You can now pair an Android Wear smartwatch with an iPhone
Aug31

You can now pair an Android Wear smartwatch with an iPhone

Hell hath frozen over: Those with iPhones can now pair their Apple smartphones to an Android Wear smartwatch. For now, only a certain selection of Android Wear smartwatches will be compatible with an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 8.2. The first smartwatches on deck are the Huawei Watch, the Asus ZenWatch 2, and the LG Watch Urbane. However all future generations of Google’s smartwatches will be iOS compatible right out of the box. You might also like: The best Andoird Wear watches on the market Temper your expectations, because it’s widely reported that you cannot do nearly as much with an Android Watch and an iPhone as you could by pairing together a smartwatch and smartphone of the same brand. There are no third-party apps or Wi-Fi support. As Wired succinctly put, “Using Android Wear will be like using the Google app on your iPhone — it’s very good, but it’s siloed.” A limited experience it may be, but users can expect to receive notifications, integrate Google Now, use voice search, and track their fitness. Below are the specifics Google outlined in its official blog post. Get your info at a glance: Check important info like phone calls, messages, and notifications from your favorite apps. Android Wear features always-on displays, so you’ll never have to move your wrist to wake up your watch. Follow your fitness: Set fitness goals, and get daily and weekly views of your progress. Your watch automatically tracks walking and running, and even measures your heart rate. Save time with smart help: Receive timely tips like when to leave for appointments, current traffic info, and flight status. Just say “Ok Google” to ask questions like “Is it going to rain in London tomorrow?” or create to-dos with “Remind me to pack an umbrella.” If the user experience is strong — and this is a huge “if” — this is a largely positive move for Google and any other Apple Watch competitors. An entire new market of customers has just opened up for Android Wear. Also read: Android Wear 101: What it is, what it can do, and which device to...

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This week in wearables: Google Glass, the Moto Hint 2, and a microchip to save life
Aug24

This week in wearables: Google Glass, the Moto Hint 2, and a microchip to save life

In the ever-evolving world of wearables, companies are making some serious power moves in order to keep up. Check out the biggest headlines from the week, as well as some announcements you might have missed. 1. Google Glass is being resurrected from the dead. After a brief stint in the public eye, the tech titan pulled the device in January, leaving many wondering what would happen to such an innovative idea. But most won’t be getting their hands on this new model. Google is planning to redesign the gadget to meet the needs of the workplace, not those of the average consumer. 2. If you weren’t early to the Pebble party, the long-awaited Pebble Time is now available to the public for purchase. The company hit a few snags in production, but it continues to work rapidly to fulfill the 78,000 pre-orders they received from their Kickstarter campaign. If you weren’t a Kickstarter backer, you can find them on big box stores like Amazon — or you can register for the Wearables.com Pebble Time giveaway, and win one for free! 3. Earlier this week, Motorola released the 2nd-gen Moto Hint. The first edition of this bluetooth headset fell flat right out of the gate, so it was no wonder that Motorola brought about some serious upgrades. With better audio, voice controls, and a 70 percent increase in battery life, the Moto Hint 2 has become a serious bluetooth contender in the hearables market. 4. Your dream of becoming Ironman is much closer to reality than you think. Panasonic recently announced the anticipated sales of exoskeletons that will essentially be robotic suits intended to help factory works lift and carry heavy objects. Panasonic spokesperson Mio Yamanaka believes that these “power-assist suits, will be widely used in people’s lives in 15 years.” 5. The Finnish tech powerhouse, Nokia, just might be unveiling a new VR project soon. A company event set for July 28 has many believing that the announcement of a virtual reality device will be the main attraction. Although details remain under wraps, we’ll just have to wait until next week to see how the VR world will fare. 6. NASA’s Adrian Tang and M.C. Frank Chang at the University of California, Los Angeles, have created a new microchip that aims to save the battery life of your wearables. To make a long story short, the chips will reflect wireless signals instead of using regular transmitters and receivers, essentially processing information three times faster than Wifi. This small change could mean faster, stronger devices for everyone in the near...

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Can the Microsoft Hololens avoid the fate of Google Glass?
Aug17

Can the Microsoft Hololens avoid the fate of Google Glass?

It’s becoming difficult to remember what year it is. There’s a presidential race featuring Bush and Clinton, a new Star Wars movie due out this year, and even a supposedly functional hover-board. Soon we can expect to see some serious tech that will question our sense of reality. Microsoft Hololens, an “untethered, see-through holographic computer,” will debut sometime in 2016 — and many draw comparisons to Google Glass when discussing the forthcoming headset. But it begs the question, will the two devices share the same fate? A breakthrough… almost Google Glass was supposed to be the hallmark for the wearables industry. Back in early 2013, the ground-breaking technology was roughly in the phase that the current Hololens is in today. Journalists wrote with bewilderment as consumers began to grow hungry with anticipation for a final Glass product. However, when you stop to think about it, the hype around Google Glass made sense. It was a mysterious product of the future that only a select group of people could use. The wearable came loaded with incredible features, like a five megapixel camera that also recorded video at 720p. But by May of 2014, the headset went on sale for consumers and we quickly realized the obvious: We didn’t need it. Consumer reaction What we got was a glorified smartphone strapped to your head at a hefty price tag. More importantly, it didn’t solve any problems. Ian Altman published an article on Forbes discussing the major flaws that plagued Glass. The biggest issue was that the product didn’t resolve any sort of problem or inconvenience for consumers that a smartphone couldn’t already do. Consumers were not about to shell out $1,500 bucks for a product that they didn’t understand or necessarily require, and public concern over privacy worked against the device. Plus the whole “glasshole” thing really put a damper on Google’s release. Read More: Oculus, Sony, and Microsoft race to create the best virtual reality experiences at E3 Instead of riding out the initial public reaction to the Glass, Google did something unexpected. Earlier this year, Google pulled the plug on their product and hasn’t been particularly vocal about the future of the device. Rumors suggest that the next iteration of Google Glass will be focused on professionals even though Google has made no announcement. The fate of the Hololens So will the Hololens similarly crumble after it’s released? Probably not. Holistically, the products are completely different, serve different functions, and have been marketed to different target audiences. The Microsoft device implements unparalleled augmented reality technology, unlike Google Glass that simply displayed information from your smartphone. The Hololens creates a completely different experience through deep immersion so that the user can heavily interact...

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This week in wearables: Experimental apps, new Android Wear, and Samsung’s teaser
Aug14

This week in wearables: Experimental apps, new Android Wear, and Samsung’s teaser

This week was a busy one, but we’ve pinpointed the important stories that you need to know. Take a look at what you might have missed. 1. Google announced a new website that will showcase experimental applications designed for Android and Android Wear devices. There are already 20 apps running including Inkspace by Zach Lieberman and Landmark by Anthony Tripoldi, with more to be added. Hopefully these experiments will help perfect the user experience while perfecting some useful applications. 2. Self-described futurist and media-appointed influencer, Tim Moore, dropped in to discuss his thoughts on the “tipping point” of wearable tech. From smartglasses to mobile payment, he talks about everything that the future of wearables has in store. 3. Cloud software giant, Salesforce.com, has announced 20 brand-new partner apps to be released for the Apple Watch. They are teaming up with companies like Bracket Labs, Financial Force, New Voice Media, and more to help the workplace become a little more hands-free. Lindsey Irvine, head of Salesforce Wear, said the company’s strategy is to “make those devices more than just gadgets and can make them into real business tools.” 4. Remember when Fossil got really excited to create their own line of wearables? Well, the initial hype is over after a less-than-satisfactory second quarter performance by the clothing company. Although they never named the Apple Watch specifically, it’s pretty easy to guess which devices are being blamed for the slump in traditional watch sales. Despite this, Fossil CEO, Kosta Kartsotis, still supports “smarter watches” and says that the company is still on track to release tech products in the near future. 5. Android Wear V1.3 started rolling out this week, introducing a new Device to Debug program and a couple new apps, but has yet to release the much anticipated “interactive watch faces” to the market. Android has promised the “Together” feature of these new faces will allows users to interact when their watch face matches another’s watch. This update sounds pretty cool, so we’re hoping it comes sooner rather than later. 6. Samsung just released a teaser for its new Gear S2 smartwatch. This new, round watch will come complete with a heart rate monitor, messaging, calendar, a running app, and more. The interactive watch faces and sleek design just might put the Gear S2 on top of the Apple Watch. Come back next week for more...

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The best Google Cardboard apps for gaming to movie-watching and more
Aug13

The best Google Cardboard apps for gaming to movie-watching and more

For many, it just isn’t feasible to throw down a few hundred or thousand dollars for virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift or Sony Project Morpheus. Thus, Google Cardboard is Google’s smart and savvy response to the high demand for VR headsets. The cardboard device is low-cost and designed so that the average VR enthusiast can assemble it themselves. By pairing your smartphone with any of the various Cardboard devices (Knox Labs, Dodo Case, and I Am Cardboard, to name a few), users can experience top mobile apps in an entirely different and affordable way. We’ve got the best Google Cardboard apps to try out with your cutting-edge headset. The best Google Cardboard apps for gaming Subway Surfing VR In this VR game, users must forgo regular public transportation due to the flooded subways of New York. Users must hop on a surfboard and maneuver their way through the tunnels without falling. By simply tilting your head to move, the game tracks your smartphone’s accelerometer to determine balance. Of the many games on Google, this one might make your neck hurt the next day. Zombie Shooter VR Another game set in the creepy, dark subways, but this time the tunnels are full of blood-thirsty zombies and creatures. Zombie Shooter VR is arguably one of the best of the free virtual reality games on Google Play due to its simplicity. Wherever you look, your weapon will automatically fire, and thankfully, the game gives you unlimited bullets just in case your eyes start to wander from the screen. Flappy for Cardboard Flappy Bird has gone down in history as one of the best mobile games (not to mention most addicting) we’ve seen in recent years. Everyone’s favorite game is back and better than ever for Google Cardboard. Now, users can play the game through the eyes of the flappy bird, using the headset trigger to jump through the pipes instead of having to bob your head constantly to fly. You’ll have to try the game for yourself to see if it’s just as addicting as its predecessor. The best Google Cardboard apps for entertainment Jack White: THIRD-D Jaunt Inc. teamed up with Third Man Records to create the ultimate concert experience. This app will let you watch Jack White perform hit songs like “Freedom at 21” and “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground,” all through your cardboard VR headset. The 360-degree footage as well stereoscopic 3D will change concert “going,” entirely. Glitcher VR The Glitchr VR app brings a new twist to the way we see reality. This application layers filters on your camera’s input, allowing for distortion, color change, etc. More impressively, by using the magnet switch, the...

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