Category Archives: Apple Watch

Inside iPhone 8, inside iOS 11, inside Apple Watch 3, best ARKit apps for iOS 11


Inside iPhone 8: Apple’s A11 Bionic introduces 5 new custom silicon engines — Apple’s new A11 Bionic chip used in iPhone 8 and the upcoming iPhone X packs in an array of processing cores and sophisticated controllers, each optimised for specific tasks. We only know a bit about these, let alone what else is packed into this SoC. Here’s a look at the new Apple GPU, Neural Engine, its 6 core CPU, NVMe SSD controller and new custom video encoder inside the package.
Apple’s first internally-designed GPU, built into the A11 Bionic Application Processor, claims to be 30 percent faster than the Imagination-based GPU used in iPhone 7 models–which was already the leading graphics architecture in smartphones. First iPhone 8 teardown reveals few internal design changes. iPhone 8 has survived a harsh scratch and bend test in a new Apple video.
iPhone 8 Plus best performing smartphone camera ever, iPhone X expected to be better. Apple says it studied famous painters & photographers for Portrait Lighting on iPhone X & 8 Plus – Apple looked at lighting by photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon – and painters like Johannes Vermeer – when building the Portrait Lighting feature found on the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 Plus, the company claimed in an interview published on Friday, coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 8 line.
Apple’s new video ad is 8 things to love about iPhone 8, looking to hook viewers on its latest smartphone, shipping today. After decade of iPhone launches, there was still a line in San Francisco. This unboxing shows all three colours of iPhone 8.

Inside iOS 11 — iOS 11 rocketed to over 65 of internet usage in just two days after launch, according to independent web analytics company StatCounter. Its research arm StatCounter Global Stats finds that iOS 11 reached 6.2% of all iOS versions worldwide Wednesday. iOS 11 has some big changes for iPhone and iPad users, one of which involves the photos we take thanks to HEIF, an image format supported by both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra.In older versions of the operating system our photos were saved as JPEG, but in iOS 11 they’re saved as HEIF.
HEIF (for high efficiency image format) is an image file format that offers some advantages over JPEG. Image files are about half the size of comparable JPEG images and compared to the same shots saved in the older format are higher quality, too.
Apple debuted a new safety feature in iOS 11 with Do Not Disturb While Driving. AppleInsider corralled a co-pilot to test it out – here’s how it works. (Even if not connected to a car, it can detect that the car is moving, and enable the feature accordingly. Regardless, CarPlay functionality stays live. Navigation and music playback still work.)
iOS 11 has a new one-hand keyboard option for iPhone that lets you do exactly what it says: type with just one hand. It’s easy to get at, but a little confusing why you may not see it.

Unboxing both Apple Watch Series 3 Edition models … at once — Apple released its all-new LTE-connected Apple Watch Series 3 lineup on Friday, including two Edition models sporting sleek ceramic cases. AppleInsider presents a special dual unboxing of the high-end wearables, in both gray and white. A new app dock scrolls vertically, offers access to all apps.

How to control music on your iPhone using watchOS 4 — You can use your Apple Watch and watchOS 4 to control music on your iPhone, or you can enjoy music on your Apple Watch without the smartphone. and here’s how to pair your Apple Watch with your new iPhone without losing any data.

First look: Apple TV 4K with tweaked Siri remote design — If you owned the previous fourth-generation Apple TV with Siri remote, you’ll be hard pressed to find any differences with the new fifth-generation Apple TV 4K, aside from a white, raised ring around the Menu button on the remote. [The new model starts at NZ$299.]

The best ARKit apps you can download now on iOS 11 — One of the most hyped features of Apple’s new iOS 11 update is ARKit, a series of tools for developers that make it easier than ever to create augmented reality apps. with ARKit apps now available on the App Store, AppleInsider gives you some of the best options you can test out right now.

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iPhone 8 available, inside iOS 11, ARKit apps, iTunes and apps, HDR movies, Apple TV, Apple Watch and WiFi


(Image from Apple NZ’s iPhone 8 page)

iPhone 8 is available — It’s here in New Zealand, available to buy. As Apple says, it has “The most durable glass ever in a smartphone, front and back. A colour‑matched, aerospace-grade aluminium band. New space grey, silver and gold finishes.”
You can buy it from the usual places or direct from Apple,  (call 0800-692-7753).
If you get to get rid of your old iPhone in favour of a new one, here’s how. If you’d rather wait for the break-the-bank iPhone X, Mujo already has bespoke leather cases ready for them.

Inside iOS 11: Apple’s new one-handed keyboard allows for easier typing — Although most recent iPhones aren’t as friendly to one-handed users as the iPhone SE, Apple’s new iOS 11 does offer a special one-handed keyboard that compresses buttons into one corner of the screen. Here’s how to use it. The iOS 11 Cover Sheet mimics the lock screen and foretells swipe up to unlock for iPhone X. The launch of iOS 11 brings about a convergence of the iPhone’s Notification Center and Lock Screen for a new feature called Cover Sheet. Presenting a user’s notifications and other events, the feature also offers a glimpse at how the new home-button-free iPhone X will work when it debuts in November. It has quick screen recording comes right inside Control Center, invoked through a command in the overhauled Control Center interface. You add this via the Customise ability.
The iOS 11 App Store renovation for iPhone and iPad was inspired by Apple Music, and has  speed enhancements and new multitasking feature. This has been showcased in new ads.

Looking for more ARKit Apps? There’s a new App Store Section for that — Apple’s revamped App Store in iOS 11 aims to improve discoverability, and that’s good news if you’re on the hunt for more apps that show off what you can do with augmented reality.

You can still restore iOS apps from your hard drive — There are still a couple of options to let you restore iOS apps from your hard drive. Yes, Apple has taken away much of our ability to manage apps in iTunes 12.7. However, that doesn’t mean all of your IPA files are worthless. In fact, you can even still use iTunes to load them onto your devices.

Apple throws iTunes spotlight on 4K HDR movies ahead of Apple TV 4K release — Ahead of Friday’s public release of Apple TV 4K, Apple on Wednesday updated its iTunes Store with a special section dedicated to available 4K HDR movies, content that highlights the new set-top streamer’s high-definition capabilities. Apple TV 4K impressions positive, depending on how bought-in users are to iTunes, but Apple TV 4K won’t play 4K YouTube videos because of missing Google codec.

watchOS 4 restricts browsing of connected iPhone music library — With the release of watchOS 4, Apple no longer allows users to browse their iPhone’s music library, restricting song list viewing to tunes stored on device.

How to ditch bad Wi-Fi info so Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular has better connectivity — The Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE has a bug related to how it decides to stay on shoddy Wi-Fi, or shift to LTE. This can be remedied somewhat by cleaning up your known networks and not connecting to the some bad Wi-Fi hotspots in the first place: here’s how to do it.

iOS 11 is here, TestFlight and Playgrounds, OmniFocus, goodbye 32-bit, iPhone 8, TV app, watchOS 4


Apple has releases lots of iDevice updates today, including tvOS 11

iOS 11 is [almost] here! And before you upgrade, it’s important to back up your device. If you sync with a Mac, you can back up in iTunes. You can also [slower] back up to iCloud. There are also two ways to install iOS 11. The first allows you to do it directly on your iPhone or iPad. The second lets you do it by connecting your device to your Mac. The upgrade process will take several minutes, and you should probably use a Wi-Fi connection so you don’t eat up your data allocation with your service provider. [Not available in NZ at 6:30am, but it should show up soon.]
There are lots of new features, and Apple’s Control Center has become modular and customisable. It also brings better Siri, ARKit, H.265, AirPlay 2 and more.

Apple updates TestFlight & Swift Playgrounds for iOS 11’s new tech — In conjunction with the release of iOS 11, Apple has also released new versions of TestFlight and Swift Playgrounds, redesigning the former’s interface and adding an things like an Augmented Reality challenge to the latter.

OmniFocus update exploits powerful new features in iOS 11 — The latest version from the Omni Group updates for iOS 11 compatibility, but also takes advantages of changes to Siri and adds drag and drop.

How to find the 32-bit apps on your iPhone or iPad that won’t work in iOS 11 at all — The day has come: Apple will disallow 32-bit apps from running on iOS 11. If you haven’t updated because of worries of incompatibility, AppleInsider shows you how to identify which apps installed on your iPhone are 32-bit allowing you to decide if you want to upgrade or wait.

iPhone 8 wireless charging speed will improve with future firmware update from Apple — At launch, the iPhone 8 will recharge via inductive wireless technology at a rate comparable to the standard 5-watt charger that ships with the handset. But Apple plans to improve that speed with a future software update.
This video shows everything you need to know about Apple’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus,

Fun in PCalc — A new update for the app uses iOS 11’s ARKit feature to bring augmented reality into your number-filled world. Just tap the info button on the calculator keypad, choose Help, then tap About PCalc. Once you see the floating 42 badge tap anywhere on the screen to bring up the AR controls so you can throw marbles, dice, and bananas into your virtual world.

Apple launches tvOS 11 for Apple TV, adding live news & sports in TV app — As promised Apple on Tuesday released the finished version of tvOS 11, build 15J381, an update for fourth-generation Apple TVs that brings mostly evolutionary improvements, the most significant being groundwork for live news and sports features in the TV app. Apple has rolled out tvOS 11 with AirPlay 2, which offers multi-room audio support. It also includes the ability to automatically switch between light and dark interface modes.

TV availability in tvOS spreading — Apple began the rollout of TV app in Australia, Canada ahead of iOS 11 & tvOS 11 debut. tvOS 11 release, which will deliver the one-stop streaming hub to seven additional countries later this year. Apple is expanding availability of the TV app to seven countries — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway and the UK — by the end of 2017.
Apple TV owners running the latest tvOS software in Australia [which may include NZ, does anyone know? Since NZ is administered mostly from Sydney] and Canada discovered the TV app, or at least its icon, on their home screen earlier today and took to Twitter to note the the change. On fourth-generation Apple TV units, the TV app seems to be a placeholder instead of a functional app, but its presence hints at an imminent release likely timed to coincide with tomorrow’s iOS 11 and tvOS 11 launch. The TV app acts as a central hub for browsing, discovering and managing streaming content across a variety of providers and owned media.

Apple launches watchOS 4 for Apple Watch with improved Activity & Workout tracking, revamped Music app, Siri watch face — The Apple Watch interface has been refined and improved with today’s launch of watchOS 4, including a new vertically scrolling app dock, the ability to view installed apps in a list view instead of grid, and new watch faces including a Siri smart assistant and characters from the iconic “Toy Story” films.

watchOS 4 no longer lets you browse iPhone music library on your Apple Watch — In a major change to how the Apple Watch operates, users can no longer browse their iPhone’s music library after updating to watchOS 4, and instead can only view songs stored on the watch itself.

High Watch 3 demand, better battery, Bionic obliterates, Apple Pay Cash, Apple TV HDR


Demand for Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular stronger than expected, taking 80%+ of preorders — With a starting price just US$70 more than the non-cellular option, the new Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular accounts for the lion’s share of preorders ahead of this Friday’s launch.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities revealed on Monday he estimates that the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has accounted for between 80 and 90% of preorders. Apple began accepting orders last Friday, and the first shipments will arrive later this week, on September 22nd.
As of Monday, new orders for the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular are estimated to ship in 3 to 4 weeks. The non-cellular models, however, arrive as soon as October 2nd.

W2 chip in Apple Watch Series 3 boosts wireless speeds while maintaining battery life — One of the things Apple briefly touched on in announcing the Apple Watch Series 3 last week was the W2, a new self-designed wireless chip that’s nominally the successor to the W1 found in audio accessories like AirPods and the Powerbeats3. But what advantages does it offer, and why is it in a watch instead?

Chinese developers file complaint about Apple’s ‘unreasonable’ 4.3 Review Guideline — On August 8th, Daxiao, a Chinese law firm, lodged a complaint with the Chinese government about Apple removing apps from its App Store without a detailed explanation of its unreasonable 4.3 Review Guideline. There are more than 31 developers complaining about Apple’s “unreasonable” 4.3 App Store Review Guideline, says Xu Yun, a lawyer at the Chinese Fair-In law firm.

With iPhone 8, Apple’s Silicon Gap widens as the new A11 Bionic obliterates top chips from Qualcomm, Samsung & Huawei — Official benchmarks posted by Geekbench show that Apple’s A11 Bionic delivers a huge jump in performance over last year’s A10 Fusion used in iPhone 7, with scores that are not just far beyond other mobile ARM competitors’ latest chips, but higher than the base Intel Kaby Lake Core i5 processor Apple uses in its 13 inch MacBook Pro!

Apple Pay Cash for iOS 11, watchOS 4 won’t arrive until autumn — iOS 11 is due for release tomorrow. However, one feature, Apple Pay Cash, will arrive in an update to iOS 11 (and watchOS 4) won’t arrive for a while. Apple says it’s coming this fall.
With iOS 11, Apple Pay users will be able to make and receive payments with friends and family quickly and securely. They can send money and get paid right in Messages, or tell Siri to pay someone, using the credit and debit cards they already have in Wallet.

How high dynamic range support enables richer colours on Apple TV 4K — Apple has added high dynamic range, or HDR, to the new Apple TV 4K. AppleInsider explains what the term means as it pertains to 4K video, and how it applies to the new set-top box.

Apple Watch 3 starts at NZ$529


(Image from Apple NZ’s Watch page)

Apple Watch 3 available from September 22 — Apple has also announced the new Apple Watch 3 with built-in cellular. The Watch will now show heart rate throughout the day, a resting heart rate, and will warn of a high heart rate when you’re not active. The Watch will also look for arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation as part of the Apple Heart Study. watchOS 4 will be out on September 19.
You’ll be able to stream 40 million songs to your AirPods with Apple Music, without an iPhone nearby. It has a dual-core processor and a barometric altimeter. The display is the antenna, and the company uses an electronic SIM card.
New bands will be out from Apple and Hermes, and Nike Plus will have an all new app that takes advantage of the new capabilities. It will be available on September 22 at NZ$529/US$399 for the cellular model and US$329 for a non-cellular model. Pre-orders begin September 15.
[Would it use the same phone number as your iPhone?]

Tomorrows’s big event, iPhone evolution, hints of new iPod touch, AI and sleep for Watch


(Image from Apple’s event live-streaming page for September 2017

Where to watch the Apple event livestream tomorrow — Tomorrow’s Apple event (13th September in New Zealand is 12th September in the US) should prove to be one of the most interesting product reveals in the history of the company, even if this weekend’s leaks took a bit of the surprise out of what we expect to see. Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology and HLS requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 9.0 or later, a Mac with Safari on macOS v10.11 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
Apple has the livestream page all ready to go, and you can even add an event to your calendar to remind you to watch. There’s the Apple Events app on Apple TV (streaming via Apple TV requires an Apple TV 2nd or 3rd generation with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV 4th generation).

I will be updating this site from 7am NZ time — I gather together multiple sources and try and publish the most cogent information. Initial posts may be followed by additional posts with, for example, more information and NZ prices/availability. [But I have a prediction: 20-50% of any new features will hardly be used by anyone.] 

Phone X event at Steve Jobs Theater frames the future of Apple, Inc reckons Daniel Eran Dilger at Apple Insider — “Next Tuesday, Apple is expected to unveil its largest array of new product introductions ever, ranging from iPhone 8 and a premium new iPhone X to a new 4K/HDR Apple TV, new Apple Watch Series 3, revamped AirPods and the new HomePod appliance–as well as its new Apple Park campus. Here’s why it all matters, focusing on the new lineup of iPhones.” [Er, doesn’t every announcement ‘frame the future of Apple’, Daniel?]

Evolution of the iPhone — Gadgets Desk has a good infographic tracing the evolution of the iPhone, from the original iPhone to current rumors for Tuesday’s iPhone 8/iPhone X launch. It’s an interesting walk down memory lane that includes specs and pics for each iPhone model (minus iPhone 5C and iPhone SE).
And an infographic from Decluttr shows how the Internet reacted to the iPhone over the years.  You’ll have to scroll for a while to get to the iPhone 7/7 Plus, but the comments are well worth your time.

A new iPod touch may be coming soon — Along with all of the other goodness found in this weekend’s leak of the iOS 11 golden master, it appears that the iPod touch may finally get an update. Leak source Benjamin Geskin found reference to a device labeled as “iPod8,1” in the code, which may point to an all new iPod touch.

Bodymatter, Inc. today announced the latest version of their iPhone and Apple Watch app, Sleep Watch — The company breaks new ground with the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in its popular sleep tracking app to empower individuals with unparalleled insight and control over their own sleep habits and general wellbeing.
Bodymatter’s AI is presented to users through the Discover feature, which provides users with feedback on how certain behaviors are influencing indicators of their sleep. The app gathers data as the user wears their Apple Watch and it finds statistically significant relationships between users’ habits (including exercise) and the quality of their sleep. The data is then shared with each user through Discover. By providing individualised insight on behaviors, users can then make smarter, and hopefully healthier, choices every day. Cost is NZ$4.49/US2.99.

Two new droids, iPhone warranty, all about Apple Pencil, AirPods dominance, Deutsche Bank drops Blackberry, Watch fitness data


Sphero has released two more droid-based robots

Leaked doc shows what is and isn’t covered in Apple’s iPhone warranty repairs — A copy of a Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide has reportedly leaked online, giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what Apple will and won’t cover under an iPhone’ warranty.
A 22-page document dated March 3rd recently appeared on Dropbox, Business Insider said on Friday. While the site didn’t provide a link, it did offer a few screenshots, and commented that the “VMI” specifically addresses the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7 lines.

 

Sphero rolls out BB-9E, R2-D2 droid toys controllable by Apple’s Swift Playgrounds — Toy producer Sphero has launched two more robots based on droids from ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ with the introduction of R2-D2 and BB-9E accompanied by new Swift Playgrounds content that can teach users how to control the Sphero toys by programming in Swift. [These are already available in New Zealand, btw.]

Everything you can do with the Apple Pencil — The Apple Pencil for iPad Pro brings about a number of new ways of using and interacting with Apple’s touchscreen tablet. AppleInsider brings you up to speed on everything it can do, including unique use cases, and new features coming in iOS 11.

Apple AirPods dominant, despite late entrance in ‘totally wireless headphone’ market segment — A new market analysis of the headphone market suggests that Apple’s AirPods have driven the growth of the totally wireless headphone subcategory, accounting for nearly 85% of sales in the segment, as measured by dollars in the US.

Deutsche Bank has dropped last BlackBerrys to standardise on iOS — After many years of allowing its employees to replace their corporate-assigned BlackBerry phones with iPhones under a Bring Your Own Device policy, Germany’s Deutsche Bank is finally officially phasing out all of its BlackBerry devices for new Apple gear.

Apple’s Watch-oriented fitness lab tops 66,000 hours of data, 10,000 subjects — Apple’s dedicated fitness lab in Cupertino – which has so far contributed mostly to the Apple Watch – has managed to log over 33,000 workout sessions and 66,000 hours, “more data on activity and exercise than any other human performance study in history,” the company’s director of fitness for health technologies said in a recent interview.