Ever since Apple bought Beats there has been speculation that they would offer an Apple-branded music subscription service. Now Apple Insider is reporting that tucked away in some new updates to the iTunes desktop client, there are references to an iTunes subscription. This doesn't appear to be a reference to iTunes Match which has been around for a few years. Such a subscription service is expected to be strictly for songs, as the text reads "iTunes Subscription: You can save songs for offline use and download purchases from iCloud on up to 5 devices."
Apple often likes to go their own way. If there is a standardized solution that meets their needs, like USB-C, they may embrace it as they did with the new MacBook. Apple has also been known to work with companies like Intel to develop technologies such as Thunderbolt and Firewire. But other times, Apple is happy to blaze their own path, as they did with Lightning. Initially, it looked like the Apple Watch's magnetic charger might be as proprietary as Apple's MagSafe chargers. It now appears that the circular watch charger is based on the Qi open standard, although Apple has not confirmed this.
Apple has posted an extensive Apple Watch User Guide on their website in addition to making it available as an iBook. The guide has 22 chapters covering every facet of this new device, from the Basics and Watch Faces to Mail and Phone Calls. There's a concluding chapter on Safety, Handling & Support. Each chapter has clear instructions along with screen shots. The chapters cover all the native apps as well as general tips and tricks.
If you have a new Apple Watch and want Apple's help getting it set up — without having to go to an Apple Store — you can schedule an online chat on a special page Apple has posted. The page says: "For help setting up your new Apple products, choose a time below to schedule an online chat with your Apple Specialist. We'll give an online demo and show you some tips and tricks." As I write this, all of the Saturday times are already booked, as well as Sunday morning.
Amidst the excitement surrounding the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple has posted the final 3 of their series of 11 Guided Tour videos that show how it works. These last three short videos cover Apple Pay, Activity, and Workout. The health & fitness functions of the Apple Watch promise to be one of the killer features, so it's good to have a sense for what the Activity and Workout apps can do for you.
If an Apple fan is going to get their new Apple Watch on Friday, April 24, then they should be looking for an email from Apple that says "Your shipment is on its way." That's what I woke up to this morning, and it also dictates how I'll be spending my Friday. Because of the small size, high value, and rarity of the Apple Watch, don't expect FedEx or UPS to just drop one off at your doorstep. A signature will be required and you may not be able to pre-sign for it either. You should get a tracking ID so you can try to follow your Apple Watch as it makes its way to you.
We had a few minutes to preview the latest Pelican cases at CES this year, but really only a glance. We wanted to make sure we circled back and provided full reviews now that Pelican was able to send out some samples. We recently received both a Pro Gear Protector (starts at $29.99) and Voyager (starts at $37.49) series case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and we can confirm that these new cases provide the serious protection you want if you are dragging your device around with you everywhere. They also come with a lifetime guarantee!
It's amazing how many apps have already been tweaked to include Apple Watch features, and helpful websites are now cataloging some of the most useful. One really handy use of an Apple Watch is to remotely control your Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. Apple has now updated Keynote ($9.99) with this feature, and Microsoft has updated Microsoft PowerPoint (requires a subscription) to control the iOS version of PowerPoint. These are must-have Apple Watch apps if you give presentations. Four other must-have productivity apps for getting work done from your wrist that are highlighted in a useful Macworld post include Slack (free, chatting and sharing documents with your work group), HipChat (free, group chat and video and file sharing), Evernote (free, note-taking), and Trello (free, project management).
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.
In celebration of Earth Day 2015, iPhone Life is pleased to introduce the recipient of our annual Earth Day Mobile Tech Awards. Today we highlight three environmentally-conscious tech brands (one winner and two runners-up) that are actively making a difference in how we live life in harmony with our home planet. Each company has made their own significant contributions toward making our world a “greener” place, with their eco-friendly products and practices. Read on to find out who takes home this year's honors.
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.
When Tim Cook introduced the new Apple Watch, he highlighted the new aluminum alloy in the Apple Watch Sport. He said this alloy is very light, yet is 60 percent stronger than standard alloys. Now 9To5Mac is passing along a rumor from a Chinese website that the next iPhone will also use this new aluminum alloy. Also, a great article on Computerworld talks about the amazing step up in quality Apple's next cameras will take thanks to their purchase of an Israeli company. It seems unlikely to me that these new camera features would appear this year, but is highly likely we'll see them in the next year or two.
Apple offers a variety of watch bands for their new Apple Watch, and now you have even more choices, thanks to the imminent arrival of bands from third-party vendors. These don't have any official support from Apple, but they give you a lot more choices, as well as offering the opportunity to save money.
I am attending MobileWeek in New York City this week, and learnng about some great new startups and apps. As a developer, I even got a chance to play with some of their new APIs (Application Programming Interface) that allow a developer to make an app even more powerful with little coding effort.
The Wordflex Touch Dictionary (free) is the most beautifully rendered touch-based reference technology you will hold in your hand. I only barely exaggerate how amazing it is to use. The last thing I want to do when researching a topic or looking for word substitutes (like the word "amazing"—I so overuse that word) is have to crack open an actual dictionary or thesaurus. It's both boring and silly in 2015. Why not watch the English language and it's various phylum unfold in graceful symmetry on the iPad screen!? The new version is now available without the need to spend one's shekels to attain it. Witness the beauty after the break!
Game Centered features roundups and reviews of the best in iOS games and gaming related news. Among the App Store’s myriad games, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the great new releases. Each installment of Game Centered will take a closer look at a select few iOS games that are worthy of special recognition.
Apple developers who registered for WWDC are finding out if they "won" the raffle to pay $1599 plus travel and expenses to attend the annual code-fest. There are far more iOS and Mac OS developers who would like to go than Apple can accommodate, so they have had to use a raffle in recent years. There are still opportunities for students, however, as they can create and submit an app that highlights their expertise and creativity. 350 students will be selected to attend and get the chance of a young lifetime.
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.
In advance of April 24, when lucky enthusiasts will begin receiving their Apple Watches, Apple has posted four more Guided Tour videos, each running between one and two minutes, to show how this new gadget works. The latest videos cover Phone Calls, Siri, Maps, and Music. In addition, a Reddit contributor has created an infographic that gives you a quick-start user guide to the Apple Watch interface. Those who've tried an Apple Watch and the writers of the early reviews say that there's a learning curve when one first starts using the Apple Watch, with its various swipes and touches, and the various ways you use the Digital Crown and the contacts button. The infographic helps you make sense of it all. Click here for the full-sized graphic.
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