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Google, Vodafone Partner to Work Towards Extending Wear OS Smartwatch Battery Life

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Vodafone is working with Google to extend the battery life of a smartwatch by reducing the “chatter” between the device and the network, a bigger drain of energy than screen brightness and other settings targeted by low power modes.

The mobile operator has developed an API (application programming interface) that enables apps and operating systems, such as Google Android‘s Wear OS, to reconfigure how they communicate with its network, said Vodafone‘s director of network architecture Santiago Tenorio.

“With wearables, such as smartwatches and other devices, battery life is incredibly important for our users,” the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

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“That’s why Vodafone and Google’s Android team are collaborating to optimise battery life on Wear OS by Google watches.”

Changes such as making the watch connect to the network intermittently instead of constantly and releasing the channel through which it was transmitting more quickly had been tested, Tenorio said.

Given the small size of battery in smartwatches, changing these parameters could extend the life of the device “very significantly”, he said.

There was a cost in performance but the API could save users enough power to last until the end of a long run, he added.

The tech stems from Vodafone’s involvement in a 2017 project with elite runner Kenenisa Bekele to break the two-hour marathon barrier.

The amount of data transmitted by sensors in the attempt drained a smartwatch battery in less than an hour, Tenorio said.

“Bekele was fast, but he wasn’t that fast,” he said. “In a couple of years we were able to extend the (battery) life to three and a half hours.”

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The technology could be available in Wear OS in the coming months, he said, adding that “many more” wearables partners were interested in the API.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

 

 

We discuss the best of Google I/O 2022 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Wearables

Google Pixel Watch to Offer 24 Hours Battery Life, Tips Fitbit App APK Teardown

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Google Pixel Watch was unveiled during the I/O 2022 event in May as the first smartwatch offering from the company, alongside the Pixel Buds Pro and Pixel 6a. It runs on the Wear OS platform and comes with Fitbit integration for tracking various physical activities. The Google Pixel Watch will be available in the US starting this fall and ahead of the launch, the Fitbit app is reportedly readying support for the wearable. The recent APK (Android Package Kit) teardown of the app indicates new in-app text related to evening charge reminders giving hints at the estimated battery life of the smartwatch.

The estimated battery life of Google Pixel Watch was suggested by 9to5Google via an APK teardown while examining the latest v3.65 of the Fitbit app. The app could be used to manage the wearable. As per the report, the APK teardown of the app includes new in-app text related to evening charge reminders for the Google Pixel Watch. When this upcoming toggle is enabled, Fitbit will send a notification reminding users to charge their smartwatch.

Fitbit app generally recommends charging the device at least 30 percent before going to bed for ensuring efficient sleep tracking. Assuming that Google is considering a full night’s sleep on 8 hours, the report suggests that the smartwatch could offer a battery life of somewhere around 24 hours. These are in line with the past reports that claimed that the Google Pixel Watch has a capacity of about 300mAh battery that delivers up to a day’s runtime on a single charge.

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In May this year, Google introduced the Pixel Watch at I/O 2022 event. It will run the latest version of Wear OS and features a circular display with minimal bezels and curved glass protection. The smartwatch has a stainless-steel build. The wearable supports Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Wallet. It can be used as a remote for compatible smart home devices using the Home app for Wear OS.

Google has also packed customisable, swappable wristbands on the Pixel Watch. It will offer heart rate tracking and sleep monitoring as well. The Pixel Watch will work with the Find My Device app as well to help users locate their misplaced Pixel phone, earbuds, or any other supported devices.


We discuss the best of Google I/O 2022 on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Audio-Technica’s latest back-to-school sales event will get you up to 54% savings on select products

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Wearables

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5, Galaxy Watch 5 Pro Price in India Revealed; Pre-Bookings Start August 16

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