Android Seems to Think We Need Another Smartwatch in the Mix

In today’s mobile news roundup: Google creating Android smartwatch; Google applies for new Google Glass patents; BlackBerry remains positive for US market; EC monitors Apple for antitrust complaints; Apple strengthens security; and Microsoft’s revamped speech recognition for Windows Phone.

Google creating Android smartwatch

After Samsung’s revelation that its team is working on a smartwatch that would compete with the rumored Apple iWatch, Google has now entered the picture.

According to reports, Google’s Android team is busy working on a smartwatch that would be closely tied to other Google products and services.  Last year, the search giant secured a patent for a flip-up display smartwatch that could give users “directions, retrieve product information, and display e-mail notifications.”

With Google Glass ready for release later this year, and maybe even a pair of talking shoes, it seems Google wants people’s lives to be governed by Android devices.  Wait.  Is Google slowly turning us all into AnDroids?

Google applies for new Google Glass patents

Speaking of Google Glass, Google has allegedly applied for Google Glass patents that would fuse augmented reality and wireless connectivity in the hopes of putting more functionality to the eyewear.  The new patents would allow Google Glass to control your smarthome, like opening the garage door or knowing the content of your smart refrigerator.  This would be possible via visual identification, RFID, infra-red, Bluetooth and even QR codes to recognize controllable devices.

BlackBerry remains positive for US marktet

Though it took much longer for the new BlackBerry 10 devices to reach US shores because of regulatory requirements and carrier testings, the company remains positive that the success it garnered in other markets will be topped by the US market.

“We are launching in the U.S. on the back of a successful launch in now more than 25 countries, and we expect the U.S. market to be no different,” BlackBerry Chief Marketing Officer Frank Boulben said in an interview on Thursday.

Though BlackBerry remained hopeful for its US launch, many were confused in CEO Thorsten Heins’ statement yesterday.  First, though the BlackBerry Z10 is launching today in the US, the CEO stated that there are better BlackBerry 10 devices coming later this year.  So was he saying that BlackBerry fans should wait for the other devices to come out before they purchase a BB10 device?  Then he stated that BlackBerry will focus on being a software company and license its OS and to collaborate for its Cloud Services.  In short, BlackBerry seems lost and unsure of what it really wants.

The BlackBerry Z10 is now available for pre-order to US consumers, but the only carrier offering it at the moment is Verizon Wireless.

EC monitors Apple for antitrust complaints

The European Commission is investigating Apple for iPhone deals made with mobile operators.  The Commission received informal complaints stating that the agreements may violate competition rules.  EC commissioner Joaquín Almunia confirmed that it is keeping an eye on the situation but no formal investigation has been launched.

“We have been contacted by industry participants and we are monitoring the situation, but no antitrust case has been opened,” said Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the commissioner said in an interview.

A formal complaint must be filed before the EC can launch a formal investigation.

Apple strengthens security

In an effort to keep its cloud offering Apple ID secure, Apple has launched a two-step verification process.  The two-step verification process will require users to verify the user’s identity using one of your devices before any changes to your account can be made or before you can purchase anything on iTunes or the App Store.

To set-up your two-step verification process, click here.  Click on the “Manage your Apple ID” tab, sign in, click on the “Password and Security” tab, then under Two-Step Verification, select “Get Started” and follow the on-screen instructions.

Microsoft’s revamped speech recognition for Windows Phone

In a video from MSFTKitchen, we see a revamped voice recognition for future Windows Phones.  The Bing Voice prototype shows faster speech recognition and accuracy improvements, and a new “streaming mode” that enables Windows Phone users to search while they speak.

No news yet as to when the feature would be introduced to consumers but it could be a part of the Windows Phone Blue update slated for later this year.

See a full recap of today’s top tech stories on this morning’s NewsDesk show with Kristin Feledy, below: