Tag Archives: fashion

Apple Watch 489 ~ Through a lens darkly

Tim Cook, the Apple Watch and the issue over sapphire glass (image from ABC news).
Tim Cook, the Apple Watch and the issue over sapphire glass (image from ABC News).

The actual Apple Watch, which has been announced, shown off and will be available next year, will no doubt just be a fancy, show-off watch to some people, but with HealthKit it can be a lot more. The real promise of the Apple Watch is in health monitoring apps.

Other things it’s supposed to be able to do is act as a remote for your iPhone and Apple TV. Actually, it won’t even work without an iPhone, so some people will have to buy both at once if they want the most fashionable tech time piece (once available) so far.

And ‘fashionable’ appears to be exactly what Apple is aiming for. Long before the actual object’s arrival, Apple has displayed prototypes at the Paris Fashion Week and the wrist device will appear on the cover of the November issue of Vogue China.

Apple approached Vogue China’s editor-in-chief with the (usual) Apple angle of the clever combination of technology, style and functionality.

It looks like Apple is trying hard to market its Apple Watch outside of the normal male 20-somethings that make up the majority of those launch-day queues, as Gizmodo points out. This means new markets.

Meanwhile, Apple devices have become so secure the FBI is complaining. Seems fantastical, right? It turns out it’s not impossible for police to look at the data on iDevices, it’s just more difficult.

The fantastically named Ronald T Hosko, former Assistant Director of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division, published an opinion piece in The Washington Post that proclaimed law enforcement anger at the changes. Gizmodo has an opinion piece going into personal security and personal privacy.

Meanwhile, Apple has been dealing with all the usual rubbish that gets written about them whenever the Californian giant releases anything. Bendgate was ridiculous: Apple sold 10 million phones in four days and 9 of the bigger ones got bent. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who puts c$1000 phone in their back pocket and then sits on it deserves trouble, or at least a bargain-basement head-examination. For goodness sake, if you go for the bigger iPhone 6, put a good case on it (Apple’s cases are available now and many third party ones are appearing) and don’t put it in your back pocket – or a bench vice!

Meanwhile, you may have heard that Apple’s Sapphire supplier (it’s the material for the high-tech, super-tough lens in the two iPhone Sixes) has filed for bankruptcy. How could they, with an Apple supply contract?

GT Advanced Technologies’ bankruptcy filing continues to take strange turns. A day after signalling its intention to wind down operations and presumably sell whatever assets remain, a report from MacRumors relayed that GTAT filed court documents seeking to free itself from the executed contracts it signed with Apple, calling the terms of the deal “oppressive and burdensome.” GTAT plans to be fully wound down by December. You have to wonder why Apple doesn’t just buy it and run it properly if it wants Sapphire.

The somewhat unforeseen and unseemly demise of this supplier has turned up some interesting facts. GT Advanced revealed it could have had to pay a US$50 million fine if it leaked information about Apple products. This showed up in court documents, according to the Financial Times’ Tim Bradshaw.

You might recall that current Apple CEO Tim Cook was the supply chain expert who made everything work like clockwork – a big part of the rise of Apple over the last decade. Apple has been criticised for its incredibly stringent supply chain conditions before, but this time it’s in the US, so I expect this issue will get a bit more exercise in the press.

At the same time, a report has emerged about the crazy work culture at Apple. Former Apple managers Don Melton and Nitin Ganatra got together and discussed, amongst a slew of other fascinating topics, the hectic and always-on work schedule that comes with being a manager at Apple in a Debug podcast. During the podcast, Melton says “there is no way you can cruise through a job at Apple. That just does not happen for anybody I’ve ever seen.” Melton adds “… these people are nuts”.

You can read more, along with a link to the podcast, at TUAW.

iPhone 6 gush, Apple Watch, iCloud outages photo and Notification Centre, science, Rome, Waze

Apple Watch in Colette's window, Paris
Apple Watch in Colette’s window, Paris

Gigaom’s Kevin C Tofel gushes over the iPhone 6 — It’s not surprising for those of us who write about nothing but Apple products to get excited over new iPhones, but what about an online journalist who is equally at home in iOS and Android worlds, often buying both an iPhone and an Android phone each year?
Kevin C Tofel of Gigaom says in a new reviewI like the iPhone 6 so much that I may not buy a new Android.”
[By the way, I talk about the new iPhones in the NZ Tech Podcast with Paul Spain and Paddy Buckley. Paul is equally platform agnostic, also impressed with the iPhone 6; Paddy is Android. You can listen directly at that link or subscribe to the podcast on your Mac in iTunes or directly on iPad, iPhone via the Podcasts app.]

Apple Watch manufacturing to begin in January, Quanta to be sole supplier — A new rumour suggests Apple plans to begin manufacturing its upcoming wearable device in January, and that Taiwan’s Quanta Computer will exclusively handle that responsibility. The forthcoming Apple wearable was in the spotlight at Paris Fashion Week. The Guardian talks about this too (pictured above). It also took the window of The Colette store at 213 rue Saint-Honoré in the 1st Arrondissement of Paris (pictured above).

iCloud outages — Apple has reported all iCloud services down for some users worldwide. In an update to Apple’s online systems status webpage, the company announced ongoing outages of all iCloud services, including account sign-ins, mail, storage and more. [It’s back online now, and could be related to the implementation of the new iCloud Drive that will be part of Yosemite.]

Evercore raises Apple’s price target to $125 thanks to iPhone 6 — Bigger iPhone 6 screens are likely to result in a bigger upgrade cycle for Apple, in the eyes of Evercore Partners, which increased its price target to $125 on Tuesday and advised investors to buy in.

4 Cool iOS 8 Photo Extension Apps — iOS 8 opened the door for developers to share features with other apps and one place that really shines is Photos. Developers are updating their apps to take advantage of iOS 8’s new Extensions feature, and Mac Observer put together a list of some of early favourites for working with your photos.

Four science-oriented Apps that support iOS 8 Notification Centre — iOS 8 supports widgets in the Notification Center. Apps that are properly built will be visible there and support a subset of the app’s full features, often for quick reference. Here are four science oriented apps currently shipping that integrate with Notification Center.

Hands-on with Places, Waze’s latest feature — Community-powered navigation app Waze got a major update on Monday, which introduces a new feature for sharing info about destinations. Dubbed Places, drivers can share information about local businesses and residences with other Waze users, providing tips and photos of places they’ve visited.

Raise an army in Rise of Rome — Commanding armies, building a city, and employing strategies to complete a variety of quests are a big part of the action in Rise of Rome. On the quest to create a strong Roman empire, players can upgrade their city for defence and upgrade their army to be able to conquer more territory. Rise of Rome is compatible with iOS devices running iOS 5.0 or later.

Apple Watch 488 — Apple Watch!

Apple has discovered something new with the Apple Watch – variety!
Apple has discovered something new with the Apple Watch – variety!

Yes, it’s here. Well, kinda. While I wait to hear if Apple will now insist I can’t use my genius column title ‘Apple Watch’, next year we can buy one of these things. Competitors must be thrilled – now they know what they’ve been competing against for two years.

What does an Apple Watch mean, though? For me, the first surprise is price. It’s cheaper than I thought, starting at USD$349. That’s currently NZ$422, so I expect somewhere under $500 when it actually goes on sale here. I was expecting a $1000, putting it in the realm of the kinds of watch only people like Phil Schiller, Tim Cook and Jony Ive can afford. So yeah, cool, Apple, watch, fashionable, available in a rather un-Apple variety of options … Apple Watch comes in three collections: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition, and further these available in two different sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The beautifully designed and durable enclosures are crafted from custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel, space grey or silver anodised aluminium and 18-karat rose or yellow gold.

The watch straps got the magical new variety wand as well: there’s the high-performance elastomer Sport Band in black, blue, green, pink and white. The Milanese Loop is a flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh, and the Leather Loop is soft, quilted leather. This leather strap conceals magnets for quick fastening and adjustment. There’s also a leather Modern Buckle, which closes with a solid metal clasp; and there’s the leather Classic Buckle and the stainless steel Link Bracelet.
The Classic Buckle comes in black and midnight blue; the Leather Loop in bright blue, light brown and stone and the Modern Buckle in midnight blue, brown, soft pink, rose grey and bright red. The Link Bracelet comes in brushed stainless steel and polished space black.
Yes, so we can look as stylish as we need to look, getting the combo we like. That’s not actually important to me – what’s important to me is what it does…

It tells the time and that’s something I do need. I mean, to do that now, I have to haul my iPhone out of my pocket. Apple Watch has 11 watch faces to choose from: traditional analogue faces, a dynamic Timelapse face; an Astronomy face with an interactive, real-time 3D model of the earth, sun, moon and planets; and the Solar face – this is “a contemporary sundial”.
I actually bought a watch, two years ago, but it was a huge disappointment for my first one in 20 years. I mean, it did tell the time … but the Swatch strap broke after three months, it took a month to get a replacement, and that lasted a week. So I threw it out. Then started waiting as the Apple Watch rumours were already doing the rounds.

Now I’m saving –because this thing is an iDevice too. So it interfaces with my iPhone, into the companion Activity app, sending accelerometer data, heart rate sensor, and GPs over wireless to it. It tracks calories burned, brisk activity and how often you stand up during the day, while tracking location. The Fitness app for iPhone collects and tracks your fitness history.
Swipe up from the watch face and ‘Glances’ quickly shows you location information and your next meeting. Pressing the side button brings up Friends to contact them quickly. Digital Touch allows you to send a sketch, a gentle tap, an audio message through Walkie Talkie or your own heartbeat – so your GP can get your information too, or your fitness-obsessed petit-despot (coach/trainer).

Apple Watch can be personalised in appearance and you can add additional information such as upcoming events, moon phases or your activity level – there are millions of possible configurations.
Go have a look. (That’s a picture from this site, above.)