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Apple Watch Will Make You Move

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We are learning more about the Apple Watch, in part thanks to a conference call Apple CEO Tim Cook had recently with analysts. We already knew that the battery life (about 19 hours with light use) would prohibit sleeping with the watch on. This, and its size, make it less suitable as a sleep tracker. So don't expect the Apple Watch to tell you how you slept. In fact, it looks like the watch will discourage you from being still! There is a mode that beta testers have been using that will remind you to get up and stop being so sedentary.



Apple Watch Announcements Does Its Job, Discourages Other Smart Watch Purchases

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Apple made a rare move when it publicly announced the Apple Watch many months before it would be available. But this may have been designed to discourage potential customers from purchasing competing smart watches. If so, it worked, as only 720,000 Android Wear devices shipped during the last six months of 2014, the time period when it was available. Users might not want to spend $200 to $350 on a watch, and if they do, they will want to keep it a while, rather than upgrade every year or two. This means it was wiser to wait and see how robust Apple's offering would be.



iPhone Sales Up, iPhone Theft Down

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As Apple hits new sales and revenue records, selling more iPhones than ever, owners of those new iPhones are losing fewer of them to theft. Apple's iPhones have long been a target of thieves. People use their expensive devices in public, listening to music, chatting, texting, etc., and aren't always paying attention to their surroundings. This behavior combined with the high resale value of Apple products, has resulted in a lot of thefts; in some jurisdictions, more iPhones are stolen than any other item.



New Apple Ad Features iPad as Music-Creation Tool

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A new TV ad from Apple, embedded below, features the Swedish recording artist Elliphant using an iPad to help create her song "All or Nothing." It also shows the iPad being used by UK producer Riton to remix the song, and DJ The Gaslamp Killer using an iPad during live performance. Plus it shows the Parisian film director So Me using an iPad to shoot Elliphant's video. The tagline is "film changes with iPad." 



iOS 9 to Focus on the Fundamentals

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Apple should be releasing iOS 8.2 (or 8.3) to the public soon, when the Apple Watch ships;, but eyes are already on iOS 9, which would likely be introduced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. The next version of iOS has a code name, apparently, called Monarch. Rather than a nod to royalty, this could be a reference to the butterfly that emerges from its cocoon. That would be an appropriate analogy, as signs say this version of iOS is not going to be focused on new features, but rather finishing touches like stability. This is similar to how Apple's Swift didn't really offer new functionality, but instead was a cleaner, more efficient way to create apps. Such a shift should help iOS's performance on 16 GB devices.



Attention Cord Cutters: Sling TV Now Available for $20 Per Month, Offers ESPN, AMC

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If you balk at paying $60 to 100 per month for a bundle of cable channels that includes many you don't watch, the new offering from Sling TV will appeal to you, especially if you're a sports fan.



Console Gaming is Dying. Long Live iOS Gaming.

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I write a lot about video games for iPhone Life Magazine and iPhoneLife.com. Specifically iOS video games. So the fact that mobile games are set to generate higher revenue than console games this year is no surprise to me. I've reported on this trend before and I imagine it's just the beginning of a radically new status quo in the world of modern gaming.



Forget Sapphire, Try Project Phire from Corning

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Apple's plans for moving to sapphire fell flat when their supplier GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy, but there may be an alternative on the horizon. Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, announced Project Phire this week. Apple hasn't confirmed that they use Gorilla Glass, but it's a poorly kept secret. While Corning has made improvements, Gorilla Glass still has a way to go. There has always been a tradeoff in drop protection and scratch resistance. Sapphire is extremely resistant to scratches, which is why it is used in many watches, as it is second to diamonds in hardness. However, sapphire can be brittle and crack in drop testing.



My Year of Living Paperlessly

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I made a New Year’s resolution to, as much as possible, eliminate paper from my life. I can’t control all of what comes it, but I can control some of it. And I have complete control over what I keep, within the guidelines of U.S. tax law, of course.

Here is the list of steps I took in January to get My Year of Living Paperlessly off to the right start.



Sprint Gets Aggressive

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Sprint is getting aggressive and trying to snag customers away from AT&T and Verizon. Their latest effort gives users both an iPhone 6 and an iPad mini 3, with no cash down and no activation fees. Users pay $100 per month, which includes 2 GB of shared data. This is part of their iPhone for Life and iPad for Life program, where users have to tattoo the Sprint logo on their chest. Just kidding. That's not what the program requires! Rather, a customer pays a monthly fee and gets a new iPhone or iPad every two years. Sprint also offers a 12-month plan to upgrade every year. This program reflects a $17 monthly service plan credit for bundling iPhone 6 and iPad Mini 3.



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