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Apple Patents Hybrid Keyboard With Touch-Sensitive Mechanical Keys [Mac Blog]

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
keyboard patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published a patent application filed by Apple in September 2011 (via AppleInsider), detailing a new keyboard that includes inputs for both traditional mechanical keystrokes along with a new touch-sensitive interface laid over each individual key.

The so-called “Fusion keyboard” would be able to detect the traditional swipe and zoom inputs of a MacBook trackpad, simply spread across the touch-sensitive interface of individual keys. The keyboard – noted to be both an integrated or external accessory, meaning the feature could come to both iMac and MacBook – could also allow for a sort of multi-touch input, meaning a user could simultaneously type something with their left hand while using a touch gesture for cursor control, for example, with the other.

Notably, the new keyboard patent also includes two-position mechanical switches that perform certain tasks at different levels of pressure, unlike the single-position design of not only the Mac line but most keyboards used today. The first level of pressure could act as a normal text input, while the second level could generate some alternative command similar to that of a mouse click. Although no indication of increased forceful pressure is Continue Reading

Microsoft Announces Cortana For iPhone Available Later This Year

Posted by | May 26, 2015.
Microsoft Cortana Nokia

Microsoft today announced that its Cortana personal digital assistant will be available for iPhone and Android smartphones later this year, after multiple rumors hinting at cross-platform expansion of the service over the past year. Windows 10 will also feature a new “Phone Companion” app as a central place for PC users to install Cortana and other Windows-related apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

Microsoft unveiled Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 last April as the company’s answer to Siri and Google Now, and the company is also bringing the personal digital assistant to the desktop as part of Windows 10 this summer. Cortana’s features include contextually-aware reminders, routing and mapping, current weather and traffic conditions, sports scores, biographies and more.

Some of Cortana’s features on Windows Phone won’t initially be available on iPhone and Android smartphones, including toggling settings, opening apps or “Hey Cortana” hands-free invoking of the personal digital assistant. Microsoft will also release an updated version of its Xbox Music app for iOS with free streaming playback of your music files and playlists from OneDrive.

Continue Reading

Jony Ive Named Chief Design Officer at Apple, Alan Dye and Richard Howarth Take Over Day-to-Day Design Management

Posted by | May 25, 2015.
dye_ive_howarth

Apple today announced the appointment of Jony Ive to a newly created position of Chief Design Officer, allowing him to continue overseeing design aspects of numerous projects within the company while turning over the day-to-day management of the design teams to Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, who have both been elevated to vice president positions. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the changes today in a company-wide email.

Alan Dye, Jony Ive, and Richard Howarth (Gabriela Hasbun for The Telegraph)

Team,

I have exciting news to share with you today. I am happy to announce that Jony Ive is being promoted to the newly created position of Chief Design Officer at Apple.

Jony is one of the most talented and accomplished designers of his generation, with an astonishing 5000 design and utility patents to his name. His new role is a reflection of the scope of work he has been doing at Apple for some time. Jony’s design responsibilities have expanded from hardware and, more recently, software UI to the look and feel of Apple retail stores, our new campus in Cupertino, product packaging and many other parts of our company.

Design is one of the most important ways Continue Reading

How to Calibrate Apple Watch for a More Accurate Offline Workout [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 25, 2015.
christy turlington burns

Apple Watch tracks your movement and heart rate. It uses that information in conjunction with your gender, height, age, and weight to estimate how many calories you burn during daily movement, including light strolls and dedicated workouts.

However, Apple Watch needs proper calibration to get the most accurate reading of your movement and heart rate, which is used to help determine distance and pace measurements when you are walking or running without your iPhone, or while using a treadmill.

Calibration is fairly easy and takes about 20 minutes of exercise. For this purpose, you will need both your iPhone and your Apple Watch. After calibrating, you won’t need to bring your iPhone on walks or runs anymore.
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How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones and Listen to Music on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 24, 2015.
addingmusicapplewatch

Apple Watch includes 6.2 GB of storage space for adding content like apps, photos, and music, with up to 2GB of that space dedicated to storing songs. When you add a playlist, you can listen to music on it, even when your iPhone is not in range. While the process is fairly self-explanatory, there are a few steps you don’t want to forget in order to play music from Apple Watch to your Bluetooth connected headphones

Adding Music to Apple Watch

In order to listen to music on Apple Watch without an iPhone in range, you must sync a playlist to it first.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap My Watch.
  2. Select Music from the list.
  3. Tap “Synced Playlist” to access your iPhone’s playlist.
  4. Select a playlist from the list (if there is no playlist visible in this list, you will need to create one on your iPhone).
  5. Place your Apple Watch on its charger to initiate the sync. This step is important. Apple Watch will not sync a playlist if it has not been connected to the charger.

You can customize your playlist limit here. Switch between the amount of storage or number Continue Reading

How to Set Up Apple Pay on Apple Watch [iOS Blog]

Posted by | May 23, 2015.
passbookapplewatchapplepay

Apple restricted Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due to the need for an NFC chip that’s not included in older phones, which means Apple Pay has been limited to those with newer iPhones since it debuted in October of 2014.

One of the major perks of the Apple Watch is that it enables Apple Pay for some older iPhones because it has the same NFC chip that’s in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If you have an Apple Watch and an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s, you can now use Apple Pay and the watch to make secure purchases in retail locations.

For those of you who haven’t had a chance to use Apple Pay, we’ve written up a tutorial that walks through how to set it up on your watch.

Setting Up Apple Pay

How to Apple Pay on Apple Watch 5Even if you are already using Apple Pay on iPhone 6, you will need to add your credit and debit cards to Apple Pay for Apple Watch. You can add up to eight cards.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and then select My Watch.
  2. Continue Reading

    Selfie, Bacon, and Avocado Among Emoji Proposed for Inclusion in 2016’s Unicode 9

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    emojicandidates

    The Unicode Consortium today released a list of 38 emoji characters that are candidates for inclusion in Unicode 9.0, which is set to be released in the middle of 2016. These represent emoji that could be available on iOS and Mac devices in the future.

    Candidates include a range of different character emoji, from “face with cowboy hat to “drooling face” and “lying face.” “Selfie,” an emoji represented by a hand holding a camera, is also on the list, as is “shrug,” and “handshake.” As for food, emoji proposals include croissant, avocado, cucumber, bacon, potato, and carrot. There are also several proposed animal additions: fox face, eagle, duck, bat, shark, and owl.

    According to the Unicode Consortium, these emoji have been chosen for several reasons. Some are proposed based on expected high frequency of use or due to requests from online communities. Others on the list fill in gaps in existing emoji sets or are compatible with emoji characters in existing systems.

    Emoji candidates are not finalized so it’s possible that some of the characters on the list could be removed before Unicode 9 is released in 2016, and it’s also possible that additional characters could Continue Reading

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

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    ipad-air-2-group

    It’s nearly Memorial Day, which means there’s a long three-day weekend coming up and some solid deals on Apple products from vendors who are cutting prices in the hopes of drawing customers into stores over the weekend.

    Best Buy’s offering a can’t-miss deal on the 13-inch MacBook Air and the high-end 27-inch Retina iMac is available for the lowest price we’ve seen. The 2014 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is also being sold at low prices for a complete list.

    Super popular puzzle game Monument Valley is on sale for $0.99 this week, down from $3.99. Death Rally is available for free, down from $0.99. Platformer Bean Dreams is available for $1.99, down from $2.99. Cut the Rope 2 is available for $0.99, down from $2.99. Puzzle game KAMI is available for $0.99, down from $1.99.

    Sketching app Procreate Pocket is available for $0.99, down from $2.99. Photography app Enlight is available for $0.99, down from $5.99. Endless runner Alto’s Adventure is available for $0.99, down from $1.99.

    Puzzle game Magnetized was named Apple’s App of the Week, so it will be free to download until next Continue Reading

    Video Review: The MOS Kick is a Versatile Stand for Your iPhone [iOS Blog]

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.

    There are dozens if not hundreds of iPhone stands on the market, but every once in awhile, there’s one that sets itself apart with a unique form or a rich set of features. The MOS Kick falls into the latter category, offering a stand, screwdriver, bottle opener and tripod connector in a portable package.

    Developed by the MOS team that’s created several other popular products like the MOS Reach power outlet and the MOS cable organizer, the MOS Kick is made from metal so it can withstand being carried on a backpack or in a pocket.

    We went hands-on with a prototype (hence the small bit of rust) of the MOS Kick and found it to be a convenient stand. It works with any smartphone because it includes adjustable silicone pads that hold a device in place. It’s able to mount on a tripod with its 1/4″ threaded hole, and it has a couple little tools for when you’re in a pinch — a bottle opener and a flat head screwdriver.

    Since it’s all metal, it’s heavy enough to hold an iPhone up on any surface, and when attached Continue Reading

    New Book Explores How the iPhone Contributed to BlackBerry’s Downfall

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    blackberryiphone

    Over the past several years, BlackBerry has gone from one of the top smartphone manufacturers to a company that’s struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly competitive market. BlackBerry is hemorrhaging subscribers and losing revenue quarter after quarter as it attempts to turn the tide by focusing on marketing secure devices and software to its enterprise customers.

    An upcoming book by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, Losing the Signal, explores the events that led to the rise and fall of BlackBerry, and an interesting excerpt was shared by The Wall Street Journal today, covering the iPhone’s contributions towards BlackBerry’s (then known as RIM) failure.

    As we’ve previously learned from Google execs, the launch of the iPhone, which stood apart from all other smartphones on the market at the time, took everyone by surprise. Not only was the iPhone incredibly different from its competitors, it also had features that carriers had previously denied other manufacturers like an App Store and a full web browser.

    Image via CIO

    One of RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’ first comments was “These guys are really, really good,” but despite that fact, RIM failed to see the iPhone Continue Reading

    Apple Begins Shipping Gold Edition Watches to Early Pre-Order Customers

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    applewatcheditioncharge

    Starting on Monday of this week, Apple began preparing to ship out the first batch of gold Apple Watch Editions to customers who pre-ordered in April. MacRumors readers have begun seeing credit card charges for the devices and have received shipping notifications and courier information from Apple. Some of the first Apple Watch Edition orders will begin arriving tomorrow.

    Image via MacRumors reader Calvin
    The Apple Watch Edition is available in yellow gold or rose gold and is priced between $10,000 and $17,000. Given its high price tag, the Apple Watch Edition delivery process is somewhat different than the delivery process of Apple’s less expensive watches, with customers receiving emails asking them to set up a delivery time.

    applewatcheditioncourier
    iFixit’s Kyle Wiens ordered a 38mm Apple Watch Edition with a Black Sport Band and shared his tracking information and courier emails with MacRumors. His order was initially placed on April 10 and shipped out on Thursday, May 21. His delivery date was originally set for Sunday, May 24, but was moved up to Saturday, May 23.

    applewatchshipped
    Wiens tells MacRumors that while he initially ordered the Apple Watch Edition to Continue Reading

    Some Apple Watch Users Experiencing Issues With Inconsistent Heart Rate Data Following Update

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    heartratemonitoring101

    Following the release of Watch OS 1.0.1 on Tuesday, Apple Watch users have been noticing a problem concerning the frequency with which the Apple Watch sends heart rate data to the iPhone. Prior to the update, the Apple Watch sent heart rate information to the iPhone’s Health app every 10 minutes, but now some users are seeing inconsistent update times.

    As highlighted by everythingiCafe on Wednesday, Apple Watch owners on the MacRumors forums and Apple’s Support Communities have been complaining that their Apple Watches are sending data sporadically, with gaps up to eight hours in some cases.

    Before update on left, after update on right. Image via MacRumors forum member twisted-pixel.
    Many of the users are still seeing occasional updates to the Health app, but at unpredictable intervals that are not as frequent as the previous 10 minute update intervals, and some are also seeing duplicate readings. This bug is not affecting all users, as some people are still reporting regular data transfers, but for the users experiencing issues, unreported heart rate data seems to be irretrievable.

    I also noticed that my heart rate data in the health app for about a week Continue Reading

    OS X 10.11 Could Feature Control Center, ‘Rootless’ Security and More, iOS 9 to Support A5-Based Devices

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    os_x_yosemite_round_icon

    While OS X Yosemite introduced several new high-profile features, such as Handoff, iCloud Drive and Instant Hotspot, the focus of OS X 10.11 will be on improved stability and performance, new security features and system-wide interface tweaks, according to a lengthy report by 9to5Mac.

    OS X 10.11 is still expected to gain a handful of noteworthy features, including a systemwide change to Apple Watch font San Francisco and a new Control Center menu similar to iPhone and iPad. Control Center was originally found in early betas of OS X Yosemite, but was not included in the final release.

    “Control Center moves many of the controls from the Mac’s Menu Bar to a pane that slides out from the left side of the Mac’s display, adding on-screen music controls and other iOS-influenced features,” the report claims. “However, Control Center reportedly has been in flux during development, and could be pushed back again.”

    Control Center OS X 10.11A possible first look at Control Center for Mac on OS X from 2014
    Apple is also reportedly working on a major new kernel-level security system called “Rootless” for OS X and iOS that will help curb malware and Continue Reading

    Apple’s iOS 9 Could Herald A New Future For Older iPhones And iPads

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    iphone-4S-Siri1

    Apple’s next-generation operating systems, for both mobile devices and PCs, are reportedly going to have a strong focus on zapping bugs and improving stability, reports 9to5Mac. We’d heard this about iOS before, but it appears this will be a smoothing year (but with new features, too). The more interesting news, however, is that Apple is also said to be working on improving iOS… Read More
    Continue Reading

    Apple Watch Orders Estimated to Average 30,000 Per Day in U.S. After Initial Surge

    Posted by | May 22, 2015.
    slice orders

    An estimated 2.5 million Apple Watch orders have been processed in the United States in the first five weeks of availability, according to Slice Intelligence (via Quartz). Extrapolating from the e-receipts of about 14,000 online shoppers who use Slice’s services, more than half of the orders placed so far came on April 10, the first day of pre-orders, with the Apple Watch averaging 30,000 orders per day since.

    Daily Apple Watch order estimates in U.S. (first-day orders of nearly 1.5 million omitted)
    As Quartz points out, the Apple Watch saw a notable rise in order interest on April 24, the day most initial Apple Watch pre-orders that weren’t high in demand, like the Leather Loop or Black Sport band, began arriving to customers. Social media posts and word of mouth that day no doubt helped Apple receieve a few extra orders, and it reaches back up to around 40,000 on a few days in April and May, but otherwise Apple’s new wearable has seen a steady decline in order numbers since its launch date, according to the e-commerce shopping firm.

    Even with the steep decline following the start of pre-orders, Apple Watch sales are easily Continue Reading

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