I Miss Microsoft’s Smartwatches That Were Too Smart for Their Time

Apple was the first company to make smartwatches a product consumers actually wanted, but there was a time, not too long ago, when Microsoft could have defined the future of wearables. The company’s SPOT platform took a deceptively simple but clever approach to wireless connectivity years before technologies like Bluetooth, wifi, and even LTE were commonplace. It also came with tradeoffs, however, that ultimately doomed the platform, but not before it succeeded in demonstrating to the world the potential of smart wearables. Read More >>

Enough With the Ugly Apple Watch Bands

If there’s one thing Apple prides itself on, it’s design. (The company even published a £250 coffee table book about how iconic its products look.) But while they certainly are distinctive, whether you like these designs is another matter. Generally speaking, Apple knows how to make pretty products, but there’s one exception. For some reason, Apple keeps subjecting us all to some real unsightly Apple Watch bands. Read More >>

magic leap
Who Is Still Investing in Magic Leap in 2020?

Despite recently having to announce the lay off of 1,000 employees, it would now appear that Magic Leap has somehow pulled a £287 million miracle out of its arse. Read More >>

Strava’s Best Features Will Now Be Subscription-Only

Bad news, Strava fans. According to the company’s website, the popular cycling and running app is moving a few of its previously free features behind a paywall. Read More >>

Smartwatch Hack Turns the Back of Your Hand Into a Canvas For Making Tiny Paintings

What makes smartwatches so useful – quick access to info through a small device always on your wrist – also makes them challenging for other uses. To overcome the limitations of such a small screen, researchers from Leibniz University Hannover created a special stylus that turns the back of a wearer’s hand into a larger area for doodling. Read More >>

Can a Smart Watch Detect Covid-19?

The notification popped up without warning just as I was syncing the Whoop tracker I was testing: The tracker had a new metric, respiratory rate. Truthfully, I almost ignored it. But the notification used the phrase covid-19, and my eyes widened. Read More >>

Polar’s New GPS Watch Is Probably Perfect for the Outdoor Adventures You’re Not Having Right Now

I wonder sometimes how strange it must be to own a company, create a product packed with features that people have long asked for, then try to launch it in the midst of a global meltdown. Polar just launched a £380 GPS watch that seems like it will be perfect for outdoor athletes – except everyone is stuck indoors for who-knows-how-long. Read More >>

Wear OS Smartwatches Will Now Remind You to Wash Your Damn Hands

Washing your hands is a basic front-line defence against not only the novel coronavirus, but you know, a whole host of germs and general nastiness. And apparently, a disturbing number of people don’t do it as often as they should. To help the crustiest among us to wash their damn hands in this dire time, Google has updated Wear OS smartwatches with a handy handwashing timer. Read More >>

Fitbit’s Charge 4 is a Great Tracker That’s Come at a Weird Time

How does one review a fitness tracker – something meant to get you moving and measure your athletic progress – at a time when most of us are forcibly stuck indoors, slowly melting into our couches? That’s the conundrum I’ve been grappling with ever since I unboxed my shiny new Fitbit Charge 4. Read More >>

Timex’s New GPS Smartwatch May Not Be Cute, But It’s Cheap

When Timex announced earlier this year that it was getting back into the smartwatch game, I was a little perplexed. That’s mainly because, at a glance, the new Ironman GPS R300 looks much more like the kind of smartwatch-fitness tracker hybrid that was popular back in 2016 than a device you’d relaunch a product line with in 2020. Read More >>

Surprise! Fitbit’s First New Product Under Google is a Fitness Tracker

As we entered a new decade, Fitbit’s fortunes looked uncertain. Last year, the company was acquired by Google for a neat $2.1 billion – a move that left some longtime Fitbit users wary about their data privacy. The acquisition followed reports about disappointing Versa Lite sales, which was a blow to Fitbit considering the popularity of its Versa smartwatch. Now with its first new device under Google, Fitbit is going all-out with the Charge 4. Its most popular fitness tracker has been refreshed with built-in GPS, NFC payments, Spotify compatibility, and a new focus on active minutes in addition to steps. Read More >>

This Ankle Exoskeleton Was Designed to Make Running Easier

Running is one of the most affordable forms of exercise, but it’s also one that people love to groan about – and for good reason. It’s a high-impact sport that can be hard on the body, and that’s without factoring in however you might feel about your individual athleticism. But Stanford engineers have found a wearable exoskeleton that you can strap onto your ankle to help you run more easily, according to a study published in Science Robotics. Read More >>

The World’s First Digital Watch Is Coming Back – for £675

If you’re trying to do everything you can to preserve your mental health while quarantined at home, an endless list of doomsday notifications on your smartwatch probably isn’t helping. Given that a dumb watch doesn’t seem so dumb any more, Hamilton is re-releasing the world’s first digital watch that does nothing more than tell the time. Read More >>

Fitness Apps Need to Stop Shaming Us While We Social Distance

App notifications can be helpful reminders to keep moving and maintain your fitness routine – in normal times. These are not normal times. Read More >>