And finally: Microsoft Band to be dumped and more – Wareable

The week in wearable tech has been dominated by the Apple Watch Series 2 going on sale, news that China loves wearables and the Amazon Echo breaking out of the US for the very first time.

Away from those headline-grabbing stories, we’ve collected together the best of the rest from the world of wearable tech including some pretty big Microsoft speculation and some good and bad news for Android Wear smartwatch fans.

R.I.P. Microsoft Band?

This is one to definitely keep in the rumours pile. According to the folks at ZDNet, Microsoft has no plans to launch a Microsoft Band 3 this year and maybe never at all. It also believes that the Redmond company has dropped the team that were working on getting the fitness tracker/smartwatch hybrid to run on Windows 10.

Just days later, Microsoft renamed its Health app to Band in what looks like a move to put those rumours to bed that it’s abandoning its wearable. Microsoft is heavily rumoured to be planning an event in October to talk hardware, so hopefully we’ll hear more about its plans for a Band 2 successor.

Apple’s AR push

In our roundup of VR news, we reported Tim Cook’s comments about VR and AR with evidence emerging that Apple is thinking more HoloLens and Google Glass than Oculus Rift.

This month Apple hired Zeyu Li, who had previously worked at Magic Leap. That’s the mysterious augmented reality startup that’s been demonstrating its impressive tech over the past year.

Before the arrival of Li, Apple had already snapped up AR startup Metaio in 2015. So it is at the very least toying with the idea of how the tech could play a part in its future plans.

New Android Wear watches on hold

Bad news Android Wear fans, it looks like LG, Huawei and Lenovo have no plans to launch new smartwatches in 2016.

The trio of companies confirmed to Cnet that they are taking a timeout from Wear, at least for the rest of the year.

While that might come as a disappointment that we won’t see a new Moto 360 or Huawei Watch in the near future, it could give the smartwatch makers more time to cram in a few more features to give Samsung and Apple something to worry about.

Pokemon Go is coming to Android Wear

In more positive Android Wear news, Pokemon Go looks like it’s heading to Android Wear smartwatches.

That comes courtesy of comments made by Niantic CEO John Hanke who revealed support was incoming at a TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016. The Pokemon Go creators already revealed an Apple Watch app last week during the big new iPhones and Watch Series 2 unveiling.

Hanke said, “As other devices come on the market, if those are Android Wear devices or devices from other quadrants that are interesting for gameplay, mobility, active, then we’ll look into supporting those too.”

So not quite a release date confirmation, but it’s clearly something the company is working on.

We’ll never see an Apple iWatch

Apple will never launch an iWatch in the UK. That’s because Swiss watchmaker Swatch successfully challenged Apple’s attempt to trademark the “iWatch” name.

That means that should Apple want to launch a future product with that name in the UK, it can only be applied to certain types of products. This is because Swatch argued that the name was too similar to its own trademarks for “iSwatch” and “Swatch”.

The opposition from Swatch was filed in 2014, before the first Apple Watch was officially unveiled. But this could well have influenced the Cupertino company’s decision to go with the name Watch instead.


Check out the meatier stories of the week on our dedicated news page.

Shop for recommended fitness trackers on Amazon

Fitbit Blaze
Garmin Vivosmart HR
Misfit Shine 2
Xiaomi Mi Band 2

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