Watches, consoles, and Mini Coopers
Instruction Set 2023/7/28
Welcome back to Multicore. This is Instruction Set for the week of Friday, July 28th.
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was in Kyoto, and the result of that trip is now available to peruse on the information superhighway. I was covering the BitSummit indie games show for my old haunt The Verge; you can read the report here. It's quite a high-level look at Japan's indie scene, which has come a long way yet still has much further to go.
It was great to work with The Verge again — I was there for more than a decade and I still really enjoy the site as a reader. Good people over there.
So, as for what else happened this week.
I focused on folding phones in yesterday's article about Samsung, but that's not all that got announced this week at the Unpacked event in Seoul.
Samsung has long made the best smartwatches for Android, which is partly why Google merged WearOS with Samsung's own Tizen platform a couple of years ago. Since then, though, Samsung moved away from its trademark rotating bezels for touch-sensitive replacements that weren't as reliable or satisfying to use. Samsung's bezels work the same way as the crown on a Pixel Watch or Apple Watch, letting you scroll through things without obscuring the display.
Well, here's the Galaxy Watch 6 lineup, which both makes the bezels thinner and restores their physical rotation. We'll have to see how performance and battery life shake out with the new Exynos W930 chip, given the larger screens, but it sounds like a win-win on paper.
I have a Pixel Watch and I mostly like the software and design, but it suffers from thick (non-rotating!) bezels and poor battery life. It's not really viable to use the always-on display if you need a full day's charge, for example. WearOS 4 is supposed to improve efficiency, but I wouldn't count on it working miracles.
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