News/Rumors

Porsche confirmed to have Apple CarPlay in future models

Apple announced on its CarPlay webpage that the legendary German automaker Porsche is the latest brand to receive CarPlay in its line of future automobiles.

The company didn’t provided details on when Porsche will rollout the standard or how it will replace the company’s own Porsche Communication Management that offers GPS navigation, voice control and digital audio, along with speed limit indicators as you’re whipping your super-fast Porsche down the highway.

Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed all major car manufacturers plan to incorporate the third-party infotainment platform into 40 new car models in 2015.

In addition to Porsche, CarPlay is supported by Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mazda, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Honda, and others. CarPlay is also available in aftermarket automobile sound systems available from Alpine and Pioneer.

Porsche

Along with Apple, who is working on its auto platform, Google and Microsoft are also fighting for the dashboard. Google is offering an Android Auto platform similar to CarPlay, while Microsoft is working on a new iteration powered by BlackBerry’s QNX.

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Yelp adds Apple Watch support bringing local listings and reviews

Yelp appeared in the long list of companies that have debuted apps for Apple Watch. The company has  announced an update to its iOS app that will bring the service to the Apple‘s device.

On Apple Watch, Yelp provides such information like nearby restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other businesses alongside their ratings, reviews, price ranges, and distances from your current location. The main interface of the app offers four options for restaurants, bars, coffee & tea, and hot & new locations. If you tap one will bring you to another screen with nearby results that fit your selected criteria.

“We’ve stylishly packed in millions of local reviews with petite precision so you have vast insider knowledge right at your fingertips. Now that’s what we call a micro machine!”

Additionally, a search option can locate specific businesses, complete with vital information, including phone numbers, hours and even maps.

Apple Watch

Finally, the app also brings Handoff support, allowing owners to jump from the Apple Watch to their iPhone to make a phone call, write a review, add images or video, or check in for potential rewards. The Apple Watch app is already live.

In addition to Yelp, Yahoo announced updates for four of its apps that will add support for Apple Watch. They include Yahoo Weather, Yahoo Sports Fantasy, Yahoo News Digest, and Yahoo News Hong Kong. Another two companies,1Password and Workflow have also added Apple Watch support.

Yelp is a free 45.1MB download from the iOS App Store.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Mophie introduces new ‘Watch Dock’ for Apple Watch

Mophie has introduced its own dock for the Apple Watch.

Dubbed simply “Watch Dock,” Mophie’s Apple Watch charging solution is constructed from a silver aluminum and it has black leather accents on the base and behind the device. The dock is designed to work with the charging cable that ships with the Apple Watch, making it possible for users to easily place their accessory on the stand at night for simple charging.  Cable routing is accomplished via an internal channeling system, while the entire dock weighs in at only 3.86 ounces. Mophie’s dock is 4.64 x 2.87 x 2.52 inches.

The description of the dock reads, “The slightly elevated, slightly angled charging position makes it easy to use your watch’s touchscreen and other features while charging. Use the dock at home or in the office knowing your watch is charging in comfort and you’ll never have to mess with tangled cables again.

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Mophie’s dock offers a minimalistic and elegant design, featuring a slimmer body than other competing products from companies like Griffin and Twelve South.

Mophie’s Apple Watch dock will be available on April 24th, the same day Apple Watch launches, for $59.95.

Accessories, News/Rumors

Apple saw 1 million Apple Watch preorders on the first day

According to the data, estimated by Slice Intelligence, Apple saw 957,000 pre-orders in the United States on April 10, the first day the device was available to order. On average, consumers purchased 1.3 units which means that many customers ordered two or more devices.

The most popular model bought was the Space Grey Sport, followed by the stainless steel Apple Watch, then the Silver Sport. Only 3% of customers orderes the Space Black Apple Watch model although it was in limited supply (4 – 6 weeks) from the beginning of preorders and is also the most expensive model of Apple Watch.

The firm said Apple Watch consumers purchased an average of 1.3 watches and spent an average of $503.83 per unite. Sport buyers spent on average $382.83 per order, while those ordering stainless steel Apple Watch versions spent $707.04.

As for the accessories, the Black Sport Band was the most popular addition for both Watch and Sport buyers. The Milanese Loop was highly popular, coming in third for sales behind the White Sport Band.

Apple Watch

Slice Intelligence did not reveal Apple Watch pre-order data for the other eight countries where the smart device became available Friday, including Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, China and Hong Kong.

Apple started preorders on Friday and soon saw initial supply exhausted. Within minutes of going live, preorder ship-by dates for most Watch models slipped to 4 to 6 weeks.

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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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Apple Maps now features hotel reviews from TripAdvisor and Booking.com

Over the last several days, Apple has added more hotel review data to its Apple Maps app on iOS. It appears that the app is integrating user content from TripAdvisor and Booking.com for hotels, including the Days Inn in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. 

Since its debut, Apple Maps has only supported reviews of businesses from Yelp, allowing users to read point of interest reviews without leaving the app. Now, neither TripAdvisor or Booking.com are listed as sources on Apple’s official Maps attribution webpage, but reviews with links to their respective webpages and apps are now available in Maps queries. 

The Cupertino company doesn’t provide you the option to pick between Trip Advisor, Booking.com, and Yelp data when viewing a hotel through the Maps app. Maps will pick a source and give you price, photos, and reviews for you to make a choice.

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Apple has been working hard to improve Maps since its launch in 2012. The company has since enhanced its directions and three-dimensional imagery, and made some important changes. 

The company has also been working on collecting data for a Street View feature in Maps with minivans being spotted outfitted with an array of cameras atop. The iPhone maker has also been working on adding animated 3D imagery of popular landmarks to Maps, as well as more cities to its 3D Flyover feature.

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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.

News/Rumors

Pandora CFO promises CarPlay support

Pandora announced its plans to launch its online music radio on Apple’s CarPlay, the in-car infotainment software set to appear in a number of vehicles on the market.

When Apple’s CarPlay feature debuted last year, Apple cooperated with a few music services to give a variety of listening choices on the platform, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Rdio, and more. Pandora will likely join them soon.

According to Pandora CFO Mike Herring, the service will “definitely be in CarPlay” and integrated into the Apple Watch as well.

CarPlay is currently featured in 40 new car models made by major manufacturers, Apple is tasked to significantly expand its footprint.

There is no a timeline for the possible launch of a Pandora CarPlay app. Last year, the Pandora representative said that Apple was an interesting partner and though it did not have a CarPlay offering at the current time, it was exploring opportunities to expand its presence in the vehicle in the future. carplay

“Pandora, which owes part of its success to the popularity of its iPhone app, has a “frenemy kind of relationship going on” with Apple, according to Herring. “We were part of what made it fun to have an iPhone,” Herring added. While the two companies are “close partners,” it is a “very interesting relationship.”

For Pandora, participating in the project could result in boost of subscribers

Accessories, News/Rumors

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.