Apple's online iWorks suite is no longer in a beta testing phase and is now available for free to anyone on any platform via Safari, Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer. In the past, the suite, which includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, was only available to those with Apple devices.
Apple sent out invitations Thursday inviting media to an event on March 9 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which Apple has used in the past for special events. As is typical, Apple's invitation doesn't give any information about what will be announced. It simply shows an Apple logo over a geometric flower-like background, with the words "Spring forward."
As the April launch of the Apple Watch approaches, Apple has started a major advertising campaign, beginning with a 12-page spread in the March issue of Vogue magazine. According to the photos of the spreads posted on MacRumors, each full-page ad is simply an actual-size image of the Apple Watch on a white background. The images show different casings and bands, giving readers a sense for the style options.
Apple just keeps improving Maps, most recently adding nine more cities to their Flyover feature: Baton Rouge; Boise; Cáceres, Spain; Edinburgh, Scotland; Guadalajara, Mexico; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Linz, Austria; Rennes, France; and Venice, Italy. That brings the total number of locations to 120, according to this list of Maps features on Apple's website. As you likely know, Flyover gives you interactive, 3D, high-resolution imagery of cities, landmarks, and points of interest.
April is getting closer, and we'll soon know if Apple has yet another winner. A lot is riding on the Apple Watch. Wall Street is eager to know that Apple can continue to disrupt industries. Consumers are eager to know that Apple can still come up with the goods. Expectations are high.
I hope you have some shares of Apple stock, because it just keeps going up. The stock closed over $133 on Monday, giving Apple a market capitalization of $775 billion. That's more than double the market cap of Exxon Mobil, the next highest stock, at $346 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, this doubling is a rare event, and the last time it happened was 30 years ago when IBM doubled up on Exxon. Earlier this month Apple was the first company in history to exceed $700 billion in market capitalization. Apple stock is up 19 percent in 2015. I hate to say it, but now might be a good time to sell. Everyone is bullish on Apple, and that's typically a good time to cash in. The time to buy is when everyone is dumping a stock, as happened with Apple during the crash in early 2009.
On Tuesday Pebble announced their new Pebble Time watch, which will be available in May. At the same time, they launched a new Kickstarter campaign to help fund the device, with a starting price of $159 and an expected retail price of $199. Pebble Time uses a new interface called Timeline that's based on a timeline that includes notifications, news, weather, sports, traffic, reminders, and more. Like the Apple Watch, the timeline elements are fed by apps. And like the Apple Watch, you can get information at a glance. The new interface puts apps more in the background and exerts a bit more control over the user experience. This, too, is reminiscent of Apple Watch.
YouTube just made the job of parenting a little easier with their new YouTube Kids app (free). The Internet is such a trove of content, and naturally kids want to have access to it. But there's so much there that parents would rather they not be exposed to. YouTube Kids provides a walled garden of content that's rich enough to keep children entertained and to provide opportunities for discovery and learning but that keeps out things parents would rather they not see.
Mysterious vans registered to Apple that have an array of sensors mounted on the roof have been spotted around the continental U.S., including California, New York, Wisconsin, and Florida, as well as Hawaii and Panama. According to AppleInsider, the vehicles appear to be carrying cameras, LIDAR, and GPS equipment. Apple, of course, isn't saying anything.
Apple aired a new video during the Oscars that featured high school students making videos, with voice-over by Hollywood director Martin Scorsese. The video, which shows snippets of the students' videos as well as behind-the-scenes shots, was filmed entirely on the iPad Air 2.