On Monday, Samsung held a virtual event for Mobile World Congress where it showed off an all-new smartwatch interface: One UI Watch. Built in partnership with Google, it creates a more unified experience between the company’s Galaxy smartwatches and Android phones.
One UI Watch comes only a short while after Google announced it was joining forces with Samsung and merging the two companies’ smartwatch operating systems — Wear OS and Tizen, respectively. While we have yet to see what the new operating system looks like, this new interface gives us somewhat of an idea.
At this moment in time, Apple owns the smartwatch space, and the Apple Watch’s status as the world’s bestselling watch is well-deserved. Google, on the other hand, has let Wear OS stagnate over the years, and while the dedicated companies that use Wear OS keep making great hardware, the software usually feels substandard.
Samsung makes the only true competitor to the Apple Watch. The Galaxy Watch 3’s fluid, well-designed Tizen software and innovative control system make it a winner, but it lacks Google apps and services. Neither Google nor Samsung can beat Apple on their own, but perhaps together they can?
That’s what was announced at Google I/O 2021. Google’s new “Wear” software is an exciting mash-up of Wear OS and Samsung’s Tizen, complete with Fitbit’s comprehensive health tech for good measure. Apple may not be shaking in its boots yet, but for the first time, it should be looking over its shoulder to see what’s coming.
WEREN’T WE ALL here just a couple weeks ago? Hanging around on the internet waiting for Apple to show off some new hardware?
Indeed, we were. Apple has already staged two hardware release events this fall: one for the Apple Watch and iPads and one for the four new iPhones. Now the company is inviting us all to join its executives at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California, for another big reveal, the third of the season.
We expect this week’s event to center around Mac laptops and desktops. Apple has already announced its plans to gradually transition its computers away from Intel processors and toward its own custom silicon chips, with the first Apple-cored Macs arriving at the end of 2020. So here we are. Which computers will be the first to make the leap? As reported by Bloomberg last week, the 13-inch MacBook Air and a couple of MacBook Pro models will likely be the machines where the new processors make their Mac debut. (Apple’s custom silicon already powers its iPhones and iPads.)
James T. Green thought he was having a panic attack.
He took a break from work to walk around the block during a stressful day, and noticed he felt out of breath strolling up a slight incline. This isn’t normal, Green thought. He had become an avid cycler in recent months and wasn’t exactly out of shape. He sat down at his desk, and looked at the Apple Watch on his wrist.
His heart rate was through the roof, and the HeartWatch app he was using to check his pulse was flashing warnings. Maybe it was something more serious, he thought.
As part of the roll out of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch, Apple announced that it was adding U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’ to every Apple iTunes library automatically as a ‘gift’. There was an immediate uproar from Appleland that became so raucous that eventually Apple created a page to tell people how to remove the album from their accounts (yes, there’s an app for that), culminating in Bono himself apologizing for the entire fiasco.
The main complaint of the Apple community was that, a) they didn’t want Apple deciding what takes up space on their iTunes account and, b) they hate U2. There was a lot of counterpoint from Apple / U2 loyalists that thought Apple had done a good thing. ‘If some gives you a gift, you say thank you.’ The response from the aggrieved was ‘If someone gives me something I don’t want, it’s not a gift.’
To be sure, the bundle fest that was the iPhone 6 launch was intended to be a slick cross marketing event. A ‘free’ gift, it was not. U2 were well compensated for the release rights of the album. In addition, everyone that isn’t an Apple customer will pay for it. Apple gave it away for marketing purposes. The question is why would Apple want to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to do this.