The year might be nearing its end but there’s still plenty of goings on in the world of tech and we’ve highlighted the best (and worst) of this week’s big stories to keep you caught up.
Even though it happened over the previous weekend, I think it’s fair to say that Black Friday has dominated much of this week’s discussion. Save for the fact that it’s been the focus of this journalist’s workload for the last month or so, it also ended up being the best opportunity of the year to bag a bargain on smart home devices and several of the latest phones. All in all, a pretty decent Black Friday sale… save for the fact that its follow-up, Cyber Monday, was nowhere to be found.
On a more positive note for any wearable fans out there (myself included), we finally received an update on the long-awaited Pixel Watch, courtesy of a report from Business Insider. It now seems more concrete than ever that a Pixel Watch launch could be just a few months away, and the prospect of what it’ll bring to the wearables market is more than enough to get the excitement brewing.
Winner: Pixel Watch
At this point, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve written about the Pixel Watch. This is an illusive product that could potentially have the prowess to take down the Apple Watch. I’ve always wanted to get my hands on Google’s smartwatch because of this, but instead, any rumours, leaks or even renders tend to be met with complete silence on Google’s end – and then the hype deflates all over again. Clearly I’ve yet to learn my lesson, because the latest info for the watch has stirred that same excitement.
This time around, sources close to Google have noted that the company is currently hard at work in ensuring that the Pixel Watch sees the light of day in 2022. The project is being spearheaded by one of Google’s in-house teams, and while the recently acquired Fitbit isn’t calling the shots, the watch will have integration with various Fitbit features according to the latest leaks.
The report also alludes to the Pixel Watch being a showcase for Wear OS 3 in its best form – something that’s sorely lacking as there’s been nothing beyond the Galaxy Watch 4 to give consumers an idea of what the near Wear OS is capable of.
There’s a case to be made that for the last few generations, Apple has had a tendency to rest on its laurels as far as the Apple Watch is concerned, making this the ideal time for Google to swoop in with a truly game changing wearable. Only time will tell if Google’s up to the task, but with the foundations of Wear OS 3 offering some solace, the Pixel Watch could be the shake up we’ve all been waiting for.
Loser: Cyber Monday
Oh Cyber Monday, where art thou? That’s the question that I, other tech journalists and countless shoppers were left asking on the Monday just gone when the tech-focused sale that typically follows Black Friday was nowhere to be seen.
In the entire time since Cyber Monday’s invention (circa 2005 depending on who you ask), the sale has operated as a must-needed last chance opportunity for anyone who missed out on Black Friday to bag a bargain ahead of the winter holiday. In fact, Cyber Monday had earned a solid reputation in its own right for being particularly consumer friendly in the realm of computing and laptop discounts – handy for any students or creatives needing a new work device.
To see this year’s ‘Cyber Monday’ come and go without a trace just feels like a huge letdown, and even more so for anyone who wasn’t able to get their shopping done at the weekend. Instead, all of the usual haunts (Amazon, Currys, AO, etc.) simply held on to the Black Friday branding with very few new offers to entice buyers.
It might seem facetious to some, but it’d be just as bizarre if the Boxing Day or January sales simply ceased to be, and there’s the potential that it speaks to something greater about the inability of retailers to cover two sale’s worth of deals amidst an ongoing chip shortage. Either way, it’s consumers who lose out and it’d be a shame to see one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated sales events fall to the wayside.