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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Microsoft and Apple have had an interesting relationship. In the early days, the two firms jockeyed for position in the nascent personal computing space. Apple leveraged the user interface and mouse design from Xerox PARC and Microsoft did the same from Apple. Later, when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Bill Gates "rescued" Apple with a $130-million-plus investment and a promise to support Macs with versions of Office. This wasn't just a gesture of goodwill to keep Apple relevant. Apple was on the ropes and Microsoft needed an adversary to fend off antitrust regulators. Plus Office was a nice little revenue stream.