In preparation of worldwide availability of the Apple Watch, Apple has published a web page showing some of the third-party watch apps. The iPhone-based Apple Watch app also lists such apps. With 3,000-plus Apple Watch apps available, Apple is focusing on the brand-name apps that will appeal to most users.
The entry-level model of the Apple Watch, a.k.a. the Apple Watch Sport, will not use a sapphire screen, unlike the higher-end models. But Apple claims this is an ion-infused glass that should make it more durable than traditional glass. A video has been released claiming to show a scratch test of the actual components. Lew at Unbox Therapy put the samples through the wringer, abusing the screen with a key, a knife, and steel wool, but no scratches were found.
There is nothing like the post-Consumer Electronics Show fulfillment of promise, as things that were just demos in January start to ship. I spent the last month reviewing a wide variety of headphones, earbuds, and other audio devices. Here are my thoughts on a dozen ways to bring audio into your life, categorized by type: mono earbuds, stereo earbuds, on-the-ear headphones and over-the-ear headphones.
Despite the wide variety of Apple Watch configurations (54 at last count) there are more bands available than previously disclosed. Apple previewed several different shades of Sport watch bands at a fashion event in Milan, with Apple executives Phil Schiller, Marc Newson, and Sir Jony Ive (in a suit and not his trademark t-shirt) no less.
Apple is just getting in to wireless charging, if you consider the Apple Watch's magnetic charger to be wireless. Other technologies, like inductive charging have been around and thanks to the Android's diverse set of manufacturers, this is an area where Apple lags behind.
As if buying accessories for the iPhone wasn't enough, now we need to buy accessories for the Apple Watch, which is itself an accessory. It reminds me of our daughters' American Girl dolls. Even those dolls have "pets" and toys of their own. Still, some of the Apple Watch accessories that have been filling our inboxes at iPhone Life do seem to make sense, and I may end up accessorizing my Apple Watch with them.
Ads are one way for developers to make money, as app prices drop to $0.99 or free. And advertisers are always trying to find ways to get in front of people. Advertisers consider devices like the iPhone and iPad the "Second Screen," after television. It looks like smart watches will be the "Third Screen" and may become targets for ads. A new report suggests smartwatch advertising could be a $70 million business by 2019.
Crowdfunding is not just for the independent inventor. Firms as big as Sony have joined the bandwagon and tested market acceptance of new products. Griffin, one of the leading vendors of accessories for Apple and other brands has launched an Indiegogo campaign for the Cove. The Cove is an elegant all-in-one charging station that charged up to five tablets or smartphones, but with a twist. About the size and appearance of a breadbox, the Cove tucks all the wires and devices inside a wood case. Martha Stewart would approve.
During Apple's Watch event in March, they dropped the price of the Apple TV from $99 to $69, and introduced HBO NOW, which lets cable customers cut the cord and still get HBO on their Apple devices. The HBO deal was significant because it is Apple exclusive, although just for three months, and users can get a 30 day trial for free. It turns out the deal may be even more significant because it foreshadowed that Apple is slashing the fee it takes from such content providers.
The iRig Mic Field ($99.99) is a simple way to capture better quality audio in vids, personal recordings or on-the-go interviews. The newly released external mic from IK Multimedia gives you the flexibility to tilt the mic to Portrait or Landscape orientation while filming and is a good companion for vbloggers, musicians, or just anyone interested in boosting the sound on their recordings.
I was able to order an Apple Watch at 3:10 a.m., EST, Friday, and my watch is on the way. But I wanted to try one on to make sure I ordered the right size, etc. After I placed my order, I booked one of the first appointments for a try on. There was just a short line when I arrived at the Apple Store, and quite a few people were there for the new MacBook, not necessarily for the watch. The staff was getting a quick intro to the watch and the process, which includes custom drawers that can be unlocked only by a specially equipped iPhone.
The Apple Watch isn't the only game in town, and Apple has left quite an opening in the sub-$300 range. Competition is good, and several smart watch makers offer a lot more than just a lower price. Martian Watches offer a traditional analog clock face paired with a small strip of a digital display for Caller ID and text notifications. This saves battery life, and the analog clock uses its own battery which lasts as long as a year. Their higher-end models also add a Bluetooth Speakerphone with Siri voice control. Pebble offers waterproof watches, with e-paper display for a battery life of about a week.
Behold the Apple ][ Watch. No, this isn't the Apple Watch 2.0 but a "smart" watch based on the original Apple ][ which holds a fond place in my heart, as my first computer. The handiwork that went in to this design is incredible and deserves praise from Jony Ive. It may be "putty" in color and not "Aluminium" but it's a thing of beauty, to me at least; you never forget your first computer!
You have a stylus. You subscribe to Evernote. But did you ever think to combine the two?
Well, Adonit did. They recently released the Jot Script 2 stylus ($74.99), which ships with a free six months of Evernote Premium.
Perhaps it's because Apple is so secretive, or because the Apple Watch was preannounced long before its availability, but leaked photos of a watch "in the wild" with its packaging is being analyzed over and over. AppleInsider shows these photos from a now-private Instagram account.
During Apple's March 9th Apple Watch event, some stage time was offered to HBO as they introduced HBO NOW. The service allows streaming of all of HBO's content. The service is similar to HBO GO, but does not require an HBO Cable TV subscription.
When the original Mac was introduced on January 24th, 1984, Apple offered a discounted deal just for students at certain colleges. Steve Jobs was asked how the general public could get such a deal. His one word response... "Enroll." I did, at Carnegie Mellon, one of those colleges, and bought my Mac the day I got to campus. I also applied to work at the school's computer store, and worked there for four years, becoming Apple's Student Representative on Campus!
It's Passover, so I thought I'd ponder the question "is the Apple Watch Kosher?" Believe it or not, "Kosher" is about more than food. Elevators, lights, and other devices can be consider Kosher or not depending on several factors. The concern is that we are supposed to take the Sabbath as a day of rest... no work. And our actions cannot cause a machine to work on our behalf. That's why "Kosher" elevators stop on every floor during the Sabbath, so you can get on or off, but the machine was operating either way. You didn't touch a button, turning a light on or summoning the elevator. Some folks might keep their lights on (or off) all Sabbath.
Leef gave me their iBRIDGE Mobile Memory (starts at $59.99) to try. I wanted to like it, but I have mixed feelings. It does the job, which is to provide extra storage for your iOS device, and allow for easy transfer between those iOS devices and a computer. But there are some deficiencies.
The Apple TV is overdue for an upgrade and many new features are expected. One enhancement we may not get to enjoy is 4K resolution. While 4K content is coming online, at an extra cost from Netflix and others, Apple apparently doesn't think it's worth including in the upcoming Apple TV. Perhaps it could be a software upgrade, or Apple wants to leave room for a follow-on model.
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