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Third-Party Apple Watch Bands May Be Coming Soon Following Launch of New Guidelines

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
applewatchbands

Apple today debuted a new developer site (via Macotakara) titled “Creating Bands for Apple Watch”, which includes band design guidelines for third-party companies looking to make bands for the Apple Watch. The design guidelines include requirements for the bands to achieve Apple certification in the new Made for Apple Watch program, which is similar to the already established Made for iPhone program.

Apple Watch bands are easily changed with simple release buttons and lugs that secure the band to the Apple Watch case. When creating your custom bands, refer to the band design guidelines and lug profile. Apple Watch lugs will be available soon through the Made for Apple Watch program.

Firstly, the bands must integrate with the two lugs that mate with the Apple Watch Band Interface. They also should not integrate magnetic chargers and the lug latch must never be jammed while in an extended position. Bands also cannot prevent a user’s skin from maintaining direct contact with the Watch’s heart rate sensors or general back area. The band themselves must also compensate for any potential shifting or dimensional changes in material.

Apple also has recommendations for the materials that lugs and lug latches should Continue Reading

Remote for Next-Generation Apple TV to Include ‘Touch Pad’ for Scrolling

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
appletvremote

Apple’s next-generation Apple TV will include a new touch-based remote with a revamped design, reports The New York Times, citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans. Described as being “slightly thicker” than the current version, the new Apple TV remote will gain a “touch pad” that will be used for scrolling, along with two physical buttons.

The touch pad will likely replace the circular click-wheel style control that’s on the existing remote, giving users an easier way to scroll through content on the Apple TV. Currently, navigating through content on a channel like Netflix with the Apple TV remote requires users to click multiple times on the click wheel.

A touch-based control area on the remote would likely function similarly to the Apple Remote apps on the iPhone and the Apple Watch, allowing for swipe-based controls for scrolling through content available on the Apple TV. Using the Apple Watch or the iPhone to browse channels and make selections on the existing Apple TV is both quicker and easier than using the current physical remote.

Size wise, The New York Times’ source says the new remote will be similar in design to the remote control for the Continue Reading

Apple Hires New General Contractor for Apple Campus 2, Sparking Delay Speculation

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
campus2

As construction on its “spaceship” campus in Cupertino continues, Apple has hired a new general contractor, sparking rumors questioning whether the new campus will be finished by the company’s prospective 2016 completion date.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Silicon Valley company Rudolph & Sletten Inc. will take on the buildout of the Campus 2’s interior structure, a job that was previously thought to be going to DPR Construction Co. and Skanska USA, the two companies heading up the construction project.

Most recent image of the ongoing construction of Apple Campus 2, from the City of Cupertino.

It’s unclear why Rudolph & Sletten is being brought in and exactly what DPR/Skanska’s involvement will be going forward. Two sources said the DPR-Skanska joint venture would still complete the core and shell — or the basic structure — of the circular building. It’s also possible that DPR and Skanska never intended to do more than the core and shell.

Neither Apple nor the three companies involved in the construction of the main ring-shaped building would comment on the involvement of a new general contractor for the interior of the building, but sources in the local construction industry that spoke to Continue Reading

Google Acquires iOS-Based Time Management App Timeful [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
timeful

Google today announced an acquisition of iOS-based time management app Timeful, which first launched last year. When it was released, Timeful was described as “the first intelligent time manager” for mobile devices, aiming to help users manage their lives by combining a time management app with a calendar, a to-do list, and reminders designed to reinforce positive habits.

In its current incarnation on iOS, Timeful connects to the Calendar app to import existing events into a daily view that includes all tasks that need to be completed. It also lets users create to-dos, and when there’s a block of open time on a user’s schedule, Timeful will insert “Habits.” Habits are user-defined tasks like “Take a Walk” or “Read for 30 Minutes,” and are aimed at fitting recreation or skill-building tasks into each user’s schedule.

Google plans to incorporate Timeful‘s clever time management tools into its existing products like Inbox and Calendar, making it easier for users to schedule events and find time for all tasks that need to be completed in any given day.

The Timeful team has built an impressive system that helps you organize your life by understanding your schedule, habits and needs. Continue Reading

Classic and Modern Buckle Band Parts Let Third-Party Bands Connect to Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
applewatchclassicbuckle

There are few third-party band options available for the Apple Watch at the current point in time given that it just launched a week and a half ago, but those of you who purchased a stainless steel Apple Watch with a Classic Buckle or Modern Buckle band can use the components from those bands to connect standard watch bands to your Apple Watch devices.

In a newly published video, Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy walks through the process of using the parts in the Classic Buckle band to connect a 22mm third-party watch band to the Apple Watch.

As it turns out, there are two small pentalobe screws holding the pin component of the Classic Buckle together, so with a pentalobe screwdriver, the portion of the band that connects to the Apple Watch can be disassembled, slid into a standard pin-based watch band, and reassembled.

The Modern Buckle and the Classic Buckle are the only two bands that have a pin-based connector built-in, so those of you who want to use different watch bands with your Apple Watch devices will need to either purchase one of the models that comes Continue Reading

GE to Create Intelligent LED Lightbulbs Compatible with Apple HomeKit

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
gealignlighting

GE today announced plans to take advantage of Apple’s HomeKit platform, creating intelligent, color-charging LED lightbulbs that will interface with iOS devices. GE’s HomeKit-compatible LED lightbulbs will include GE’s Align technology, which aims to improve sleep through controlling blue light output at critical times.

During the day, the Align technology is able to mimic daylight to suppress the production of melatonin for a more awake feeling, adding bright blue tones to white light, and at night, blue light is reduced to promote melatonin production and avoid disrupting circadian sleep rhythms.

“As we continue to grow our infrastructure business by connecting our brilliant industrial machines to the Internet, it is important that consumers experience connected things in easy-to-use, everyday ways. Lighting is how many first experiment with the idea of a smart home, and our insights show that consumers want the ability to control lighting from anywhere, automate lighting and pair lighting with other devices–like sensors, thermostats and door locks,” says Comstock. “We’re excited to announce our support for HomeKit as it will bring a seamless, intuitive user experience using Siri and superior quality of light from America’s most trusted lighting brand for more than a century.”

HomeKit is Continue Reading

Microsoft Updates Windows 10 Emoji to Resemble Apple’s Collection [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
Apple vs Microsoft Emojis

Microsoft has included several redesigned emoji in Windows 10 that resemble Apple’s emoji found on iPhone, iPad and Mac, including a wide range of faces and even the “sassy” information desk person (via Emojipedia). The update also includes skin tone modifiers, the middle finger, a new haircut emoji and more, although country flags are still not supported on the upcoming operating system.

Windows 10 is currently available in beta for developers and is expected to be released to the public in July. The latest version of Windows will deliver a unified experience and platform integration that will make it easy to put one device down and continue where you left off on another device. The software update will be free for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 users for the first year.

Continue Reading

Apple Urging Music Labels to Stop Licensing Free Songs on Spotify and YouTube

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
beats-music-app-ios

Apple has been leveraging its power within the music industry in an attempt to push music labels to stop licensing freemium tiers offered by Spotify and other streaming music services, according to The Verge. The company has also reportedly offered to pay YouTube’s music licensing fee to Universal Music Group if the label stops allowing its songs on the website, a popular destination for music videos.

The report claims that U.S. Department of Justice officials are looking into Apple’s business practices in relation to its upcoming streaming music service, expected to be a rebranded version of Beats Music that will debut at WWDC next month. “DOJ officials have already interviewed high-ranking music industry executives about Apple’s business habits,” the report claims.

Apple’s much-rumored Beats streaming service would naturally be a more competitive alternative over two of its biggest rivals in Spotify and YouTube if it successfully convinces music labels to force streaming services to ditch their freemium tiers. Apple’s service is expected to have lots of exclusive content, and only about one-quarter of Spotify’s 60 million customers have paid subscriptions.

Apple faces a similar probe from the European Commission over concerns that it’s persuading Continue Reading

‘Reserve Strap’ Debuts New Design Focusing on Apple Watch Diagnostic Port [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
reserve strap change

Originally announced by third-party developers Lane Musgrave and John Arrow back in early March, one of the biggest concerns of the battery-boosting accessory “Reserve Strap” was its use of the Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor as a way to provide power to the wearable. Although it was unconfirmed, there was always a possibility of the Reserve Strap obstructing normal functions of the heart rate sensor, or causing the Watch to not function altogether by interfering with skin contact completely.

Last week, after getting their hands on an Apple Watch, Musgrave and Arrow have gone back to the drawing board on the design of the Reserve Strap, coming up with a new look that acts as more of a traditional Apple-made band without blocking the heart rate sensor at all. The new Reserve Strap aims to use the 6-pin diagnostic port – hidden inside of the band port on the bottom of the Watch – as the main source of providing power to the device, shirking the heart rate sensor’s magnetic inductive charging altogether.

The Original Reserve Strap design (left) vs the new design (right)

Finally getting our hands on the Apple Watch has further confirmed the immense Continue Reading

12.9-Inch ‘iPad Pro’ Rumored to Feature NFC, Bluetooth Stylus, Force Touch and USB-C [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 4, 2015.
Dimensions-iPad-Pro-Air-Plus

The much-rumored 12.9-inch so-called “iPad Pro” will feature a built-in NFC chip, pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, Force Touch and USB-C port, according to AppleInsider. The report, citing a source familiar with Apple’s future product plans, also claims that the larger iPad will have a new touchscreen with improved latency and unsurprisingly be powered by Apple’s latest A-series processor.

A purported “iPad Pro” blueprint from December 2014 with possible dimensions
The inclusion of an NFC chip will enable the iPad Pro to be used as an Apple Pay payment terminal, although it is unlikely the tablet itself will have tap-to-pay functionality, according to the report. Apple Pay contactless payments are currently limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 5, iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s when paired with an Apple Watch, in the United States.

Meanwhile, the report corroborates well-informed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s claim that the iPad Pro will feature an Apple-built stylus, which AppleInsider says will connect via Bluetooth and allow pressure-sensitive input. The iPad Pro’s display will also reportedly feature Force Touch, a technology that distinguish between a tap and a deep press on the screen.

The report adds that the Continue Reading

How to Download, Install, and Arrange Apps on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 3, 2015.
Apple Watch App Store

One thing that makes Apple Watch stand out from other smart watches is the app ecosystem. Since there are already more than a million iPhone apps in the App Store, there were already plenty of developers ready to get to work building companions for the wrist worn device. When the Apple Watch launched, there were already 3,500 apps available, and that number grows on a day-by-day basis.

One of the best ways to customize your Apple Watch to fit your needs is to download all the apps you want and to organize them for easy access. We’ve got a tutorial that covers downloading apps from your iPhone, installing them on your Apple Watch, and rearranging them on your Home screen.

Downloading Apps for Apple Watch

At the current time, all Apple Watch apps are powered by the iPhone, which means they’re bundled into iPhone apps. Apple Watch apps are downloaded by downloading a compatible app onto your iPhone, which can be done from the regular App Store or through the “Apple Watch App Store” located within the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone. The Apple Watch companion app has an icon that looks like a watch and is Continue Reading

How to Use the Activity and Workout Apps on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 2, 2015.
Activity Ring Apple Watch

One of the main features the Apple Watch has to offer is the ability to track your daily activities and workout routines. The Apple Watch has a comprehensive set of health and fitness tools to help you keep track of your movement, reach workout goals, and get more activity into your life. One of Apple’s main goals with the Apple Watch was to provide users with tools to keep them healthy, and the Activity and Workout apps on the Apple Watch are part of that effort.

If you’ve been a couch potato for too long, Apple Watch might be just what you need to motivate you to get moving and get healthy. The following video and tutorial will show you how to track your daily activities and how to monitor your workouts using the Activity and Workout apps.

Tracking Daily Activities

Thanks to the motion sensors built into Apple Watch, it’s always keeping track of your movement when it’s on your wrist. Whether you are sitting around doing nothing, or participating in a decathlon, Apple Watch knows your movements and will keep you informed.

  1. Open the Activity app on Apple Watch.
  2. Swipe left Continue Reading

    Samsung Debuts Apple-Like Design Video for Galaxy S6 Edge

    Posted by | May 1, 2015.

    Earlier today Samsung debuted a new video on its YouTube channel called “Designing Possible”, detailing the design process of the brand new Galaxy S6 Edge (via iMore). However, the video bears a striking resemblance to Apple’s video on how the company designed the gold Apple Watch Edition.

    Both videos feature men with English accents talking about the design process of the companies’ devices while showcasing the manufacturing processes. The two videos also share similar cinematography, with both of them including almost identical images of lined up components in a dark area as a light zooms over them. The intent for both ads also appears to be the same, making sure people understand the kind of thought and detail that goes into the design of these devices.

    While both ads are similar in tone, intent and content, there are a few differences. Samsung’s ad, for example, seems to be a little more focused on Samsung as a design company. Apple’s ad, on the other hand, seems slightly more focused on the product. Additionally, Apple’s Jony Ive speaks in the Apple ad while the voice Continue Reading

    Buyer’s Guide: Deals on MacBook Air, Retina MacBook Pro, Apps, Apple Accessories, and More [Mac Blog]

    Posted by | May 1, 2015.
    ipadair2c

    Happy May! Heading into the first of the month, deals on Macs continue to be good, while deals on iPads are less impressive. It’s a good time to buy a Retina MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air (either one of the new models or the older 2014 models — discounts on both are solid), but if you’re looking for an iPad and can hold out for a few weeks, you might be able to get a better price.

    Along with the discounts on Macs and iOS devices that we share each week, we’ve also rounded up this week’s best app deals and we’ve hunted down some discounts on useful Apple accessories.

    iPad Air 2

    Best Buy continues to offer the lowest prices we’ve seen on a single iPad Air 2: the for a complete list.

    MoneyWiz 2 is available for $0.99, down from $4.99. 360 degree photo taking app Cycloramic for iPhone 6 is available for free, down from $1.99. Flick Kick Field Goal is available for free, down from $1.99.

    Adventure game Swordigo is available for free, down from $2.99. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is available for Continue Reading

    iFixit Posts Apple Watch Repair Manuals for Battery, Screen and More

    Posted by | May 1, 2015.
    iFixit Apple Watch Display Repair

    iFixit has released Apple Watch repair manuals for various components of the device, including the battery, screen, adhesive, and NFC antenna. The guides provide step-by-step instructions on how to replace the Apple Watch’s OLED display and battery, alongside additional steps for repairing the adhesive and NFC antenna that can be damaged as a result of opening the casing.

    The steps required to replace the OLED display and fused glass digitizer, in simplified terms, include separating the screen from the watch body with a sharp, curved knife and opening pick, prying and removing the internal battery, disconnecting the display data and digitizer cables, and removing the screen. The steps to replace the battery are nearly identical.

    Replacing the Apple Watch’s adhesive involves laying the backed adhesive tape down on the NFC antenna, around the edge of the case where the screen rests, using a plastic opening tool to reconnect the display data and digitizer cable connectors, reinstalling the metal bracket, pressing the battery back into its position, and pressing the casing down firmly on the new adhesive.

    iFixit Apple Watch Adhesive Repair
    While many of the tools used in the Continue Reading

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