Accessories, Mac, News/Rumors

Apple Watch now available for pre-order

Apple has begun accepting online pre-orders for the Apple Watch at midnight on Friday. 

Customer from the United States, the U.K, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan can place their orders through Apple’s online store or through the Apple Store app on iOS devices.

The Online Apple Store was offline for Apple Watch preorder preparations Thursday night. According to the updated site, 38mm Apple Watch Sport will be available for April 24 shipment. 42mm Apple Watch Sport and mid-tier Apple Watch models ship in four to six weeks, as does the 38mm stainless version. Space Gray stainless steel Apple Watch models will come in June and both rose gold Apple Watch Edition variants now ship in July.

The Apple Watch will officially launch on April 24, which is the same day that some users will start receiving their devices at their homes. The company will not be accepting walk-in orders for the Apple Watch during the first weeks following launch. All orders must be placed online.

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As a brief reminder, the new device will be available in three models: Sport, Apple Watch and Edition; two sizes: 38mm and 42mm; and with various bands. The Sport is aluminum and starts at $349, the Apple Watch is stainless steel and starts at $549, and the 18K gold Edition starts at $10,000.

In addition to the Apple Watch, Apple’s online storefront reopened to start sales of the new 12-inch MacBook. Its supplies are less constrained and all configurations of Space Gray, silver and gold color schemes are promised to come within one to three days.

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New images offer packaging for Apple Watch and bands

Ahead of Apple’s official Apple Watch debut date, a number of images have surfaced on social media allegedly offering a first look at what could be the retail packaging for the Apple Watch and individual bands.

Instagram user Jeremy Gan uploaded the photos to the social network showing off the Watch’s box.

The first image shows what is claimed to be retail packaging for a 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch with Milanese loop band. Another photo demonstrates Apple’s leather band with modern buckle.

Jeremy Gan apparently works for The Daily Mail, and the photos were likely taken during the day in Daily Mail’s offices at 51 Astor Place in New York City.

If genuine, the images prove the company is treating Apple Watch in almost the same way as traditional watchmakers package their wares, supplied in a felt presentation box with included retaining ring stand. However, Apple Watch packaging appears to be made of polycarbonate.

Apple Watch

Apple-Watch-Bands-Packaging

Last night, Pharrell Williams was spotted wearing a Gold Edition model of the Watch, while Tim Cook sported the device to the NCAA championship game.

Apple starts its Watch preorders on Friday at midnight Pacific, with the accessory scheduled for release on April 24. The highly anticipated device has a starting price of $349, for the entry-level aluminum sport model, with top-end 18K models costing as much as $17,000.

A memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts called on Apple Store employees to direct customers intending to purchase Watch to the Online Apple Store.

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Philips announces ‘Hue Go’ WiFi-enabled portable light

Philips released a new addition to its line of iPhone-connected lights, the Hue Go.

The new product is a WiFi-enabled portable light that brings portability and autonomy to the company’s iOS-connected Hue smart lighting range of products.

Hue Go features a rechargeable internal battery for a guaranteed three hours of use when is not on the base, and its bowl-like shape makes it possible to be positioned in various ways so it can serve multiple functions as an accent light.

“Philips Hue Go can be moved from the garden to the living room to the bedroom without the worry of wires; letting you create and enjoy a new ambience each time. It can also be positioned in different ways to adapt to your needs; enhance a living space by positioning it to face a wall washing it with light, add ambience to an intimate dinner by placing it as a center piece on the table or focused on a piece of work by directing the light where you need it.”

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The key feature is its ability to reproduce more than 16 million colors, which can be chosen via onscreen controls in Philips’ iOS app or another hundreds of apps that take advantage of the Hue API.

In addition, Hue Go also includes a built-in control button that allows you to change the color of the light to one of several scenes even when your iPhone isn’t nearby. You can select between Cozy Candle, Sunday Coffee, Meditation, Enchanted Forest, and Night Adventure, and the company says each one of these color schemes has a unique mix of colors. 

Philips Hue Go will go on sale in the U.S. at the end of May or in early June, and it will cost at $99.95.

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Apple plans virtual online try-ons and personal setup for gold & steel models

Apple will offer customers to virtually try on an Apple Watch or Apple Watch Edition and receive setup support. It is a great option for those, who are unsure as to which model to get or which band combination would look best, especially for those, who are unable to hop on over to the Apple retail store and check out the various combinations.

Virtual try-on means the ability for customers to video chat with an Apple Online Store representative who will personally try-on and model Apple Watch collections and band combinations. In addition, Edition buyers will be given an ability to have a “personalized pre-sales experience” either over phone or online chat.

Customers will be allowed virtual personal setup via the Apple Online Store. These online specialists will walk the consumer through the Apple Watch unboxing process, the setup of the iPhone Companion application, pairing with an iPhone via Bluetooth, and installing apps from the Apple Watch App Store.

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However this online virtual personal setup feature will only be offered to customers purchase the Apple Watch or Apple Watch Edition versions, so if you’re planning to buy the Apple Watch Sport watch, you are recommended to either browse Apple’s website or head on over to the store for more information.

This is similar to services Apple has offered to its consumers in the past in select European regions, so it will be the first for Apple in the US.

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Apple removes competing health and fitness bands from stores ahead of Apple Watch debut

Ahead of the April 24th launch of its first smart watches, Apple has begun removing competing health and fitness products from its retail stores. According to the Re/code reports, the company stops selling Jawbone UP and the Nike+ Fuelband in its retail stores in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, and New York.

The two fitness accessories are also unavailable to purchase through the company’s online store, and it seems the only remaining fitness band available for purchase is the MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor Watch. Both Apple stores also still offer non-wrist worn fitness tracking devices, like the Jawbone UP Move and the Wahoo TICKR X Heart Rate Monitor. 

Mio chief Liz Dickinson also said, that the iPhone maker notified her several months ago that the Mio would also be removed from their shelves “They said they brought in a new executive in the marketing area who wanted to make the Apple brand more front and center and clean up the number of accessories.”

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Last year Bose products also lost shelf space in Apple stores after the NFL banned Apple-owned Beats headphones from appearing on camera to accommodate a Bose sponsorship deal, and Bose filed a lawsuit against Beats.

Apple plans to debut its highly expected smartwatch on April 24. The company hasn’t revealed a lot of details on its features. Apple Watch starts at $349 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport, while the stainless steel Apple Watch will be available from $549. The high-end solid gold Apple Edition, meanwhile, starts at $10,000.  

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New iPhone reportedly receives Force Touch and pink color option

Apple is reportedly planning to add its Force Touch technology to the next version of the iPhone.

Force Touch was first announced in the Apple Watch last September and allows a device to detect the level of deformation caused by the user’s press.

Force Touch helps products distinguish between a light tap and a hard press, enabling new gestures. The company calls the advance its “most significant new sensing capability since Multi Touch.” 

According to the source, Apple’s next-generation iPhones will see 4.7 and 5.5-inch screen sizes along with the same resolution. However, a new color option might be introduced. Apple is said to be planning to offer its users a pink version to its existing space gray, silver, and gold iPhone lineup. 

New iPhone reportedly receive Force Touch and pink color option

In addition to Force Touch technology, little was unveiled about the next-generation iPhones. The next-generation devices will likely be called the “iPhone 6s” and the “iPhone 6s Plus,” and are reportedly provided upgraded A9 processors. Finally, they are expected to feature camera upgrades, more RAM, and enhanced Touch ID. The company will likely debut the new iPhones in September.

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Hands-on with the Apple Watch

Following yesterday’s event, a number of attendees were provided with the opportunity to go hands-on with a finished version of the Apple Watch with fully functional software.

Apple allowed journalists to try out demo versions of the new device when it was announced last fall, but this is much different. This time around, they were given the ability to launch apps, navigate menus and play with different features.

Several sources have shared new tidbits and impressions on the device, which we’ve rounded up below.  They are expected to help create a proper picture of what to wait from your Watch next month. 

TechCrunch:

TechnoBuffalo:

The Verge:

CNET:

Mashable:

Apple Watch is set to go on sale April 24, with preorders and hands-on previews in stores beginning April 10. The Sport version will be available starting from $349, the stainless steel version will start at $549, and the luxury Apple Watch Edition will start at $10,000.

In addition to Apple wearables, the company also announced an all-new 12-inch MacBook with a high-resolution Retina display and a click-less Force Touch trackpad. The MacBook will be available April 10 starting at $1,299.

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Ahead of launch, Apple Watch wins noted iF Design Gold Award

Ahead an expected debut in April, Apple’s Watch won design awards at the 2015 iF Design Awards, an annual industrial design competition dating back to 1954.

TIF upcoming device was given the iF Design Gold award from the iF International Forum Design. The organization declared that the Cupertino-designed smartwatch is “already an icon.”

“The idea of combining classic materials such as leather and metal with state-of-the-art technology to create a very individual fashion accessory has resulted in a delightful product offering a holistic user experience. The Apple Watch scores highly for each design detail and is an altogether extraordinary piece of design. For us, it is already an icon.”

Overall, 1,124 products were granted an iF Label, while only 47 won the gold award for excellence.

The wearables went up against more than 3,200 other designs in the Product discipline, the largest iF award area that deals with several commercial industries, including vehicles, medical devices, smartphones, computers, tableware, kitchen equipment, furniture, bathroom products and more.

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Each product was judged by a number of criteria, including design quality, workmanship, choice of materials, degree of innovation, environmental friendliness, functionality, ergonomics, visualization for use, safety, brand value and branding, and universal design. 

It is not the first time, when Apple’s creations are granted an award. Nearly every company’s product has won one, including most of the iPhone and iPad case the company has produced.

The Apple Watch is set to debut in April in several countries.

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Apple Watch reportedly to get ‘Power Reserve’ mode to conserve battery life

Ahead of the company‘s media event, The New York Times has shared a piece about the culmination of the Watch project.

Among the new details is the existence of an unannounced “Power Reserve” mode for the device that will display only the time in order to stretch the smart-watch’s battery longer and make for less frequent charging. According to the company’s statement, the watch battery is estimated to last a full day, requiring an owner to charge it at night, similar to a smartphone. The low-power mode will display the time only and will be able to do so on even very little battery.

Apple has said the watch battery is estimated to last a full day, requiring a user to charge it at night, similar to a smartphone. The company also developed a yet-to-be-announced feature called Power Reserve, a mode that will run the watch on low energy but display only the time, according to one employee.”

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The wearables were previously reported to get approximately 19 hours of average usage time per day, combining in-app functions with standby time, as well as 2.5 hours of straight heavy app usage. Improving battery life appears to be a main goal of development since the Watch’s initial debut in September. Tim Cook has also said several times that the product will need to be charged every night, implying approximately one day of battery life.

The source also reported that while the new product has been widely tested by Apple employees, the iPhone maker did work to conceal a lot of those prototypes by disguising them to resemble Samsung smartwatches.

Apple is expected to offer more specifics at its event on March 9th, where the company will reveal more details about Apple Watch.

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Apple Watch makes US magazine cover debut with Victoria’s Secret Angel

In October 2014, the Apple Watch released its magazine cover with Vogue China, featuring the Chinese model Liu Wen. Now, as the company prepares to reveal the Apple Watch in April, the device is given its U.S. magazine cover debut. Its March issue will feature cover model Candice Swanepoel, best known for her work as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, wearing Apple’s unreleased smartwatch. 

Considering Swanepoel’s athletic prowess, it was the best accessory for her sporty cover shoot. She told SELF, “I’m an athlete. I use every single muscle, especially my core and arms, when I pose. It’s so important for me to feel strong!”

Candice Swanepoel will be demonstrating the Apple Watch Sport with a white fluoroelastomer band. Self also gives a brief overview of Apple Watch’s features, such as its accelerometer, heart rate sensor, GPS and WiFi in print and in photos. 

Self will probably one of many publications to feature the Apple Watch in the coming weeks as the product‘s launch approaches, and the company plans to market the Apple Watch to a wide range of potential customers.

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Candice Swanepoel

Aside from existing details on the upcoming device, the short blurb on SELF’s website does not give new information regarding Apple’s forthcoming wearable. It is also unclear if the print version will bring a more comprehensive look at the new product.

Apple Watch makes US magazine cover debut with Victoria's Secret Angel

Liu Wen

The iPhone maker asked several developers to make content for the Apple Watch to have their apps completed by mid-February. Apple is also reportedly inviting certain developers to its Cupertino headquarters to put the finishing touches on some Apple Watch apps. 

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the Apple Watch will hit the market in April, but the exact date is still unclear.