Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple Watch to be available at Best Buy on Aug. 7

Best Buy announced it will become the first national retailer, aside from Apple, to sell the Apple Watch in some its U.S. retail stores and online on August 7.

The company stated that the device will be available in more than 100 stores next month.  Best Buy plans to expand to over 300 outlet before the lucrative holiday shopping season.

Best Buy will offer 16 models from the aluminum Apple Watch Sport and stainless steel Apple Watch collections, including 50 accessories such as bands, screen protectors, stands, and chargers.

Best Buy currently sells a number of competing wearables from the companies of Samsung and Pebble.

Jason Bonfig, a senior category office at Best Buy says:

“The Apple Watch is an important addition to an emerging product category, and we know our customers want it. We are excited to bring Apple Watch to more consumers, especially with the holidays coming up.”1

The Apple Watch is now sold in 19 countries with the company gradually expanding availability as supplies have allowed, and an additional three countries — New Zealand, Russia, and Turkey — will be added to the list this coming Friday.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Wood Charging Stand gives place of privilege for Apple Watch

Thanks to TRNDLabs’s new charging stand, you can provide your watch with a gawk-worthy place of privilege when it’s off your wrist.

The company introduced  its Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand, available for just  $29.

This stylistically crafted stand is tasked to charge your Apple Watch while keeping it proudly displayed. Simplicity and sophistication is mixed perfectly in this product.

Customers can select between walnut or oak grain finish, and can start using it once the box is opened. The charging stand is compatible with all Apple Watches and all bands.

Thanks to its ergonomic design, your Apple Watch charger is cradled in place, and lets receive the extra length of cord out of the way inside the device.

Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand

Key features:
-Luxury charging dock for home or office
-Carved hidden wire routing to keep cord organized
-Fits all strap designs and all watch models
-Travel mode allows you to easily wrap cable and charger in one package

The Natural-Wood Apple Watch Charging Stand will be shipped free of charge to countries across the world.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Pixelmator for iOS updated with Dynamic Touch brush strokes, enhanced Repair Tool and more

Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad has  been updated to version 2.0. in the App Store 2 and now offers even more features, improvements and stability fixes. 

This updated version brings a new kind of brush stroke dubbed Dynamic Touch, which simulates pressure sensitivity by examining the size of the finger input that touches the screen. If you press harder, or use a larger surface area of your finger, then the app will provide you with thicker lines.

When you touch the screen with your finger, Dynamic Touch detects the finger surface area in contact with the screen and automatically adjusts the brush size when the surface area changes,” explained the developers.

Refreshed Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad also received the revamped Repair tool from the desktop version of the app. Repair lets users scrub out needless elements of a scene. According to the report from the company, this feature works five times quicker and even more precise with this iteration.

“There are numerous ways to repair any area of an image, so we did a lot of testing on a Mac Pro to optimize the algorithm of our Repair tool,” said Simonas Bastys, the lead developer of the Pixelmator Team.


Pixelmator 2.0.2 also brings a number of enhancements to the Photo Editing extension, which now allows users to apply Pixelmator photo effects from within the native Photos app editing interface.

In addition to these features and improvements, the updated version for iPad has received more robust support for the latest Adonit styluses, fixed an issue with stylus shortcuts and replaced the Brush Tool and Eraser Tool stylus shortcut options with one Toggle Eraser option.

Pixelmator for iPhone and iPad is available for $4.99 from the App Store. Pixelmator for Mac can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $29.99.

iPad, iPod, News/Rumors

Apple reportedly to launch iPod, Pad mini, iPad Pro and iPad Air 3

According to a new report of the Far East on Tuesday, Apple will be rolling out a refreshed line of iPods.

As indicated by new colors recently added to iTunes on the Mac, the new iPod touch, shuffle, and nano will be available in new darker blue and pink variants. A gold color will be also added for all three iPods.

The new Nanos and Shuffles won’t be granted additional features, but the iOS-based iPod touch will receive a considerable upgrade. Here’s what is reportedly coming to the touch:

  • Major camera upgrade from 5 megapixels to 8, matching the count on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.
  • New 64-bit chip for faster operation and better graphics for gaming.
  • “M” chip from the iPhone for fitness, steps, and elevation tracking.
  • Pre-loaded with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music following the June 30th launch.
  • New 128GB model for $399, still starting at $199 for 16GB. There will also be a $299 model with 64GB of space.Pad mini, iPad Pro and iPad Air 31

The company will also reportedly debut a larger 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” and refreshed iPad mini by the end of 2015, but will not announce a follow-up to the iPad Air Apple will reportedly turn to the usual component suppliers, though Sharp will be responsible for more LCD panel orders than Samsung. 2. Moreover, Apple is planning to end-of-life iPad mini after this year’s revamp.



Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Facebook working on Siri competitor named ‘Moneypenny’

In addition to messaging, cash transfers, and other features, Facebook is reportedly working on its own Messenger-based Siri competitor called Moneypenny.

Moneypenny, named after the James Bond franchise character who serves as M’s secretary, is a hybrid feature that is tasked to help users complete tasks like purchasing items and services online. 

According to multiple reports, the system will differ a bit from other personal assistants. Instead of sending your queries to a computer for processing, the system is expected to offer “real people” answering questions.

Additional details are not revealed, including the way Facebook plans to process incoming requests, but reports said Moneypenny could follow similar business models in operation at so-called “concierge” firms like Magic, Operator and Fetch.

Facebook would likely debut the service on all major smartphone platforms and the Web. It wasn’t revealed if Facebook wants to charge a fee for purchased items, though Moneypenny might pay for itself in driving Messenger adoption and expanding the company’s access to consumer data. 

messengerpaymentFacebook has been working toward more direct transactions, and lately bolstered Messenger with person-to-person money transfers, an option available in several competing social networking services like Snapchat. 

Moneypenny could become something like a combination of Siri and Amazon’s “Echo” virtual assistant hardware platform.

iPhone, News/Rumors

Apple debuts two new “If it’s not an iPhone” ads

Apple released a pair of new iPhone 6 ads.

In the first ad, entitled Hardware & Software, Apple tells customers about iPhone’s merits rather than demonstrates them through story-driven narratives.

The ads feature a voice over detailing what makes the company’s device unique compared to other smart phones and smart phone platforms while showing off a number of iPhones doing various things on a white background.

The “Hardware & Software” ad also explains how the company is one of the few smart phone manufacturers to design both the hardware and software parts of the device.

Then, it shows games, intensive apps including GarageBand and iPhone-exclusive features like Apple Pay and FaceTime.

The second ad is entitled “Loved” and seemingly showcases how satisfied iPhone users are. It also claims that 99% of people who have an iPhone love their device and shows off people messaging, sending emojis, FaceTiming and having a good time on a multitude of iPhones before cutting to the new tagline.

Both videos end with a new tagline: “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

Apple’s previous major iPhone ad campaign, called Shot on iPhone 6, heavily showcased the camera found on the device and didn’t reveal the actual device in the advertisements, but rather only footage shot with the phone.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

Apple updated iWork suite for iOS with VoiceOver fixes

Apple updated its iWork suite for iOS bringing important fixes to accessibility features, full VoiceOver navigation and editing functionality to Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

The updated version of the app solved problems that prevented UI navigation and content editing using VoiceOver. Additionally, Pages no longer blurs text on certain devices when the Speak Screen option is activated. 

First released with OS X 10.4 in 2004, VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that allows users to interact with onscreen graphical interfaces via touch and sound, not sight. The feature appeared on iOS and is now available in several capacity across all Apple platforms, including Apple Watch. Earlier this year, the technology received Apple a Helen Keller Achievement Award for enhancing quality of life for the vision impaired. 


The previous versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote are available at 279MB, 245MB and 463MB, respectively and can be downloaded free of charge by existing users. New users can buy the apps from the iOS App Store for $9.99 each.

Apps Lists, News/Rumors

First look at Minecraft: Story Mode

A new trailer posted during the July 4 weekend provides a closer look at Minecraft: Story Mode, an upcoming narrative-driven adventure game from Minecraft developer Mojang in partnership with Telltale Games.

The official teaser trailer for Story Mode has debuted at the Minecon show in London. The video offers an original story that will be driven by player choice. The game will include five episodes, with the inaugural episode scheduled for release in 2015.

The new game will feature a number of new characters with original themes packaged into an entirely original experience and several lands, including the Nether, the Farlands, the End.

According to the blurb, players will take a role of protagonist Jesse, who will be joined by his group of friends to find The Order of the Stone and, predictably, save their world from oblivion.

According to Mojang, Story Mode is “a cool game” that will be “as Minecrafty as possible.”

It’s a standalone game and doesn’t require owning the original Minecraft. Players will be allowed to buy each episode individually, or purchase a discounted one-time Season Pass via the In-App Purchase mechanism that will provide you with instant access to all of the episodes or include episodes 2 to 5 as they become available.

The storyline in the game depends on players’ decision, words and actions. The voices for the characters in the game are provided by Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Martha Plimpton, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West and Paul Reubens.

Minecraft: Story Mode will be available soon for iOS and Android devices, Mac and Windows PCs, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One.


Apple removed Home Sharing support for music in iOS 8.4

Following the release of iOS 8.4, which brought Apple’s brand new music service Apple Music, Apple removed a feature still used by many from the operating system.

A number of users on Apple’s Support forum noticed, that the company appears to have removed Home Sharing support for music in iOS 8.4. The Home Sharing support page was also updated to demonstrate that the feature is not present in iOS 8.4.

Launched on iOS in 2011 as part of iOS 4.3, Home Sharing gave users the ability to access their iTunes library from anywhere within their house and stream the content to their phone, iPod, or iPad.  It also originally had support for both video and audio content, but now with iOS 8.4 only supports video content. Home Sharing for audio is still available, but only for Apple TV and Mac users.


Apple likely decided to remove Home Sharing for music in iOS 8.4 because of the licensing agreements concerning Apple Music. It’s possible that the company doesn’t have the rights to allow content obtained via Apple Music to be streamed over WiFi like Home Sharing requires.

The problem can be solved by switching to Apple Music’s family plan, which lets families of up to 6 access Apple’s catalog of content for $14.99 per month.


Customize Apple Watch bands with any design

If you have finally received your long-awaited Apple Watch, it’s time to customize it with some nice looking bands.

Casetify has introduced its customized Apple Watch bands, which will help you design your own smart watch with a variety of printed designs. Additionally, your device can be customized with photographs or artwork or ordered from Casetify’s pre-designed artist collection.  You can use your Facebook or Instagram images as well as photos right from your PC to design your band.

Casetify’s Apple Watch bands are made from polycarbonate silicone material and come with both 38mm and 42mm sizes. The products attach to the Apple Watch using stainless steel adapters, in either a matte silver or a matte black finish, and each watch has a matching stainless steel buckle.  Bands attach using the same principle as any other Apple Watch band do, sliding into the groove on the side of the device until it snaps in place.


Customizability is the main feature in Casetify’s Apple Watch bands. The developer sells pre-designed Apple Watch bands in various colors and patterns, but you can also create your own using any image. Bands designs can use one, two, or five images and built-in tools on the site and in the app allow you to resize and move photos as necessary to create a desired design.  If you don’t like customizing or giving personal touch to your accessory, you can pick your favorite band.


Casetify’s Apple Watch bands can be ordered from the Casetify website or the Casetify iOS app for $70.