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This week on the AppleInsider podcast, Victor talks about Siri, the spat between people responsible for it, Google Assistant on the iPad, and the problems around a Fitbit for kids.
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Smartwatches don’t seem to have gained major traction with consumers quite yet, but some companies continue to release new hardware in hopes of catching the public’s interest. Today Fitbit did just that.
The Fitbit Versa is a new smartwatch with a focus on fitness, which shouldn’t come as a surprise with Fitbit’s history in wearable devices. The Versa boasts features like continuous heart rate tracking, automatic activity and sleep tracking, and more than 15 exercise modes. There are also on-screen personal workouts from the Fitbit Coach feature, support for using your smartphone’s GPS, and swim tracking with water resistance up to 50 meters.
The Versa can also help you with other aspects of your life. Move reminders will help you to stay active throughout your day and the Guided Breathing Session will give you moments throughout the day to relax and focus on your breathing. Fitbit is also launching its new female health tracking with the Versa, which lets you log periods, track your cycle, and gauge ovulation.
Fitbit has also baked some more smartwatch-y features into the Versa. There are notifications for calls, calendar alerts, texts, and apps, and quick replies to messages for Android are coming soon. You can download your music onto the Versa or sync Pandora stations, and you can use Fitbit Pay to make payments with your watch (only in special edition). There are also apps from companies like Starbucks, AccuWeather, Yelp, Nest, and Flipboard.
When it comes to hardware features, the Fitbit Versa has a color touchscreen, optical heart rate monitor, ambient light sensor, vibration motor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a battery that’s rate to last 4 days.
The Fitbit Versa is compatible with devices running Android 4.3 or higher, Windows 10 devices, iPhone 4S and later, and iPad (3rd gen.) and later.
Fitbit is now taking pre-orders for the Versa ahead of its April launch. Pricing starts at $ 199.95 for a black, gray, or rose gold aluminum case. The Fitbit Versa Special Edition will include Fitbit Pay and will be priced at $ 229.95.
Fitbit today also introduced the Fitbit Ace, a wearable for children. The Ace has activity and sleep tracking, reminders to move, and motivations to help kids be active at least 60 minutes per day. The band is adjustable and the whole device is showerproof to help protect it from splashes and spills. Fitbit says the Ace’s battery will last up to 5 days on a single charge.
The Fitbit Ace is now available for pre-order at a price of $ 99.95. It’ll ship in late May.
Netflix has decided to stop testing a new gamified TV streaming experience for children, which offered kids “patches” (aka stickers) for watching episodes of certain television shows.
Netflix started testing the feature in February, but it received widespread attention last week after the beta test was highlighted by various media sites. Given the negative attention Netflix received over the feature from parents concerned about their children watching too much TV, Netflix has decided not to move forward with development.
“We’ve concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well – and what doesn’t work well – for our members.”
During the beta testing period, there were several complaints about the feature from users who encountered it, with customers sharing their negative opinions on Twitter and other social networks. Netflix was accused of attempting to turn children into “binge watchers” through the patch program.
— aprotim (@aprotim) March 12, 2018
@netflix hi. i have been a netflix subscriber for over ten years. i will cancel my subscription if patches stick around. i don't need you actively encouraging my child to waste time in front of the television.
— The Ape of God (@simiadei) March 12, 2018
Netflix was testing the feature with a small number of users, with patches provided for shows like “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” “Trolls,” “Troll Hunters,” Fuller House,” and more. Netflix said the feature was aimed at providing collectible items for a “more interactive experience” and to “expand the storytelling world for the show.”
Users who were part of Netflix’s test group will no longer be seeing patches when watching TV shows.
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Last week, reports surfaced that Netflix was testing a sort of rewards program wherein children could earn "patches" for watching shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events and Fuller House. While the patches didn't come with any additional benefits a…
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Sony dropped the headphone jack from the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. Here’s their rational: Why did you remove the headphone jack on XZ2 and XZ2 Compact? This is part of the shift to our new Ambient Flow design language. In order to create the beautiful seamless design, our designers needed to remove the headphone jack. Plus, we’re aware of the major market trend toward wireless headphones over wired headphones. Now, we don’t mean to sound bitter, but this paints Sony as a trend follower, not a trend setter. To be fair, the HTC U11 and U11+ don’t have headphones jack either and…
Fitbit announced two brand-new products today, plus a much-requestion additional feature for the Fitbit app. The Fitbit Versa is the company’s new flagship smartwatch, something of a replacement for the Ionic. The Ace wristband for kids is essentially a Fitbit Alta for children aged 8+. For the first time, with an update due in May 2018, the Fitbit app will offer female health features such as period tracking.
Fitbit’s Versa watch had already been leaked ahead of today’s announcement, and it looks just as we expected.
Fitbit announces Versa smartwatch and Ace kids wristband, adds female health tracking to the Fitbit app was written by the awesome team at Android Police.
When Fitbit said it was working on a "family" of devices for this year, it really wasn't kidding. While Mom and Dad might choose to strap on a Versa, Fitbit now has a fitness tracker — the Fitbit Ace — meant exclusively for wee ones.
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