technology

Yesterday, we reviewed the Moto 360. Please check it out if you haven’t already. Today, we take a closer look at the operating system.

The future of the smartwatch is to be the primary entry point for your digital life. The device you scan first to get an update on what’s happening, and the preferred device for quick interactions like messaging a friend. You’ll want to use your voice; when it works, it’s the most elegant way to control this small interface.

This is the future that Google has presented with Android Wear. It’s an exciting one — even more exciting than Apple’s vision — but realization remains in the horizon. Android Wear may change the future tomorrow, but today it only provides a promise for it.

Android Wear is that pimply teenager. You can see the potential, but the teenager just too annoying to be taken seriously yet.

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There’s an interesting story on Business Insider about how Google is trying to force its partners to include more Google made apps on their Android phones.

Google is requiring one of its partners to increase the number of Google-made apps from nine in 2011 to 20 in 2014.  This year’s agreement also required that there must be a Google search widget on the default home screen of the phone along with an icon for the Google Play store and a Google icon that houses 13 apps included “Google Chrome, Google Maps, Google Drive, YouTube, and Gmail among others.

As you might have guessed, I have mixed feelings about this.

The upside is that the more Google-y the experience, the better (right now). Google apps like Maps and Chrome are better than their alternatives. Others like Google Play and Youtube have no alternatives.

The downside is that Google is acting like a monopolist — with shades of Microsoft.

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I predicted the iPhone 6 Plus would outsell the iPhone 6, and I’m man enough to admit probable error. Three reasons for it: Apple lifers need time to adjust to a bigger screen, which I overlooked; major manufacturing issues with the iPhone 6 Plus, which led to people just buying the iPhone 6 instead; and surprisingly, Apple fans not really caring that much about specs.

I expect demand (not sales) for the iPhone 6 Plus to dwarf the iPhone 6 for Asians and Android switchers — two segments used to larger phones. For them, a 5.5-inch screen is no big deal. But for someone who’ve spent their entire smartphone lives with 3.5-inch and 4-inch screens, a 5.5-inch screen will appear ENORMOUS. Many struggle even with a 4.7-inch screen.

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It’s fascinating to read tech pundits around the web rationalize their cognitive dissonance in declaring the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen size as perfect once upon a time, backtracking to 4-inches, and now praising something larger.

The most influential opinion on this seems to be Marco Arment, who explained away the logical inconsistency by characterizing phablets in 2011 as mediocre. That Apple fans confused execution with concept, that it required Apple’s flawless execution — possible only today — to reveal the concept’s true value.

It’s an interesting theory…except it’s totally wrong.

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Who says Google Glass are only for glassholes? It might save your life one day.

Stanford Medical School conducted an experiment recently where two groups of Stanford residents were tasked to operate on dummies, only to be faced with unexpected complications. The group wearing Google Glass did better; they kept more focus on the patient because they didn’t have to look away to check vitals.

As one doctor who’ve experimented with using Google Glass in surgery said:

Being able to see your laparoscopic images when you’re operating face to face instead of looking across the room at a projection screen is just mind-bogglingly fantastic.

Using Glass in the operating room has other benefits, like enabling students and other doctors to log-in and learn. The operating doctor can also use it to consult with colleagues on thorny complications during a procedure.

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Reviews are in from all over the web as Apple launches the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus today. The verdict? The best iPhone yet. Instead of yet another meta review about the new iPhone, which are everywhere already, let’s do something more fun: review the reviewers.

I tend to like two types of reviews: ones that focus on the phone’s impact on the reviewer’s personal life, and others that go in-depth and test everything to the nth degree. Rarely can a review do both. I don’t like reviews that lack analysis and are glorified spec sheets. Or reviews that couch everything, ready to duck criticism — reviewers should have a strong point of view. With so many publications out there today covering gadgets, it’s essential that reviews entertain while they educate. Videos help too.

Here are my top 5 favorite, pre-launch reviews for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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