- The No-Charge watch is available from online retailer Hammacher Schlemer
- According to the gadget’s product page, the watch uses one set of batteries for an entire year
- It connects to a range of smartphones using Bluetooth Smart technology
- The watch costs $179.95 (£110) plus international shipping
According to Victoria Woollaston an editor for MailOnline Battery life is consistently listed as a major feature customers want from their gadgets – and it’s such a major sticking point, Apple is even said to have delayed launching its smartwatch to get it right.
And while many smartwatches boast a two to seven-day battery life, an Illinois-based site is selling a design that is said to last for an entire year.
It is also almost half the price of Apple’s device, at $179.95 (£110), and connects to any Android or iPhone device.
The No-Charge watch (pictured left) uses one set of batteries for an entire year. It connects to a range of smartphones using Bluetooth Smart technology. When someone calls the connected phone, the watch displays the caller ID, as well as texts, emails, social media posts, and calendar appointments (pictured right)
THE NO-CHARGE SPECIFICATIONS
- The $179.95 (£110) No-Charge uses one set of batteries for a year.
- It connects to a range of smartphones using Bluetooth Smart technology.
- When someone calls the connected phone, the watch displays the caller ID.
- It also shows texts, emails, social media posts, and the phone’s battery status.
- Buttons on the side of the bezel let wearers play or pause music playing on the phone, or take a picture.
- The water-resistant watch has a stainless-steel bezel and scratch-resistant glass.
The No-Charge watch is available from online retailer Hammacher Schlemer.
According to the gadget’s product page, the watch uses one set of batteries for an entire year.
It connects to a range of smartphones using Bluetooth Smart technology.
This uses a fraction of the energy required by older versions of Bluetooth, claims the firm, ‘allowing the batteries to last up to one year and eliminating tedious recharging’.
When someone calls the connected phone, the watch displays the caller ID, and will also reveal the number of missed calls.
Elsewhere, the No-Charge watch shows incoming texts, emails, social media posts, calendar invites and appointments, and the phone’s battery status.
And buttons on the side of the bezel let wearers play or pause music playing on the phone, or take a picture.
The watch has a stainless-steel bezel, scratch-resistant mineral glass, and a rubber strap. It is also water resistant.
Battery life is consistently listed as a major feature customers want from their gadgets – and it’s such a major sticking point, Apple is even said to have delayed launching its smartwatch (pictured with chief executive Tim Cook) to get it right
Apple is said to be unhappy with its own watch’s battery life, and, as a result, the $349 (£216) device is not expected to ship before February.
Most existing smartwatches on the market, such as the Pebble, tend to last up to a week on a single charge.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear 2 Neo claims to have a six-day battery life, but, in reality, this is closer to four days.
The closest Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook came to talking about the battery life for the watch, during a launch event last month, was saying that users would ‘charge it at night.’
He did, however, spend some time talking about the watch’s charging system, which combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging.
Smartwatches have grown in popularity this year.
Samsung recently unveiled its Gear S device, the Moto 360 is set to launch later this month, and O2 has announced it is the only UK mobile network to stock the newly-launched Pebble and Pebble Steel Smartwatches.
The Pebble Smartwatch costs £99 ($99), and the Pebble Steel costs £179.00 ($199).
Both models are also available from retailer Firebox.
The Pebble smartwatch is said to last up to a week on a single charge. Earlier this week, O2 announced it is the only UK mobile network to stock the newly-launched Pebble and Pebble Steel Smartwatches (pictured left to right). The Pebble Smartwatch costs £99 ($99), and the Pebble Steel costs £179 ($199).
AWS launches Amazon Honeycode, a no-code mobile and web app builder
AWS today announced the beta launch of Amazon Honeycode, a new, fully managed low-code/no-code development tool that aims to make it easy for anybody in a company to build their own applications. All of this, of course, is backed by a database in AWS and a web-based, drag-and-drop interface builder.
Developers can build applications for up to 20 users for free. After that, they pay per user and for the storage their applications take up.
“Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them,” said AWS VP Larry Augustin in the announcement. “Now with Amazon Honeycode, almost anyone can create powerful custom mobile and web applications without the need to write code.”
Like similar tools, Honeycode provides users with a set of templates for common use cases like to-do list applications, customer trackers, surveys, schedules and inventory management. Traditionally, AWS argues, a lot of businesses have relied on shared spreadsheets to do these things.
“Customers try to solve for the static nature of spreadsheets by emailing them back and forth, but all of the emailing just compounds the inefficiency because email is slow, doesn’t scale, and introduces versioning and data syncing errors,” the company notes in today’s announcement. “As a result, people often prefer having custom applications built, but the demand for custom programming often outstrips developer capacity, creating a situation where teams either need to wait for developers to free up or have to hire expensive consultants to build applications.”
It’s no surprise then that Honeycode uses a spreadsheet view as its core data interface, which makes sense, given how familiar virtually every potential user is with this concept. To manipulate data, users can work with standard spreadsheet-style formulas, which seems to be about the closest the service gets to actual programming. ‘Builders,” as AWS calls Honeycode users, can also set up notifications, reminders and approval workflows within the service.
AWS says these databases can easily scale up to 100,000 rows per workbook. With this, AWS argues, users can then focus on building their applications without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
As of now, it doesn’t look like users will be able to bring in any outside data sources, though that may still be on the company’s roadmap. On the other hand, these kinds of integrations would also complicate the process of building an app and it looks like AWS is trying to keep things simple for now.
Honeycode currently only runs in the AWS US West region in Oregon but is coming to other regions soon.
Among Honeycode’s first customers are SmugMug and Slack.
“We’re excited about the opportunity that Amazon Honeycode creates for teams to build apps to drive and adapt to today’s ever-changing business landscape,” said Brad Armstrong, VP of Business and Corporate Development at Slack in today’s release. “We see Amazon Honeycode as a great complement and extension to Slack and are excited about the opportunity to work together to create ways for our joint customers to work more efficiently and to do more with their data than ever before.”
Slack announces Connect, an improved way for companies to talk to one another
Virtual events are the new norm for product rollouts in 2020, with Slack taking to the internet earlier today to talk about a new part of its service called Slack Connect.
On the heels of Apple’s lengthy and pretty good virtual WWDC that took place earlier this week, Slack’s event, part experiment and part press conference, was called to detail the firm’s new Slack Connect capability, which will allow companies to better link together and communicate inside of their Slack instance than what was possible with its shared channels feature. The product was described inside of a business-to-business context, including examples about companies needing to chat with agencies and other external vendors.
In its most basic form, Slack is well-known for internal chat functionality, helping teams talk amongst themselves. Slack Connect appears to be a progression past that idea, pushing internal communications tooling to allow companies to plug their private comms into the private comms of other orgs, linking them for simple communication while keeping the entire affair secure.
Slack Connect, a evolution past what shared channels offered, includes better security tooling and the ability to share channels across 20 orgs. The enterprise SaaS company is also working to give Connect-using companies “the ability to form DM connections independent of channels,” the company told TechCrunch.
The product could slim down email usage; if Slack Connect can let many orgs chat amongst themselves, perhaps fewer emails will be needed to keep different companies in sync. That said, Slack is hardly a quiet product. During his part of the presentation, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield noted that the service sees up to 65 million messages sent each second at peak times.
According to the CEO, Slack Connect has been piloted for a few months, and is now available for paid plans.
Slack shares are off 3.8% today, before the news came out. Its broader company cohort (SaaS) are also down today, along with the market more broadly; investors don’t appear to have reacted to this piece of news, at least yet.
Apple has acquired Fleetsmith, a startup that helps IT manage Apple devices remotely
At a time when IT has to help employees set up and manage devices remotely, a service that simplifies those processes could certainly come in handy. Apple recognized that, and acquired Fleetsmith today, a startup that helps companies do precisely that with Apple devices.
While Apple didn’t publicize the acquisition, it has confirmed the deal with TechCrunch, while Fleetsmith announced the deal in a company blog post. Neither company was sharing the purchase price.
The startup has built technology that takes advantage of Apple’s Device Enrollment Program, allowing IT departments to bring devices online as soon as the employee takes it out of the box and powers it up.
At the time of its $30 million Series B funding last year, CEO Zack Blum explained the company’s core value proposition: “From a customer perspective, they can ship devices directly to their employees. The employee unwraps it, connects to Wi-Fi and the device is enrolled automatically in Fleetsmith,” Blum explained at that time.
Over time, the company has layered on other useful pieces beyond automating device registration, like updating devices automatically with OS and security updates, while letting IT see a dashboard of the status of all devices under management, all in a pretty slick interface.
While Apple will in all likelihood continue to work with Jamf, the leader in the Apple device management space, this acquisition gives the company a remote management option at a time when it’s essential with so many employees working from home.
Fleetsmith, which has raised more than $40 million from investors, like Menlo Ventures, Tiger Global Management, Upfront Ventures and Harrison Metal, will continue to sell the product through the company website, according to the blog post.
The founders put a happy face on the deal, as founders tend to do. “We’re thrilled to join Apple. Our shared values of putting the customer at the center of everything we do without sacrificing privacy and security, means we can truly meet our mission, delivering Fleetsmith to businesses and institutions of all sizes, around the world,” they wrote.