It is far from controversial to conclude that it took Apple almost three years to nail the engineering of Apple’s first wearable: cramming in and fine-tuning batteries, processing and cellular chips and so on and so forth. We were all there along the ride and we can all (provided you have worn a Gen 0 model before) attest to the enormous advancements made over the years.
It’s the little shortcuts Apple Watch can provide in life that make wearing the device oh so rewarding at times. The most prominent ones have certainly saturated Apple’s marketing and most corners of the internet by now, still many smaller tricks are hardly covered simply because they can be so darn hard to find.
The following one certainly falls into that category, as I had never heard or read about it before, and I frankly came across it by pure chance. If you have to hit the roads regularly and rely on Apple Maps and your watch to get to your destination, it’s a deft shortcut that makes sure you can keep your eyes on the road at all times – even if you need to make a phone call to the place you are currently headed!
Fitbit, the maker of popular activity and fitness trackers, has officially acquired Pebble. The deal was finalized this morning, both companies have said.
The acquisition includes all of Pebble’s software assets, but excludes any hardware. Yup, that’s right—looks like the Pebble smartwatch is officially dead.
“Due to various factors, Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity,” the company said. “We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.”
Fitbit is set to acquire troubled smartwatch-maker Pebble, according to a report from The Information. The deal is said to be mainly about the company’s intellectual property and software, and will likely result in the end of Pebble hardware.
In a subsequent report, TechCrunch says a source close to the startup pegged the deal in the neighborhood of $34 to $40 million, and it will just barely cover its debts. In the past, it was rumored Pebble received offers as high as $740 million.
Confirming earlier hints, Apple this morning announced that the Apple Watch Nike+, a special version of the Apple Watch Series 2 it’s created in partnership with Nike, is going on sale this coming Friday, October 28. The $369 device has the same industrial design, price and hardware features as the Apple Watch Series 2.
It also packs in exclusive perks like special fluoroelastomer Nike Sport Bands available in a choice of four colors with perforations to reduce weight and improve ventilation, Nike-branded watch faces and complications and more.
In case you missed this little yet important detail in an avalanche of web reports about the Apple Watch Series 2, Apple’s second-generation wearable packs in a few handful improvements, among which is what appears to be a second microphone opening. As the original Apple Watch had a single tiny microphone hole, it couldn’t suppress background noise.
In turn, the “Hey Siri” function on the original watch behaves somewhat erratically, struggling to recognize the command in noisy environments.
Wait, does that mean that the Apple Watch Series 2 should respond to the “Hey Siri” hot phrase more reliably than before? It’s complicated…
Byte, a UK-based retailer that sells Apple-certified accessories and parts, recently posted a video in which they showed off a few supposedly genuine parts for a second-generation Apple Watch, including a thinner OLED Force Touch display and a significantly thicker battery potentially giving the wearable device a few more hours of run time.
Today, Byte published precise measurements for the above components and the numbers lead to the conclusion that Apple may have been able to squeeze in a much more powerful battery without making the Apple Watch 2 any thicker.
Samsung recently opened up a beta program to test its upcoming Gear Manager for iOS, and we know from before that the Gear S2 will work with the iPhone—but what about the just-announced Gear S3 Classic and Frontier? Will these new devices support Apple’s smartphone, too? In a word, yes. SamMobile was able to confirm with a Samsung representative at today’s press event that its latest and greatest smartwatches will also work with the iPhone.
It is no secret that the Gear S2 watches were far from perfect even though they were a step in the right direction for Samsung. Today, the South Korean company has expanded its smartwatch lineup with the introduction of a pair of new wearables—the Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier. More elegant and rugged than ever, the new Samsung watches have embedded GPS and cellular LTE connectivity.
Like the 2015 Gear S2, the new S3 range is based on the Tizen operating system that brings some updated software features to the mix. The Gear S3 Classic and Frontier will start shipping later this year.