All the whispers and rumours from the week in wearable tech
You know the drill — it’s the end of the week, which means it’s time for And finally, our look back on all the lighter stories and rumours from the past seven days.
It’s been a surprisingly busy week. Despite most announcements traditionally coming before Black Friday, secretive AR startup Magic Leap mixed things up by finally releasing a glimpse of its first piece of hardware. Elsewhere, we saw reports that the Apple Watch Series 4 could harbour an in-built EKG heart rate monitor.
But what else has been going down this week? Well, read on to find out.
Apple AirPods upgrade coming in late 2018
Despite seeing a stuttered launch earlier this year, Apple’s AirPods have been flying off shelves throughout the course of 2017. So much so, the company’s wireless earphones are reportedly sold out until January.
But if you’re in two minds about whether to pick up the AirPods, you may want to hold off until late 2018 — when seasoned KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) indicates the Cupertino giant’s upgraded, second generation AirPods will land. Kuo didn’t give much else away about the purported hearable, except that one internal change will be a “smaller quartz component”.
Of course, since late 2018 will mark around two years since the AirPods were first unveiled, it’s highly likely that Kuo’s note comes to life. The bigger question is really just how much the second generation will differ from the first, and which connected features Apple will introduce.
Disabling this could speed up Wear
If your Android Wear smartwatch has begun to slow down slightly, the fix could be as simple as disabling the “OK Google” detection from within the watch.
First spotted by a user on Reddit, all users need to do to end the stuttering that’s been present on certain devices is to head to Settings, then Personalisation and make sure the tab is switched off. The user was able to pinpoint the move by running the Android Debug Bridge shell over the top and discovering that the feature was stretching the resources of the device.
We haven’t experiences the same Wear lag ourselves, but plenty of Reddit users reported that making the change greatly improved the experience. And since this would appear to be the cause of some lag, perhaps Google itself will pick up on the problem and rectify it through the next Wear update.
Android Wear app reaches milestone
The Android Wear app has officially gone over the 10 million install mark, according to the listing on the Google Play Store.
While the precise number of active Wear users is expected to be higher due to the omission of Apple App Store downloads from that number, this does give us an interesting insight into how Wear has caught on since launching in 2014.
Unfortunately, the Play Store doesn’t give a breakdown of just when those downloads occurred, but we’d wager a large majority are since Wear 2.0 hit the scene back in February.
Apple Watch to lead smartwatch market
Research firm IDC indicated earlier this week that smartwatches and hearables will dominate smart clothing and fitness trackers over the next few years. However, the group has since noted that the Apple Watch will be the device to help lead the space to ship around 71.5 million units by 2021.
Naturally, with Apple bouncing back in Q3 2017 to reclaim its wearable throne and remain one of the most consistently performing smartwatches, it’s no surprise that it’s being tipped to stay at the top for the foreseeable future.