Apple, Google, Samsung, and a number of other tech companies are expected to launch smartwatches in the next year. But watch maker Casio is busy adding smart features to its existing line of watches.
The company’s latest G-SHOCK wristwatches can vibrate or beep when a call or email message arrives on your phone. You can sync the date and time between your phone and watch. You can use an app on your phone to set a timer on your watch. And you can use the buttons on the watch to control some apps on your phone — including music players.
One of the things I miss about using my old Dell Axim PDA instead of a modern touchscreen smartphone is the physical buttons that I could use to play, pause, skip forward, or skip back while listening to music without pulling the device out of my pocket.
I don’t actually wear a wristwatch, but the ability to pause music playback without pulling my phone out of my pocket and unlocking the screen first is the sort of thing that’s likely to tempt me into buying a smartwatch one of these days.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Casio releases watches that pair with your phone for alerts, music player controls
Not all smartwatches need touchscreen displays. Casio’s G-SHOCK watches pair with your phone over Bluetooth, show notifications, and let you use the physical buttons to control music playback on your Android or iOS device. [Casio]
- Kindle app for Android updated with more options for sorting your library
Amazon’s latest version of the Kindle app for Android lets you sort the library by title, author, or recent. It also now shows you an estimate of how much more time it’ll take you to read a chapter or the rest of the book. That’s a feature that was previously available on Kindle devices, but now every Android device is a Kindle device. Sort of. [Google Play]
- X2 Carbon X220G Windows tablet hits the FCC, designed for commercial use
X2’s tablets tend to be rugged devices aimed at point-of-sales systems and other commercial purposes. Earlier this year a model similar to this was touted as ideal for use in BINGO games. [FCC]
- Microsoft introduces Sculpt Ergonic Desktop including keyboard, mouse, number pad
Windows 8 may be all about the touchscreen. But Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about those of us who like to use a keyboard and mouse. The company just introduced a new line of ergonomic accessories including a keyboard, mouse, and number pad. [Windows Experience Blog]
- Windows 8.1 appears to be on track for an October launch
Sure, you can take a preview build of Windows 8.1 for a spin today, but if you’re wondering when you’ll be able to install the free update to Windows 8 yourself, it looks like the wait will be over in a few months, with Windows 8.1 launching close to the first anniversary of the introduction of Windows 8. [ZDNet]