Report: Sprint to charge $10 per month for Samsung Gear S data plan

Jared Newman , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Samsung's Gear S smartwatch is unique for its ability to make calls and get online without pairing to a nearby phone, but that luxury may not come cheap.

According to a leaked Sprint memo published by Phandroid, the carrier intends to charge $10 per month for Gear S service. Subscribers can either tap into their existing Family Share plans, which include unlimited talk and text, or buy a standalone plan with 1000 minutes, 1000 messages and 100MB of data. Either way, the monthly cost is the same.

Samsung announced the Gear S in late August, but the company hasn't disclosed pricing or release dates. While Samsung has said the watch will be available through all four major wireless carriers, none of them have officially revealed how voice, text and data plans will work for this new device type.

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Fitbit Surge leak reveals a fitness-focused 'superwatch'

Jared Newman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Fitbit's fitness bands are reportedly getting more smartwatch-like with the $250 Fitbit Surge.

In leaked marketing materials published by The Verge, Fitbit refers to the Surge as a “fitness superwatch” with GPS location tracking, round-the-clock heart rate monitoring, and a larger display than Fitbit's previous efforts. It'll launch in the “coming weeks” for $250.

The band itself is broader than previous Fitbit models, more like a regular watch band. It tapers wider and thicker as it meets the display, which can show the time, workout details, and notifications for calls and text messages. Users can also control music playback, presumably on a paired smartphone.

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LG G Watch R: Best battery life, best display, best Android Wear watch available today

Jon Phillips Editor-in-Chief, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Jon is the Editor-in-Chief of PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot & TechHive. He's been covering all manner of consumer hardware since 1995.
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Smartwatches like the LG G Watch R are probably best suited for skilled craftsmen. I’m talking ironworkers, car mechanics, plumbers, and stonemasons. These are the professions that make a man’s wrists buff and burly, and you’ll want the biggest wrist possible for a smartwatch this large. Still, if you have the bone and muscle density to pull it off, you’ll be rewarded with the best Android Wear watch available today.

Its size notwithstanding, the G Watch R has a look that sends all the right signals to sports watch traditionalists. Just as importantly, the R’s battery life easily beats that of the Moto 360, its direct Android Wear competitor. And there’s a lot to like about LG’s Plastic OLED display, too.

g watch r wrist3 Jason Cross

I’ve got a writer’s wrist. Your wrists may vary. Here we see the World Clock watch face.

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Report: Microsoft is about to jump into the smartwatch fray

Nick Mediati , TechHive Follow me on Google+

Nick is a freelance contributor and a former editor for TechHive and PCWorld. He likes puns and the color yellow.
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Apple’s got a smartwatch. A number of Google’s Android hardware partners have smartwatches too. Now Microsoft wants a piece of the action, if a new report is any indication.

According to Forbes, Microsoft plans to release a smartwatch of its own “within weeks.” Forbes goes on to say that the smartwatch “will passively track a wearer’s heart rate and work across different mobile platforms,” and that it would be able to go two days between charges. That would be an improvement over many current smartwatches, which often need to be charged nightly.

The story behind the story: A smartwatch that works with multiple mobile platforms would fit in with Microsoft’s new focus under CEO Satya Nadella. Throughout his tenure, Nadella has put less emphasis on Windows (even though it is still a very important product line for the company), and more on providing productivity tools for users of all platforms.

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LG G Watch R: My first 12 hours with the best-looking Android Wear watch of all

Jon Phillips Editor-in-Chief, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Jon is the Editor-in-Chief of PCWorld, Macworld, Greenbot & TechHive. He's been covering all manner of consumer hardware since 1995.
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A tweak here and a tweak there. The mobile manufacturers are slowly honing in on better-looking Android Wear watches, and now the final, shipping version of the G Watch R has arrived in stainless-steel and leather flesh. I’ve been using LG’s Android Wear redux for the better half of a day, and I already think it wins first place in industrial design among the quartet of available Wear watches.

No, not because the R’s aesthetics are sublime. LG’s second Android Wear watch looks nice, but it’s not transcendent. The G Watch R is the best-looking Android Wear watch precisely because, well, it’s the one that looks most like a watch.

g watch r face Jason Cross

Notice the dials that reveal steps and altitude. This is the Hiking watch face.

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Watch makers will get to tweak Android Wear... eventually

Jared Newman , Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Google is softening its stance toward customization in Android Wear, saying device makers will have more ability to tweak the software over time.

Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s vice president of engineering, told Re/code that Asus’ upcoming ZenWatch will show a glimpse of how additional customization might work. The watch, announced in September, has some extra features not found in other Android Wear devices, such as a customizable double-tap gesture and a cover to mute function. It’ll also have several extra built-in apps, including presentation controls and a remote phone finder.

Lockheimer said that same flexibility would apply to other new Google efforts, such as Android Auto and Android TV. “It’s not some Google-way-or-the-highway kind of thing,” he said. “…We’re trying to find the right balance of differentiation and customization.”

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iOS

Apple's WatchKit SDK is coming in November

Leah Yamshon Assistant Editor, Macworld

Leah started out as a PCWorld columnist before Macworld scooped her up as an assistant editor. Now, she happily writes features and covers iOS apps, smartphone cases, gadget bags, and social media trends across all three of our sites.
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Among Apple's many announcements on Thursday, some of the more intriguing aspects were the things Apple execs didn’t really talk about. CEO Tim Cook briefly teased the launch of Apple’s WatchKit, which will let third-party app developers create compatible apps for the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is slated to launch sometime in early 2015, and the WatchKit SDK will be available in November. 

WatchKit was first announced during September’s event, when Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. But today’s event made the SDK more concrete, with its own prospective launch date. Apple has already been working on apps for the Apple watch with selected third-party companies—Cook name-checked BMW, American Airlines, and Starwood—but come November, even more developers can join the Watch party.

“We can’t wait to see what amazing experiences they’ll come up with,” said Cook during Thursday's event.

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