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Google updates Wear OS with more features

Coming in September!

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A few years ago, smartwatches dominated the hip scene. The market itself was a burgeoning community highlighted by Pebble, Samsung Gear, and Apple Watch. Now, the industry has stagnated into a paltry selection of a few good options and a multitude of copycats.

Following this tempestuous trend, Google is pushing for a new renaissance for the wearable technology. Right on the cusp of new hardware, the Silicon Valley giant is starting things off with the industry’s most neglected aspect — software.

For years, smartwatch makers have neglected to do anything revolutionary with their devices’ insides. Until now, these devices have limited themselves to only a handful of functions — tracking your health and checking your notifications. For a “revolutionary” technology, that’s not saying much.

Unfortunately, we’re not closer to getting industry-defining innovations just yet. However, if anything, Google’s latest updates are making our wearables more streamlined and convenient.

For one, Google is emphasizing the “smart” in smartwatch. Instead of a simple notification display, Google’s Wear OS now infuses Google Assistant with the watch’s software.

With simple swipes, users can access and attend to all their notifications. As is now standard with messaging on Android, users can reply to messages with automated smart replies, instead of texting on their phone.

Additionally, watches can now display Google Assistant’s automated reminders. From Google’s website, Wear OS notifies you on the weather, traffic jams, flight delays, and promos in nearby establishments.

Finally, Google has revamped smart fitness by adding two new metrics to measure your health — Heart Points and Move Minutes. Supported by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization, the new metrics measure both low- and high-intensity movement including walking, biking, and hiking. With the new feature, Google wants to keep you on the move.

As of now, Google plans to roll the new updates throughout September. If you don’t have a Wear OS smartwatch yet, Google is also planning to launch its own Pixel Watch very soon.

SEE ALSO: Wear OS is Google’s new name for Android Wear

Enterprise

Apple is suing a small startup for using a pear logo

Five-person startup vs. trillion-dollar company

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As the saying goes, “apples and oranges.” Apparently, the well-known idiom doesn’t apply for the iPhone makers of the same name. If your company uses any fruit-themed logo (even if it’s not an apple), Apple will see their own logo and go at you with the full force of their legal team. In a strange turn of events, Apple is suing a small startup for using a pear logo.

Reported by Canadian outlet iPhone in Canada, Prepear, a meal-planning startup with only five people, is facing legal action from the trillion-dollar Apple because of their logo. Super Healthy Kids, another startup from the founders of Prepear, shared their woes on Instagram. As the name suggests, Prepear uses a pear-shaped logo in lime green. According to the post, Apple thinks that the Prepear logo looks too similar to the globally known Apple logo.

Now, if you squint enough, you might find a few similarities. Both have a leaf hanging near the stem, for example. However, both logos are quite arguably far enough from each other. In fact, their brand identities are very distinct from each other.

Along with the Instagram post, Prepear has also started a Change.org petition, in hopes of stopping Apple’s legal action against them. In the petition, the startup is calling out Apple for bullying other smaller startups with fruit-themed logos. “Most small businesses cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars it would cost to fight Apple,” the petition said.

In the same vein, big tech companies in the US are facing a lot of antitrust issues. Just recently, a court hearing caught Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg lying under oath. The social media company stole, bullied, and acquired rival companies to take them out.

Of course, Apple is no stranger to weird court cases from people in the past. However, this is one of the rare instances when the company itself is pursuing legal action for strange reasons against smaller entities.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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Twitter is also considering a deal with TikTok

According to new reports

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Throughout the past week, everyone threw TikTok around like a hot potato. President Donald Trump announced and signed an expansive ban covering TikTok and WeChat, effective starting September 15. That is, unless both companies can reach an acquisition agreement with an American company. Since then, only Microsoft rose as the main suitor for the video-sharing platform. However, according to a new report, Twitter is also considering a deal with TikTok.

Reported by the Wall Street Journal, both parties have allegedly already engaged in talks for a possible deal. Of note, however, the report talks about a “possible combination,” rather than an outright acquisition. Whether or not the wording is critical remains to be seen.

According to the report, a potential deal will involve significant hurdles for both parties. On the one hand, Twitter is potentially courting the platform’s American operations, which are still facing a ban next month. On the other hand, a merger between the two will unify two globally dominant platforms into one.

Though Microsoft can benefit from a stronger presence in the social media industry, Twitter is already a dominant force. If it acquires TikTok, the company’s position will only grow stronger.

Of course, this is all just speculation at this point. No one knows who will ultimately land the popular video-sharing platform yet. Only Microsoft and Twitter have entered any sort of discussion with the Chinese company — publicly, at least. Though a potential buyer on its own right, Apple has already declined any sort of interest for the Chinese company.

SEE ALSO: TikTok is considering moving to the UK

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Enterprise

Qualcomm reportedly urged US to reverse the Huawei ban

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Yesterday, Huawei confirmed the inevitable end of the Kirin chip, owing to the heightening American ban. When it launches later this year, the Huawei Mate 40 series is the last phone to feature the iconic processor. Despite the terrible news, Huawei’s fate is still up in the air. For one, the Trump administration can still (unlikely) reverse everything, restoring Huawei’s former status on top of the industry. In another likelier scenario, a third-party chip supplier can provide some much-needed supply for the ailing Chinese company. Today, Qualcomm reportedly urged US to reverse the Huawei ban.

It’s still a shocking plot twist. Qualcomm has clashed with the Chinese company in the processor industry before. Naturally, when the bans rocked the smartphone industry, the company’s continued dominance flourished at the rival’s major losses. However, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf soon announced long-term pursuits to court Huawei’s business. The supposed courting fell silent just as quickly.

Today, however, the Wall Street Journal has leaked a presentation detailing Qualcomm’s lobbying to reverse the ban. According to the document, the chip-making company wants to lift exporting restrictions so it can sell its chips to Huawei. With the export ban in place, the US will allegedly drive Huawei’s business away from America and into competitors from other countries like Samsung and Mediatek.

Of course, it’s also important to note that this is different from an operating license. Amidst the ban, a few American companies have applied for a license to sell components to Huawei. Qualcomm has not applied for such a license — at least, not yet. Instead, the company wants every export restriction lifted, allowing other companies to also do business with Huawei.

Lobbying is only one thing. It’s still up to the US government, ultimately. However, American companies are also fighting the extensive ban. Only time will tell if things will go back to how they were.

SEE ALSO: Mate 40 is the last Huawei phone to feature Kirin chips

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