Apple made some serious waves this week -- launching the, , revealing the , and debuting -- but I'm inclined to think you've already read quite a bit about all those products.
Let's instead take a gander at all the other notable announcements, unveilings, hype, and buzz, some of which got lost in the shuffle.
Those include the release of the, Motorola's entry to the Android Wear smartwatch category. It's the first Android Wear device with a round face, though that symmetry is somewhat betrayed by a flat bottom. It's been unflatteringly dubbed a "flat tire," and while that slice is bit distracting in pictures, when wearing it you hardly notice.
You will, however, certainly notice the presence of the rest of the thing while you're wearing it. The watch is properly huge, and while it's the most fashionable of the Android Wear devices that have come to market, that ain't saying much. Battery life is also a problem, with Motorola promising a full day on a charge, but many having to top-up midway through. Its $250 price tag is at least fair compared with the competition, especially the $350 Apple Watch, and Android Wear continues to gain functionality and third-party support. But I confess it's mighty hard to recommend these devices when there's still so much advancement to come.
Are 'Nokia' and 'Windows Phone' being put to pasture?
When Microsoft finally got around to acquiring Nokia, there was hope in the eyes of some that the company would keep its Finnish acquisition's name as a moniker for hardware products going forward. Microsoft, however, quickly put the kibosh on that idea, and indeed it looks like the company's smartphones will simply be known as "Lumia" devices soon.
However, aalso seems to indicate that they won't be "Windows Phone" devices for long, either. Indeed, they may simply be "Windows" devices, consistent with the messaging that it's one operating system across many platforms. That simplification certainly should help to make the devices easier to ask for, but will it increase their consumer appeal?
T-Mobile makes big Wi-Fi calling push
One of the new things added to the iPhone 6 is support for Wi-Fi calling, and T-Mobile wasted no time in making that feature even easier to use. Never one to miss a branding opportunity, CEO John Legere announced "," a plan that will give every T-Mo customer a free Wi-Fi router that is pre-configured to optimize cellular-free calling -- though it's unclear exactly what that optimization entails. Somewhat more substantial is a partnership with Gogo in-flight wireless, enabling subscribers to send and receive text messages, MMS, and even voicemails for free while in-flight. No in-flight voice calls, though. Thank goodness.
Is this Windows 9?
Windows 8 has thus far failed to make a dent in the universe, and Microsoft seems to be wasting no time in rushing its successor into the limelight. A preview edition of Windows "Threshold" -- aka Windows 9 -- is expected to debut sometime by mid-October, though this week German sites ComputerBase and WinFuturethat appear to show off the next-gen OS. There's a more traditional Start menu, the ability to run "modern" apps in a Window, and a whole lot of other tweaks that should make Windows traditionalists -- and just about everyone else -- feel a bit more comfortable about the future of the desktop.
'Power of Optics' does Rube Goldberg with photons
Per usual, I leave you with a picture of the moving variety. I love a good Rube Goldberg machine, the sort of contraption that makes a simple task so needlessly complex you'll forget what it was supposed to do well before it's completed. This one is called "," and it takes a different, distinctly photogenic approach to the concept. Enjoy and have a lovely weekend.