Google splashes $2.1 billion on Fitbit to fight Apple Watch

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Fitbit
Fitbit will soon be a Google company.
Photo: Fitbit

Google has confirmed plans to buy Fitbit as it looks to step up its fight against Apple Watch. The deal, worth approximately $2.1 billion, will bring new Made by Google wearables to market.

“Together, we aim to spur innovation in wearables and build helpful products to benefit more people around the world,” Google said.

Fossil’s Gen 5 watches offer better iPhone integration

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Fossil Gen 5 smart watches
Fossil unveiled the first Wear OS watches that can make iPhone calls.
Photo: Fossil

Fossil’s fifth-generation smart watches run Google’s Wear OS, but they don’t reject iOS users. Users will be able to make and receive phone calls when connected to an iPhone over Bluetooth, a first for wearable with this operating system. These wrist-worn devices also can go multiple days on a single charge.

The company just unveiled its first Gen 5 models in a range of colors.

New chip gives Google smartwatches a battery boost

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Qualcomm's upcoming processor might make Google's Wear OS more competitive.
Apple Watch doesn't face much real competition, but a new Qualcomm processor will improve one of its rivals.
Photo: Google

After teasing it for months, Qualcomm today unveiled its processor designed for Wear OS smartwatches. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 is intended to put Google’s smartwatch platform on the map, instead of a distant third place.

The highlight of the new chip is improved battery life. Qualcomm is promising 4 to 12 extra hours of use, depending on the tasks the wearable is asked to perform.

Processor update might make Google’s Wear OS a better Apple Watch competitor

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Qualcomm's upcoming processor might make Google's Wear OS more competitive.
Qualcomm's upcoming processor might make Google's Wear OS more competitive.
Photo: Google

One of the reasons Apple Watch has no problems fending off competition running Google’s Wear OS is that they all use a two-year-old processor. Qualcomm is finally readying a new smartwatch chip for release this fall.

In addition, the next version of Watch OS will make greater use of Google Assistant, the company’s artificial intelligence powered system for voice control.

Live blog: Google I/O 2018 delivers the future of Android and more

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Sundar Pichai at Google IO
What does Google have in store for us this year?
Photo: Google

Google I/O 2018 kicks off in less than an hour.

There’s loads to look forward to this year, including an update on Android P, and previews of what’s to come for Chrome, the Google Assistant, Android Auto, and more. The recently-rebranded Wear OS may also get some much-needed attention.

Google is live-streaming its big keynote, which kicks off at 10 a.m. Pacific. If you can’t tune in, follow our live blog below to stay up to date with everything that’s happening in Mountain View.

5 big things to expect from Google I/O 2018

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Google IO 2018
Google I/O starts today!
Photo: Google

Google I/O 2018 is right around the corner. You may not be all that excited for it if you only ever use Apple devices, but you should be. Google’s plans for the future of its platforms could well shape the future of all smartphones, wearables, and more.

They will also tell us how Google intends to keep up with and fight Apple’s latest devices, including iPhone X, which is quite literally changing the face of Android-powered devices.

Here are five big things we’re expecting from this year’s Google I/O keynote, which kicks off on Tuesday, May 8.