With Watch GT, Huawei ditches Google for its own OS

LG’s strange new hybrid Watch W7 marked a small but important victory for Wear OS. But this morning in London, Google lost a key ally in the smartwatch wars — for this model, at least. Huawei’s latest wearable, the Watch GT ditches the Google operating system for its own in-house brew, LiteOS. The move marks […]

LG’s strange new hybrid Watch W7 marked a small but important victory for Wear OS. But this morning in London, Google lost a key ally in the smartwatch wars — for this model, at least. Huawei’s latest wearable, the Watch GT ditches the Google operating system for its own in-house brew, LiteOS.

The move marks a blow for Google’s struggling wearable operating system. The company has made a point of avoiding fragmentation for Wear OS, a decision that may ultimately haunt the company as manufacturers like Samsung, Fitbit and now Huawei go it on their own.

Each manufacturer has their own reasons, of course, but Huawei, the decision is pretty straightforward. Namely, the company wants to squeeze as much battery out of this as possible. That’s in keeping with a day’s announcements that also included a phone that can charge other phones, mind.

Here, that means some pretty outrageous claims. Huawei says the thing gets two weeks on a charge with standard use, which seems downright silly compared to the competition. If you turn off all of the distractions, meanwhile, you can apparently get up to 30 days, which is essentially Kindle territory we’re talking about here.

The watch is a bit beefy, as you no doubt expected. That’s going to be a bit of a drawback, given the watch’s focus on fitness. As is the fact that, well, most of the competition has also made fitness the centerpiece of their products — Apple and Fitbit are going to be tough to topple.

There’s continuous heart rate monitoring on-board, along with a built-in tri-GPS system for more accurate run tracking. As with its new phone, the Huawei looks firmly aimed at Samsung’s marketshare in the watch category, and that’s apparently meant leaving Wear OS in the dust. 

Get Gold Milanese Loop-Like Band For Any Apple Watch For 1/10th The Official Apple Price With This Buy 2 Get 1 Free Deal

Want Gold Milanese Loop Apple Watch band? Here’s the option that will cost you 1/10th the official price by Apple. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Want Gold Milanese Loop Apple Watch band? Here's the option that will cost you 1/10th the official price by Apple.


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Why missing Saudi journalist’s Apple Watch is an interesting, but unlikely, lead

Police investigating the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are searching for his Apple Watch to obtain his health and location data before his disappearance. But that may prove impossible, according to new details learned by TechCrunch. The Saudi-born U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist went missing last week after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, […]

Police investigating the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are searching for his Apple Watch to obtain his health and location data before his disappearance. But that may prove impossible, according to new details learned by TechCrunch.

The Saudi-born U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist went missing last week after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, reportedly to obtain marriage papers. His soon-to-be wife was waiting outside the consulate with Khashoggi’s iPhone.

Khashoggi never emerged from the consulate, sparking a manhunt. It has been reported but not confirmed that he was killed inside the consulate. The Washington Post reports that U.S. intercepts showed efforts by the Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to lure the reporter back to the kingdom and detain him.

Khashoggi was a vocal critic of the Saudi government. The Saudi kingdom has denied any involvement with his disappearance.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing Turkish officials, that investigators were looking to Khashoggi’s black Apple Watch that he was wearing as he entered the consulate. The inference was that any data collected by the Apple Watch could glean answers into health data, such as his heart rate, location or other clues.

Turkey does not have the watch, Reuters said, suggesting it may have been lost, destroyed or remains in the custody of Saudi authorities.

TechCrunch staff have scoured several photo libraries and social media and found one image of Khashoggi wearing a third-generation Apple Watch — based on the red dot on the watch’s crown. The 2017 model comes with an optional LTE connection.

Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey in May 2018 wearing a third-generation Apple Watch. (Image: Al Sharq Forum/Twitter)

But even if Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate wearing that model, a third-generation Apple Watch does not support cellular connections in Turkey, effectively ruling out any chance that his health data synced either with his iPhone outside or Apple’s servers.

It’s also unlikely that the watch connected to a known Wi-Fi network inside the consulate, or that the watch was within close enough range to sync with his iPhone outside using Bluetooth.

In any case, if health data from Khashoggi’s watch was transmitted over the air to Apple’s iCloud where it could be synced with his iPhone, the data is end-to-end encrypted with his passcode.

Not even Apple — and therefore law enforcement — can access this data, meaning any evidence of his whereabouts will be on his iPhone.

There have been several cases of watches and fitness trackers helping authorities find missing persons, as well as help secure prosecutions. As much as wearables help track a person’s fitness and activity, they store and transmit data that’s often stored in the cloud. That data is often obtainable by law enforcement, which critics say is a privacy risk.

Can LG’s strange hybrid smartwatch breathe life into Wear OS?

Along with the new V40 ThinQ, LG showed off this odd little addition. It’s true that hybrid smartwatches are no longer a novelty in and of themselves at this point, but the Watch W7 takes a bizarre approach to the category. In fact, when the company first discussed the product at a briefing this week, […]

Along with the new V40 ThinQ, LG showed off this odd little addition. It’s true that hybrid smartwatches are no longer a novelty in and of themselves at this point, but the Watch W7 takes a bizarre approach to the category.

In fact, when the company first discussed the product at a briefing this week, we had a lot of questions — and unlike the phone, there weren’t any units present, lending more mystery to the thing.

The breakdown is basically this: it’s a Wear OS smartwatch with mechanical hands. So, like, a standard smartwatch display, with two physical watch hands doing their thing on top of it. You still interact via touch, though that actually happens via the glass on top. The hands, meanwhile, move to accommodate the text on the screen — and the text moves accordingly.

There’s a button on the side which, when pressed, move the hands out to 180 degrees. The text underneath then shifts up, so as to not be obscured by the physical parts. Also, the glass apparently lifts slightly when the hands realign. LG says the functionality was actually built into the latest version of Wear OS to accommodate LG’s Frankenstein watch.

It’s either a great idea or a terrible one. I’m honestly reserving judgement until we have a review unit in hand, though I will say I’m more excited to try this out than just about any mainstream wearable in recent memory. I mean, it’s nothing if not innovative.

During the briefing, LG said, “we’re trying to earn being on your wrist.” That’s a pretty tall order for Wear OS these days. After all, Apple is utterly dominant in the category, and while both Fitbit and Samsung have made strides on the Android side of the equation, neither one actually runs Google’s wearable operating system.

There’s certainly something to be said for mechanical hands — there’s the significant savings to battery life you get from not having to turn the display on to check the time. There’s also the fact that it actually looks pretty decent as a standard watch. The era of sporting a smartwatch for the sheer novelty has drawn to a close.

The W7 runs a pricey $450. Pre-orders for this weird thing open this Sunday. It hits stores on the 14th.

Apple Watch Series 4 Blows Away Older Models In Speed Test [Video]

Here is a Apple Watch Series 4 Vs Series 3 Vs Series 2 Vs Series 1 Vs Series 0 speed comparison between all the Apple Watches ever released. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Here is a Apple Watch Series 4 Vs Series 3 Vs Series 2 Vs Series 1 Vs Series 0 speed comparison between all the Apple Watches ever released.


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Analyst: Apple Watch Series 4 May Affect Sales Of Entire Jewelry Industry This Holiday Season

The Apple Watch Series 4 may affect sales of the entire jewelry industry this holiday season according to an analyst. Here’s everything you need to know. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

The Apple Watch Series 4 may affect sales of the entire jewelry industry this holiday season according to an analyst. Here's everything you need to know.


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The new Wear OS starts hitting smartwatches

Google’s in a tough spot with Wear OS. It’s been four and half years since the operating system arrived as Android Wear, and while plenty of manufacturers have tried their hand at devices, the operating system has failed to make a large dent on the smartwatch category. Apple continues to dominate the space, while top […]

Google’s in a tough spot with Wear OS. It’s been four and half years since the operating system arrived as Android Wear, and while plenty of manufacturers have tried their hand at devices, the operating system has failed to make a large dent on the smartwatch category. Apple continues to dominate the space, while top competitors Samsung and Fitbit have opted to go in-house with their operating systems.

In February, Android Wear got a modest 2.0 update, and the following month, the operating system got a full-on rebrand. “We’re now Wear OS by Google, a wearables operating system for everyone,” the company said at the time. Even with all of that movement over the past year, Wear OS is still in need of an upgrade. By a number of early accounts, the 2.1 update, which is starting to roll out to users, is a strong step in that direction.

This latest version brings new swipe gestures, prioritizing notifications, settings, Google Fit and Assistant. Those last two are also getting some key upgrades, helping bring the company’s health and AI offerings up to speed with the competition.

While the smartwatch play has appeared fairly stagnant at times, it’s important to remember as Android celebrates its 10th anniversary that the smartphone OS wasn’t exactly a rousing success out of the gate. In the meantime, Apple, Fitbit and the like have proven that smartwatches do have some staying power, and once again analysts are bullish on the category.

Earlier this month, meanwhile, Qualcomm reaffirmed its commitment to Wear OS by showcasing its chip architecture promising extended battery life. It seems as if enough players are involved and hopeful in Wear OS to keep it going, but there’s still a lot of work to be done if it’s going to break out of the looming shadow of the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 4 ECG Feature In UK Could Take Years To Approve From Authorities

Apple Watch Series 4 ECG feature in UK could take years to approve and launch according to a regulator in UK. Here’s everything you need to know. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Apple Watch Series 4 ECG feature in UK could take years to approve and launch according to a regulator in UK. Here's everything you need to know.


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Download: watchOS 5.0.1 For Apple Watch Released

Apple has today released for download watchOS 5.0.1 to Apple Watch owners, with the update arriving just ten days after the company released watchOS 5 to the public after a summer-long beta process. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Apple has today released for download watchOS 5.0.1 to Apple Watch owners, with the update arriving just ten days after the company released watchOS 5 to the public after a summer-long beta process.


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People Lining Up Outside Apple Stores For iPhone XS, Watch Series 4 As Apple’s 2018 Flagships Go On Sale

People have started to share photos online of customers forming queues outside Apple Stores in Australia, Singapore, and elsewhere around the globe for iPhone XS, XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 launch day. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.c…

People have started to share photos online of customers forming queues outside Apple Stores in Australia, Singapore, and elsewhere around the globe for iPhone XS, XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 launch day.


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