I was up early, before 3 a.m. Eastern Time, to be sure to be able to order an Apple Watch. As I kept hitting refresh on my Mac's Safari browser, I also kept relaunching the Apple Store app on my iPhone. It was a good thing, too, as the app was ready to take orders several minutes before the website. I was able to place my order successfully by 3:10 a.m, even using Apple Pay and my fingerprint with Touch ID, long before the web site was ready. In fact, the last step in the app is to launch the Apple Store website to show my confirmation, but that part didn't work. Fortunately, I was able to check my order history and it went through.
The Apple Watch isn't the only game in town, and Apple has left quite an opening in the sub-$300 range. Competition is good, and several smart watch makers offer a lot more than just a lower price. Martian Watches offer a traditional analog clock face paired with a small strip of a digital display for Caller ID and text notifications. This saves battery life, and the analog clock uses its own battery which lasts as long as a year. Their higher-end models also add a Bluetooth Speakerphone with Siri voice control. Pebble offers waterproof watches, with e-paper display for a battery life of about a week.
Behold the Apple ][ Watch. No, this isn't the Apple Watch 2.0 but a "smart" watch based on the original Apple ][ which holds a fond place in my heart, as my first computer. The handiwork that went in to this design is incredible and deserves praise from Jony Ive. It may be "putty" in color and not "Aluminium" but it's a thing of beauty, to me at least; you never forget your first computer!
Apple just released iOS 8.3 with new emojis and other features, but the most important feature, for Sprint users at least, may be the ability to seamlessly use Wi-Fi to make phone calls. You need to edit some settings to make this magic work. Go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calls. T-Mobile customers have already been able to do this, and now Sprint users of the iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6, and 6 Plus can join in on the fun. And those calls do not count against your cellular minutes!
Perhaps it's because Apple is so secretive, or because the Apple Watch was preannounced long before its availability, but leaked photos of a watch "in the wild" with its packaging is being analyzed over and over. AppleInsider shows these photos from a now-private Instagram account.
During Apple's March 9th Apple Watch event, some stage time was offered to HBO as they introduced HBO NOW. The service allows streaming of all of HBO's content. The service is similar to HBO GO, but does not require an HBO Cable TV subscription.
When the original Mac was introduced on January 24th, 1984, Apple offered a discounted deal just for students at certain colleges. Steve Jobs was asked how the general public could get such a deal. His one word response... "Enroll." I did, at Carnegie Mellon, one of those colleges, and bought my Mac the day I got to campus. I also applied to work at the school's computer store, and worked there for four years, becoming Apple's Student Representative on Campus!
It's Passover, so I thought I'd ponder the question "is the Apple Watch Kosher?" Believe it or not, "Kosher" is about more than food. Elevators, lights, and other devices can be consider Kosher or not depending on several factors. The concern is that we are supposed to take the Sabbath as a day of rest... no work. And our actions cannot cause a machine to work on our behalf. That's why "Kosher" elevators stop on every floor during the Sabbath, so you can get on or off, but the machine was operating either way. You didn't touch a button, turning a light on or summoning the elevator. Some folks might keep their lights on (or off) all Sabbath.
Leef gave me their iBRIDGE Mobile Memory (starts at $59.99) to try. I wanted to like it, but I have mixed feelings. It does the job, which is to provide extra storage for your iOS device, and allow for easy transfer between those iOS devices and a computer. But there are some deficiencies.
The Apple TV is overdue for an upgrade and many new features are expected. One enhancement we may not get to enjoy is 4K resolution. While 4K content is coming online, at an extra cost from Netflix and others, Apple apparently doesn't think it's worth including in the upcoming Apple TV. Perhaps it could be a software upgrade, or Apple wants to leave room for a follow-on model.