Android Wear isn’t dead yet, gets rebranded as “Wear OS by Google”

Enlarge / The new name and logo. (credit: Google) Google just remembered that its smartwatch operating system, Android Wear, exists. While we're not getting new hardware or software, the OS is being rebranded to "Wear OS by Google." There's a new name, a new logo, and a new website to promote the brand. When Android Wear first launched, it was an Android-based smartwatch OS that only worked when paired with Android phones, so "Android Wear" made perfect sense. Google later added iPhone [Read Entire Story]

The $199 Fitbit Versa is the company’s new “mass-appeal” smartwatch

Valentina Palladino A new Fitbit smartwatch is ready to keep last year's Ionic company in the device family lineup. Today, Fitbit announced the new Versa smartwatch, a thin-and-light metal wearable that runs on Fitbit OS. The longtime king of fitness devices knew it needed to expand into the smartwatch category, and it started that evolution last year with the debut of the $299 Ionic. But the Ionic ultimately replaced the Fitbit Surge, which was the most high-tech [Read Entire Story]

5 wearable notification devices that will make life so much better

Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. We’ve all experienced it. You’re waiting for an important call. You step away from your phone for just a few moments and return to a dreaded "Missed Call" notification. ;Or you call someone to chat about something important, and they don't pick up. When they finally get back to you, they give [Read Entire Story]

Elon Musk gets permission to do a little digging for his Hyperloop

It's been far easier for Elon Musk to send a rocket to the Mars than move a pebble in Washington, D.C. That could be changing, according to The Washington Post. The SpaceX entrepreneur's tunnel digging company, The Boring Company, recently received vague permission to do some exploratory digging at 53 New York Avenue NE. SEE ALSO: Watch: Even Elon Musk was starstruck during the Falcon Heavy launch Musk is hoping to build a high speed hyperloop between New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and D.C. [Read Entire Story]

Android Wear is getting killed, and it’s all Qualcomm’s fault

Enlarge / The LG Watch Sport. (credit: Ron Amadeo) Ars Technica would like to wish a very special second birthday to the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 SoC. While most flagship SoCs have a life cycle of about one year on the top of the market, over the weekend the Wear 2100 will celebrate two years as the least awful smartwatch SoC you can use in an Android Wear device. It's positively ancient at this point. Seriously though, Qualcomm has seemingly abandoned the smartwatch market. The Wear 2100 [Read Entire Story]

Apple wants to put medical records on your iPhone. Here’s how it works.

Apple wants to change how you access your medical records. ; Today the company officially unveiled its plan to make iPhone owners' medical records available at the touch of a button via its Health app. SEE ALSO: Apple is testing a new feature to give you access to medical records on your devices Though not entirely unexpected (rumors of Apple's plans have been swirling for months), the announcement confirms that Apple's ambitions in the healthcare space go far beyond simple fitness tracking. The [Read Entire Story]

Alexa could live in headphones, wearables thanks to new developer kit

The next frontier for Amazon's Alexa may be the devices you keep on your person most of the time. Amazon announced the new Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit today, which will allow manufacturers to more easily integrate the company's voice assistant into headphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other small devices. The kit is currently in developer preview, and partner companies including Bose, Jabra, and iHome are already testing it out. The developer kit lessens the development load that [Read Entire Story]

Revisiting Fossil hybrid smartwatches: From curiosity to practicality

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino) Fossil has come a long way since the debut of its first hybrid smartwatches in 2015. What was once a small endeavor with just a handful of devices has grown to take over most of the brands under Fossil Group. Michael Kors, Diesel, Kate Spade, Emporio Armani, Skagen, and others all have hybrid smartwatches under their accessory umbrellas that speak to each brand's style. It's not just the numbers and designs of these smartwatches that have evolved over the [Read Entire Story]

Everything you need to know about Apple’s GymKit, now out in the US

Enlarge / Apple Watch Series 2. (credit: Valentina Palladino) While the Apple Watch is seen by many as the ultimate wearable fitness tool, it's somewhat out of place in the gym. The native Workout app has a number of exercise profiles to choose from, including activities that can only be done in the gym. But, in many ways, the Watch is best suited for outdoor activities. But with the introduction of GymKit, Apple hopes to make the in-gym cardio experience better. Apple's system to connect the [Read Entire Story]

Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo [Update]

Enlarge / The LG Watch Sport. Remember Android Wear? Google's struggling smartwatch OS is getting updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, just like the rest of the Android lineup. Google announced the update on the "Android Wear Developers" Google Plus group. It seems like the only supported watch right now is the flagship LG Watch Sport, which makes sense since that was the only watch to get an Android O beta in the beginning of October. Wear's last big update was Android Wear 2.0, which was released [Read Entire Story]

Tim Cook ‘optimistic’ Chinese cyber regulators will allow pulled apps back on iPhone

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed 'hope' that the communist Chinese government will allow Apple to reinstate certain apps to the tech giant's App Store on Wednesday. ; Earlier this year, Apple removed some messaging and VPM apps — which allow users to mask their IP address and access websites censored by the authoritative Chinese government — from the App store at the request of Chinese officials. ; The app ExpressVPM, or instance, received a notice from Apple in July stating that "your [Read Entire Story]

Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo

Enlarge / The LG Watch Sport. Remember Android Wear? Google's struggling smartwatch OS is getting updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, just like the rest of the Android lineup. Google announced the update on the "Android Wear Developers" Google Plus group. It seems like the only supported watch right now is the flagship LG Watch Sport, which makes sense since that was the only watch to get an Android O beta in the beginning of October. Wear's last big update was Android Wear 2.0, which was released [Read Entire Story]

Apple Pay Cash hits Apple Watches with watchOS 4.2 release

Enlarge / A 38mm Apple Watch Series 2 (left) next to a 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 (right). (credit: Valentina Palladino) The latest software update for Apple Watch is now available, just a few days after Apple released iOS 11.2 earlier than expected. The biggest link between the iDevice and Watch software updates is Apple Pay Cash, which is now available for Apple's wearable in watchOS 4.2 Apple Pay Cash lets US-based users send and receive money through iMessage, with funds drawn from a [Read Entire Story]

FDA clears first medical accessory for the Apple Watch—an EKG sensor

Enlarge (credit: YouTube, AliveCor) Plenty of studies boast about the medical possibilities of the Apple Watch, but Apple's wearable is a consumer device, not a medical one. However, the FDA just announced the clearing of the first medical Apple Watch accessory, AliveCor's KardiaBand, which uses the wearable's heart rate technology and an attached sensor to provide EKG readings on the fly. An Apple Watch paired with a KardiaBand could provide users with an EKG reading in 30 seconds, detecting [Read Entire Story]

Apple is offering gift cards worth up to $150 on Black Friday

The award for the least surprising Black Friday event this year goes to Apple. The company launched its Black Friday page early on Friday, offering gift cards worth up to $150 with select purchases of Apple gadgets. SEE ALSO: Here are the best places to buy Apple products on Black Friday If you buy an Apple Watch Series 1, you'll get a $25 Apple Gift Card. Purchasing an iPhone SE, 6s or 7 will get you a gift card worth up to $50. Buying an iPad Pro, iPad or iPad mini 4 will net you a gift card [Read Entire Story]

German government tells parents to destroy children’s smartwatches

The German government isn't just banning some children's smartwatches — its telling people to "destroy" the gadgets already circulating around the country. On Friday, Germany's telecom regulator the Federal Network Agency announced that a number of these devices, designed for ages 5 to 12, can allow someone to remotely tap into the watch's microphone and clandestinely spy from remote locations (just like a wiretap). The regulator isn't just concerned about the potential of people spying on [Read Entire Story]

The Mac mini isn’t dead yet, says Tim Cook

The 2014 Mac Mini. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) More than 1,000 days have passed since Apple updated its Mac mini hardware. Since then, Apple has launched the Apple Watch, AirPods, the retina MacBook, and the Touch Bar MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, the Mac mini has existed in a state of arrested development. You'd be forgiven for considering the possibility that the product has been living its last days. But in an e-mail to an Apple customer today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Mac mini isn't going [Read Entire Story]

Smart jewelry tested: do beautiful devices have the brains to compete?

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino) Technology is shrinking, but that doesn't mean it's getting more subtle. Smartwatches are gaining popularity in the wearable world, but most make themselves painfully known by looking like high-tech gadgets. Not all wearables are fashion crimes, though; there's a sector of smart jewelry trying to thrive in this space by fighting against the cold, gadget-like aesthetic. These devices take the shape of traditional jewelry—like bracelets, rings, and [Read Entire Story]

Apple releases watchOS 4.0.1 with fix for Series 3 LTE/Wi-Fi bug

Enlarge / Call options in the Phone app. (credit: Valentina Palladino) Apple released a software update for its Series 3 watches today that will upgrade watchOS 4 to watchOS 4.0.1. This is the first software update to watchOS 4 since it became available for all Apple Watch models on September 19. The watchOS 4.0.1 update focuses on fixing a peculiar Wi-Fi issue some Series 3 with LTE models experienced. That issue prevented the devices from connecting to LTE in favor of connecting to an [Read Entire Story]

Some iOS 11 issues show early adoption pitfalls, others are just growing pains

Enlarge / The control center has a new interface for adjusting brightness. Apple's new iOS 11 software for iPhones and iPads rolled out yesterday, but its adoption is slightly slower than that of its predecessor, and as is often the case, various issues have been reported by early adopters. iOS 11 had been installed on just over 10 percent of supported devices in the 24 hours after it went live, according to data from Mixpanel. That's slightly slower than adoption of iOS 10 at launch (which [Read Entire Story]

Reduce the cords, charge your Apple devices together with AirPower in 2018

CUPERTINO, Calif.—Amid a bevy of new product releases—the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Watch Series 3 with built-in LTE—Apple quietly presented a new way to power these iDevices all at once. Called "AirPower," Apple's new charging pad will let users reduce the need for many cords and outlets and instead rely on this multi-device charging station. Many of Apple's newly announced devices have glass backs and rely on Qi (sounds like "chee") wireless charging technology, a standard favored by the Wireless [Read Entire Story]

Apple Watch Series 3 hands-on: LTE could be the watershed moment

Enlarge / The new Apple Watch looks the same as its predecessor; the new internals are what counts. The Apple Watch Series 3 looks, acts, and feels almost exactly the same as the Series 2 with a key difference—LTE wireless connectivity, whether your iPhone is nearby or not. We tested the Series 3 on-site at Apple’s unveiling event, including trying just a few of the new features. If you liked the previous model, you’ll like the Series 3. If you didn’t, there’s not much different besides LTE. [Read Entire Story]