If you still use an old-fashioned watch to set alarms, but plan to upgrade to an Apple Watch, you have one last alarm to set. At 12:01a.m. Pacific the morning of April 10, the Apple Watch will be available for preorders. I anticipated this, and had already set my iCal alarm for 3 a.m. EST, when the 10th was announced as the order date.
One of the special features of the forthcoming Apple Watch is Force Touch: the device senses the level of pressure of your touch. It can distinguish between a light tap and a firmer press, with the latter triggering a contextual menu. This feature has also now been included in two of Apple's new laptops. And rumors are flying that it will also be in the forthcoming iPhones.
Samsung had an advantage over Apple for years by offering larger phones or "phablets" while Apple stuck with 4-inch iPhones. That changed with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which offer a 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch screen, respectively. Korea-based Samsung is also getting squeezed at the low-end by cheaper Android phones from Xiomi and other Chinese manufacturers.
Until Tuesday Apple had only allowed a select group of apps with Apple Watch compatibility to be available in the App Store. But the floodgates have been opened, and Apple has invited all 1.2 million iOS third-party developers to go ahead and submit for review their updates that include Apple Watch functionality. This is where it really gets interesting. The success of the Apple Watch will depend in large part on the response of developers — and how cool their apps are. All indications so far are that we'll be seeing a ton of great apps, including some real game changers. Keep in mind that for now, Apple Watch apps are simply extensions of the same app on one's iPhone. The app resides on the iPhone and pushes functionality to the Apple Watch.
In honor of April Fools Day, and for those of us anxious to get our hands (wrists?) on an Apple Watch, here's an enterprising and entertaining story you can emulate. Hiné Matsushima makes objects out of felt... She calls them "Felt Sculptures." Hiné devised a clever way to make an "Apple Watch."
Ah, April 1st, the day when companies do their best to give us all a laugh by promoting fake and funny products and services. Here's a roundup of some of our favorites.
Just as Black Friday sales have crept into Thanksgiving Day, it looks like April Fools' Day is starting a bit earlier. Or is it? Several press releases we have received here at iPhone Life m.gazine could go either way. Is a college really building a biodome over its campus? Not likely. Is Amazon offering a one-touch button that re-orders your favorite items? As unlikely as that one sounds, it's a real invitation-only service for Amazon Prime customers.
The next generation of iPhones is likely less than six months away, and it's high time we start getting some serious rumors. One that keeps popping up is that Apple is going to come out with a new four-inch iPhone, the iPhone 6c.
Just a quick note that refurbished Apple TV units are back in stock at Apple.com. Just a month ago, the Apple TV sold for $99, then dropped to $69. Now, for $59, you can pickup a refurbished one for almost half the original price, thanks to Apple's price drop oand the magic of refurb units! When Apple sells a refurbished device, it comes with a new warranty, and a new shell so there's no need to worry about scratches, fingerprints, etc. Considering that the Apple TV has no moving parts, there is really very little concern about buying a refurbished unit. I've bought three myself, so I can use AirPlay and send my iOS screen to just about any room in the house.
A lot of detail is emerging about what you can expect in the coming weeks if you're interested in trying on or purchasing an Apple Watch. 9To5Mac has posted extensive detail about the Apple Watch displays and the process.
Almost five years ago, on April 3, 2010, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad. But it wasn't a universally welcomed gadget. There were snickers about the name. People said it's just a bigger iPhone that doesn't make phone calls. Yet the iPad, and its successors, transformed the computing industry. Tablets had been around before then, but it took the iPad to set a standard for usability. When the original iPhone was introduced, Alan Kay who coined the phrase and concept of the Dynabook, told Steve that if he made it 8 x 5 inches he would "rule the world." That prediction came pretty close.
Last year Apple purchased Beats, which makes popular headphones and offers a subscription streaming music service. And now details of plans for Apple's new music subscription service based on Beats are emerging.
Apple Pay is off to a good start, but it's not always apparent that a retailer accepts it. The other day, I asked if I could pay with Apple Pay at Staples, and they said yes. At my local Panera Bread, two of the three registers are set up to accept it, but one isn't. Apple is trying to address this by making Apple Pay decals available to retailers. There's no catchy phrase like "Follow Us" or "Check In" or even "Access Us," just "Pay" preceded by the Apple Logo. In a way it reminds me of the movie They Live and their subliminal signs like "SUBMIT" and "OBEY," except Apple's command is "PAY!"
If you want a smart watch, but can't wait for the Apple Watch, or don't want to spend $349 or more and still end up with a watch with one day of battery life, the Martian Watch Notifier has always been an attractive option. Today, however, it's available at a blow-out price. Instead of the normal $130, it's almost half off, at $69.99 from BestBuy.com. Martian Watches differ from traditional smart watches by offering an analog face and using a regular watch battery that can last for six months or more. They add a scrolling digital display that notifies you of incoming text messages, caller ID, etc. The guts that power the display capabilities do require charging every few days via USB, but you will always have the correct time. Most people won't even know you have a smart watch, until you start seeing your text messages on your screen!
A new biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs will go on sale Tuesday, March 24, and those who were closest to him are saying it's a much more accurate and nuanced picture of the man than the official biography by Walter Isaacson.
Bloatware is the term for undesired apps that fill up a brand new computer or device. PC makers have added bloatware for years because they would get compensated by software makers for doing so. As margins on PCs diminished, this became a valuable revenue stream. But it was relatively easy to delete unwanted programs or ignore them on a PC with hundreds of gigabytes of storage.
How would you feel if you had just gone out and bought a fancy new Apple product only to have it updated with a newer, better version within only a few month's time? We've kind of grown used to Apple product cycles where products aren't outdated for at least a year. If you think there's a chance that you'd feel at all slighted by spending hard-earned money on a device that's about to become outdated, you may want to consider holding off on purchasing the Apple TV.
For well over a year rumors have been floating around that Apple would come out with a new Apple TV set-top box that would include Siri and an App Store. Now, according to BuzzFeed, it's finally going to happen. Citing "sources familiar with the company's plan," BuzzFeed says the new Apple TV will be introduced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and that it represents a major overhaul of the device. That overhaul not only includes a new interface but also the capability of controlling smart home devices. With the introduction of HomeKit at WWDC last year, many had expected the Apple TV to play a central role in controlling HomeKit-compatible devices. It looks like that may be happening.
Apple products have always kept their value pretty well and there is a healthy marketplace for used MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. I don't mind the "Apple Tax" because I'm likely to get a good portion of that value back at trade-in time. My Pebble Watch, which sold a year ago for $150, is only worth $20 on trade but the $349 Apple Watch should do better. Cnet is reporting that Gazelle already has plans to take in, and sell, used Apple Watches.
As it gets closer to April 10, when you'll be able to get your hands on a demo Apple Watch in the Apple Stores, details are leaking about the preparations Apple is making for the large crowds that are expected. According to 9To5Mac, which apparently has sources inside the company, Apple will be making 15-minute appointments for customers to come in and try on an Apple Watch. The post said that it may not be necessary to have an appointment, but that in every case people will be limited to 15 minutes. And having tried on an Apple Watch, they can make a reservation to come into the Apple Store to purchase an Apple Watch beginning on April 24. The stores are expected to have enough stock to also service walk-in customers.
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