Operating Systems

Android Wear Reaches 2.0

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Google releases the next version of the Android Wear smartwatch operating system-- Android Wear 2.0, an upgrade with features such as standalone apps, LTE support and improved fitness tracking.

LG Watch Android Wear 2.0 is redesigned to be easier to use through simple swipes and the voice-controlled Google Assistant (summoned through the "OK Google" command). Complicated wrist gestures are disabled by default, and watch faces are customisable through 3rd party apps, allowing one to display current weather, stock prices, nearby places or a favourite contact.

Users can also install apps directly on a smartphone through a miniature version of the Google Play Store, while health tracking promises improvements through a pre-installed Google Fit app able to automatically detect workouts and give exercise tips. Notifications also get a boost through grouping and actionable options, such as deleting an email or replying to an SMS.

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Huawei Working on Own OS?

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China's Huawei is working on two software projects , The Information reports-- a different look for the Emotion UI Android skin and, far more ambitiously, an own mobile OS.

HuaweiInterestingly, according to the news story Huawei sets to fight criticisms of hardware and software design with an appearance all too similar to that of iDevices by hiring directly from the Apple stable. The employee in question is former longtime Apple designer Abigail Brody, who should provide the Emotion UI with an "own flair" able to grab the attentions of Western customers.

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iOS 9 Sees "Fastest iOS Adoption Ever"

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iOS 9 iPhoneAccording to Apple iOS 9 is the fastest adopted iOS update ever, with over 50% of active iDevices running on the latest version of the OS as measured by the App Store on 19 September 2015.

“iOS 9 is off to an amazing start, on pace to be downloaded by more users than any other software release in Apple’s history,” Apple senior VP Philip Schiller says.

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Google Presents Brillo IoT OS

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Google presents another framework for the Internet of Things (IoT) at its I/O conference in the shape of Brillo, an Android-derived operating system promising "an end-to-end, complete solution" for device connectivity.

BrilloDescribed as an "end-to-end functioning OS," Brillo is designed to power the lightweight devices making the IoT, as well as any number of smart home devices.

Networking comes through Weave, a communications layer allowing IoT devices to talk to each other and with the cloud. Similar to offerings such as the ZigBee Cluster Library, it supports wifi and Bluetooth Low Energy, as well low-power networking protocols such as the Google-owned Nest's Thread.

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Samsung Boosts Tizen

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TizenUnder increasing pressure from Android-based smartphone vendors, especially in China, Samsung is rumoured to be increasing its range of Tizen-based phones in an apparent attempt to take greater control of its platform.

Samsung was the only major smartphone vendor to experience declines in YoY shipments in Q1 2015, with IDC reporting a drop of 7%, from 88.5 to 82.4 million. This decline can be partly attributed to Apple, and the strength of its iPhone 6 launch and momentum, and partly to the plethora of Android-based phones from other vendors, in particular from China. These include Lenovo (now boosted by its acquisition of Motorola), Huawei and Xiaomi, as well as a growing number of strong regional players, such as India’s Micromax.

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