After a series of reported delays and developmental challenges, Fitbit is finally ready to unveil its first smartwatch. The timing is appropriate, given that this is the tenth anniversary of the company’s first tracker. The Ionic is Fitbit’s most modern device to date, featuring a colorful LCD touchscreen and advanced sensors. It also serves as the launchpad for some new Fitbit services, like a fully fledged operating system called FitbitOS, contactless payment and a subscription-based custom workout guide called Fitbit Coach. The company needs the Fitbit Ionic to be successful — its sales have slowed in recent months, and it faces a lawsuit over its use of haptic feedback. Judging from the few days I’ve had an early version of the Ionic, it appears to have the potential to resuscitate Fitbit’s waning business.

Fitbit’s smartwatch is absolutely horrendous looking. I can’t imagine any man or woman with even the slightest bit of fashion or design sense would want to wear it.

If Apple had created this watch they’d be torn apart by the tech press (and rightfully so), but since this is Fitbit, they get an A for effort. How cute.


Product, Technology




Moto pushes off smartwatches indefinitely:

Lenovo Moto today confirmed that it will not be releasing a new smartwatch for the launch of Android Wear 2.0, due early next year. The company had earlier said it would not be releasing a new smartwatch in 2016, but it is now saying that it doesn’t plan to put out a new device timed to the arrival of Google’s newest wearable platform, either.

I’ll never understand why they launched the Moto 360 with a circular display that was cut off at the bottom like a flat tire (aka the Moto 270). Supposedly Moto needed an area to place hardware components? I call bullshit.

This is happening only 2 months after the Verge reported Microsoft was ending sales of its wearable, the Band.

At the same time, yesterday I posted the news FitBit was acquiring Pebble Technology. Fitness trackers seem much more popular than smartwatches. The batteries usually last a whole week, they’re cheaper than smartwatches, and more people have them.

Before my wife and I got Apple Watches in October she wore her Fitbit all the time. The other day she mentioned she missed being able to track the progress with her friends. Apple Watch lets you easily share your fitness info with friends, but there just aren’t as many people with Apple Watches.

After wearing my Apple Watch for 2 months and from what I’ve seen of Android Wear it seems to me Apple is the only company putting serious thought into what a smartwatch should do.

Let’s take my favorite company to beat up on, Samsung. Look at the hero image on their smartwatch landing page:

This is Samsung’s opportunity to showcase what a smartwatch can be and they decide to disguise every one of them as a traditional watch. “Call. Text. Play.” Where, exactly?

No wonder Android Wear isn’t catching on.

Google created their Pixel Phone to showcase what they feel is the best Android phone you can make—and blantantly rip off the hardware design of the iPhone, sans Home button.

Perhaps they should do the same with smartwatches.


Product, Technology


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