While early models could perform basic tasks, such as calculations, digital time telling, translations, and game-playing, 2010s smartwatches have more general functionality closer to smartphones, including mobile apps, a mobile operating system, and WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity. Smartwatches have risen in popularity during the 2010s. Today, they are often used as fitness trackers, smartphone entertainment, or communication “companions”.Global smartwatch shipments counted 14 million in the third quarter of 2019. As of 2019, the market leader was Apple, followed by Samsung, Imoo, Fitbit, Amazfit, Huawei, Fossil and Garmin.
Many smartwatch smartphone models manufactured in the 2010s are completely functional as standalone products. Some are used in sports, the GPS tracking unit being used to record historical data. For example, after a workout, data can be uploaded onto a computer or online to create a log of activities for analysis or sharing. Some watches can serve as full GPS watches, displaying maps and current coordinates, and recording tracks. Users can “mark” their current location and then edit the entry’s name and coordinates, which enables navigation to those new coordinates.
As companies add competitive products into the market, media space is becoming a desired commodity on smartwatches. With Apple, Sony, Samsung, and Motorola introducing their smartwatch models, 15 percent of tech consumers use wearable technologies. The functionality of these watches attracts tech consumers with buying power, which has attracted advertisers. Mobile advertising on wearable devices was expected to increase heavily by 2017 as advanced hypertargeting modules were introduced to the devices. In order for an advertisement to be effective on a smartwatch, companies have stated that each ad must be able to create an experience native to the smartwatch itself.
“Sport watch” functionality often includes activity tracker features (also known as “fitness tracker”) as seen in GPS watches made for training, diving, and outdoor sports. Functions may include training programs (such as intervals), lap times, speed display, GPS tracking unit, route tracking, dive computer, heart rate monitor compatibility, Cadence sensor compatibility, and compatibility with sport transitions (as in triathlons). Other watches can cooperate with an app in a smartphone to carry out their functions. They are paired usually by Bluetooth with a smartphone.
Some of these only work with a phone that runs the same mobile operating system; others use a unique watch OS, or otherwise are able to work with most smartphones. Paired, the watch may function as a remote to the phone. This allows the watch to display data such as calls, SMS messages, emails, calendar invites, and any data that may be made available by relevant phone apps. Some fitness tracker watches give users reports on the number of kilometers they walked, and hours they slept.