Fitbit Announces New ‘Alta’ Wearable With Apple Watch-Like Move Reminders

Fitbit today announced the „Fitbit Alta,“ a new device in its fitness-focused wearable lineup that the company aims to be the intersection between personalized style and in-depth activity tracking. As with all Fitbits, the Alta will track a user’s daily activities, exercise, and sleep, but now the band includes „Reminders to Move,“ which will push notifications to the wrist when you’ve been stationary for an extended period, similar to the Apple Watch’s standing notifications.

Thanks to Reminders to Move, the Alta will keep users active by encouraging the completion of a „mini step goal“ of 250 steps every hour, or about 2-3 minutes of walking time. Additionally, the new band automatically tracks workouts without needing to tell the Alta when one has begun or ended, and all of your activity data syncs to the companion Fitbit app to keep watch over daily and weekly exercise goals.

Fitbit’s new wearable also has a few band accessories to choose from, including a $29.95 Classic Band, $59.95 Leather Band, and $99.95 Metal Bracelet. Each band surrounds the Alta’s OLED display, which lets users tap through succinct readouts of their daily calorie burn, sleep stats, and recent notifications. The screen can also be customized with unique clock faces, similar to the company’s „Blaze“ activity tracker, which it announced last month.

The Classic Band (left), Leather Band (middle), and Metal Bracelet (right)

The Alta will be able to support call, text, and calendar notifications through vibrating alerts, and should last up to 5 days on one battery life, according to Fitbit. Although it won’t be released until sometime in March, those interested can pre-order the Fitbit Alta for $129.95 starting today on the company’s website. The Classic Bands will be available at launch, but the Metal Bracelet has a summer release window and the Leather Band is „coming soon.“

Tags: Fitbit, Fitbit Alta
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T-Mobile Offers Verizon Customers Free Year of Hulu to Switch

T-Mobile has announced a fourth „Un-carrier Unwrapped“ holiday promotion that offers Verizon customers 12 months of Hulu’s Limited Commercials plan for free, a value of $7.99 per month or $96 annually.

The offer is valid for Verizon customers that switch any phone number to a T-Mobile Simple Choice postpaid plan between December 11 and December 17.

Verizon customers who switch to T-Mobile will receive a text message with a $100 Hulu subscription gift code, enough to pay for more than 12 months of Hulu’s Limited Commercials plan.

Verizon customers can combine the offer with T-Mobile’s Carrier Freedom promotion, which provides up to $650 towards a balance owing or to pay off early termination fees (ETFs) with an eligible device trade-in.

T-Mobile is also offering Verizon customers that switch up to half off its lineup of financed in-store accessories:

That could mean as much as a $125 discount on the hottest mobile gifts, like the latest smartwatches, UE Boom and JBL Bluetooth speakers, top-of-the-line headphones, Fitbit fitness trackers, Guitar Hero Live for iOS and more.

This limited time offer is part of T-Mobile’s monthlong „Un-carrier Unwrapped“ holiday promotion that offered three months of free unlimited LTE data to Simple Choice customers, a $200 bill credit for Sprint customers and $200 off a 128GB iPhone 6s for AT&T customers.

Tags: T-Mobile, Verizon, Hulu
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Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 3.9 Million in Third Quarter

The latest data from market research firm IDC estimates Apple Watch sales totaled 3.9 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2015, making it the second most popular wearable device behind Fitbit fitness trackers during the three-month period ending September 30.

Apple posted a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets and channels coming on line. End-user attention has been going toward its entry-level and least expensive Sport line, to which Apple responded by introducing gold and rose gold models. In addition, Apple released watchOS 2, bringing native third-party applications to the device.

Fitbit shipped an estimated 4.7 million fitness trackers for 22.2% market share in the third quarter, compared to Apple’s estimated 18.6% market share. Apple Watch shipments grew over IDC’s second quarter estimate of 3.6 million, but both Apple and Fitbit ceded some market share to Xiaomi and other vendors.

Chinese rival Xiaomi remained in third place with an estimated 3.7 million wearables shipped in the quarter, representing 17.4% market share. Garmin and BBK rounded off the top five with 900,000 (4.1%) and 700,000 (3.1%) wearables shipped respectively, while all other vendors accounted for a combined 7.3 million shipments and 34.6% market share.

IDC estimates that wearable shipments totaled 21 million worldwide in the second quarter, growth of 197.6% compared to the 7.1 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. IDC said the average smartwatch price was around $400, while basic bands and trackers averaged $94. China continues to be the fastest-growing wearables market, especially for lower-priced fitness trackers.

Apple has not disclosed Apple Watch sales numbers since the device launched in April, instead grouping the wrist-worn accessory with iPod, Apple TV and Beats Electronics accessories under an „Other Products“ category in quarterly earnings reports. But when asked, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives consistently remain upbeat about current sales.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tags: IDC, Fitbit
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Wearables aren’t flying with the IT crowd

A new study suggests that the increased popularity of wearables like the Apple Watch and fitness trackers in the workplace is giving information technology professionals the willies. IT tool and service provider Ipswitch polled 288 workers who feel like the burgeoning devices might present some problems, especially if they’re connected to company-owned Wi-Fi networks. 53 […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Smart necklace keeps you connected and looking fabulous

Some fashion and tech pundits have written that the Apple Watch is a little industrial looking or too geeky to appeal to women. Why can’t a woman be connected in feminine style? A startup company says she absolutely can with a smart necklace that looks like a stunning piece of jewelry while equipped with a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Microsoft will begin rolling out Windows 10 to Xbox One preview users soon

Xbox One users in the console’s preview program will soon get Windows 10 on their consoles, with the update scheduled to arrive „over the next couple of weeks“, before a November launch for all. Read more…

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You miss out on HealthKit when using Android Wear with iOS

Android Wear made the leap to iOS yesterday, meaning that iPhone owners can now buy and use Android Wear smartwatches should they feel so inclined. One thing they can’t do, however, is to use Apple’s HealthKit platform to monitor their Android Wear fitness data. According to Apple, data such as step count and heart rate […]

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