The last few weeks have served as a reminder of the kind of community and loyalty some wearables have managed to build. Last week it was news that time had run out for Pebble users, who were being thrown a lifeline by Rebble. This week, we are talking about Jawbone, a company that has been liquidated, reformed, but has not been very communicative during what is clearly a difficult time.
But in spite of these issues, users are not ready to give up on the company, and I can see why. I still have a soft spot for those UP fitness trackers and had they not been beset with so many issues, I may have still been using one now. But while Rebble was ready to step in to keep Pebble's smartwatches supported for a little while longer, I wonder if the same will happen for Jawbone when it goes full throttle with its serious heath tracking push. I really have my doubts, but I hope I'm proved wrong.
Essential reading: The week in VR and AR
We'll get into why Jawbone was in the news this week and talk about some news from Huawei. Plus, we pick out the best reads on the site for when you've had your wearable tech news fix.
UK retailers stop selling Jawbone trackers
Jawbone's plan to keep its fitness trackers alive after it decided to shift its focus to health has not gone smoothly. While it was nice to hear that Jawbone (now Jawbone Health) would continue to offer support for those who still cherish their UP trackers, it's been having serious problems making that a reality since it announced the final phase of making that happen back in May.
The companion app has basically not been working for more than a month and people are not happy. Jawbone is not talking, and after an investigation of the complaints by Which? three UK retailers including Amazon have decided to stop selling Jawbone's wearables altogether. The trackers are still available from other stores in the UK and in other territories, but with so much uncertainty when the app is going to fully functioning again, it seems unwise to be buying one and we've stopped recommending them too. It's all been a bit sad how things have panned out for Jawbone.
This week's best reads
- How the Tour de France 2018 is embracing wearablesWe explore one team's kit, used to train for the sport's most prestigious crown
- A love letter to my (nearly) lost Garmin Fenix 5You just don't know what you've got 'til it's gone
- Pegasi wants to help wearers sleep easierForget tracking night hours, this startup just wants to help you find a better routine
- Wearables to keep you safe in the sunDon‚Äôt get left in the shade with these smart UV-tracking wearables
- Tennis wearables to help you own the courtGrab your racquet and some top tennis monitoring kit
The Huawei TalkBand is making a return
Seriously, are people actually buying the TalkBand? Of all the wearables we'd think would be resurrected this year, this was not one of them. According to serial leakster Evan Blass, the Bluetooth headset-hiding wearable is coming back courtesy of renders of the next-generation device, named the TalkBand B5. So someone must be buying them.
The B5 name and the renders appear to indicate that its killer feature will still be the Bluetooth headset module you can stick inside your ear to make handsfree calls. Those renders also show that it'll double as a fitness tracker too, but that's about as much as we know. We expect it won't be long until we see it made official.
Huawei wants to hide buds in your watch
From one wacky Huawei wearable that hides away a Bluetooth headset inside ofa wrist-worn device to a concept from the same company that does something similar with wireless earbuds.
A patent granted to Huawei this week showed off a smartwatch that hides away waterproof, wireless earbuds between the bezel and strap. We can't decide whether it's genius fodder or not. We obviously love wireless earbuds and having a compartment on your watch that keeps them stored sounds like a a great idea. But there's also that obvious concern that this is going to add some serious bulk to the design.
When we've been making such great strides getting smartwatches slimmer, there's surely no way to make this happen without bulking things back up again. Surely?