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Home / Technology / Smartwatch makers are trying to get a jump on Apple with fitness push

Smartwatch makers are trying to get a jump on Apple with fitness push



  Skagen-Falster-2-wear-os-9

Skagen this week revealed the new Falster 2, which offers heart rate tracks and GPS.


Ben Fox Rubin / CNET

Jason Zheng sits in a corner of Mobvoi's fair at this week's IFA technology conference in Berlin, offering a colorful pitch for the company's smartwatches.

"You do not want to be the shower that pulls out your phone," Zheng, Mobvoi's international leader of PR, said ghostly. "We believe that smartwatches can reduce the noise issues that point to your social life."

Although a performance measurement for "shower pain points" (or DPP) may never be popular, Zheng turns on an important aspect of smartwatches' future and how watchmakers can find ways to compete with Apple, the leader in the market.

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The new Casio Pro Trek smartwatch.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Since Apple Watch launched three years ago, smartwatches have gained a lot of interest. Nevertheless, the devices have had a less than starstart since there has been no clear reason to have them and battery life is often gloomy. It has changed, with smartwatches becoming more useful by building up their health and fitness skills. They also offer quick alerts to help you stay in touch without having to check your phone, which can be a selling point for people who are concerned about telephony.

At IFA, several major brands showed new smartwatches with clear emphasis on health and well-being features. On that list was Casio, whose refreshed $ 549 Pro Trek outdoor-focused clock contains a new "expanded mode" that allows the color display to last longer for days long trips. Also, Fossil Groups Skagen and Diesel brands launched new watches that made both GPS and heart rate tracking for exercise and outdoor activities.

  ifa-dieselwatch

The new Diesel On Full Guard.


Diesel

All three new watches use Google's Wear OS, formerly called Android Wear. Google has also focused more on well-being and fitness, adding activity features called "Move Minutes" and "Heart Points" to their Google Fit app. Google also created a digital wellness feature in its new Android Pie mobile operating system to help reduce phone usage. (Apple also created similar screening features for their phones.)

In Casio's IFA press adventure, Wire OS's Miles Barr said that Google has found from user studies that smartwatches have worked better to get you the information you need and get back to what you did.

"I do not remember last time I looked at my phone and just did one thing with it," he added.

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Apple Against Everyone

If it appears that everyone is launching a smartwatch on IFA, there's a reason why they're all trying to get a jump on Apple.

Apple is expected to update its popular Apple Watch, starting at $ 329, during an event on September 12th. The company's WatchOS 5 software, unveiled in June at its WWDC Developer Conference, and coming to the next clock, brings a variety of training enhancements to the device, an instant watch-to-watch walkie-talkie mode, podcast support and the ability to play of third-party audio on the go.

Apple does not reveal sales figures for the device, but market researcher IDC estimates that nearly half of the 43.5 million smartwatches shipped this year come from Apple. Google's Wear OS paths are behind 12 percent. And Android Wear, which is still used by some watchmakers, will total 18 percent of shipments. By 2022, Android Wear and Wear OS is expected to be combined with Apple.

"While Apple will undoubtedly lead this category, it looks like Google and its partners are moving forward," said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani in June. He said that Wear OS has been "something of a laggard" and even with the changes, it is facing tough competition.

Samsung, Google's largest Android partner, has deleted Wear OS in favor of Tizen, its own operating system for watches, televisions and other devices. Earlier this month, it presented its new Galaxy Watch, starting at $ 330, should give Wear OS even more competition.

CNET Scott Stein noted that the new Samsung watch is not much different from its predecessors when it comes to design. It's a clock with a wheel to navigate on the home screen and various apps, but what it adds is Bixby digital speech assistant, as well as more training tracks and stress management features. Fitness and sleep tracking are connected to Samsung's S-Health app, but it also connects to training Grams from Under Armor, MapMyRun, Speedo and others.

It's still too early to tell if these fitness and wellness areas will make more people buy smartwatches. Sales of devices are dwarfed by the size of the smartphone market, so it may take time to build a larger following.

Additionally, someone will argue that a smartwatch works against the idea of ​​digital well-being by offering someone even a distracting

Zheng, by Mobvoi, disagrees.

"We do not think you will depend on your time anytime soon," he said. 19659012] Google Wear OS Updates: Hinting on fitness smartwatches to come.

Everything from IFA: All the hottest (and strangest) technologies from Berlin.


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