Issue 20 - What's Hot in Tech
A smartwatch that is more watch, less gadget – the perfect balance?
Withings, maker of smart gadgets like wireless scales and blood pressure monitors, launched pre-orders for its new Activité watch. Unlike other smartwatches which are more like a small smartphone on your wrist, the Withings Activité takes the familiar watch model we all know and smartly incorporates modern activity tracking technology. The watch tracks steps, swimming, and sleeping and displays your daily activity level on the watch face – all other metrics are accessible via the companion smartphone app (iOS supported, Android coming soon). A significant advantage over high-tech alternatives, the Activité runs on a standard button cell battery and promises to run for eight months before requiring a replacement – head and shoulders above the 7 to 14-day battery life we’re seeing from Apple and Android smartwatches.
This watch won’t be for everyone, especially given its hefty $450 price tag. But it looks like a traditional watch while it taps into a trove of activity data behind the scenes, which could be the perfect marriage consumers have been waiting for. Pre-orders are available now.
The most beautiful game extends its lead over the competition
I’ve written about Monument Valley before, so I won’t repeat myself. The award-winning puzzle game for smartphones and tablets is back in the spotlight with eight more levels of stunning, beautiful gameplay. The extended storyline, known as Forgotten Shores, is available as an in-app purchase for iPhone and iPad players, with an upgrade for Android coming soon. If you haven’t played Monument Valley yet, please take a moment to part with $3.99 to appreciate stunning visuals, isometric mind games, and beautiful color palettes – the price of a cup of coffee is worth it.
- Airbnb is launching a quarterly print magazine, called Pineapple, including city features and suggested activities
- Facebook is testing Facebook at Work, a network and suite of tools for staying connected at work – users will have a work profile separate from their personal Facebook profile
- Google has started to release the latest version of its Android operating system, Lollipop (version 5.0), to its Nexus devices (e.g. Nexus 4 and 5 smartphones, Nexus 7 and 10 tablets)
- Rdio lowered the price of its family plan to $14.99/mo + $5 for additional users, a move to match Spotify's new Family plan
- Spotify’s Artist Explorer lets you visually explore connections between artists
- Twitter announced plans to improve its experience for new users and teased updates to its direct message feature
- Wildcard is a "new way to browse the web," the iPhone app is available now
- YouTube unveiled yet another option for streaming music, called YouTube Music Key
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As a tech enthusiast, early adopter, and avid reader, I come across a lot of gadgets, apps, websites, and more. Few things excite me more than sharing and discussing these finds with others. Follow me on Twitter where I share even more tech news and trends.