Wearable

Instagram Apple Watch app is gone in latest update

Instagram Apple Watch app is gone in latest update

The Apple Watch is often cited to be immune from the general slump that the smartwatch market continues to experience. But while its sales numbers are encouraging, its app roster is anything but. Apps are disappearing from Apple’s wearable device and some of them are high-profile ones. The latest to join the exodus is the Facebook-owned Instagram. And, no, it isn’t a case of the social networking giant retaliating over statements made by Apple’s chief executive.

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watchOS 4.3 makes the Apple Watch usable again

watchOS 4.3 makes the Apple Watch usable again

Apple giveth and Apple taketh away. And sometimes, Apple giveth back. Apple has just released version 4.3 of watchOS, in line with the release of iOS 11.3 and it returns one of the most common uses for a smartwatch: controlling your music playing on your iPhone. In fact, it even goes beyond that and can now control even the music playing on your HomePod. The update also includes other bits and pieces of functionality that make Apple’s wearable a more useful accessory all around.

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Wear OS dev preview shows what’s coming next for smartwatches

Wear OS dev preview shows what’s coming next for smartwatches

Google has just rebranded Android Wear, now formally “Wear OS by Google”, this month but nothing has really changed under the hood. It’s the same old, same old situation that might not inspire much confidence in Google’s smartwatch platform. Today, Google announced the first developer preview under the new Wear OS branding that points at the direction that the Android-based OS is going. And it might not all be good news for developers and users.

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Apple Watch 4 to have more screen, more battery, more sensors

Apple Watch 4 to have more screen, more battery, more sensors

Both tablet and smartwatch markets aren’t exactly at their peak, but Apple keeps on chugging along at the head, leaving most in the dust. The latest education-oriented iPad will carry it forward in the tablet market and, according to Ming-chi Kuo, the upcoming Apple Watch series 4 will do the same for wearables. The Apple Watch 4, according to the famed KGI Securities analyst, will deliver many of what users have been asking for but there will be a price to pay in more way than one.

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Samsung Gear S2 update makes it feel brand new

Samsung Gear S2 update makes it feel brand new

The smartwatch market is such a mess that models come and go, sometimes disappearing silently. Almost like the case with smartphones, you can’t even be sure last year’s models will get the latest software versions. So when Samsung announced that the Gear S2, which was launched way back in 2015, was getting a major software improvement, there’s reason to be surprised. It may not be the exact same software on the latest Gear S3, but it still breathes new life into a three-year-old smartwatch from a company notorious for not quickly updating even its latest models.

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Mondaine reveals second hybrid smartwatch with call, message notifications

Mondaine reveals second hybrid smartwatch with call, message notifications

Smartwatch fans might not recognize the name Mondaine, but back in 2015 the Swiss watch maker released a minimalist wearable called the Helvetica 1. The hybrid timepiece paired analog dials with a few smartwatch features that mostly included activity and sleep tracking. While its simple, clean design was attractive, the Helvetica 1 quickly lost ground to more advanced smartwatches. Now Mondaine is back with the Helvetica Regular, which aims to catch up to 2018 with a few more critical features, while maintaining its simplicity.

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Hublot Big Bang Referee smartwatch is made for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Hublot Big Bang Referee smartwatch is made for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Swiss watchmaker Hublot has unveiled a Wear OS smartwatch designed specifically for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it's called the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. "It was a specific need expressed by FIFA," the company says, "and Hublot brought it to life!" The wearable will be used by the game referees, though a limited number of units will also be made available to the public starting May 1.

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Fitbit Ionic OS 2.0 update goes live: Here’s what’s new

Fitbit Ionic OS 2.0 update goes live: Here’s what’s new

Fitbit may have its new Versa smartwatch to debut Fitbit OS 2.0, but owners of the wearable company's existing products aren't being left out. Ionic wearers should slowly begin to see Fitbit OS 2.0 roll out to their smartwatches, the company has confirmed, though right now it's a small-scale deployment to make sure nothing goes wrong along the way.

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Wear OS by Google gives Android Wear a smartwatch reboot

Wear OS by Google gives Android Wear a smartwatch reboot

Android Wear has relaunched with a new name, with the smartwatch platform now called Wear OS by Google. The decision, Google says, was a fairly straightforward one: a growing percentage of Android Wear smartwatch owners were actually using it connected to an iPhone. Indeed, in 2017 the company claims, one in every three new Android Wear watches was paired up to an iPhone.

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Smartwatches: why they’ve failed and what they need to do

Smartwatches: why they’ve failed and what they need to do

Fitbit just announced not just one but two wearables, a smartwatch and a fitness tracker for kids. Google is expected to do a rebranding, and maybe even a re-envisioning, of its Android Wear platform. Amidst all of these announcements, one can't help but wonder what has become of what should have been the next phase in our mobile evolution.

Smartwatches still exist, no mistake about that, probably as long as Apple is still playing the game. But smartwatches need to do some heavy thinking, maybe even a U-turn if it's to remain relevant, even if Apple suddenly decides to throw in the towel.

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Fitbit Ace kids wearable helps parents track activity levels

Fitbit Ace kids wearable helps parents track activity levels

Fitbit has launched a fitness wristband for kids called the Fitbit Ace. This is the first kids wearable the company has released; it's designed to get kids active while helping parents keep an eye on how much activity their child is getting. Among other things, the wearable is made for kids age 8 and older, offering things like 5-day battery life and support for Fitbit family accounts.

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Fitbit Versa is a $199 smartwatch with a Pebble soul

Fitbit Versa is a $199 smartwatch with a Pebble soul

Fitbit has pulled up its sleeve and revealed its latest smartwatch, the Fitbit Versa, a metal-bodied wearable with more than a few hints of Pebble to it. Dubbed the lightest metal smartwatch in the US, the Versa not only introduces new Fitbit hardware but the latest version of the company's OS for wearables.

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