Tag - Watches
The first stands released for the Apple Watch were rubbish. We had just about despaired of finding a stand that we were happy to slap our expensive new watches on every night, and then one came along. That was Twelve South's HiRise, and we enthused about it. Now we're going to evangelize Nomad's Stand for Apple Watch, and if it's frustrating to have two recommendations, it's better than we were just using the boxes our watches came in.
The fact that Apple Watch only shows its face when you turn your wrist or use the Digital Crown makes us flash back to the 1970s when the first-ever digital watches needed a good thump before they'd show the time. Now the fact that you can have a calculator on your wrist is reviving memories of being called a nerd, and discovering we never had any need to calculate anything. Calcbot, CalculatorWatch and PCalc may change that -- but so might Siri.
The Apple Watch will ultimately ship in April, the company has confirmed through a quarterly results call hosted by CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri. The company didn't go into any other details, such as a specific release date. April, however, is even later than the March timeframe mentioned in recent rumors, which themselves suggested a delay from February. Until now Apple has only ever promised an "early 2015" date.
The Apple Watch will miss a previously-rumored launch date and instead ship by the end of March, sources say. Although Apple has only ever officially stated an "early 2015" window, some rumors had suggested Apple was aiming for a February date, possibly by Valentine's Day. Even then, it was often believed that Apple was likely to overshoot its goal.
Watch manufacturer Montblanc has created a way to add smartwatch functionality to traditional wristwatches, by replacing the strap with one housing an extra screen. The e-Strap band introduces a secondary face to the watch on the inside of the wrist, with the extra module offering smartphone notifications via a 0.9-inch monochrome OLED display.
Apple and one of its suppliers, Quanta, have solved yield problems with various Apple Watch components, claims Taiwan's United Daily News. As a result, the Watch is now expected to go into mass production in January, instead of as late as the end of February, which some earlier rumors had hinted. The problem was solved through manpower; Quanta has reportedly grown its workforce from 2,000 to 10,000 people, and expects to hire another 20,000 in the near future.
A number of major watch brands have been sending cease-and-desist notices to websites and individuals claimed to be offering smartwatch copies of trademarked or copyrighted name-brand watch faces without permission, a report says. Some smartwatches -- particularly ones based on Android Wear -- offer the ability to load custom face designs. A few people have been creating ones based on existing watches, however, triggering copyright and trademark complaints.
Apple is now seeding two important releases to developers, beginning with the first iOS 8.2 beta. The only mentioned addition is support for the Apple Watch, granting Watch apps the ability to access data from a paired iPhone. "You can also enhance your Watch app by providing two optional Apple Watch interfaces that give users timely, high-value information: A Glance provides a screenful of meaningful information related to a Watch app," Apple's release notes read. "As its name implies, a Glance displays information that users can absorb instantly, without interaction; in fact, tapping a Glance on Apple Watch launches your Watch app.
Apple chip suppliers are almost ready to begin production of components for the Apple Watch, industry sources claim. The sources add that based on the first batch of orders, Apple could be planning to churn out 30 to 40 million watches. Even if parts production begins shortly however, it may still be a few months before final assembly begins; Apple is only due to ship the product early next year, possibly by Valentine's Day.
Stainless steel Apple Watches will start at $500, while gold models could start at $4,000 to $5,000, unnamed sources claim to French site iGen. Apple has been largely quiet about the Apple Watch since it was revealed September 9, particularly in regards to pricing. It has stated only that the Watch will start at $349, presumably referring to the aluminum model. If accurate, the newly-suggested prices would be well beyond the range of most smartwatches, which often cost $250 or less -- but come in much lower than fashion watches, which can start with price tags in the thousands.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R