even though Apple's wearable didn't break cover until more than two years later, and then take more than six months to make it to store shelves.

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AsteroidOS alpha release gives Android Wear smartwatches a new hope

AsteroidOS alpha release gives Android Wear smartwatches a new hope

With Fitbit’s acquisition and strangling of Pebble, the smartwatch market has just gotten smaller and its future even more in question. But even before that, the Android Wear scene was already in a state of decline, with earlier models no longer receiving the rare Android Wear updates. If you have one such wearable device, there might be hope yet. The AsteroidOS project has just announced its first ever alpha release, bringing it closer to offering a true open source operating system for smartwatches.

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Fitbit makes Pebble users ask: What do I do now?

Fitbit makes Pebble users ask: What do I do now?

Pebble watch owners go to the web to suss out the Fitbit Pebble acquisition, asking what's next for them, the users. What does this acquisition of Pebble mean for a Pebble Time 2 crowdfunder? How about someone who owns a Pebble Watch from a past generation? As it turns out, there's very little a person can do if they're caught between Pebble and a hard place.

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Tim Cook’s Apple Watch sales coyness does Apple no favors

Tim Cook’s Apple Watch sales coyness does Apple no favors

Apple CEO Tim Cook has defended Apple Watch sales, after a damning report on the state of the wearables market criticized the recently-updated smartwatch. According to IDC, Apple was the fourth largest wearable device vendor worldwide in the third quarter of 2016, with just under 5-percent market share. That's despite what IDC says is a whopping 71-percent decline in growth compared to the same period twelve months ago.

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Samsung Gear S2 gets a taste of Gear S3 in latest update

Samsung Gear S2 gets a taste of Gear S3 in latest update

Samsung’s Gear S3 is naturally the focus of the brunt of its development and improvement efforts, but owners of the previous gen Gear S2 smartwatch need not turn into green-eyed monsters just yet. The Korean manufacturer has just announced the rollout of its second value pack update for the Gear S2, which brings just a smidgen of Gear S3 features and then some. Unfortunately, it seems to miss one of the latest and hottest feature that the Gear S3 got: Samsung Pay support on non-Samsung smartphones.

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Apple Watch 2 Runkeeper GPS support is now live

Apple Watch 2 Runkeeper GPS support is now live

The Apple Watch Series 2 has another app making use of its standalone GPS, with Runkeeper launching a new version of its fitness tracker. The updated app can now not only log performance metrics like heart rate and distance traveled, but store the exact route you took as you jogged, ran, or struggled around the park. Meanwhile, Runkeeper has also tweaked its software to improve usability while you're predominantly focusing on getting fit.

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Jolla Sailfish OS might be coming to a smartwatch near you

Jolla Sailfish OS might be coming to a smartwatch near you

Smartwatches might no longer be the hot items they once were, if they truly were, but some seem to be unwilling to call it quits on the market. In fact, some are still just catching up to smartwatches. Whether it is Fitbit’s rumored plans to buy Pebble or the new generation of smartwatch platforms popping up here and there. The latest ambitious attempt at cornering at least the software market is Sailfish OS, the Linux-based platform from Jolla. Although the startup isn’t yet saying it will be coming out with a Sailfish OS smartwatch, it is proudly boasting that, at least on the software side, it can easily be done.

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Motorola bows out of smartwatches

Motorola bows out of smartwatches

The Moto 360 may have been the poster-child for Android Wear smartwatches, but don't expect a sequel any time soon, Motorola has warned. The company, one of the first to launch a smartwatch with a circular touchscreen, has confirmed that not only has it scrapped any 2016 plans for a new connected timepiece, neither does it intend to release one alongside the upcoming new version of Android Wear. It's another blow to a segment that, though highly marketed, has arguably failed to deliver in practice.

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Here’s how to get prescription lenses for Spectacles

Here’s how to get prescription lenses for Spectacles

Want to get in on the Snapchat Spectacles craze but need prescription glasses in order to see? Snap's $130 wearable camera makes no claims to improve your vision, only show your Snapchat contacts what you could be seeing if only you had corrective lenses, but now there's an option for those of us who are short- or long-sighted. Even better, it doesn't make the existing Spectacles any more bulky.

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Fitbit tipped to be close to buying Pebble

Fitbit tipped to be close to buying Pebble

Perhaps in a year or two, maybe sooner, we will be looking at a time when there were nearly if not already a dozen or so brands competing in the fitness wearable market. As early as now, however, some of those have already been gobbled up by other companies. Fossil bought Misfit and Nokia, of all companies, bought Withings. And according to the quintessential people familiar with the matter, the next will be Fitbit buying Pebble. Yes, the household name in fitness trackers is eying Pebble, but not for its hardware, which Fitbit already has tons of, but for its IP, specifically Pebble OS.

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