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For my column this week, I’ve been testing the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a new “smart” watch that connects via Bluetooth to a Samsung mobile device, and shows you notifications on the watch display. I’m not sure where to start.
Maybe I should go back about a week, to when I was enjoying a Sunday dinner with friends ranging in age from 13 to 72. They all eyed the watch curiously. Earlier in the evening, I had taken a picture of their family cat with my watch.
Finally, someone asked about the watch, someone else asked how much it cost, and a conversation about watches ensued. The 13-year-old announced that he has never worn a watch, then went back to playing on his iPhone.
Watches often mean something to people, whether it’s an inherited watch, a utility or a fashion statement. With a techie watch like the Samsung Galaxy Gear — somewhat utilitarian and probably only perceived as fashionable at a tech convention — I found it was hard to get attached to it.
No big surprises from Apple. No iWatch. No competition for Samsung Galaxy Gear or other Smart Watches
CNN’s Heather Kelly and Doug Gross report Apple’s iPad becoming thinner, lighter, faster. That’s what Apple promises in its newest iPad, which also has a new name: the iPad Air. Yet, no iWatch and therefore, no competition yet from the Cupertino firm for Samsung Galaxy Gear or other Smart Watches.
The company rolled out the fifth generation of its market-leading tablet. Among its new features, the iPad will weigh 1 pound, down from 1.4 pounds. It’s 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the current fourth-generation iPad.
The iPad Air will have the same 9.7-inch screen as previous iPads and pack the same A7 processing chip that’s in the iPhone 5S. That will make it 72 times faster than the original iPad, according to Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller.
The iPad Air will go on sale November 1. Prices will start at $499 for a 16GB Wi-Fi-only model and go up to $629 for a 16GB with 4G LTE connectivity.
For Mic Wright, Apple leaks. Apple teases. Apple tells us a lot with little clues. The Apple press game is just that: a game. There’s a strain of conspiracy theorist whackadoo in comment sections – made up of the sort of drooling loonball who writes “fanboi”, “iSuck” and other hilarious puns – which will tell you Apple pays off journalists and throws out freebies like a broken vending machine. Nothing is further from the truth.
Apple’s strategic leaks usually come through two or three hacks at the Wall Street Journal. Read “rumour” stories placed there in the days or weeks before an event and you’ll see the line that Apple wants to stoke. It might be “cheaper” devices coming, it might be that a product will be more expensive than expected, only for Apple to then reveal it is much more “affordable” as its CEO Tim Cook does his affable Texan routine, avoiding the carnival barker enthusiasm that Steve Jobs was wont to slip into on occasion.
T. Chase Meacham reports that if there was one thing on everyone’s mind at the annual All Things D tech conference held last week, it was Google Glass … and more broadly, the future of wearable computers.
For those who don’t know, a “wearable” is exactly what it sounds like — a tiny device that you wear (say, above the nose, clipped to a shirt, or on the wrist) that does one or more functions. Nike’s much-touted Fuelband was an early example, are are some watches. But with the launch of Glass, many people are looking to Google and other leaders for next steps — and some are predicting a soon-to-be exploding market for tiny wearable devices to do everything from directing us home, to snapping pictures of friends, to identifying strangers on the street.
Sophie Curtis reports that research has revealed that 8 million people in Britain are already using wearables.
Wearable technology is widely predicted to be the next big wave in mobility, with innovations like the Pebble watch and Google Glass providing a glimpse of what the future could look like. But new research has revealed that 8 million people in Britain are already using wearables, and 16 million are planning to use them when they become more widely available.
Of those that are already using the wearable technology in Britain, 71 percent believe that it has enhanced their lives, according to the survey of 4,000 adults carried out by the University of London on behalf of Rackspace. Users in the US are even more enthusiastic, with 82 percent of those surveyed claiming the same.
Dara Kerr states that it doesn’t look like Apple will be cooking up its own rendition of Google Glass, but some other sort of wearable technology could be brewing.
During an interview at the D11 conference on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he thinks wearable computing is “profoundly interesting.” While he noted that glasses seem to be “risky,” the idea of wearing something on the wrist is “natural.”
However, he said, “you have to convince people it’s so incredible you want to wear it.” Cook pointed out that most young people don’t wear watches, so it would be the company’s job to make them appealing.