Who would have thought that one fine day an innovation by the name of Apple Watch will change the way we look at traditional wristwatches which have been around for decades. It was a typical case of “coming and conquering” which as per International Data Corporation has catapulted Apple to be the second largest manufacturer of wearables in the world. However, Android Wear with the launch of Samsung Gear 2 in October 2015 gave a fresh turn to this rivalry. The wearable comes with a comparatively lower price than Apple Watch and can be paired with a wide range of hardware including the iPhone itself.
The basic purpose of a smartwatch other than being a time piece is to push notifications and alerts, and this is where Apple Watch and Google Android Wear do fairly well. The former does better with the visuals while the latter has an edge in providing business related push notifications including emails, calendar markings and text messages by easily synchronizing with the handset. Also, users of Android Wear can receive QR codes directly on the watch once a trip is planned in Google Calendar. Having said that, Apple Watch has features such as mobile payments, health tracking etc, which are sufficient to keep it on the top.
Comparing the performance of both wearables, Apple Watch uses S1 processor and is far more responsive than its competitor. The Android Moto 360 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor which lags in performance, and the loading time is also quite slow. When it comes to the design, Apple Watch has a polarized square dial compared to Android Moto 360, which is circular and goes down well with the typical design associated with a classy wristwatch. Add to this, the Android Wear also offers Swiss Watch Face combining technology and style. This surely means something, since in 2012 Apple paid $21 billion to Swiss Federal Railway just as to use its popular design in the iOS6 clock icon.
Having done the basic comparison, Google is eyeing to score big time with Project Ara – expected to be launched in 2016 – where it aims to enable exchanging of components from its Smartphones . The idea here is to replace any module from a device which has started to become obsolete; for example, an older camcorder can be replaced with a HD one without having to change the handset. Google might incorporate this technology into its Android Wear making it a product you can use for the lifetime without it getting outdated.
As with the pricing, Android Wear offers some budget friendly solutions compared to Apple Watch. The standard Apple Watch is priced at $349, while the Android’s Moto 360 2015 is available for $299. While we have to wait to find out which brand becomes the favorite in the coming days, check out techspooks for latest updates on software, android apps, smartphones, gadgets and lot more.
Cheap Apple Watch copies are being advertised on Alibaba’s Taobao, China’s most popular online shopping service.
Taobao site lists devices branded the AW08 and the iWatch.
They both feature “digital crown” dials on their sides, similar-styled straps and identical user interface graphics to Apple’s forthcoming wearable.
However, their listings reveal they run on Google’s Android platform rather than Apple’s Watch OS.
Taboao acts as a showcase for third-party sellers – much like eBay and Amazon’s Marketplace service – and some vendors have taken pains to make clear that the devices they are selling are not Apple’s own technology.
The copycats first came to light in January, when a reporter from the news site Mashable discovered one being displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Other giveaways that the watches are not the iPhone’s official “companion” include:
They are being offered for about 258 yuan ($40) – a fraction of the 2,588 yuan that Apple will charge for its smartwatch in China when it goes on sale next month
They do not feature the same heart-monitoring sensors on their rear – although this is not always made clear
They boast longer battery life [youtube p1X8Vc5pfoU 650]
After announcing its Watch collection prices and release date, Apple has unveiled a new 12in-screened “retina” class laptop.
The new laptop has a higher resolution screen than its MacBook Air range, which remains on sale.
Apple said the new model was the “world’s most energy efficient notebook”.
The company added that it was its thinnest laptop to date, measuring 0.52in at its thickest point, thanks in part to it no longer needing an internal fan.
It is also Apple’s first laptop to provide vibration feedback via its trackpad, and be sold in a gold-colored option.
However, it only features a single port – called USB-C – which it uses to provide the machine with power, data and output to an exterior monitor or TV.
Apple suggested that users could also use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to link the machine to other kit, but some users are likely to miss the ability to easily connect older peripherals such as an external hard disk or mouse.
The basic version will cost $1,299, making it a mid-range model for the company.
Apple also unveiled a new software product – called ResearchKit – for its iPhones that can be used by medical researchers to gather data from volunteers without the information ever being shared with Apple itself.
The tech giant revealed that the University of Oxford had already developed an app using the facility to help it investigate the causes of heart disease and New York’s Mount Sinai hospital is using it to study irritants that might cause asthma.
The move could potentially pave the way for Apple to seek regulators’ approval for its products to be used as diagnostic tools in the future.
ResearchKit will be open source – meaning any company or developer should be able to work with the platform.
Apple has unveiled that its Watch collection will range in price from $349 to $17,000 depending on the metals they are made from and the straps they are bought with.
The larger 1.7in models of the Watch will cost about $50 more than the 1.5in versions in the lower-priced ranges.
Apple also revealed that the devices are due to go on sale on April 24.
Competition’s smartwatches have only seen limited sales to date.
A press event held in San Francisco held few surprises about the wearable tech beyond the fact that the mid-range stainless steel edition would start at $549 and go up to $1,099 in the US.
There had been speculation that Apple would seek a bigger price gap between the model and the basic aluminum-based Sport-branded version – something that would have restricted its appeal.
Apple’s website lists a total of 38 models, which might pose a challenge to how it markets them.
The company did not announce any difference in specifications between the aluminum, steel and gold-cased versions – there had been speculation that the higher-end editions might have more storage or allow some of their parts to be upgraded at a later point.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Watch would typically last owners 18 hours between charges, providing a day’s worth of use.
Its website adds that the models take 2.5 hours to charge from 0% to 100%, and that the larger model has longer battery life.
Apple also reveals that a Power Reserve facility means that the Watch should continue to show the time for “up to 72 hours” after other functions are turned off.
The company said on stage that thousands of new apps had already been developed for the Watch ahead of it going on sale.
The social networks Facebook and Instagram, the car pick-up service Uber and the Chinese messaging app WeChat are among those confirmed to have developed software for the device.
Apple also highlighted that its wrist-worn device could be used to make touchless payments and receive phone calls.
Other functions demonstrated by Apple included:
using the Watch as a means to open a compatible hotel room lock as an alternative to a key card
checking the name of a song via the app Shazam
opening an internet-connected garage door remotely
To provide many of its functions – including GPS tracking, receiving phone calls and transmitting messages – the Watch requires its owner to have an iPhone 5 or more recent Apple handset, limiting its potential audience.
Even so, one expert believes sales will be strong – at least initially.
CCS Insight forecasts 20 million units will be sold by the end of this year – representing about 7% of the compatible iPhones currently in use.
However, other analysts range widely in their predictions, forecasting sales as low as eight million units to as high as 60 million in 2015.
For comparison’s sake, the iPad sold 14.8 million units in the first nine months after its launch, more than double Wall Street’s most optimistic estimate.
The UK, US, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and Canada are among the first wave of countries where Apple Watch will be sold.
Apple has posted the biggest quarterly profit ever made by a public company.
The giant tech reported a net profit of $18 billion in its fiscal first quarter, which tops the $15.9 billion made by ExxonMobil in Q2 2012, according to Standard and Poor’s.
Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits.
Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones in the three months to December 27 – well ahead of most analysts’ expectations.
In a conference call with financial analysts Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said that demand for phones was “staggering”.
However, sales of the iPad continued to disappoint, falling by 18% in 2014 from a year earlier.
The demand for Apple’s larger iPhone 6 Plus model appeared to help boost profits and increase the iPhone’s gross profit margin – or how much Apple makes per phone – by 2% to 39.9%.
However, Apple did not give a breakdown of sales for the iPhone 6 and other models.
Apple shares rose more than 5% in trading after the US markets had closed.
Apple’s revenue grew to $74.6 billion in 2014 – a 30% increase from a year earlier.
However, on a conference call to discuss earnings, Tim Cook complained of “fierce foreign exchange volatility”, which added Apple to a growing list of US firms who have been hurt by the strong dollar abroad.
Apple said that currency fluctuations shaved 4% from its Q1 2015 revenue.
Sales in greater China hit $16 billion in 2014 – a 70% increase from a year earlier, and almost equaling the $17 billion in sales the company recorded in Europe last year.
A report by research firm Canalys released on Tuesday said that Apple had overtaken competitors to become China’s number one seller of smartphones by units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Apple also said that its newest product, the Apple Watch, was still on schedule and would begin shipping in April.
Apple has unveiled a smartwatch, the Apple Watch, and two new handsets that are larger than previous models – iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple Watch runs apps, acts as a health and fitness tracker and communicates with the iPhone.
While rival smartwatches already exist, experts said Apple had a history of entering sectors relatively late and then changing their direction.
The iPhone 6’s screen measures 4.7in (11.9cm) and the iPhone 6 Plus’s 5.5in (14.0cm) – a change that analysts said should help prevent users migrating to Android.
Apple also announced a new service called Apple Pay, which CEO Tim Cook said he hoped would “replace the wallet” in shops.
The Apple Watch comes in two sizes and is controlled by what Apple calls a “digital crown” – a dial on its side that allows content on its screen to be magnified or scrolled through, and can also be pressed inwards to act as a home button.
The display is a touchscreen that can detect the difference between a light tap and heavier pressure from the user’s fingers. In addition, the device runs Siri – Apple’s voice-controlled “personal assistant”.
It offers a variety of different watchfaces, can alert the user to notifications, act as a heart rate monitor and show maps.
Apple has unveiled two new handsets that are larger than previous models, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (photo Apple)
Apple said that apps could be processed on an iPhone, but displayed on the watch in order to extend battery life. It did not say how often the device needed to be recharged.
Although some of these features are available from competing products, one observer said the device had the potential to ignite the wearable tech sector.
Apple Watch – which comes in three different editions – relies on its user owning an iPhone 5 or more recent model.
It will cost $349 – which is more than recently announced Android Wear watches from Motorola, Sony and others – and will not be available until “early 2015”.
While Apple Watch was the most anticipated product, the company’s new handsets are likely to be its biggest earners.
Apple said that the A8 chip featured in the new phones would provide 25% faster compute performance than before.
The improved resolutions – dubbed “retina HD” – mean that the iPhone 6 offers 326 pixels per inch and the iPhone 6 Plus 401ppi. While better than before, the resolutions are still beaten in terms of raw numbers by Samsung’s flagships – the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 – and the HTC One.
New sensors include a barometer, which Apple said would help fitness apps distinguish whether the owner was running up a mountain or along a flatter surface.
The M8 co-processor can now estimate distances as well, which may should also help provide more accurate readings.
iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available for sale on September 19.