This week saw another report that the next Apple Watch will have a bigger display, watchOS 5 wishes ahead of next week’s WWDC and Nokia Health is over as the company sells. All part of the week in wearable news.
The Week in Wearables is a news digest, out each midweek, focused on some of the things that have happened in the world of tech you can wear on your wrist, perch on your head, stick in your ear, sling around your waist, tuck into the small of your back or, well, you get the idea.
Apple Watch Series 4 Display Rumors
Another report, this time from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, suggests that the Apple Watch likely to be released this autumn will have a bigger screen but in a case the same size.
The skilful design of the Apple Watch is such that, mostly, an edge-to edge screen hasn’t been necessary. Many of the Watch faces have black edges so the screen and frame blur and anyway, the screen is big enough.
But an even bigger display would be sensational, adding extra real estate for easier-to-read messages, larger photographs, buttons your finger just can’t miss.
And if you have held off buying an Apple Watch because it was too big, well, now you could choose the smaller size and still get a bigger screen.
After all, think how impressive the extra screen size of the Apple iPhone X in what was roughly the size of the iPhone 8 and you get the idea of how edge-to-edge is the way all screens are, I hope, heading.
The big bonus of this, by the way, is that current Watch bands will still be compatible, it’s thought.
Read more at Forbes.
Nokia buys Withings, sells Withings – to Withings
The Nokia Health experiment is over. As James Vincent at The Verge reports, the Finnish company bought the French health tech business in 2016 but has now sold it back to Eric Carreel, Withings co-founder.
Terms of the deal have not been announced, but the Finnish tech giant is surely taking a substantial loss on the sale. Nokia bought Withings two years ago for $191 million, before rebranding the startup’s products (including a smart scale and various well-received fitness tracker watches) as part of its new “Digital Health” business in 2017.
However, the rebadged Withings products clearly weren’t making enough money for Nokia: in October 2017, the company announced a write-down of €141 million ($164 million) on the assets. This was followed by the launch of a “strategic review” of the division this February, with an internal memo obtained by The Verge showing that execs thought there was “no path” for the business to become “a meaningful part” of Nokia.
More from the excellent Vincent at The Verge.
WWDC watchOS 5 features we’re hoping for
It’s only days until WWDC in San Jose next week and Apple will reveal the innovations for all its products’ software. The Apple Watch is such a key product now, I wanted to work out what I really, really want from the announcement.
Extra Fitness flexibilities
I love closing the three exercise rings each day but just sometimes, I’d like a day off. Being able to choose a rest day once a week would be a great way of taking it easy without feeling guilty. And would mean you could keep a streak going on a six-day-a-week basis.
Or, if your week’s calorie, step and workout counts were good overall but one or two days were a little under par, being able to spread the credit across the week would make you feel better for the days you really went for it.
Similarly, the Workout app is now very versatile but more detail would be welcome, with maps of runs, detailed analysis of workouts, and so on.
Read my six other wishes at Forbes, here.
Jawbone Up users transition to Jawbone Health
Jawbone used to make the best Bluetooth headsets, some of the strongest Bluetooth speakers and the slickest fitness trackers. But the company is no longer with us and users have to rely on a new company for servicing their products.
As Jawbone officially died and Jawbone Health rose from its ashes, the company put together a (poorly communicated) transition plan, which includes Health Hub servicing all Jawbone hardware in the future.
The Jawbone UP service is one of the features that’ll be transitioned over to Health, but the service is currently seeing some disruptions. Jawbone users have been complaining about it not working, and not being able to sync their devices to UP over the past day or so.
More at Wareable, here.
As San Francisco Pride rolls into sight (it’s June 23-24 this year), it’s time to ask how Apple will celebrate it this year, as it always does. MacRumors points out that code in watchOS 4.3.1, newly available, doesn’t just fix an issue that caused Apple Watch to remain at the Apple logo during startup.
No, it seems it also includes a new Apple Watch face that will become live and usable on Monday June 4.
The watch face will become available on Monday, June 4 at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time, which suggests it will be made available to all iOS users through an over-the-air update to watchOS 4.3.1. On Twitter, a user was able to change the date on his Apple Watch and the new face showed up, confirming it will release for everyone just after the keynote event wraps up.
It is not clear if Apple has any other pride-related announcements in store to accompany the new watch face, such as a new pride band. It is also not known if Apple plans to release additional watch faces with watchOS 5, but last year’s watchOS 4 release did include new faces.
More at MacRumors, here.
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