Fossil Q Founder Android watch review

In today's open source roundup: A review of the Fossil Q Founder Android watch. Plus: Sign up for the official Reddit app for Android beta. And the decline and fall of HTC as an Android vendor

A review of the Fossil Q Founder Android watch

Android Wear is rolling right along, and the Fossil Q Founder is one of the newest Android watches. What makes it particularly interesting is that it is from Fossil, a company that certainly knows how to make a watch. But how does the Fossil Q Founder stack up as an Android Watch?

Valentina Palladino reports for Ars Technica:

Fossil did everything it had to in order to make a solid Android Wear watch—nothing more and nothing less. It's clear the company focused on design, which shouldn't have been complicated considering Fossil already has timepiece design down to a science. Fossil fans will be drawn to this watch, and those unfamiliar with the brand will also see it as an attractive accessory. With a number of band options and a decent price, the Q Founder is competitive as an Android Wear device as well as a watch.

However, compared to others like the Huawei Watch, it is limited since it doesn't have a heart rate monitor and its display is slightly less sharp. Neither of those issues are huge drawbacks, but when you throw in its shorter battery life it definitely doesn't offer as much as some competing Wear watches.

Fossil didn't have to make the best Android Wear watch, nor does it have a responsibility to add unique features to Android Wear (though I do wish Fossil made more use of the Q smartphone app). Google will have to figure out ways to make its wearable OS more useful, an ongoing process that is out of Fossil's hands.

What Fossil's Q Founder could do is present Android Wear to fashion-conscious buyers who otherwise wouldn't even consider a smartwatch. If that proves to be the case, it'll be good news for everyone involved: Android Wear will diversify even more with many stylish, unique hardware options, and other fashion companies will get into the game and start experimenting with smart accessories. But most importantly, people will realize that wearables aren't just for the most tech-conscious among us, and a new wave of users will help further define smartwatches' best and most needed features.

More at Ars Technica

Sign up for the official Reddit app for Android beta

Reddit is preparing to release an official app for Android, and you can sign up for the beta if you want to get it as soon as possible. An official app might be a good alternative to using the mobile version of Reddit.

A thread on Reddit has details:

Hi everyone! I’m the product manager for native mobile here at Reddit.

As many of you know, the team here has been working hard to bring our official native Reddit app to Android for a while now. Now that we’re getting close to having something to share, we’d love to invite some redditors to participate in the beta to provide us with feedback and help identify those nasty bugs so we can squash them before wide release.

Sign up for the beta will begin on 11 Dec 2015 at 11am PST and end on 18 Dec 2015 at 11am PST.

Thanks again for your patience and support. Looking forward to bringing you guys a kick-ass app (and working with you to keep making it even better) very soon :)

More at Reddit

The decline and fall of HTC as an Android vendor

At one time HTC was near the top of the heap in terms of Android vendors, but things change fast in the world of smartphones and HTC isn't doing so well these days. Digital Trends has an overview of the decline and fall of HTC.

Joshua Sherman reports for Digital Trends:

Things have changed since Steve Ballmer scoffed at the iPhone’s $600 price tag in 2007. There’s always a place for premium smartphones in both features and brand recognition, but one thing that’s certainly changed is that cheap prices are king, once again.

The world is a far different place from what it was during HTC’s peak in 2011: Smartphones are no longer subsidized; emerging markets are interested in cheaper phones; wireless service is more expensive than ever; and phone buyers aren’t necessarily looking for the latest and greatest anymore — they just want to get by with what’s cheap and what works for their budget. For most people, a $300 smartphone is more than enough. Even high-end Chinese smartphones like the OnePlus 2 start at just $330, a far cry from the $600+ for any premium HTC or Samsung device. To make matters worse, people are only willing to shell out the big bucks if they think the phone is as much a fashion statement as designer clothes or luxury watches.

Premium smartphones will always have their place, but the arrival of lower-cost smartphones is making many doubt the $600 price for high-end devices — unless they’re named iPhone. IDC’s latest data on market share shows how cheaper Chinese manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi are growing, while brands like Samsung fall. HTC doesn’t even make the top 10 among smartphone manufacturers anymore.

Many of HTC’s devices are still among the best we review each year here at Digital Trends, and the company certainly has fans who hope it can reclaim its former glory. But HTC’s fall from grace was no accident: it’s the result of four years of crappy devices, poor sales, ineffective marketing, dumb investments, and bad decisions. It’s going to take more than a decent smartphone and a Superbowl TV ad to turn things around. HTC will need to make bold moves if it ever hopes to capture the hearts and minds of smartphone users again. Until then, it seems destined to slowly fade into obscurity.

More at Digital Trends

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