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Analysts estimate Apple Watch will lure 20 million people. The Apple Watch became available for pre-order on Friday.

Analysts estimate Apple Watch will lure 20 million people

After a slow start, analysts called the pricey little gadget's debut "respectable". Several analysts estimated Apple received about 1 million pre-orders. Apple, which usually provides numbers after a weekend launch, has not confirmed the numbers. In lieu of any official numbers from the company, many media outlets have turned to third-party data from Slice Intelligence, an online shopping data firm, which estimates that nearly one million people pre-ordered the watch on Friday. But again, it's worth stressing that these are in no way official numbers. Still, if the magic number is 1 million pre-orders, the boxy little device is off to a rockier start than some industry watchers had anticipated.

For the devoted community of Apple geeks, there's no greater object of gadget lust than the Apple Watch, but the challenge is getting a hold of one. Analysts were wary, however, of the limited supply of the devices. The existential Apple Watch. 17 appropriate reactions to Apple's new $10,000 gold watch. Google Play Reveals 2014's Most Downloaded Apps. As we near the end of another circle around the sun, Google Play looks back at the year gone by in mobile apps, games and entertainment content, using data from its downloads and sales from 2014.

Google Play Reveals 2014's Most Downloaded Apps

The most downloaded apps for the year include language learning app-game crossover Duolingo, Web radio favorite Pandora, calorie counter tool MyFitnessPal and Facebook’s and Netflix’s mobile apps. Cooling Tablet Market Turns To Low-End Devices For Growth. Never in tech history have so many bought so much in such a short time.

Cooling Tablet Market Turns To Low-End Devices For Growth

There was a memorable tweet sent in the final days before the first iPad was released: Someone in tech — and I forget their name and can’t find the tweet, sadly — noted in less than 140 characters that they were about to embark on their last weekend before they would never have to have another without an iPad. Such was the market excitement for the category-creating device. The growth in the tablet market that followed was explosive. Report: Anonymous messaging app Yik Yak raises $62 million. Jolla Smashes $1m Crowdfunding Barrier. Paul McCartney releases Jaunt's First 360-Degree VR Video. A concert video from music legend Sir Paul McCartney is the first publicly available content from cinematic virtual reality startup Jaunt.

Paul McCartney releases Jaunt's First 360-Degree VR Video

Owners of Google Cardboard and a compatible Android device can download a free app to watch McCartney perform “Live and Let Die” at Candlestick Park through an immersive 360-degree 3D video. Notably, McCartney’s performance was the final concert at Candlestick Park before the stadium was closed. Jaunt uses a custom camera rig to record spherical audio and video that can then be rendered for virtual reality headsets like Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and Samsung’s upcoming Gear VR. The company plans to release the “Live and Let Die” video on Oculus and Gear VR soon. The results are amazing. Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: The future of mobile is right here [REVIEW] When it comes to smartphones, convenience is paramount.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: The future of mobile is right here [REVIEW]

The whole existence of the category is centered around doing things quickly and easily, while you’re on the go. Google Cardboard surfaces to promote Volvo. Google’s Maps App For iOS And Android Gets Material Design And Uber Estimates. Google has updated Maps to keep with the visual theme introduced with Android 5.0 Lollipop, which it calls material design.

Google’s Maps App For iOS And Android Gets Material Design And Uber Estimates

The new mobile apps now feature bold headers of solid flat colors and animations that evoke pieces of paper sliding over one another. The apps also offer new features, including reservations you can make at restaurants through the app via OpenTable, and both time and price estimates for the Uber transport method introduced in May. The update will roll out over the next few days, so don’t be disappointed if you aren’t seeing it right away. Based on the previews supplied by the company, the visual overhaul here is as pleasant and well-executed as is the rest of Android 5.0, which I’m particularly smitten with.

Google and LG Agree to Share Patents for the next Decade. This wristband works with your heartbeat to pay for things. We know that Apple Pay works with your fingerprint to verify payments, but another company has developed a wristband that uses a different part of the body: the human heart.

This wristband works with your heartbeat to pay for things

It's called Nymi, and it's a wristband that charts your "unique cardiac rhythm" to verify your identity. Bionym, the startup behind Nymi, is launching a pilot payment program for users to test out the bracelet as a way to pay for things. Think of it as a mobile payment, but it's wearable. Bionym claims Nymi is the first wearable that works with a biometric to verify NFC (near-field communication) payments. A biometric, in this sense, is a biological element that's used as a security measure. Microsoft Band is a new cloud-powered wearable fitness tracker. Microsoft launched its new fitness-focused wearable that plugs into the new cloud-based Microsoft Health tracking service today.

Microsoft Band is a new cloud-powered wearable fitness tracker

Dubbed Microsoft Band, the $199 device tracks users’ heart rate, steps taken, sun exposure, stress levels, calories burned and sleep quality. It relays this data to Microsoft Health to offer insights on companion smartphone apps (for Windows Phone, Android and iOS) on which exercises are most effective, and how well users sleep through the night. In addition to tracking fitness stats, Microsoft Band also offers guided workouts based on users’ wellness goals, maps running routes via GPS, displays email and calendar event previews and accepts voice commands for Cortana, the assistant service on Windows Phone 8.1 devices. Users can see how they’re doing during their workouts and check their messages on the slim full-color touchscreen, and can expect about 48 hours of battery life on a single charge. ➤ Microsoft Band. Xiaomi Now The World’s Third Biggest Smartphone Maker, Says IDC.

Xiaomi is now the world’s third largest smartphone maker, due in large part to the success of its high-end Mi4, says new research by IDC.

Xiaomi Now The World’s Third Biggest Smartphone Maker, Says IDC

This is also the first time that Xiaomi has broken into the research firm’s list of the top 5 smartphone makers in the world. Samsung remains at the lead despite declining shipment volume, followed by Apple, Xiaomi, and Lenovo and LG, which tied for fourth place. A new report by Strategy Analytics also puts Xiaomi in the number three position. Its focus on China and adjacent markets like Southeast Asia helped boost Xiaomi into the top 5 by resulting in triple-digit year-over-year growth in Q3 2014. Google Hangouts now lets you make free one-minute international calls. Google announced yesterday that users in 25 countries will now get the first minute free on international calls to 25 countries they make via its Hangouts app.

Google Hangouts now lets you make free one-minute international calls

Google’s Hangouts app for desktops and mobile has long allowed for instant messaging, video chat and calls to phone numbers (including free calls to US and Canada) using an internet connection. The free minute now lets you say a quick hello or deliver an important message at no charge. However, you’ll need to have some calling credit in your Google account (that you can add with your credit card) to get your first minute free, as you’ll be charged for the duration of your call beyond that first minute. Adsquare Locates $4.3M Funding To Serve Ads Based On Location And Context Without Being Too Creepy. More VC money continues to slosh around the Berlin adtech scene. In the last two months we’ve seen Adjust raise a $7.6 million Series C, and upstart Remerge secure $1 million in seed funding. Ditching iPhone for Android? Google Shows You the Way. The battle for your mobile soul continues, and it's easier than ever to switch teams.

Google has published a guide to help iOS users (who might not be impressed with the latest iPhones and iPads) make the switch to Android devices. It's perfect timing, too — Google announced its Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet this month, which both run Android's latest mobile operating system called Lollipop. Apple posted a similar guide for Android users. Magic Leap Secures $542M Led By Google For “Lightweight Wearable” Tech That Merges Physical And Digital Worlds. It’s rare that a company can stay relatively secretive while raising a huge amount of funding, but Florida’s Magic Leap has managed that.

The startup, led by CEO Rony Abovitz, announced today the close of its $542 million Series B, featuring investors led by Google, Inc., and including KPCB, Andreessen Horowitz, Obvious Ventures, Qualcomm and Legendary Entertainment. The list of investors reads like a who’s who of influential companies and individuals across various industries, and Abovitz explained to TechCrunch that the reason for that is that the tech’s potential isn’t limited to any one field, which he says puts its potential market size in the trillions of dollars annually range. That could explain the valuation of Magic Leap, which is north of $1 billion, given that this round is still a minority investment, per Abovitz. Google Unveils New Display Ad Formats for Mobile Devices.

Google is developing a new portfolio of display ad formats and tools for advertisers to use across its Google Display Network, AdMob network and DoubleClick services. The company says they’re designed specifically for mobile and will be released over the coming months. Engagement ads leverage advertisers’ existing brand assets and repackage them into rich, media-centric HTML5 ads. One example that Google gave includes two states: a small “invitation” banner with a glimpse at the hidden media, followed by an “expanded” state (shown left) that includes a small carousel for switching between a related video, a map and an image gallery.

TrueView ads, meanwhile, will soon cover the entire AdMob network. This format is already live in gaming apps, but Google says it will be available for all app types in the coming months. The iPhone 5 Ad That Apple Wants You to Forget Today. With all the excitement surrounding the announcement of the newest iPhones, which both have much bigger screens than the iPhone 5 models – there’s one ad from a couple of years back that Apple probably doesn’t want you to remember. You know, this one. Whether Apple now believes that people are willing to stretch their fingers a little further to operate a larger handset, or whether it just decided it doesn’t need “a dazzling display of common sense” any more is unknown, but clearly it felt a little left out by all of its rivals having bigger displays and wanted to get in on the action. Apple Announces iPhone 6 Plus, the First iPhone Phablet.

Ladies and gentlemen, Apple has gone full phablet. Apple Watch Will Be Available Early Next Year. Apple Unveils the iPhone 6. Apple revealed the iPhone 6 on Tuesday at an event near its headquarters in Cupertino, California, alongside another model, the larger iPhone 6 Plus. iOS Drops to 67% Enterprise Share, Android Grows to 32% Apple’s iOS still rules the enterprise space, even after having fallen 5 percentage points to 67 percent of total device activations in Q2 2014. Android device activations increased the same amount to 32 percent of total activations last quarter, while Windows Phone activations remain consistent with the five previous quarters: flat at 1 percent. This Service Changes App Icons on Your Phone. IDC: Samsung, Apple Lost Smartphone Market Share in Q2 2014. The worldwide smartphone market is continuing its healthy growth, but the shake-up in smartphone vendors is becoming more apparent, according to latest figures from market research firm IDC.

Ritot: A Smartwatch That Projects Notifications Onto Your Hand. Tablet Shipments Will Finally Overtake PCs in 2015: Report. Mashable. Google Debuts Project Tango Tablet Development Kit. Google today announced the Project Tango Tablet Development Kit for developers who want to build apps that can track full 3D motion and capture surfaces in the surrounding environment. Google Indicates Faulty Redirects On Mobile Search. What Developers Think About Apple's New Swift Programming Language. Samsung Launches World's First Tizen Smartphone. ASUS Transformer Book V is a Windows hybrid laptop with a detachable Android phone. Samsung Wearable Patents Feature Circular Face, Gesture Controls And Image Recognition. Microsoft Announces Surface Pro 3: 12-Inch Screen, Kickstand, Pen.

Whistle Camera for Android: Take Photos with Your Mouth. Mashable. Apple and Google Settle Motorola Lengthy Patent Lawsuit. Google Play Gets PayPal Support in 12 Countries. Mashable. Xiaomi Launches the 7.9 Inch Mi Tablet Starting From $240. Facebook Opens FbStart Registration to All Mobile Developers. Motorola Launches Low-Cost Moto E Android Smartphone. LG Teases its Upcoming Smartwatch in new Video. Google Releases Play Services 4.4 with Street View Imagery. Mashable. Mashable. Q1 2014 Tablets: Apple First, Samsung Second, Asus Third. Google Brings Its Hotel And Restaurant Search To Android. OnePlus Launches One Android Smartphone with CyanogenMod. Google To Offer Targeted Mobile App Install Ads In Search And YouTube; Expands App Deep Linking To AdWords.

Mashable. Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android. Google Camera App Brings Lens Blur Background Defocus To Any KitKat Android Devices. 10 Things to Know About Google's Project Ara Smartphone. Mashable. Amazon said to be building a glasses-free 3D smartphone for release later this year. Mashable. Apple 41.3% in US Smartphones, Samsung 27%, Android Up, iOS Down. Samsung and HTC Both Unveil Connected Tech Gloves. New HTC One Will Get A Google Play Edition, HTC Itself Confirms Via Play Store App Description. LG's Smart Bulb Connects With Your Smartphone.

Pebble Sold 400,000 Smartwatches in 2013. 10 of the Best Android Browser Apps. Motorola Unveils Moto 360 Android Wear Smartwatch. China's Xiaomi Brings MIUI Firmware to Nexus 7 Tablet. The Nex Band: Part of a New Modular Tech Trend? Vevo Teases New Apps and a Mobile SDK. India's Karbonn Set To Release Windows-Android Smartphones. The Next Web - International technology news, business & culture. Google's Plan to Make Modular Smartphones Moves Forward. Boeing's 'Black' Smartphone Can Self-Destruct.

Boeing Unveils Super-Secure Android Smartphone. MWC 2014: The Future Is Cheaper, Wearable and Invisibly Secure. HTC wants to combine all your Android phones to cure diseases (video) China's Xiaomi Shipped 11M Smartphones In Q1 2014. WhatsApp to Add Voice Calls in Q2 2014, Passes 465M Active Users. Opera Launches Data-Savings Android App. Hell Freezes Over: Nokia Unveils an Android Phone, the Nokia X. What to Watch out for at MWC 2014: a Shortlist. BBC iPlayer Record Month: January 2014. Google Acqui-hires 'Sounds as Passwords' Startup SlickLogin. Smoke-Testing your Apps 101: A Guide for the Non-Techie. Google Brings Local Android Payment to 25 Countries. Microsoft Invests $15 Million in Foursquare. How to Check if Your App is Addictive Enough to Make Money.

Lenovo Buys Google's Motorola Unit for $2.9 Billion. Lenov-orola Is the 3rd-Largest Smartphone Maker. The Beginner’s Guide to Valuing and Selling Your Apps. EyeFly3D brings glasses-free 3D to your iPhone, iPad and Nexus 7, if you’re into that sort of thing. NPD: iPhone Hit 42% US Smartphone Share in Q4 2013, Samsung 26% Moto X Hits the UK on February 1 for £380, but Without Moto Maker.

Google Glass

Android Tipped to Hit 1 Billion Users in 2014. Google Is Reportedly Planning An In-Car Android System.