Is the cellular Apple Watch Series 3 the stealthy breakthrough everyone missed?

The world, now on your wrist

The tech world is decompressing from Apple’s big day yesterday, where they rolled out three key new products – and one sort of noteworthy one. Top of the list? The new iPhone X, the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and the Series 3 Apple Watch, which almost negates having to rely on an iPhone of any kind going forward.

That may be overstating things a tiny bit – maybe – but the new watch may have been the truly stealth breakthrough product announced by Tim Cook and his team on Tuesday. Think about it: the iPhone X, as cool and capable as it is, is, at its core, just another smartphone, more similar than different from the hundreds of others out there just like it. But a regular-sized watch you can make calls on without it being tethered to a cell phone? That’s the Dick Tracy dream device right there, and there’s a reason that vision has persisted for decades: it’s the ultimate in ultimate communication convenience.

Indeed, it could be argued that watches are really the ultimate tech gadget, not phones. Strapped to your wrist, a watch doesn’t get lost easily, it’s waterproof, small, and now with a cellular connection, it can do a large percentage of the most primary tasks a now bulky smartphone was once needed for.

It’s a comment we heard time and again: “this is the breakthrough. This is the way it should have been from the start.” And while other smartwatch makers have tried to make the stand-alone watch phone a reality, outside of some pretty dismal products and one for kids that we actually do like, the Series 3 Apple Watch could be the device that prompts Apple’s rivals to buckle down, shrink the size, up the performance, and drive the tech forward.

That’s how Apple changes tech landscapes. You can check out more details on the $400 Series 3 Apple Watch, as well as get more analysis of the rest of Apple’s announcements with our complete coverage.

A sudden case of cavities

We’ve got a device safety heads up for you today: cybersecurity firm Armis says the increasing complexity behind the Bluetooth short-range radio protocol has opened yet another door for bad guys to hack your tech.

In a lengthy PDF, which we’ve summarized for you on our site, Armis says the long evolution of Bluetooth, which was first made available in 1998, has buried some vulnerabilities in the system that could allow hackers to work their way into your devices and data. Armis calls the threat “Blue born” and says that literally billions of Bluetooth devices and their nearby friends – usually PCs and phones – could be at risk of getting hacked in as little as 10 seconds.

Good news, though: both Google and Microsoft say they are busy making sure the security holes get patched up, so make sure you run those updates as they arrive on your computers and devices.

Yes officer, I was pedaling at 70mph

One trend we’re seeing in transportation is the continued development of electric bicycles, which seem to be quickly morphing into a bicycle/motorcycle hybrid type of thing.

What began as a way to help you pedal faster – so-called “pedal assist” bikes – are quickly becoming high-powered speed demons with impressive range. Check out the Delfast eBikes from the Balkans. Delfast started as a package delivery service using ebikes, but of course, faster is always better in that business, so they built up a fleet of higher-powered machines to cut delivery times – and a new product was born.

Delfast is now taking to Kickstarter to raise funds to build their latest crop of ebikes. Their top of the line model, this burly fellow, tops out at 35 miles an hour and will go over 230 miles on a charge. That’s moped, scooter and electric car territory right there. It’s also packed full of tech.  And unlike a car, if you run out of juice, you can pedal it like a normal bicycle to your destination – or just pop in another battery. Plus, we gotta say, this is a bike Darth Vader would ride.

Delfast’s bikes are going to start at $3,000 for their most basic model, and while the top-end go-fast versions will certainly not be cheap, they’re going to be a lot cheaper – and definitely more fun- than a Chevy Bolt or Tesla Model 3. Check out all the details in this report. 

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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