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12
Jun

Tweets will be official presidential records if the Covfefe Act passes


America’s 45th president has a habit of writing and then deleting his social media posts and US Representative Mike Quigley wants him to stop. As such, Quigley on Monday introduced legislation to force the National Archives to include “social media” as part of the Presidential Records Act and he’s calling it the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement, or “Covfefe” Act.

“President Trump’s frequent, unfiltered use of his personal Twitter account as a means of official communication is unprecedented,” Quigley stated. “If the President is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference. Tweets are powerful, and the President must be held accountable for every post.” It should be noted, however, that there is still a question as to whether Trump’s personal twitter account will be treated the same way as the official @POTUS account.

The National Archives, which is charged with maintaining a comprehensive set of the President and Vice President’s official records, argued in January that social media posts should be included as part of the Records Act. However, that requirement is not specifically mentioned in the existing law. Since then the White House has stated that the President’s tweets should be taken as official statements by the executive branch. “The president is president of the United States so they are considered official statements by the president of the United States,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters last week.

This isn’t the first time that Rep. Quigley has taken shots at the president through pun-filled legislation. He recently also introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act, which would force the administration to turn over the visitor logs from Trump’s Florida country club as well as the White House itself.

Via: The Hill

Source: The Office of US Rep Mike Quigley

12
Jun

Peer-to-Peer Payments Service ‘Zelle’ Debuts With Support From Major US Banks for Speedier Transfers


Last week at WWDC, Apple announced a new feature coming to Apple Pay that will let iOS users pay one another directly within Messages, placing the funds in a new “Apple Pay Cash” card that can then be transferred to a bank account or spent anywhere Apple Pay is supported. In addition to current competitors in the peer-to-peer payments space, including Venmo and Square Cash, a coalition of five U.S. banks are this week launching support for a new P2P payments service that promises speedier fund deposits, and support coming from more banks in the future.

The service is called “Zelle,” and it will be rolled into the apps and websites of the banks supporting it, which will begin with JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, and Capital One (via Reuters). Another two dozen banks and credit unions are predicted to join Zelle over the course of the next year. Zelle was originally announced last October.

Zelle’s supporters are focusing on its ability to deposit funds “in minutes” into a friend’s bank account, using only an email address or phone number, “because the banks are finally linking to each other.” Apps like Venmo and Square Cash normally take up to one day to transfer money into a bank account, with potential for instant transfers available at additional costs.

The long-awaited network will allow tens of millions of bank customers to send money to each other instantly – known as person-to-person payments – with a few taps on their smartphones. That is an improvement over Venmo, which immediately alerts users that a money transfer is in progress, but takes time to shift funds between bank accounts.

“By coming together to offer Zelle, we are providing a large majority of Americans with a safe, fast and easy way to move money,” said Bill Wallace, head of digital at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the biggest U.S. bank by assets.

Zelle was created by an industry consortium called Early Warning Services, whose CEO Paul Finch also cited payment service fragmentation as a major frustration for customers. Besides Venmo and Square Cash, even Facebook, Snapchat, and Google have their own peer-to-peer payments solutions, which Finch references as “inconsistent solutions.”

“Fragmentation has been frustrating for consumers. Inconsistent experiences, have made it difficult to send and receive money between banks,” said Paul Finch, Chief Executive Officer, Early Warning Services. “Zelle unites the financial community behind a single, real-time P2P payments experience for millions of consumers. Together, we are removing friction from finance, allowing money to move seamlessly between accounts in minutes. This revolution in money movement will create for consumers a viable alternative to checks and cash.”

The banks supporting Zelle “are being careful not to confuse customers” with the introduction of another payments app, so it’s said that a company like Chase will slowly introduce Zelle into its existing QuickPay app, calling it “QuickPay with Zelle.” Later in 2017, Zelle will also allow customers with banks that don’t connect with the service to use its instant payment features by pairing an upcoming Zelle app with a Visa or Mastercard debit account.

Zelle has a full list of banks and financial institutions launching support for the service, although it hasn’t detailed which will be available first beyond the five banks mentioned today, and encourages users to check with their financial providers for more information.

Apple’s own peer-to-peer payments solution will launch alongside iOS 11 this fall.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Zelle
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12
Jun

Apple Chasing Market Share in India by Letting Retailers Reduce Prices on Older Model iPhones


As Apple gears up to sell iPhones directly through its website in India later in 2017, the company’s successful sale of older generation iPhones in the country has come to light in a new article by Bloomberg. Within India, Apple has let third-party resellers and shops — including Amazon and Flipkart — reduce prices for “retro model” iPhones, because Indian users are said to be willing to concede in performance and specs for a cheaper Apple-branded smartphone.

One of the older iPhones in question is the iPhone 5s, launched in 2013 and replaced by the iPhone SE three years later in 2016. One user in the country described purchasing an iPhone 5s for 20,400 rupees (about $300) at local reseller iPlanet, and Amazon even listed the 5s as low as 15,999 rupees during a sale in May. Right now in the U.S., the cheapest iPhone you can buy is a SIM-free iPhone SE for $399.

Last summer, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that iPhones are too expensive in India, saying he wants Indian customers “to be able to buy at a price that looks like the U.S. price.” Now, it appears that potential iPhone users in India are being able to do that at even cheaper prices.

Now it’s letting stores and online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and Flipkart Ltd. slash prices for retro models, a rare concession for a brand that carefully guards its high-end image

“It doesn’t bother me that it is several generations old,” says Varuni T.V., a business professor in India who teaches at a college in Hospet, a mining town six hours north of Bangalore. “It’s a good feeling to own an Apple phone.”

Apple shipped 2.6 million devices to India in 2016, and older iPhones accounted for about 55 percent of those devices. In addition to the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 are said to be popular options at Indian retailers and online stores. The company is believed to be doubling down on this retro iPhone sales idea, hearing retailer pitches about cash-back offers, product exchanges, and monthly payment plans on iPhones, “all aimed at making it easier for young Indians to spend a month’s earnings or more on a 5S.”

Additionally, Apple will hire “affordability managers” in India, who will negotiate with banks and other money lenders on behalf of potential iPhone buyers, focusing on customers in smaller towns with less of a track record in buying expensive smartphones. Apple’s competition in the country is still steep, with Xiaomi and Oppo remaining the dominant forces in the Indian smartphone market.

Analysts remain hopeful for Apple’s presence in India, thanks to the onset of iPhone SE production in the country in its Bangalore plant. Next, it’s believed that Apple will attempt to begin individual component manufacturing for iPhone devices in India in order to continue establishing its foothold in the country.

Tag: India
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12
Jun

Apple Migrating iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra Users With Two-Step Verification to Two-Factor Authentication


Apple recently emailed Apple ID users with two-step verification enabled to inform them that, upon installing iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra, they will be automatically updated to its newer two-factor authentication method.

Apple introduced two-factor authentication in 2015 as an improved version of its two-step verification method for securing an Apple ID account with both a password and a secondary form of verification. Two-factor authentication requires an Apple device with iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, watchOS 2, any tvOS version, or later.

The two security methods are similar in many ways, but two-factor authentication automatically sends a six-digit verification code to all trusted devices registered to a given Apple ID, whereas two-step verification manually prompts users to send a four-digit code to any SMS-capable trusted device registered.

Two-factor authentication also displays a map on all trusted devices with an approximate location of where an Apple ID sign-in attempt occurred when a user is trying to access the account from an unknown device or on the web.


Apple’s two-factor authentication method disables the Recovery Key by default, since offline verification codes can be generated on trusted devices in the Settings app. On iOS, users can still enable the Recovery Key as a backup method in Settings > Apple ID > Password & Security > Recovery Key.

The full text of the email is copied below:

If you install the iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra public betas this summer and meet the basic requirements, your Apple ID will be automatically updated to use two-factor authentication. This is our most advanced, easy-to-use account security, and it’s required to use some of the latest features of iOS, macOS, and iCloud.

Once updated, you’ll get the same extra layer of security you enjoy with two-step verification today, but with an even better user experience. Verification codes will be displayed on your trusted devices automatically whenever you sign in, and you will no longer need to keep a printed recovery key to make sure you can reset a forgotten password.

iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra public betas will be available in late June through the Apple Beta Software Program. The software updates will be available for all eligible iOS devices and Macs in the fall.

Related Roundups: iOS 11, macOS High Sierra
Tags: Two-Factor Authentication, two-factor
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12
Jun

The next version of Snap’s Spectacles will feature augmented reality


Why it matters to you

Augmented reality is looking more and more like the next big thing, with the likes of Google, Apple, and now Snap all jockeying to get in on the ground floor.

Snap Inc. is apparently hard at work on the second iteration of its Spectacles, and it seems that the upcoming version of the wearable will build upon its predecessor significantly. Now, rumors are circulating that the second-generation Spectacles will feature a focus on augmented reality.

The upcoming revamp of Snap’s spectacles is still a top-secret project, with the majority of the company’s staff still being left in the dark, according to a report from TechCrunch. However, the word is that the second iteration will be quite different to the first, and all signs point toward AR being the key.

It’s no secret that Snap is interested in the potential of AR. In April 2017, Snapchat added a feature known as World Lenses, allowing users to place animated imagery in a scene which then maintains its position relative to its surroundings to allow for novel photos and videos.

However, AR features designed for the second-generation wearable will likely go far beyond this kind of functionality. Previously, patent filings have revealed that Snap was looking into the production of an AR helmet and an AR visor, as well as its Spectacles.

Snapchat’s Spectacles are one of the most unusual tech products to have launched in recent years, and a rare example of a social media company expanding out into hardware. The glasses were initially launched in very small quantities, and were only available for purchase via a pop-up vending machine know as Snapbot — which invariably ran out of stock wherever it appeared.

While Snap is moving ahead with plans for a follow-up, don’t expect to see the inaugural version of its Spectacles disappear just yet. There’s currently no word on when the second-generation wearable will be ready for the public, and its predecessor just received an expanded release in Europe earlier this month.




12
Jun

The next version of Snap’s Spectacles will feature augmented reality


Why it matters to you

Augmented reality is looking more and more like the next big thing, with the likes of Google, Apple, and now Snap all jockeying to get in on the ground floor.

Snap Inc. is apparently hard at work on the second iteration of its Spectacles, and it seems that the upcoming version of the wearable will build upon its predecessor significantly. Now, rumors are circulating that the second-generation Spectacles will feature a focus on augmented reality.

The upcoming revamp of Snap’s spectacles is still a top-secret project, with the majority of the company’s staff still being left in the dark, according to a report from TechCrunch. However, the word is that the second iteration will be quite different to the first, and all signs point toward AR being the key.

It’s no secret that Snap is interested in the potential of AR. In April 2017, Snapchat added a feature known as World Lenses, allowing users to place animated imagery in a scene which then maintains its position relative to its surroundings to allow for novel photos and videos.

However, AR features designed for the second-generation wearable will likely go far beyond this kind of functionality. Previously, patent filings have revealed that Snap was looking into the production of an AR helmet and an AR visor, as well as its Spectacles.

Snapchat’s Spectacles are one of the most unusual tech products to have launched in recent years, and a rare example of a social media company expanding out into hardware. The glasses were initially launched in very small quantities, and were only available for purchase via a pop-up vending machine know as Snapbot — which invariably ran out of stock wherever it appeared.

While Snap is moving ahead with plans for a follow-up, don’t expect to see the inaugural version of its Spectacles disappear just yet. There’s currently no word on when the second-generation wearable will be ready for the public, and its predecessor just received an expanded release in Europe earlier this month.




12
Jun

Watch the Intel PC Gaming Show at E3 2017 right here


Why it matters to you

If you want to learn about the current happenings in PC gaming, the Intel PC Gaming Show is a can’t-miss event.

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Entering its third year as a major presentation at E3, one major question about the PC Gaming Show that we have is: Will it rein in its length? In both 2015 and 2016, the conference ran in excess of two hours, making it the longest major press conference in both years. That is not to say that the presentations were filled with duds. Last year, Cliff Bleszinski took the stage to talk Lawbreakers, New World Interactive announced its follow-up to Insurgency, a World War II shooter called Day of Infamy, and we saw a slew of virtual reality announcements for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, including the excellent Superhot. But much of the time in each of the first two years was given to games we already knew of and, in some cases, trailers and gameplay that we had already seen for those games. There is reason to believe that Intel’s show will turn things around this year, though.

How to watch

The Intel PC Gaming Show kicks off Monday at 10 a.m. (PT). It will be streamed on Twitch, but you can watch it right here with us in the window above.

What to expect

While this conference is a little harder to predict than other major conferences, we know a few things that will be featured on stage. For starters, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole Studio will have some news and announcements about its ridiculously popular survival game. Firaxis Games and 2K will be in attendance to announce a major new addition for XCOM 2, a game that we awarded a perfect score. Klei Entertainment will announce its follow-up to Oxygen Not Included, which entered Early Access earlier this year. Creative Assembly will discuss Total War: Warhammer 2. Also, look for Harebrained to talk about the status of its Kickstarter-backed BattleTech. Microsoft reps will also take the stage, presumably to discuss the Play Anywhere program.

Naturally, there will be more trailers, announcements, and looks at upcoming VR titles as well.




12
Jun

25 awesome Android games you need to play this month


Update: Added new games for June 2017, including Riptide GP: Renegade, Pro Evolution Soccer, Asphalt Xtreme, and Injustice 2.

We started this roundup back in 2011, and though we believe Apple’s iOS still has a better game selection, Android has grown considerably in the time since. We’ve compiled some of our favorite games that are currently on the market, as of early 2017. Some are free and others cost a few bucks, but all of them provide an entertaining experience on the go.

Given that there are hundreds of thousands of Android games spanning a bevy of different genres — role-playing, platforming, sports, etc. — we’ve broken them down into distinct sections for your perusal. Now, if only everything in life was as simple as choosing a game for your evening commute…

Action and Adventure Games

Crashlands ($5)

In Crashlands, you play the role of a galactic truck driver marooned on a strange planet far from home. You must attempt to locate your packages, all the while learning new strategies and making connections to thwart an alien plot to to take over this new world.

Download now from:

Google Play

Shadow Fight 2 (Free)

Everyone harbors a secret desire to be a ninja, so step out of the shadows and beat your opponents to a pulp in this stylish, beautifully animated, fighting game. Grinding RPG elements detract slightly, but it’s a fun time.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Injustice 2 (Free)

best android games injustice 2

Fight as your favorite DC superheroes in the second iteration of this popular game. Compared to the first Injustice game, Injustice 2 features better fighting dynamics, new moves, and even new characters to play as. The game even has a great storyline, and is set in the future when Batman and his team are fighting against those attempting to restore the Superman Regime — then a new threat appears.

Download now from:

Google Play

Racing games

Riptide GP Renegade ($2.99)

best android games moto gp renegade

Riptide GP has long been considered among the best racing games on Android, and for good reason. The latest game is called Renegade, and you play as a street racer caught in illegal street races. Battle your way to the top of the ladder to become the best racer around.

Download now from:

Google Play

Asphalt Xtreme (Free)

best android games asphalt xtreme

If car racing is more your thing, then consider Asphalt. The franchise has been around almost as long as smartphones themselves, and the games have gotten better and better. Asphalt Xtreme is one of the latest titles in the series, and sees you ditching the roads in favor of off-road racing.

Download now from:

Google Play

First-person Games

Unkilled (Free)

The makers of Dead Trigger and Dead Trigger 2 have brought yet another zombie first-person shooter that has pretty good graphics. This one offers short quick missions, where you have to blast your way through zombies and other objectives to complete the missions. The controls are simple. All you have to do is drag your thumb on the left side of the screen to move, and drag your thumb on the right side to move the crosshair. When you have a target in your sights, the gun will automatically shoot.

Download now from: 

Google Play

Modern Combat 5: Blackout (Free)

The latest installment in the most popular Android FPS series is the usual macho blend of fast-paced shooter action. Original it ain’t, but it’s slick, enjoyable, and boasts a solid multiplayer mode.

Download now from:

Google Play

Role-playing Games

Baldur’s Gate ($10)

Embark on a long quest to uncover the truth about Sword Coast. Collect loot and level-up along the way in this epically huge PC classic that offers more than 60 hours of gameplay.

Download now from:

Google Play

Final Fantasy VI ($16)

Legendary Japanese dev Square Enix has ported most of the Final Fantasy series to Android. If you played them first time round you’ll know why it’s one of the biggest RPG series of all time, if not it’s time you did.

Download now from:

Google Play

Pokémon Go (Free)

pokemon go screen 5

Pokémon Go, the spiritual successor to Ingress, uses the camera on a player’s smartphone to create a Pokémon-themed alternate reality experience, one where players see various Pokémon appear in the world through the camera lens. Players can capture these Pokémon and use them to take over gyms, which are found at various landmarks throughout the world.

Download now from:

Google Play

Arcade

Crossy Road (Free)

Crossy Road is Frogger for the 21st century. You can connect with up to four friends and compete online.

Download now from:

Google Play

Pac-Man (Free)

Some games stand the test of time better than others. Classic arcade game Pac-Man is still giving gamers a run for their money nearly four decades after its release. The Android Pac-Man app stays true to the original format, while adding a few new levels to keep things fresh.

Download now from:

Google Play

Platformers

VVVVVV ($3)

VVVVVV is a smart, retro, sci-fi platformer with an old-school difficulty curve and a charming sense of wit. The twist is, instead of jumping, you tap to flip gravity as you search for the missing members of your crew.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Badland (Free)

This is a compelling fusion of gorgeous artwork, accessible gameplay, and clever design. You have to guide your hedgehog-like creatures through a deadly forest teeming with life and machines.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Thomas Was Alone ($5)

Short and strangely sweet, this puzzle-platformer is elevated to a higher plain by the narration of Danny Wallace and the awesome soundtrack. Get ready to emote over blocks.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Minecraft – Pocket Edition ($7)

The phenomenon known as Minecraft made an incredibly successful jump to smartphones, giving fans of the franchise the ability to mine, explore, and build their way to 8-bit glory anywhere.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Endless Runners

 Alone… ($2)

Fans of twitchy gameplay are going to love this fresh endless runner that places you in a capsule hurtling through space at near light speed trying desperately to avoid colliding with anything.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Temple Run 2 (Free)

temple-run-2-android-games-screenshot

Can you evade capture and certain death at the hands of a rabid monkey? Duck, jump, slide, and spin to safety as you sprint through a ruined temple environment clutching the stolen idol.

Download now from:

Amazon Google Play

Puzzle and Word Games

Infinite Loop (Free)

Infinite Loop is a minimal puzzle game where the goal is to connect the grid so that there are no openings to create the a pattern. The patterns are generated through algorithms, allowing it to be endless. Control-wise, all you have to do is tap on each pattern to rotate it. The game is free and has no in-app purchases.

Download now from:

Google Play

WordBrain 2 (Free)

WordBrain 2 is a great game for puzzle lovers. Swipe the letters on the screen to uncover hidden words. With more than 690 levels to master, there’s no shortage of brain teasers to unriddle.

Download now from:

Google Play

Strategy Games

Fallout Shelter (Free)

Even if you’re not a Fallout fan, this addictive sim is one of the best Android games around. Tunnel into the earth and build a vault to provide for your dwellers. Can you keep them alive in the face of raiders, radroaches, and other threats?

Download now from: 

Google Play

Plants vs. Zombies 2 (Free)

Carefully construct your garden of doom to take down the onslaught of zombies before one of them eats your brains. Set across several themed worlds, this game looks and plays great.

Download now from:

Google Play

Clash of Clans (Free)

Build up your settlement, plan your defenses, raise an army, and guide your tribe to victory against nasty goblins or other clan leaders. It’s a good combination of slow planning and quick chaotic battles.

Download now from:

Google Play

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Free)

hearthstone-thumb

Hearthstone, Blizzard’s collectible card game, brings most of the fun of card games to mobile devices. You can collect cards, assemble decks, and duel other players online. Every action is performed through simple touch gestures. The game is also free-to-play. You acquire new packs of cards by completing quests or buying them from the in-game store.

Download now from:

Google Play

Sports Games

Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (Free)

best android games pes2017

Pro Evolution Soccer has long been a staple among soccer fans, and for good reason. While the game has traditionally been played on the PlayStation and PC, in recent years it’s been available on mobile as well — with great results. The game is free, too, though if you do pay money you may be able to get extra players.

Download now from:

Google Play




12
Jun

Best app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest apps on sale in the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Time Off

daily app deals ios 6 12 2017 screen696x696

Request, remember, and report all your paid Time Off. Now the app offers advanced accruals, cloud sync, and co-worker notifications.

Available on:

iOS

Aura

daily app deals ios 6 12 2017 screen696x696  1

Aura’s powerful and beautifully designed tools will help you add beautiful frames, filters, text and so much more to your photos, in the most creative and playful way ever.

Available on:

iOS

PostBot 3

daily app deals ios 6 12 2017 screen696x696  2

The Bot tells you when to post to Instagram and what tags to use. Best hours of the day are determined with intelligence, specifically for your audience.

Available on:

iOS

Reminders Widget

daily app deals ios 6 12 2017 screen696x696  3

You can now check out your reminders easily without having to unlock your phone with this handy Reminders Widget.

Available on:

iOS

TextVideo

daily app deals ios 6 12 2017 screen696x696  4

TextVideo will give you a simple way to add text on video. Your text can be wrapped, rotated, and animated, and hundreds of fonts are available.

Available on:

iOS

iHydrate

daily app deals ios 6 12 2017 screen696x696  5

You’re not drinking enough water. This app can help with charts and reminders (included) to keep you going. Every second of every day, someone around the world is using the app to stay hydrated.

Available on:

iOS




12
Jun

Sony’s latest watch has an E Ink band and face so you can customize every inch


Why it matters to you

Sony’s E Ink watch was a crowdfunded hit, and now it’s back with a few new tricks.

Update: The Sony FES Watch U E Ink watch is now on sale in Japan from Sony’s First Flight crowdfunding site, and a number of fashion boutiques. 

It may have begun as an experiment, but two years later, the Sony FES Smartwatch seems like a resounding success for internal crowdfunding. After hitting stores for the first time in November 2015, this E Ink watch underwent innovations and renovations yet again last November. The pretty little wearable features both an E Ink display and an E Ink band, and no matter how wild your imagination may run, this watch can handle it. And now, the FES Watch U has been made available in Japan.

Those in Japan can buy the watch from Sony’s First Flight crowdfunding site, and a number of fashion boutiques in Tokyo are carrying the piece as well. The “premium black” model will set you back 60,000 yen ($544), and the regular steel finish costs 46,000 yen ($417), with the option of either a black or white strap. Both options are more expensive than the original E Ink watch that went on sale a couple years ago, but it doesn’t look like any of them will be sold outside Japan.

The FES Watch U already pairs with your phone to control its design, but whereas users could previously only determine the appearance of the watch face, now wearers can change the band’s style as well. A single FES Watch U can now host a whole slew of design possibilities, so you’ll only ever need one watch for any and all of your outfits.

The flexible band is a little thicker than your traditional leather, plastic, or cloth band (because it has to accommodate for the E Ink display), but if you don’t mind some extra bulk around your wrist, this shouldn’t be an issue. The watch body is composed either of steel and sapphire glass or traditional glass, depending on the model you decide to purchase. And because E Ink is very efficient in terms of energy consumption, your watch will stay charged for up to three weeks.

In total, there are 12 watch face and band designs shipped with the device, but the Sony community (or the company itself) may come up with more, as the FES is capable of storing 24 different designs.




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