Apple Releases its WatchKit SDK for Apple Watch Developers

Developers can now start creating apps for Apple’s new wearable, the Apple Watch, with the company’s newly released development platform. WatchKit includes the Xcode 6.2 beta and the iOS 8.2 software development kit. Apple also provided design and user interface guidelines, so that developers can craft seamless apps for the Apple Watch. The iPhone itself will actually do most of the processing in the apps, but the watch will receive the user’s input and display output. Continue reading Apple Releases its WatchKit SDK for Apple Watch Developers

Apple: Strong iPhone and Declining iPad Sales, iWatch Rumors

As Apple gears up for the launch of its iPhone 6, with an anticipated initial run of 80 million units, the company has reported a 12.7 percent profit growth for its current model. However, the company also noted that iPad sales fell for the second straight quarter, with unit sales falling 9.2 percent after a 16 percent drop the previous quarter. With a significant jump in iPhone sales internationally, and a move toward bigger-screen models, some are questioning the future of Apple’s tablet. Continue reading Apple: Strong iPhone and Declining iPad Sales, iWatch Rumors

Google Turns its Attention to Smartwatches, May Impact Glass

Google Glass was not mentioned during the keynote of the Google I/O developer conference last month, a tactical shift from all the attention the company has been giving the much-hyped wearable. This time around, Google put a larger spotlight on its Android Wear software that powers devices such as smartwatches, which are more affordable than Glass and currently offer more apps. Smartwatches also are not affected by the social obstacles involved with wearing a camera on one’s face. Continue reading Google Turns its Attention to Smartwatches, May Impact Glass

Android Wear Is Promising Software for the Future of Watches

The first Android Wear smartwatches will enter the market next week. The Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch will both run Google’s Android Wear operating system, which requires an Android smartphone with the companion app to work. Users with an Android Wear smartwatch can check their smartphone’s notifications from a quick look at their wrist. The most notable feature of the new software is Google Now, an online personal assistant. Continue reading Android Wear Is Promising Software for the Future of Watches

Evernote CEO Says No Future for Apps and Ads with Wearables

Evernote CEO Phil Libin believes that as wearable electronics supplant smartphones, apps and ads will increasingly feel out of place. Speaking at the MIT Technology Review Digital Summit, Libin noted that the convenience of wearables such as Google Glass or a smartwatch will rely on the instant delivery of information. Firing up an app or waiting on an ad would likely alienate users. Libin predicts that users will prefer ambient services that run in the background and move forward as needed. Continue reading Evernote CEO Says No Future for Apps and Ads with Wearables

New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Samsung is expanding its smartwatch offering to include a smart watch-phone that can send and receive calls without the need for a separate smartphone. The new Tizen device, which the company hopes to unveil this summer, will also feature a camera, GPS, email management, Bluetooth and heart rate monitor. Samsung also filed a patent last week that details another smartphone project, which includes a camera that can be operated by touchless gestures. Continue reading New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Twitter Offers New One-Click Video Embedding Capability

Social network Twitter is making video sharing easier than ever for advertisers and regular users alike. By typing a hashtag in a tweet, Twitter users can easily find related videos in the suggested hashtag results. Then users can attach those videos to their original tweets with just one click. The social network could sell businesses the opportunity to provide those searchable, embeddable videos. Recently, Twitter made one-click videos available in Promoted Tweets. Continue reading Twitter Offers New One-Click Video Embedding Capability

Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

Hulu announced on Wednesday that it would update its streaming video mobile apps to allow users to view entire episodes of certain television shows, even if the users are not premium Hulu Plus subscribers. Emulating its desktop version, the update will feature free episodes with advertisements spliced in. Free shows will first be available for Android, and later for iOS via a redesigned Hulu Plus iPhone and iPad app coming this summer. Hulu Plus now has 6 million subscribers. Continue reading Hulu to Update its Mobile Apps for Streaming Free TV Shows

In Strategic Move, Nike Lays Off Majority of FuelBand Team

Nike may be gearing up to shut down its wearable hardware efforts, after laying off the majority of its FuelBand fitness tracker team. The 70-person team, part of the tech-focused Digital Sport division, is responsible for developing and revising hardware including the FuelBand and Nike+ sportwatch. A person familiar with the matter told CNET late last week that about 70 to 80 percent of the team was let go. However, employees from Nike Digital Tech, responsible for Web software, were reportedly not affected. Continue reading In Strategic Move, Nike Lays Off Majority of FuelBand Team

CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

During its upfront presentation in New York last week, CNN introduced a live news service called Watch CNNx that allows viewers to choose content in real time. The service will be available on iPads and on TVs through set-top boxes later this year. Alongside the live CNN feed, CNNx offers a rundown of stories that appear on the right side of the screen, while a menu of digital features, including photo galleries, appear at the bottom. Additionally, CNN plans to use Flipboard’s display ad format on its applications. Continue reading CNN’s Interactive Product Offers News Viewers More Control

From the NAB SPROCKIT Stage: Creating Watch ABC Product

Ken Williams, executive director and CEO of ETC@USC, moderated a Disney/ABC Television Group panel at NAB called “Creating the Watch ABC Product.” From the SPROCKIT stage Monday in Las Vegas, the panel included Albert Cheng and Skarpi Hedinsson of the Disney/ABC Television Group, Ralf Jacob of upLynk and Doug Knopper of FreeWheel. The discussion focused on content creation, advertising, distribution workflow, technology integration and vendor relationships. Continue reading From the NAB SPROCKIT Stage: Creating Watch ABC Product

TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

TiVo co-founders Jim Barton and Mike Ramsay announced the launch of Qplay a little over a month ago. The service allows users to create personalized video streams called “Q’s” from various sources. Since the announcement, the app, service and TV adapter have only been available as an Early Adopter bundle for $49. Starting this week, the Qplay app is available for free for everyone (not including the TV adapter). The service has added video content from Reddit, College Humor, Funny or Die, The New York Times and Vanity FairContinue reading TiVo Co-Founders Launch Qplay Web Video App and Service

Online Hub Offers Sports Coverage Across Different Platforms

The MLB, NHL and NBA recently teamed up with Time Inc. to launch 120 Sports, an online hub that provides sports video content across a variety of platforms. This announcement followed the launch of NFL Now, a similar digital network that promises football fans the ultimate viewing experience. Both networks are examples of how American sports teams are attempting to keep up with technology, while providing fans with quality viewing experiences on multiple platforms. Continue reading Online Hub Offers Sports Coverage Across Different Platforms

Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

As online videos continue to become more popular, many viewers are faced with the challenge of navigating a flood of content. Pluto.tv has created topic-based video channels in the hopes of addressing this problem, and aims to give viewers the feeling of watching a 30-minute packaged television show compiled of a dozen or more short video clips. There are about 100 channels featuring categories such as Comedy, Music, Sports, Tech, Education and Kids. Pluto.tv has designed its interface to mimic a standard TV guide. Continue reading Pluto.tv Creates Curated Channels Based on Online Videos

Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science

Intel confirmed yesterday that it has acquired Basis Science, a San Francisco-based startup that makes a $199 health-tracking wristband known as the Basis Band. The device — which tracks sleep, heart rate, calories and steps — syncs with iOS and some Android devices via Bluetooth. Up to this point, the Basis Band device has used Texas Instruments chips. Intel has bigger plans than merely supplying processors, and the acquisition could be the first step toward entering the wearables market more directly. Continue reading Intel Confirms Purchase of Wearables Startup Basis Science