If the rumors are true, the upcoming iPad Pro could incorporate a stylus and Force Touch, like the new MacBook and Apple Watch. Both Force Touch and a stylus would make it possible to create more artistic content thanks to pressure sensitivity. Fifty Three is one third party that released a Bluetooth stylus dubbed the Pencil which works with their Paper by Fifty Three app for the iPad. The combination allows for pressure sensitive drawing where the harder you press, the thicker the lines are. The Pencil uses Bluetooth, whereas an Apple offering could rely on Force Touch or Apple's version of Near Field Communication or some combination of those technologies.
As an app developer, I have to be thankful for the App Store. It's the only legitimate way to get custom apps on iOS devices. Mac developers have a choice, and I know there are Mac App developers who prefer to sell their software in more traditional methods. Some offer their apps both on the Mac App Store and via download. Today, I had two different reasons to feel discouraged from using such apps.
I gave blood today. No need to thank me, I did it for the free snacks and t-shirt. But seriously, it was an opportunity to get my heart rate measured by an expert and compare it to my Apple Watch. The good news? Both the watch and the American Red Cross nurse said my heart rate was fine. The nurse measured me at 68 Beats Per Minute and my Apple Watch measured 67 BPM, which is well within the margin of error. So I've got that going for me!
Instead of a traditional unboxing video, I thought I'd compile some photos I took last Friday when I received my Apple Watch and turn them into an animated GIF. I did the same with the screenshots from the Apple Watch App installation process. Enjoy!
MOBI gave me the opportunity to try its MOBI Cube White Bluetooth Speaker with 360° Light Show ($29.95) and I'm glad I did. So is my daughter, who liked the fun light show that the speaker offers. In fact, the light show has five modes and can be synced to your Bluetooth or wired music source. The MOBI Cube is surprisingly well-built given the price point of just around $30. Plus who wouldn't like how cute the MOBI Cube is. It reminds me of my Rubik's Cube—which I was a champion at solving, by the way! And when it's turned off, the MOBI Cube is still pretty stylish and wouldn't be out of place in an Apple Store or the Museum of Modern Art!
The Apple Watch uses some clever algorithms to detect if it is on your wrist. For example, through the use of sensors, including a camera, the Apple Watch can detect blood flow and react differently than if it was on your desk. This is important for Apple Pay and fitness notifications. When the watch is removed from your wrist, you need to re-authenticate on your iPhone to use Apple Pay. This way, if the Apple Watch is stolen, it cannot be used indefinitely to make payments.
Apple Pay has done quite well by any standard, but until now it had not been officially accepted at Best Buy nor had Discover supported it with its cards. The momentum behind Apple Pay is strong, though, and those barriers have been or are about to be broken. AppleInsider reports that Discover Card announced that it will support Apple Pay and in an analyst call, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Best Buy customers will be able to use Apple Pay at its terminals later this year.
I had the opportunity to try LifeProof frē Case ($79.99). LifeProof also makes a more expensive nüüd line which does not use a screen protector yet manages to be waterproof just the same.
It was painful to watch, but CNET put the Apple Watch Sport through a torture test I wouldn't wish on a $10 watch, let alone a hard-to-get $349 Apple Watch. The watch is put through a series of likely and unlikely tests like water, boiling water, a cheese grater, drops, stomps, and more. I held my breath for most of the video!
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."