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Microsoft announced in late 2014 that it was abandoning the in smartphones in favor of Microsoft Lumia products. (The Lumia name had come over from Nokia.) At about the same time, Nokia announced a tablet, called the N1, that carried its own branding. With the ban on releasing a Nokia smartphone up at the end of this year, the Finland-based company now has ample time to work on a new handset that it could announce as early as 2016. Getting back into the smartphone business will be an important, but potentially difficult, reboot for Nokia. The company was once the dominant handset maker in the world, but failed to adapt swiftly to the touchscreen smartphone craze and soon found itself well behind Samsung and Apple. As Nokia tried to rebuild its business, customers increasingly turned elsewhere.

Since the sale to Microsoft, Nokia has been focused on build out its mapping and network equipment businesses, Nokia Technologies, which is reportedly taking on the smartphone development, licenses the company's patents to other firms, It's also charged with new product development, According to Recode's sources, Nokia Technologies is also working on other types of products, including devices designed iphone case 8 plus apple for virtual-reality uses, For now, though, the focus is on the possibility of Nokia rejoining the smartphone market, It's currently unknown what the device would look like or what features it would offer, Since Nokia's N1 tablet is running Android, it's possible that the smartphone would also be an Android-based device, Launch details, including timing and availability, were also unknown..

Nokia declined to comment on the Recode report. With the Lumia line now in Microsoft's hands, what's left of Nokia is reportedly planning to get back into the smartphone business as early as 2016. A remnant of onetime phone giant Nokia could be planning to come back to a business the Finland-based company famously abandoned not so long ago: smartphones. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.

For now, to use most smartwatches, you need to connect the device to your smartphone and keep your phone nearby, That's no longer going to be necessary for wrist-worn iphone case 8 plus apple devices powered by Google's Android Wear software, the company said Monday, Instead, the devices will let you connect your watch to a Wi-Fi network and receive updates about emails and upcoming calendar appointments directly over the Internet, You'll still need to allow your watch to pull information from your phone -- and have your phone connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network -- but then you'll be able to receive notifications, send messages and use apps on your watch, That's no matter where your phone is -- and your phone and watch don't have to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network..

The new features come as the market for smartwatches heats up. Google unveiled Android Wear more than a year ago, but awareness for smartwatches is on the rise thanks to the Apple Watch, which launches Friday. Numerous other companies are jumping in too, including smartphone behemoth Samsung, LG, Sony and a popular startup called Pebble. Google and Apple have good reason to invest in wearables. Nearly 20 million wearable devices were shipped in 2014, according to research firm IDC. The firm forecasts that figure will jump to 45.7 million by the end of this year, and to 126.1 million units by 2019.

Still, Google has had trouble finding its footing in the nascent market, Android Wear grabbed nearly 16 percent of the total "smart wearable bands" market in 2014, according iphone case 8 plus apple to research firm Canalys, That crop of devices includes watches powered by Android Wear -- such as Motorola's Moto 360 and Samsung's Gear Live, The Android Wear devices collectively made up 720,000 units of the total 4.6 million units sold last year, Google isn't the only one trying to make smartwatches more independent, Samsung makes a watch it calls the Gear S, which is powered by special software the company created called Tizen and can double as a cell phone with its own wireless connection..

Google has other ways it's separating the watch from the phone. The company said in September that users could store songs on their watch, meaning they could listen while on a jog, even if there was no Internet nearby. The Wi-Fi support for Android Wear will be the key feature of Google's next update. But the new software will also have a function to always leave the screen on while you're using an app, instead of the current setting which sometimes turns the screen off. That feature could be useful on a hike, if you want to leave a map on the smartwatch screen, for example. To save battery, the screen goes to black and white when you're not looking at it.

Google is also also introducing a new hands-free feature, which lets you flick your wrist to the left and right to navigate back and forth between pages on the watch screen, The software also lets you draw emojis on the screen, The software update will first be available on the new LG Urbane watch -- which doesn't yet have a specific launch date -- but other Android devices will be able to get the update over the Internet soon after, Google said, The update is not expected to allow Android Wear devices to work with Apple's iPhones, though news reports say that compatibility is coming, It's potentially the next frontier as it iphone case 8 plus apple moves to more aggressively compete against Apple and the widening field of competitors, A Google spokeswoman declined to comment..