Samsung offers its Tizen OS to original Gear smartwatch owners

Derek Walter Contributor, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Derek Walter is a freelance technology writer based in Northern California. He is the author of "Learning MIT App Inventor," a hands-on guide to building your own Android apps.
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In a move unlikely to win any friends at Google, Samsung is giving users of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch a choice to switch from Android to the company’s Tizen OS.

This comes after a recent report that Google executives are unhappy with Samsung over the Korean company’s effort to push Tizen on its smartwatches instead of Android Wear.

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear in 2013, running a variant of Android reconfigured to work on a watch. Since that time, Google has released Android Wear, its own version of Android created specifically for such wearables. While most Samsung watches are powered by Tizen, the company does sell the Android Wear-powered Gear Live through the Google Play Store.

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Netatmo June review: You won’t feel burned by this UV-sensing wearable

Susie Ochs Senior Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Susie is a proud Mac geek, as well as a writer, editor, snowboarder, and mom.
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“Who loves the sun?” sang the Velvet Underground. “Not everyone.” I wasn’t alive when Loaded was released, but clearly Lou Reed was talking about me, with my pale skin that refuses to tan. I’m either stark white, or I’m burned. There is no in between.

June by Netatmo understands. This unique wearable aimed at women detects how much UV radiation you’re exposed to each day, and reminds you to cover up or put sunscreen on—before you get a sunburn. The companion iOS app even forecasts the day’s UV index, so you can check it before you head out. It will also tell you if you should pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

The bling thing

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Healbe finally releases lab data for its notorious GoBe calorie-tracking wristband

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

Jon is the Editor-in-Chief of PCWorld and Greenbot, as well as the lead wearables reporter for TechHive. He's been covering all manner of consumer hardware since 1995.
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It’s not the independent, peer-reviewed study that wearable watchers have been waiting for, but Healbe has published lab test data that indicates its GoBe activity-tracking wristband can automatically divine the calories in the food we eat with an error rate of +/-13.5 percent.

Should you believe the numbers? It all depends on how much confidence you place in relatively shallow reporting. 

Healbe has the been the focus of intense scrutiny since April when it first announced its calorie-counting wearable. Medical and sensor experts say Healbe’s product claims are untenable, but now the company has published a brief Friday blog post that says its critics are wrong.

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Just wave your smartwatch to board this train

Tim Hornyak , IDG News Service

If you’re holding out for that multi-functional smartwatch of your dreams, Sony is working to add contactless payments to wearables with a new chip.

The electronics giant’s FeliCa Networks subsidiary is modifying its FeliCa contactless card technology, widely used in Japan for public transit and e-money payments, for wearables.

The company is designing a low-power chip that could be used in wearables such as smartwatches and smart bands, giving them contactless e-money or transit functions or access to restricted areas.

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Report: Google and Samsung are at odds over smartwatches

Florence Ion Staff Writer, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Florence is an Android-using yogi obsessed with all things tech.
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Just when we thought that things were looking up for Samsung and Google’s working relationship, The Information reports that the two companies have found something else to squabble about.

According to anonymous sources, Google CEO Larry Page is apparently upset with Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee and his company’s weak embrace of Google’s new Android Wear OS. The two met at the Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, an annual media finance conference, and Page apparently expressed frustration that Samsung is prioritizing its Tizen-based smartwatches over wearables running Google’s Android Wear.

Samsung currently has three smartwatches on the market running its own proprietary wearables software, which debuted earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Samsung then followed up with its own Tizen Developer Conference before announcing its own Android Wear-powered watch, the Gear Live.

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Google to Wear developers: Stop making custom watch faces!

Derek Walter Contributor, Greenbot Follow me on Google+

Derek Walter is a freelance technology writer based in Northern California. He is the author of "Learning MIT App Inventor," a hands-on guide to building your own Android apps.
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Google has a message for developers who are cranking out custom watch faces for Android Wear: Stop!

Wayne Piekarski, a senior developer advocate with Google, urged developers to wait until Google creates an official API for custom watch faces in a post to the Android Wear Developers Google+ page.

Several custom watch interfaces, such as Better Wear Face and Minimalist Wear Watch Face, have appeared in Google Play recently. They use a variety of workarounds to put the traditional hour and second hands on an Android watch. However, Piekarski indicated that doing this requires too many workarounds that could compromise watch performance and battery life.

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Google offers free Glass test drives in LA, SF, and NYC

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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Now that anyone in the U.S. with $1,500 in their pocket can pick up a pair of Google Glass, the search giant wants to encourage more people to stop by and try out the high-priced futuristic wearable. Google is now accepting appointments at its "Basecamp" (read: showroom) locations in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco for anyone to get a Glass demo for free.

You can't just wander into these Glass stores, though. (They're likely way too understaffed for that.) You'll need to schedule an appointment to try out Google's wearable, as first noticed by Engadget.

Glass garnered a lot of interest when it first came out, but is currently losing at least some of its appeal thanks to the rise of Android Wear. Unlike the higher-priced Glass, Wear devices are currently available at prices under $250. Wear smartwatches also have the added benefit of not drawing as much attention as the cyborg-like Glass does—even with the added touch of Von Furstenberg style.

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