Pebble Smartwatches Get v3.10 Firmware Update; New Android, iOS Apps

Pebble Smartwatches Get v3.10 Firmware Update; New Android, iOS Apps

Pebble has rolled out a firmware update for its smartwatches and has also updated its Android and iOScompanion apps, bringing all of them to version 3.10.

For the Pebble smartwatches, the firmware v3.10 brings tweaks the Pebble Health notification including a ‘refined’ activity summary that users get at the end of the day. The update also brings 12 super-sized emojis, meaning that when a user receives one of these single emojis, the watch will now show it in jumbo size. Inclusion of Chinese character support in notifications and alerts is also present. Wearers can change the language by navigating to Menu > Settings > Watch Language > Selected Language. Several fixes for bugs with performance improvements too come as a part of the firmware v3.10.

Pebble smartwatch users can check for the firmware update by going to Menu > Support > Updateyour Pebble from the Pebble Time smartphone app.

Talking about smartphone companion apps, the Pebble Time v3.10 app for Android features Send Text improvements along with in-app language support for English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Several bug fixes and performance improvements have also been included. The latest Pebble Time app for Android can be downloaded from Google Play.

As for iOS users, the Pebble Time v3.10 app brings a redesigned look and feel in the Manage Watchfaces, Apps, and Notifications sections. Settings and Options tabs can now be accessed from the top right menu.

pebble_app_new_watchface_app_mute_v310.jpg“The new design offers a smoother experience when setting up and managing your Pebble while laying the groundwork for cool new features to come,” adds the Pebble blog post.

New notification filtering also comes as a part of the app update. Users can now Control which apps are allowed to send notifications to their Pebble smartwatch from the new Notifications tab. The company says that apps that are toggled Off are muted and will show only on the iOS device. Apps can be muted always, never, on weekdays, or on weekends. They can also be muted directly from the Pebble smartwatch when users receive a notification and select Mute from the list of actions.

Besides the same in-app language support as seen on the Android version, the Pebble Time v3.10 app for iOS features improved reliability of Text Replies. It also fixes high data usage, an issue that was faced by some users. Bug fixes and performance improvements also make its way in to the app update. The latest Pebble Time v3.10 app for iOS can be downloaded from App Store.

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Tags: Android, Apple, iOS, Pebble, Pebble Firmware Udpate, Pebble Smartwatch, Pebble Smartwatch Firmware Update,Pebble Smartwatch Update, Pebble Time Android App Update, Pebble Time App Update, Pebble Time iOS App Update,Pebble Watch Firmware Update, Smartwatch, Wearables
Apple's Federighi Busts Myth That Quitting iOS Apps Improves Battery Life

You can’t help but notice new iPhone users, especially the ones who have moved from Android, obsessively try to kill apps on their smartphone. Many believe that doing this improves battery life. That’s not the case, as has been pointed out by many in the past few years. But if you needed an official word to convince your heart, Apple’s Senior Vice President Craig Federighi is here to the rescue.

Responding to a user’s query, originally directed at Apple CEO Tim Cook, on whether he quits apps on his iPhone when multitasking and if that improves the battery life, Federighi wrote, “No and No.” There you go: stop manually killing apps on your iPhone, because that doesn’t do anything.

Apple’s support website also suggests the same, though we agree it doesn’t do it as succinctly as Federighi. “After you switch to a different app, some apps run for a short period of time before they’re set to a suspended state. Apps that are in a suspended state aren’t actively in use, open, or taking up system resources. With Background App Refresh, suspended apps can check for updates and new content. ”

To people who have been thinking it wrong all along, it’s not your fault. Forcing an app to quit seems like a logical way to free up memory and hence save battery life. Moreover, that’s exactly how Androidand Windows respond to such actions. But it wouldn’t work on iOS because of how it has been designed to handle it.

Developer Fraser Speirs explained this back in 2012. According to him, when a user presses the home button, an app moves from Active state to Background state, a state in which the app is not visible on the display but is still running in the background. Most apps remain in the Background state for a few seconds and then go to Suspended state, in which your app lives in the memory, but doesn’t utilise battery power.

“You may think that, if an app is resident in memory, you have to somehow remove it to conserve memory. You don’t because iOS does it for you,” he wrote. “If there are Suspended apps lying around and you launch a memory-intensive app such as a big game, iOS will start to purge Suspended apps and move them to the Not Running state. That is, they will be completely removed from memory and will launch afresh the next time you tap their icon.”

On the contrary, manually quitting apps could have a negative impact on your iOS device’s battery life. As LifeHacker pointed out in 2014, when you close an app, it goes in the idle state but stays in the memory. When you manually quit the app, it moves the app out of your RAM. This, in turn, would require your phone to open the app from scratch again – as opposed to simply pulling it from the memory, and hence, use some extra energy.

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Tags: Android, Apple, Apps, Craig Federighi, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mobiles, Windows

Google Hangouts 8.0 for iOS Lets You Record and Send 60-Second Videos

Google Hangouts 8.0 for iOS Lets You Record and Send 60-Second Videos

Google last week rolled out Hangouts v8.0 on Android and brought the same version to iOS earlier this week. However, the updated app iOS has brought an exclusive feature where users can record and send videos for a much longer duration than before.

Hangouts 8.0 on iOS will now let users record and send videos for as long as 60 seconds. It is worth mentioning that the messenger app on iOS already had 10-second video recording and sending ability since the app version 2.0 (released in 2014). It is yet to be revealed when the feature will arrive on its Android client as it has not yet got the ability to send 10-second videos.

The Hangouts v8.0 for iOS additionally brings fixes for unread conversations when the user is on call, for users stuck on the “Ok, got it” button, and support for Google for Work – Mobile Management. Theupdated app is available to download from App Store.

Google Hangouts 8.0 on Android on the other hand got the Android N’s inline notification responding feature among others. Of course, the quick reply feature was already available with Hangouts 7.0 but this time the Direct Reply works inside the notification tray only. The app also got support for Android N’s new bundled notifications, stacking up individual message notifications in one card inside the notification tray. None of these features will be visible for those who are on the older version of Android. The images sent or received inside the chat window has also become slightly rounded from corners.

Hangouts last month got improved call quality with peer-to-peer connections. The inclusion of peer-to-peer protocol for calling, Google says, allows the app to reroute the call to the recipient or caller instead of going through Google’s servers. While this improves the quality, as the packets have to travel a shorter distance – which in turn, takes less time – there’s a downside to this as well.

In a support document, Google has revealed that a direct peer-to-peer communication also discloses the IP addresses of all the participating parties. “A direct peer-to-peer connection between you and the other person reveals both your IP addresses. With an IP address, it’s possible to approximate your location.”

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Tags: Android, App Update, Apple, Apps, Google, Google Hangouts, Google Hangouts App Update,Google Hangouts Update, Hangouts, Hangouts App Update, Hangouts Update, Social, Update

Skype Group Video Calling Coming to Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile

Skype Group Video Calling Coming to Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile

Marking its 10-year anniversary, Microsoft’s Skype team on Tuesday announced that it has introduced the group video calling feature to everyone on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile. Skype already supported group video calls but only for those who opted for Skype for Business. The feature is now available to non-subscribers as well.

The feature can be used free of cost and will be rolled out to users in the ‘coming weeks’. However, for those who want to preview the group calling feature, they can sign-up by submitting some details.

The Skype group video calling service lets up to 25 users share a video call on desktop. However, the popular VoIP service is not the only one sporting such kind of feature. Rival apps such as GoogleHangouts also supports group video calling for up to 10 users. Line (with Popcorn Buzz), Viber, WeChat, and other popular chatting apps also have the feature. Hike in September last year introduced group audio calling feature, letting up to 100 people to talk to each other in a group call. Other popular chatting applications such as FaceTime and Facebook Messenger are yet to receive the feature.

Gurdeep Pall Singh, the Global Corporate Vice President of Skype in the company blog post added that in 10 years Skype users have generated nearly 2 trillion minutes of free Skype video calls. “In fact, with that amount of time, you can use Skype to read to every child in the world for 10 hours, every family can be together over Skype for more than 7 hours and there’s still time left for the entire world’s workforce to have an hour-long interview via Skype,” he said.