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."
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.