Pro-tip: Use Android Wear Theater mode to avoid accidental unlocks & watch face screen

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Owners of Android Wear watches: Does your device, without your intention, regularly go to menu for choosing a watch face? Maybe you’re crossing your arms and you feel a buzz thinking it might be alerting you to a new text message only to see your watch on that darned menu again? I don’t have a real fix for you, but there’s something you might want to try that may alleviate your frustration.

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LG Chem built a hexagonal smartwatch battery that boosts capacity by 25%

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According to a report from Korea Times, LG Chem, the largest chemical company in South Korea, has begun shipping a new hexagonal battery to top-tier smartwatch makers. The new battery, which sports a design that allows it to cover more surface area — specifically within circular smartwatches — reportedly improves battery capacity as much as 25% compared to traditional rectangular batteries… Read more

Google X developed a new fitness wristband, plans to deploy it as a medical device

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Every so often, Google officially comes out and tells the world about a project they’ve been working on inside Google X. In recent years we’ve heard about the glucose contact lens for diabetes patients, Google Glass, the self-driving car, and more. Now, Google has debuted (via Bloomberg), a new health-tracking wristband capable of monitoring heart rate, heart rhythm, skin temperature, and other useful information such as light exposure and noise levels… Read more

Huawei Watch faces significant delays in China due to block on Google services

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We recently reported that the launch of Huawei’s first smartwatch, simply called Huawei Watch, was expected to be delayed until September or October in China and perhaps abroad as well. A new story out from the WSJ speaking with Yang Yong of Huawei, however, has the launch in China pushed back as far as early 2016. The smartwatch is still expected to launch in the US and Europe in the coming months.

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Huawei Watch said to be delayed until September or October

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Speaking to Chinese media, He Gang, the head of Huawei’s mobile division, has said that the launch of the company’s first smartwatch, called Huawei Watch, has been delayed until at least September or October, pushing its launch to the latter half of the year. The Huawei Watch was unveiled back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with the company having said at the time that they were planning for a launch sometime “around the middle of the year.”

The delay can largely be attributed to “incompatibility issues with Android Wear,” according to the reports. In other words, Google Play services being unavailable in China due to strains between the Mountain View company and the People’s Republic of China has meant that Huawei has to build its own smartwatch services to match those built and offered by Google. Read more

‘Blocks’ has a new modular smartwatch prototype w/ Snapdragon 400, crowdfunding to begin in ‘summer’ [Gallery]

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We first told you about the Blocks modular smartwatch earlier this year when we reported that the company had been in talks with Google about a potential partnership with the Ara team for cross-platofrm modules. A few months have passed since Blocks demoed their prototype at CES in January, and today they’re out to show the world the latest developments — and in just a few months, it looks like they’ve come a long way… Read more

Asus gives us our first look at the ZenWatch 2 – but no specs, price or availability yet (Video)

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Asus confirmed last month that its next-generation ZenWatch was on the way, and would be released in Q3 this year. It has now shown off the Asus ZenWatch 2 for the first time – though not told us very much about it beyond the looks.

It will be available in two sizes, 49mm or 45mm, and offer a total of 18 different looks via three color choices for the watch itself and a range of straps. You can choose between silver, gunmetal and rose gold casings, each with matching stainless steel link bracelets, with leather and rubber strap options too …  Read more

Pebble Time shipments beginning on 27th May despite rumored financial woes

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Pebble has updated its Kickstarter page, advising that the first batch of Pebble Time smartwatches will begin shipping on 27th May, and that all orders placed through Kickstarter will ship by mid-June.

Great news: the first batch of Pebble Time shipments are scheduled to go out Wednesday, May 27. With things moving along at this rate, we expect all Pebble Time Rewards to be manufactured by the end of the month […] Every backer with a Pebble Time included in their selected reward tier should receive a tracking number from us by mid-June.

Despite raising $20M from the Kickstarter campaign, however, TechCrunch is reporting that the company is having trouble raising additional funding “in order to stay afloat” …

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Android Wear 5.1.1 OTA download links now available, here’s how to install them

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Android Wear 5.1.1 is now rolling out to smartwatches everywhere, but as is the case with Google’s over-the-air updates, it might be days before you actually see the latest version pop up on your device. Rollouts start slowly, but thankfully there’s a way around Google’s careful and incremental rollout: OTA download links. It takes a little know-how to capture one, but once they’re discovered, anyone can simply download them to their computer and sideload them via ADB.

The over-the-air download links are now starting to show up for the most recently-released Android Wear 5.1.1 update, and you can find them organized below… Read more

Here’s how the processing power of the Samsung Galaxy S6 compares to other devices (Infographic)

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The Galaxy S6 is undeniably one of the most powerful handheld computers ever created (and many of the other Android flagships this year fall into the same category). Samsung’s device packs the best chipset the South Korean company has made yet, the octo-core Exynos 7420, along with 3 GB of RAM, bringing processing power that supersedes the capabilities of desktop computers from not many years ago.

But just how powerful is the Galaxy S6? As you can see, it would take the power of five PlayStation 2s to match it, but keep reading for a more detailed comparison, pitting the handset against smartwatches and supercomputers alike. This infographic makes many other interesting comparisons, my favorite being the almost identical processing power between the original Pebble smartwatch and the Nintendo 64… Read more