Category Archives: Apple Watch

NZ travel app, Samsung security, UK Apple Pay deletes limit, Nike bands to match shoes


New social travel app ‘Gratia’ launches in New Zealand on iOS —  Gratia allows locals and travellers to explore New Zealand and meet others who share their interests by combining user-generated and travel industry content to provide a rich source of ideas for things to do and see throughout New Zealand.
The free Gratia app provides a platform for industry partners to place their own brands and curated, geo-targeted content on the app, and to engage with app users by using content from Yelp and Tourism New Zealand, with additional curated content developed with partners including Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Bay of Islands Information, Adventure Living, AJ Hackett and Queenstown Life. Several regional tourism organisations, including Northland, Hamilton-Waikato, Destination Coromandel, Rotorua NZ and Visit Ruapehu are supporting the platform with their content. Several other organisations are preparing to join the platform. (It’s also available for Android.)

Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1 works with iOS devices — Hanwha Techwin America (formerly Samsung Techwin America has announced that the Samsung Wisenet-SmartCam A1, which works with an iOS app on the iPhone and iPad,  is available to consumers both online and in stores including Sam’s Club, Target and Amazon.com.
This is a Wi-Fi security camera kit that offers both indoor and outdoor solutions and provides users with a more complete view of their home. The system consists of an indoor camera with 1080p Full HD streaming, 130-degree wide angle lens, two-way talk and motion zone select, and an outdoor battery-powered camera that delivers videos at 720p HD resolution with weather resistant capabilities.

Most Apple Pay terminals in the UK can now accept mobile payments above £30 — Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple pay, told The Telegraph that over half of contactless payment terminals in the UK are now able to take Apple mobile payment transactions of any value. Most card readers had previously been restricted to £30, the default upper limit for contactless card transactions.

Nike bands to match Nike shoes — When they arrive on Nike.com and at select Nike retail stores on June 1 for US$49, runners will be able to match their watch band and shoes for the first time. According to Nike, The ‘Day to Night collections celebrates runners whenever they choose to run, with each of the colours inspired by a shade of the sky, from dawn to dusk. [Er, gosh.]

Five Tip Friday ~ 3 for iOS, 2 for Apple Watch


1/ Make Home Button Touch ID work like it used to — iOS 10 brought a big change to the way the Home Button worked by requiring users to press it, even after your fingerprint has been recognised. But there’s a feature under Settings>General>Accessibility that allows you to make your Home Button work like it used to – it makes your iPhone or iPad with Touch ID unlock with just a touch from the lock screen.
In Settings > General > Accessibility, scroll down until you see the Home Button menu item. Tap it.
In this area, you can change the click speed of the Home Button, and control whether Siri or Voice Dictation activates when you press and hold. But at the bottom, you’ll see a switch called Rest Finger to Open. Tap that. Once enabled, you can open your iPhone with Touch ID the old way: just press your finger against it, instead of having to press it first. This isn’t a full return to iOS’s Slide-to-Unlock, but many users might find it more natural than the default way of doing things.

2/ Vibrate Only for certain events — On your iOS devices, there are settings that control which sounds play for which events, like when an email comes in or you get a text. with an iPhone, you can also choose for certain events to have no associated sounds but to vibrate your device instead. For me, this is really useful: you might like to know right away when you get a text, say, so you will have a sound associated with that, but for emails, no. You can set those to vibrate only (actually, I have email alerts turned off on iPhone, that way I only get them when I check them, which suits me better).
Open the Settings app on your iPhone, then tap Sounds & Haptics.
Under that section are some very useful choices. At the top you can configure whether your device will vibrate when it’s ringing or when it’s on silent. Scroll down a bit to set up which sounds you’d like to hear for which events.

3/ Backing up Voice Memos — Sometimes you can’t beat a quick Voice Memo to record a thought, tune or to-do. But since there is no Voice Memo folder in iCloud Drive, and while memos are part of your iPhone backup (and they also back up to iTunes on Mac./PC if that’s what you prefer as your backup), we can also make use of the share sheet put them somewhere specific.
You can create a folder in iCloud Drive (or your cloud provider of choice) for audio clips. For apple’s free iCloud Drive online storage, chick iCloud on your Mac in the left side of a Finder window and choose New Folder from the File menu. Another option is to create a note or folder in Apple Notes dedicated to voice memos.
On iPhone, go into the Voice Memos app, tap on a recording and hit the share button (shown below). From here, you can select Add to iCloud Drive or Add to Notes.

You can also straight AirDrop them. Tap on a recording and then the share button as above, make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your iPhone and Mac, and you can look for your Mac’s account photo under AirDrop.
If your audio recordings are large in size, using iTunes is another way to share. Connect your iPhone to your Mac, and click the phone symbol on the upper left. Next, click on Apps in the sidebar, and scroll all the way to the bottom until you see Voice Memos. You can then drag and drop your audio clips to any location in your Mac.

4/ Combine watchOS 3.2 ‘Theater Mode’ with ‘Wake Screen on Crown Up’ to discreetly check time on Apple Watch Series 2 — Here’s how to combine the two features. All current Apple Watch hardware has access to the watchOS 3.2 update, which adds the new Theater Mode option in Control Center. To access it, simply swipe up from the bottom of the display on a watch face, and choose the icon depicting comedy and tragedy masks.
But while all Apple Watch users can access theater mode, the next part of the tip is specifically limited to Series 2 hardware. Since the second-generation hardware debuted last September, it has exclusively offered a new feature known as Wake Screen on Crown Up. To enable this feature, open the Apple Watch app on a connected iPhone, choose General, and then Wake Screen. By default, new Apple Watch Series 2 units ship with Wake Screen on Crown Upenabled.
Theater Mode prevents your Apple Watch display from lighting up when your wrist is turned, which can be annoying in a dark movie theatre, for example. Users must instead tap the display in order to check the time.
However, when Wake Screen on Crown Up is enabled, users can also slowly brighten the display by turning the Digital Crown. As the digital crown is rolled forward, the Apple Watch Series 2 screen becomes gradually more visible, allowing users to keep the light from their watch dim – a particularly handy feature for politely checking the time without bothering others, while in a movie theatre or at a play.
After checking the time, users can either roll the Digital Crown back toward them to dim the display until it goes dark, or simply wait about three seconds for the screen to automatically go black.
If you roll the Digital Crown further upwards, the display will become fully “on,” at the normally set brightness, and will not automatically dim as long as your wrist is facing you. In this situation, simply turn your wrist away from you as you normally would, and the display will automatically shut off. Because Theater Mode is enabled, the screen will not automatically turn back on regardless of the orientation of your wrist.
(If you want to be extra polite while at the movies, you can also create a low-light watch face that will make the display even less noticeable. Simply create a new Modular face, set it to red (which helps preserve night vision), and disable all its watch face complications.)

5/ Reining in watchOS — You don’t have to automatically Install Apple Watch Apps. Some of the apps that go along with it may not be that relevant to you. Depending on when you set up your wearable device, it may automatically install all new apps to the Apple Watch. You don’t have to automatically install Apple Watch apps. Apple Watch has a limited amount of storage space, and any music and photos you have take up some of it, so you may want to limit how many apps you install. Secondly, not all of the Watch apps are incredibly useful and you might find yourself wanting to get rid of them.
Open the Watch app on your iPhone
Scroll down and tap General
Flip the toggle switch next to Automatic App Install so it is no longer green
Remove the Apps You Don’t Use
Once you’ve turned off Automatic App Install, you might want to clear out some of the apps you aren’t using. Return to the My Watch screen, and scroll down until you see your list of third-party apps. If you see Installed next to an app, it’s already there. Tap on the apps one at a time. You’ll see a toggle switch for each labeled Show App on Apple Watch. Flip that switch so it’s no longer green. Apple Watch will uninstall that app. When you come across an app you do want to install, just flip that switch so it’s green. Apple Watch will install the app for you to use.

Snap specs, hearing aid app, Touchpad Paint, Apple Watch heart


Snap’s fledgling Spectacles sold just over 63,000 units in March quarter — In a sign of how tough the market for Apple’s rumoured augmented reality glasses could be [ie, if Apple was to make some] Snap is estimated to have sold just over 63,800 pairs of Spectacles in the March quarter.
Snap didn’t provide exact numbers in its results, but did admit to making just $8.3 million in its “other revenue” category, according to TechCrunch. Dividing by the Spectacles’ $130 pricetag gives a figure of 63,846.
About $4.5 million in Spectacles were sold during the December quarter, or roughly 34,615 units. Until the February launch of online sales, the Spectacles were essentially an experiment for Snap, sold only through hard-to-find vending machines and a special New York City pop-up store. Even these limited sales only began in November.
The Spectacles are designed to shoot 10- to 30-second clips of first-person video, mainly for sharing in Snapchat, though they can be viewed elsewhere. Footage is shot in a unique circular format, and to dispel privacy concerns, lit rings appear whenever the glasses are recording. [So they’re just video cameras you wear on your face.]

Hearing Aid Pro provides hearing assistance with an iPhone — One of the ‘badges of honour’ that comes along with advancing years is hearing loss. Whether it’s medically-caused, the result of too many years of listening to loud music, or just plain old age, almost everyone gets to the point that their hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be. Hearing Air Pro (NZ$14.99/US$9.99) is designed to act as a hearing aid that runs on your iPhone, and since Steven Sande was recently diagnosed with significant hearing loss in my left ear, he thought I’d give it a try.
Now, why would someone want to use a $15 app to help out hearing? Easy: hearing aids are ridiculously expensive (a good number are well over NZ$3000) and many people feel a certain stigma wearing them, while few have issues with people wearing the iconic Apple earbuds. [Even if you’re just using this for walks in the park while enjoying hearing more, it’s pretty good value for that price.]

Carnegie Mellon research team created Touchpad Paint — What if you could spray-paint a piece of plastic or wood, and use it as a Magic Trackpad? Engineers at Carnegie Mellon University have created touchpad paint, which can turn any object or surface into a touch sensitive one. Project Electrick is based on an algorithm that can read a finger-press by sensing changes in electric flow on a conductive surface, called electric field tomography.

Study uses Apple Watch heart rate sensor to detect serious heart condition with 97% accuracy — New research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco, in collaboration with Apple Watch app Cardiogram, shows Apple Watch’s heart rate sensor can aid in the detection of atrial fibrillation, a common heart arrhythmia that can lead to stroke.

Portrait ad, eBook sales down, AirPods satisfy, apps abandoning Apple Watch


Apple’s latest video ad continues focus on iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode — Hammering home a common marketing point (and as iPhone sales slip a little), Apple has released a new commercial, The City, demonstrating the Portrait Mode available on the iPhone 7 Plus. The commercial depicts a couple roaming through Shanghai, enjoying various activities together and snapping photos. A key conceit is that by using Portrait Mode, iPhone owners can make literally make everyone else disappear.

eBook sales down, while paperback and hardback sales rise — This isn’t good news for the iBook Store [has there ever been any good news for the iBooks Store? Apple doesn’t seem to really care about it] or any seller of digital books): sales of consumer eBooks plunged 18.7% in the US and 17% in the UK in 2016 over the first nine months of 2016, according to the Publishers Association, and as noted by CNN. Sales of physical books and journals went up by 7% over the same period, while children’s books surged 16%.

Customer satisfaction with Apple’s AirPods is extremely high — Customer satisfaction with Apple’s AirPods is extremely high. Ninety-eight percent of owners of the device said in a survey by Creative Strategies and Experience that they really, really liked the device.
In fact, 82% said they were “very satisfied.” The overall customer satisfaction level of 98% sets the record for the highest level of satisfaction for a new product from Apple. When the iPhone came out in 2007, it held a 92% customer satisfaction level, the iPad in 2010 had 92%, and Apple Watch in 2015 had 97%.

Major apps abandoning Apple Watch, including Google Maps, Amazon & eBay — In recent months, major companies that offered dedicated Apple Watch apps have since abandoned the platform, quietly removing support for watchOS in updates submitted to the App Store.

 

Apple Watch SOS helps student, Watch warranty extended


Apple Watch Emergency SOS helps student In car crash — Apple Watch Emergency SOS has saved another life. Casey Bennett, a college student in Maryland, was driving to class earlier this month. Another driver hit his Jeep, and Bennett flipped over. His iPhone dropped out of reach, but he was wearing an Apple Watch: “I was trying to figure out if I could get out, and I was like nope, you’re just going to have to hang out here…I just pressed down this side button on here for six seconds and it called 911.”
Apple added the Apple Watch Emergency SOS feature in the watchOS 3 update. When you hold down the side button for several seconds, an option appears on the screen to call 911, or the corresponding emergency service in your country.
[Reader Hawon Nguyen has reported that his Watch dialled emergency three times by mistake; if this is happening to you, it’s possible to turn this feature off.]

Apple extends Apple Watch warranty to cope with swollen batteries — Apple on Friday alerted authorized repair facilities to an Apple Watch service coverage extension for first-generation devices suffering from battery swelling, a rare issue impacting a small segment of owners.
According to an email sent out to Apple Authorized Service Providers, a copy of which was obtained by 9to5Mac, Apple is extending repair coverage for first-generation Apple Watch devices impacted by swollen batteries. With the new policy in place, users are provided two years of service beyond the gratis one-year limited warranty. (Note that Apple has not made an announcement regarding the Apple Watch repair extension, suggesting the issue is not widespread.)

iPhone Supercycle, Live Photos API, Guardian drops Apple News, Message stickers, Overcast on Watch


Data suggests tens of millions of iPhone users ready to fuel 2017 ‘supercycle’ — Lending credence to speculation of a coming iPhone ‘supercycle,’ market research firm comScore on Thursday released data showing tens of millions of users who own legacy iPhones are primed to upgrade. [So expect long waits when you’re ready to upgrade …]

Apple debuts Live Photos API, allows for playback on most popular browsers — Apple has developed a JavaScript API for its Live Photos, allowing pictures taken with the iOS feature to be shared on the web.

UK site The Guardian drops Apple News in bid to boost ad & subscription revenues — Prominent UK newspaper The Guardian has pulled out of two major app-based initiatives, Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles, in a bid to reclaim revenue.

Apple’s 2017 Earth Day Challenge for Apple Watch awards iMessage Stickers — In recognition of today’s Earth Day, Apple created Earth Day Challenge to reward reaching 30 minutes of exercise on the day with a special achievement badge in the Activity app, as well as stickers for use within iMessage. [Do people actually get excited about stickers? I looked at them when they first appeared, and never again.]

Overcast 3.1 update puts podcasts directly on Apple Watch — Popular iOS podcast app Overcast has updated with the ability to sync episodes directly to an Apple Watch, letting runners and others leave home without an iPhone in tow.

iPhone trends, Apple chips, Qualcomm slap, suing Swatch


(Image from GearMix)

US teen iPhone ownership hits all-time high, interest in Apple Watch ticks up — Apple’s mobile products continue to rise in popularity amongst US teens, as fresh survey data from Piper Jaffray shows more than three out of every four teens now own an iPhone and even more intend to buy. Meanwhile TrendForce reckons iPhone production volume is down, but overall sales are improving.

‘Strong evidence’ Apple working on custom power chips for 2019 iPhones — Apple is likely developing custom power management chips, working on the technology at facilities in Germany and the US, an analyst said on Tuesday, believing Apple is setting up power-management design centers in Munich and California. Bankhaus Lampe’s Karsten Iltgen further claims that “about 80” Apple engineers are already working on a custom chip, with plans to use it in iPhones “as early as 2019.”

Qualcomm slaps Apple with countersuit over patent royalties, claims unspecified damages — Responding to a volley of patent royalty lawsuits initiated by Apple, Qualcomm on Monday escalated the legal battle with a countersuit claiming the litigation is a gambit seeking lower licensing fees. Qualcomm is citing 35 specific defenses to Apple’s allegations.

Apple sues Swatch over ‘Tick different’ trademark — Swiss watch conglomerate Swatch is again under fire for allegedly capitalising on successful Apple marketing. The watchmaker is being taken to court for emblazoning ‘Tick different’ on certain watch models, a phrase Apple claims is a play on its 1990s ‘Think Different’ ad campaign.
Lodged last week, Apple’s complaint is being adjudicated by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court, reports Watson. In order to successfully argue its case, Apple will have to prove that at least 50 percent of consumers associate “Think Different” with Apple branding. [Unlikely – Apple’s slogan was popular when Apple had a tiny following compared to today.]

New iPad! Product RED iPhone 7, new silicone cases, SE gets doubles storage, new Clips app, Swift in more languages


(Image from Apple Inc)

New 9.7-inch iPad features stunning Retina Display better — Apple has today updated its most popular-sized iPad. It has a brighter 9.7-inch Retina display and best-in-class performance at its most affordable price ever, starting at recommended retail price NZ$529 inc gst.
• iPad comes in silver, gold and space grey and starts at recommended retail price (RRP) NZ$539 inc. GST for the 32GB with Wi-Fi model and RRP NZ$759 inc. GST for the 32GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model at Apple.com/nz. For more information, please visit apple.com/ipad/nz.
• iPad is available to order beginning Friday, 24 March from Apple.com/nz and starts delivering to customers and arriving next week through select carriers and Apple Authorised Resellers (prices may vary) in New Zealand and more than 20 other countries and regions.
• Polyurethane Smart Covers for iPad are available for RRP NZ$69 inc. GST in charcoal grey, white, midnight blue, pink sand and (RED) at Apple.com/nz.
• iPad mini 4, available in silver, gold and space grey, now offers more capacity for starting at RRP NZ$659 inc. GST for the 128GB Wi-Fi model and RRP NZ$879 inc. GST for the 128GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model at Apple.com/nz.
• Every customer who buys iPad from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup online5, to help them customise their iPad by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more.
[Just to be clear, this is a new iPad, not a new iPad Pro or iPad mini. But this also means Apple has discontinued the iPad Air and iPad mini 2. The new iPad replaces the Air 2 and iPad and offers a newer processor along with lower pricing.]

(Image from Apple online)

Apple adds a (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 to the iPhone 7 lineup — Along with new iPad models, Apple introduced a (PRODUCT)RED version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus today. The new models are called (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition and are available in 128 GB and 256 GB capacities.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition will be available in 128GB and 256GB models starting at Recommended Retail Price (RRP) NZ$1399 inc. GST from Apple.com and from Apple Authorised Resellers and select carriers (prices may vary). The special edition (PRODUCT)RED iPhone joins iPhone 7 finishes in jet black, black, silver, gold and rose gold.

Apple updates iPhone 7 silicone & leather cases with new colours — In tandem with its new (Product)Red iPhone 7 models, and new seasonal band colours for Apple Watch, Apple has also released silicone and leather cases in a small collection of new colours.
The new silicone cases come in azure, camellia and pebble.
The leather cases include sapphire, taupe [bletch! Every bloody new house in Auckland is this godforsaken colour! LOL, sorry] and berry options.

Apple’s iPhone SE doubles its storage options — Apple is now offering the entry-level iPhone SE with 32GB of storage for the same price it ran for the 16GB model and 128GB for the same price as the 64GB model. That’s double the previous storage for the same prices and heralds the end of the road for 16GB iPhones. [That last link also has a clip showing you how to gain space back on your iPhone.]

Apple targets social media crowd with new Clips app — Apple teased a new video capture and editing app called Clips today that targets social media app users. The app lets users snap videos, apply effects and edits and upload their creations to popular social networks and video sharing sites.
Clips includes video filters, background posters, stickers, animations, and titles that can be added during recording or later when editing. Video can be captured in the app, or you can use videos you previously recorded and stored in Photos.
The app will be free, and available in April.

Rugged case for schools — Logitech has already introduced a case, add-on keyboard for the new 9.7-inch iPad. The Logitech Rugged Combo, Logitech Rugged Case and Logitech Add-on Keyboard for Rugged Case is for Apple’s new, just-announced 9.7-inch iPad.

Swift Playgrounds available in five additional languages — Apple’s Swift Playgrounds for the iPad is now available in five new languages: Simplified Chinese, Japanese, French, German and Latin American Spanish.

Online Store offline tomorrow, Duet iPad Touch Bar, iPhone 8 and Services, China slipping, pregnancy kit


Duet lets you use an iPad as a Touch Bar on any Mac

Apple’s online store will be in ‘maintenance mode’ Tuesday morning, fueling talk of new products — New iPads tomorrow, perhaps? Apple has updated its System Status page, noting that its online store will be “updated and unavailable” for “maintenance” tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, between midnight and 5:30 a.m. (US Pacific Time – this is tomorrow for New Zealanders, please note, as we’re already on Tuesday 21st over here).

Turn any Mac into a Touch Bar by plugging in Duet — For users who use their iPad to draw, the Touch Bar is one of the most compelling features. It allows you to change brush size, colours and much more without having to go back to your keyboard or computer. The software Duet now lets you do this for any Mac with an iPad.

‘iPhone 8,’ growing services business predicted to increase shares of Apple by 10% — Wall Street forecasts for Apple stock are climbing, with another report claiming that the stock will hit US$155 over the summer of 2017 on pre-release hype of the ‘iPhone 8’ and continued expansion of the Services division that includes the App Store, Apple Music, and AppleCare.

Apple’s iPhone slipping in China because company won’t adapt, says Oppo & Vivo founder — Apple’s decline in Chinese iPhone shipments during 2016 can be blamed on the company refusing to adapt its tactics to the local market out of fear of risking its business elsewhere, according to Duan Yongping, the founder of Chinese smartphone brands Oppo and Vivo.

WebMD’s Pregnancy app and study will use Apple’s ResearchKit —  WebMD, a provider of health information services, and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) have announced a new investigative study designed to improve researchers’ and health care professionals’ understanding of what contributes to healthy pregnancies and positive pregnancy outcomes.