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Apple Watch Tips and Hidden Features: Handoff, AirPlay, and More

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
siriopeningapps

The Apple Watch is a brand new product platform for Apple, offering a significantly different experience compared to Apple’s already established platforms, iOS and Mac OS. As the device is getting onto more and more wrists over the coming days, weeks and month, we’ve collected a bunch of helpful tips to help users acclimating to Apple’s brand new platform in this video.

We’ve also highlighted some of the tips from the video, below.

Fast switching between apps – If you need to bounce between two apps, or one app and your watch face, it can become fairly cumbersome and take some time. Instead, it’s easier and quicker to simply fast switch between apps by double tapping the Digital Crown. Double tapping a second time goes back to the last thing you were doing. This way, you can spend some time on the watch face, quickly zoom over to the Music app to select a new song, and then double tap again to go back to the watch face.

Use Siri to launch apps – The app icons on Apple Watch can be fairly small, and their tiny touch targets can make it Continue Reading

Tim Cook: Component Cost Breakdowns on Apple Products Are Nowhere Close to Being Accurate

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
Apple-Watch

During today’s Q2 2015 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple Watch margins are lower than the company average, and on a followup question about those margins in the context of the Apple Watch Edition’s high price, Cook commented on the inaccuracy of estimated cost breakdowns on Apple products.

“I haven’t seen [them for Apple Watch], but generally there are cost breakdowns around our products that are much different than the reality. I’ve never seen one that is anywhere close to being accurate,” Cook said. He went on to say that the Apple Watch’s functionality is “absolutely incredible” with a lot of new features and innovative technology.

We haven’t seen cost breakdowns on the components of the Apple Watch hinting at a possible base unit price that would reveal Apple’s profit margin, but such component breakdowns are often shared by analysts following device teardowns. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, for example, were estimated to have a parts and labor cost of approximately $200, resulting in a 69 percent gross profit margin based on the device’s $649 base selling price.

iPhone 5s component cost was estimated to begin at $199, and iPad Continue Reading

Apple CEO Tim Cook: We’re ‘Working Hard’ to Remedy Apple Watch Supply/Demand Imbalance [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
Apple Watch Trio

During today’s earnings call covering the second fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook did not share information on Apple Watch sales, but there were several analyst questions on the new wearable, leading Cook to shed a bit of light on Apple’s efforts to fulfill orders.

According to Cook, demand for the Apple Watch is much greater than supply, but the company is “working hard to remedy that.” He said that Apple made a lot of progress on that over the past week, and was able to deliver the Apple Watch to more customers than Apple had originally anticipated.

“We’re going to keep doing that,” Cook said, noting that some customers would begin receiving updated info on improved shipping estimates today. Apple is “generally happy” with its efforts to boost supply and get the Apple Watch out to customers as soon as possible, and Apple Watch availability may expand to other countries in late June. “It is a new product for us. With any new product, you wind up taking some time to fully ramp.”

I think we’re in a good position and sometime in late June we currently anticipate being in a position where we could begin Continue Reading

MCX Member Best Buy Begins Accepting Apple Pay in App, In-Store Support Coming [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
bestbuy.jpg

On an Apple Pay update shared during today’s second quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Best Buy will begin accepting Apple Pay in its iOS app today, with full Apple Pay support coming to Best Buy stores later in 2015.

Best Buy’s move to adopt Apple Pay is notable because Best Buy was previously a member of MCX, the Apple Pay competitor that’s pushing the CurrentC payments service. CurrentC, which uses barcodes rather than NFC for payments, remains in testing and will launch later this year.

Best Buy follows MCX member Meijer in offering Apple Pay to customers, and while both companies signed exclusivity agreements, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson has said that there are no penalties or fines for leaving the MCX program. MCX members are not able to accept both CurrentC and Apple Pay at the same time, so it remains unclear if Best Buy remains a part of MCX.

Apple also announced that the number of locations accepting Apple Pay has now tripled since the service first launched in October of 2014.

Continue Reading

App Store Sees Record Performance in Q2 2015 With 29% Increase in Revenue Year Over Year [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
appstore

During today’s Q2 2015 earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the App Store saw its best quarter ever, with 29 percent growth year over year. The entire services category, which includes the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, iBooks Store, AppleCare, ApplePay, licensing, and other services also reached a record quarterly revenue of $5 billion, up 9 percent year over year, with growth largely coming from the App Store.

According to Apple CFO Luca Maestri, the App Store remains “incredibly popular” with customers around the world, and in the March quarter, it saw 70 percent more revenue than Google Play.

Apple also an update on HealthKit-based apps, which are part of Apple’s recent health and fitness initiative, aggregating all of a user’s health and fitness data. According to Cook, HealthKit has been highly successful, and there are now 1,000 HealthKit-based apps in the App Store.

Along with HealthKit, Cook also touched on apps for the Apple Watch. There are now 3,500 Apple Watch apps available for download. Cook said customer response to the Apple Watch was “overwhelmingly positive” and that Apple “can’t wait to see more inspiring apps” for the Apple Watch as we Continue Reading

Apple Reports Record March Quarter Results of $13.6B Profit on $58B Revenue, Boosts Dividend and Buybacks

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
linechart

Apple today announced financial results for the second fiscal quarter and first calendar quarter of 2015. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of $58 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share, compared to revenue of $45.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $10.2 billion, or $1.66 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Gross margin for the quarter was 40.8 percent compared to 39.3 percent in the year-ago quarter, with international sales accounting for 69 percent of revenue. Apple also declared an increased dividend payment of $0.52 per share, payable on May 14 to shareholders of record as of May 11. The company currently holds $193.5 billion in cash and marketable securities.

In addition to the increase in the dividend payment, Apple said it will once again expand its share repurchase authorization to $140 billion from $90 billion and the company says it expects to spend over $200 billion in cash under its capital return program by the end of March 2017.

Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 43.7 million a year earlier and a new March quarter record, while Mac sales were also Continue Reading

Apple Forecasted to Report Double-Digit Growth in Second Quarter as Sales Remain Strong

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
Apple Q2 2015 Preview Chart

Apple will report its financial results later this hour for the second quarter of the 2015 fiscal year, a three-month period spanning January through March that directly followed the holiday shopping season. Apple has offered guidance of between $52 billion and $55 billion in quarterly revenue, while the average of all analysts combined forecasts the company’s revenue during the quarter marginally higher at $56.84 billion.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt at Fortune has compiled a pair of charts that aggregate all predictions by independent and professional analysts for Apple’s revenue, EPS, gross margin and number of iPhones, iPads and Macs sold during Q2 2015, and it’s believed that Apple will report double-digit growth year-over-year as sales remain strong and the company’s momentum continues in 2015.

Amateur analysts are bullish, predicting average quarterly revenue of $58 billion and sales of 60.1 million iPhones, 13.6 million iPads and 4.7 million Macs, while professional analysts remain more conservative with an average estimate of $55.69 billion quarterly revenue and sales of 55.7 million iPhones, 14.2 million iPads and 4.6 million Macs. Apple is also forecasted to have a gross margin of 39.4% based on the average of all analysts.

<img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/04/Apple-Q2-2015-Preview-800×677.png" alt="Apple Q2 2015 Continue Reading

Apple Watch Display Quality Judged ‘Excellent’, Calibrated to Match iPhone 6

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
Apple Watch DisplayMate Chart

DisplayMate Technologies has extensively tested the Apple Watch’s flexible OLED display and shared the results today based on several categories, including screen reflection, brightness and contrast with ambient light, color gamut with ambient light, and viewing angle variations. Overall, the company found the Apple Watch to have an “excellent smart watch display” with accurate colors and picture quality.

In a side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 6 display, the display calibration company found that Apple has taken measures to ensure that the Apple Watch display has the same colors, color calibration and color accuracy as the larger smartphone screen. The stainless steel and gold Apple Watches with sapphire crystal displays, however, have much higher reflectance in ambient light and mandatory automatic brightness control to preserve battery life.

“Since the Apple Watch is often used right next to the iPhone 6, Apple has gone to considerable lengths to give them the same colors, color calibration, and color accuracy. The two most significant differences (other than size) are the much higher Reflectance of the Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal (8.2 percent compared to 4.6 percent), and the aggressive Brightness control using a mandatory Automatic Brightness Ambient Light Sensor in order to Continue Reading

Instagram for iOS Gains Three New Filters, Emoji Hashtags [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
instagramfilters

Instagram for iOS received a major update today, adding three new filters to the app: Lark, Reyes, and Juno. Lark brightens up images and adds purple tones, while Reyes adds a vintage-looking fade with yellow tones. Juno is the boldest of the three new filters, brightening images and bumping up the contrast for a more stylized look.

Today’s three new filters come four months after Instagram added Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua, the first new filter additions to the app in two years. With those five filters, Instagram began focusing more on subtle improvements, a trend continued with the three new filters added today.

Lark filter on left, Reyes filter on right
Instagram has also gained emoji hashtags with the latest update, so it’s possible to use emojis to create hashtags to enable new ways of tagging and finding photos on the image sharing service.

Introducing 3 new photo filters! Lark, Reyes and Juno have been added automatically so you can start using them right away.

Emoji hashtags. Use your favorite emojis to create, share and search for hashtags.

Get the best of Instagram from the Apple Watch. Browse your feed and like your favorite photos, Continue Reading

Apple Seeds Second OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite Beta to Developers, First Public Beta Version

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
os_x_yosemite_round_icon

Apple today seeded the second beta of OS X 10.10.4 to developers, approximately a week and a half since releasing the first 10.10.4 beta and nearly three weeks after releasing OS X 10.10.3 with the Photos for OS X app to the public. Alongside the new developer beta, Apple also released the first public beta version of OS X 10.10.4.

Developers can download the new beta through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store or through the Mac Developer Center.

OS X 10.10.3 introduced several consumer-facing changes including the new Photos for OS X app, a redesigned emoji picker, new diversified emoji, and more, but OS X 10.10.4 appears to be an under-the-hood update that brings performance enhancements and bug fixes.

The first two updates to OS X Yosemite, OS X 10.10.1 and OS X 10.10.2 were also minor behind-the-scenes updates that improved performance through bug fixes and enhancements.

Continue Reading

Apple Adds New NBC Sports Channel to Apple TV

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
apple_tv_roundup

Apple today added the NBC Sports Live Extra channel to the Apple TV, adding to its growing collection of available sports apps the device. The NBC Sports channel on the Apple TV delivers videos and clips of sporting events that air on NBC, much like the iPad app.

NBC Sports on the Apple TV offers video on demand that includes access to video clips, previews of upcoming events, and highlights from past events, plus it offers live NBC Sports events and full event replays. While video clips and other content will be available to all users, watching live content will require a cable subscription and authentication to log in.

In addition to the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Triple Crown, Live Extra streams all live sports content televised by NBC, NBCSN and Golf Channel, including: the Summer and Winter Olympics; Sunday Night Football and NBC’s NFL pre-season and post-season coverage; NHL regular-season games; the PGA TOUR, including the FedExCup Playoffs, and the LPGA; the Premier League; studio content surrounding many of the aforementioned properties; original programming such as The Dan Patrick Show and Men In Blazers; and much more.

NBC Sports joins a slew of other sports-oriented apps on the Continue Reading

Apple Seeds Second iOS 8.4 Beta With Revamped Music App to Developers

Posted by | April 27, 2015.

Apple today seeded the second beta of iOS 8.4 to registered developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the first iOS 8.4 beta and nearly three weeks after releasing iOS 8.3 to the public.

The beta, build 12H4086d, is available as an over-the-air download and through the iOS Developer Center.

iOS 8.4 introduces an all-new Music app, which has a revamped design that shows pictures of artists in the Artists view and offers personalized playlists. It includes a new MiniPlayer, a redesigned look for “Now Playing,” global search capabilities that make it easier to search within the Music app, and a streamlined design for iTunes Radio to bolster music discovery.

The first iOS 8.4 beta had a long list of bugs associated with the new Music app, and it’s likely that today’s update fixes several of those issues to make the app more stable.

iOS 8.4’s redesigned music app comes ahead of the rumored debut of a revamped streaming music service that could make an appearance at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The upcoming streaming music service is said to be similar to Apple’s existing Continue Reading

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Enables Access to HealthKit for More Than 80,000 Patients [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
healthkit-logo

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in Los Angeles, has updated its online medical records to enable access to HealthKit for more than 80,000 patients, reports Bloomberg. Cedars-Sinai joins The Mayo Clinic and Duke University Hospital as medical centers connected to the health platform, alongside more than 900 health, medical and fitness apps integrated with the service.

“This is just another set of data that we’re confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments,” said Cedars-Sinai chief information officer Cedars-Sinai. “We don’t really, fully know and understand how patients will want to use this and we’re going to basically stand ready to learn by what will happen.”

Apple said earlier this year that over 600 developers are integrating HealthKit into their health and fitness apps, and more than fourteen major hospitals are now using the health framework in the United States. Apple introduced HealthKit and a new Health app in iOS 8 as a part of a new initiative into health and fitness tracking. HealthKit taps into data from the iPhone’s various sensors along with compatible accessories to provide a more comprehensive picture of a user’s health.

Continue Reading

Christy Turlington Burns Breaks Personal Record at London Marathon [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
christy turlington burns

Over the past few weeks since Apple’s “Spring Forward” event, model and founder of non-profit organization Every Mother Counts Christy Turlington Burns has kept a blog on Apple’s official website describing her use of the Apple Watch in helping her prepare for the Virgin Money 2015 London Marathon.

It’s about that time…Wish me luck and some speed #everymileeverymother @everymomcounts sub 4hrs #applewatch

A photo posted by Christy Turlington Burns (@cturlington) on Apr 26, 2015 at 1:44am PDT

After finishing the marathon yesterday, Burns posted a time of 3 hours and 46 minutes, flying just under her goal time of 3 hours and 55 minutes (via The Telegraph).

Angled as a seven week build-up to the 2015 London Marathon, Burns’ final blog entry was posted last week, also timing itself with the official launch of the Apple Watch last Friday. As Burns mentioned in her latest post for Apple, “as a 46‑year‑old mom, I’m proud of my under‑4‑hour goal”, even though most “extreme” athletes can get a finish time under the 3 hour mark.

Burns used a variety of Apple Watch features over the nearly-two-months Continue Reading

Yes, the Apple Watch Blends [iOS Blog]

Posted by | April 27, 2015.
Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.42.47 AM

Blendtec and Tom Dickson have returned with the latest edition of their “Will It Blend” experiment, this time putting the Apple Watch in a blender to see how well it survives. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. Just like with every iPhone put through the blender treatment, the Apple Watch is quickly smashed and destroyed into tiny bits and pieces of metal.

Last week, the Apple Watch Sport was put through a lengthier torture test that involved attempting to scratch it with a cheese grater, pouring ketchup and maple syrup on it, boiling it in hot water, stepping on it, smashing it with a seven-pound cast iron skillet and more. The wrist-worn device also underwent a waterproof test on the same day.

Don’t try this at home.

Continue Reading

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