If you have a new Apple Watch and want Apple's help getting it set up — without having to go to an Apple Store — you can schedule an online chat on a special page Apple has posted. The page says: "For help setting up your new Apple products, choose a time below to schedule an online chat with your Apple Specialist. We'll give an online demo and show you some tips and tricks." As I write this, all of the Saturday times are already booked, as well as Sunday morning.
The Apple Watch is certainly creating a lot of buzz today, now that people are beginning to receive them. And to go along with that, Apple has released three new one-minute ads showcasing the many different ways in which the watch can be used: making payments, connecting with other people, tracking one's fitness, setting alarms, getting directions, getting reminders, and more.
Developers have seized the opportunity to add Apple Watch functionality to their apps, and thousands of apps with Apple Watch compatibility are already available. You don't need to have an Apple Watch to get a sense for what's available, thanks to two websites that are posting screen shots and interactive demos. A developer has figured out a way to take screenshots of Apple Watch apps, and 9To5Mac has posted a gallery of them (with the intention of continually updating it with more screen shots). The screenshots include Twitter, Uber, Instagram, ESPN, Flipboard, Microsoft PowerPoint, Pandora, Yahoo Weather, and many more.
It took me over a year to get in the habit of using Siri, partly because she seemed so human-like. I was worried I'd say something dumb. One day I finally got it: there ain't no one listening. And ever since then I've used Siri with abandon. Lately I was surprised to discover that Siri offers a helpful guide to what you can say or ask.
Amidst the excitement surrounding the launch of the Apple Watch, Apple has posted the final 3 of their series of 11 Guided Tour videos that show how it works. These last three short videos cover Apple Pay, Activity, and Workout. The health & fitness functions of the Apple Watch promise to be one of the killer features, so it's good to have a sense for what the Activity and Workout apps can do for you.
It's amazing how many apps have already been tweaked to include Apple Watch features, and helpful websites are now cataloging some of the most useful. One really handy use of an Apple Watch is to remotely control your Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. Apple has now updated Keynote ($9.99) with this feature, and Microsoft has updated Microsoft PowerPoint (requires a subscription) to control the iOS version of PowerPoint. These are must-have Apple Watch apps if you give presentations. Four other must-have productivity apps for getting work done from your wrist that are highlighted in a useful Macworld post include Slack (free, chatting and sharing documents with your work group), HipChat (free, group chat and video and file sharing), Evernote (free, note-taking), and Trello (free, project management).
iTunes Radio is a nice freebie from Apple (at least for those who live in the U.S. and Australia), and I hope Apple continues to offer it even after they launch their rumored subscription service. You can create your own station and customize it to play the kind of music you like best. iOS 8 added the convenience of controlling iTunes Radio from the lock screen.
When Tim Cook introduced the new Apple Watch, he highlighted the new aluminum alloy in the Apple Watch Sport. He said this alloy is very light, yet is 60 percent stronger than standard alloys. Now 9To5Mac is passing along a rumor from a Chinese website that the next iPhone will also use this new aluminum alloy. Also, a great article on Computerworld talks about the amazing step up in quality Apple's next cameras will take thanks to their purchase of an Israeli company. It seems unlikely to me that these new camera features would appear this year, but is highly likely we'll see them in the next year or two.
Apple offers a variety of watch bands for their new Apple Watch, and now you have even more choices, thanks to the imminent arrival of bands from third-party vendors. These don't have any official support from Apple, but they give you a lot more choices, as well as offering the opportunity to save money.
A nice feature in the Photos app in iOS 8 is the ability to precisely rotate a photo to any angle. This can be very useful, since occasionally a photo gets a bit skewed.