Displaying items by tag: Apple Watch

Apple’s latest smartwatch is LTE-enabled

Written on Thursday, 14 September 2017 11:39

Apple launched the latest Apple Watch on September 12 at the grand unveiling of its new products at the newly inaugurated Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park. While most of the attention at the launch was on Apple’s iPhone anniversary device, the iPhone X, the Californian tech giant’s Apple Watch Series 3 is impressive.  

The new smartwatch has cellular capability allowing you to stay connected, make calls, and receive texts, without pairing with an iPhone. The third generation Apple Watch also features music steaming, a faster dual-core processor, and watchOS 4. Apple Watch Series 3 comes in two models, one with GPS and cellular, and one with just GPS, both featuring a 70 percent faster dual-core processor and new wireless chip.

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) starts at US$399 and Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS) starts at US$329. In addition to silver or space gray aluminum, Apple Watch Series 3 now comes in a new gold aluminum, along with silver or space black stainless steel cases, which all pair with an assortment of new band colors and styles.

Soon, the combination of cellular and watchOS 4 will allow Apple Music users to stream 40 million songs right from their wrist. Beginning Friday, September 15, Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will be available to order in 10 countries and territories, and Apple Watch Series 3 GPS will be available to order in 28 countries and territories. Both models are available in stores starting Friday, September 22.

“We believe the addition of cellular will transform the way people use Apple Watch, providing a new sense of freedom since they can stay connected with or without their iPhone,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Series 3 combined with the power of watchOS 4 is the ultimate device for a healthy life.”

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) features a full LTE and UMTS cellular radio that automatically switches to cellular when it’s away from an iPhone. The smartwatch shares the same number as the iPhone it’s paired with, so there’s no need to provide an additional number. To help get customers started, participating carriers will offer special introductory cellular plans at launch.

Customers have the ability to make cellular calls directly with Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) and, when paired with AirPods, enjoy a fully wireless experience. Apple also pioneered an industry-first antenna design that uses the display itself as both a transmitting and receiving element for LTE and UMTS, while introducing a built-in eSIM that is over one-hundredth the size of a traditional SIM card, making over-the-air activation possible without compromising space.

The third-generation Apple Watch functions as a health and fitness companion with intelligent coaching features, water resistance 50 meters and a new barometric altimeter that measures relative elevation. 

Powering Apple Watch Series 3 is the S3, Apple’s third-generation architecture featuring a faster dual-core processor, which allows for quicker app launch times and smoother graphics, and, for the first time, enables Siri to speak using the built-in speaker.

Apple designed a new custom wireless chip called W2, making Wi-Fi 85 percent faster and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 50 percent more power efficient, while still providing all-day battery life and keeping the size virtually the same as before. Apple Watch Series 3 also features a barometric altimeter that assists with tracking activity, flights climbed and outdoor workouts, including elevation gain.

Apple’s new smartwatch operating system watchOS 4 features an updated Heart Rate app, giving even more insight to heart rate, including measurements during resting, workout, recovery, walking and Breathe sessions. You can also choose to receive a notification when their heart rate is elevated above a specific threshold while inactive.

Other watchOS 4 features include the proactive Siri watch face that displays the information users need most throughout the day, an enhanced Workout app with new interface, custom High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout type and auto-sets for pool swims. With GymKit, users will soon enjoy the ability to connect to their favorite cardio equipment and experience two-way synchronization of data with just a tap, resulting in the most accurate information possible.

In addition, the redesigned Music app experience automatically syncs playlists like New Music Mix and Favorites Mix, along with your most listened to music. The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) will soon be able to stream music, giving users access to any song from Apple Music, straight from the wrist. The new Radio app also enables listeners to access Beats 1 live or any Apple Music radio station while away from iPhone or Wi-Fi.

Published in Gadget

Apple announced that the App Store welcomed 2017 with its busiest single day ever on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1), capping a record-breaking holiday season and a year of unprecedented developer earnings and breakout app hits. In 2016 alone, developers earned over $20 billion, up over 40 percent from 2015. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion, creating app experiences for App Store customers across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac.

Those efforts helped kick off 2017 with a remarkable start, making New Year’s Day the highest single day ever for the App Store with nearly $240 million in purchases.

“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created — which together with our products — help to truly enrich people’s lives.”

Customers broke all-time records this holiday season with purchases from the App Store topping $3 billion in December. In the same month, Nintendo’s Super Mario Run made history with more than 40 million downloads in just four days after its release, and was the most downloaded app globally on Christmas and New Year’s Day, Apple reported.

Super Mario Run is also among last year’s top 10 most downloaded apps worldwide, with Pokémon Go taking the top spot. Pokémon Go, a beloved game from Niantic, quickly became a cultural phenomenon in mid-2016.

Prisma, Reigns, Procreate, Lumino City, Sweat With Kayla and djay Pro, from some of Apple's independent developers, were among the most successful apps for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch and Mac, respectively. The App Store offers 2.2 million apps in total, up over 20 percent from last year.

The App Store’s top-grossing markets include the US, China, Japan and the UK, with China experiencing record year-over-year growth at an incredible 90 percent. The global impact of the App Store was captured this past year with two campaigns — Apps for Earth and Games for (RED). In partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and (RED), customers were empowered to make a difference, and join the fight against AIDS. The custom content created by each campaign’s participating developers helped raise over $17 million in total for the two organizations.

Published in Apps

Sales of the Apple Watch is on track to be the best ever for the product after a sensational first week of Christmas shopping. Consumers have bought the Apple Watch in mass bulk all over the globe and it set a record. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the gadget’s sell through is a measure of how many units are sold to consumers, rather than simply stocked on retailers’ shelves reached a new high.

Cook's comments followed a report on Monday from technology research firm IDC estimating that the tech giant sold 1.1 million units of the Apple Watch during the third quarter of 2016, down 71 percent from the year-ago quarter. The comments offer a glimpse of the gadget's performance during the holiday quarter, which is typically Apple's strongest.

Cook described the sales growth as off the chart and said the company was on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch.

Cook said: "Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year. Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch.”

However, Cook declined to comment when he was asked to disclose the specific sales figures for the Apple Watch. Apple has disclosed few details about the performance of the Apple Watch, which is its first new product released under Cook. The company has not broken out sales of the gadget in its earnings, instead incorporating it into an "other products" category that includes devices such as the iPod and Apple TV.

Strong sales of the Apple Watch are to be expected during the holiday quarter as the gadget is a more natural gift than some of the company's other products such as the iPhone or Mac computer, said analyst Bob O'Donnell of TECHnalysis Research. Apple also lowered the price of the gadget this year, potentially helping the holiday sales comparison, O'Donnell noted.

Apple is facing mounting pressure to show new sources of growth as sales of the iPhone, the company's lifeblood, begin to level off. O'Donnell said he remains skeptical the Apple Watch can fill the void, citing uncertain demand among consumers for smartwatches.

Published in Gadget

Apple confirms iPhone 7 release: Wednesday, September 7

Written on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 10:10

Apple’s latest edition to the iPhone family is almost here. Exclusive invitations have been sent out to media and other guests to join Apple in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Wednesday, September 7, for the iPhone 7 release. There are rumors circulating that a second-generation Apple Watch could also be revealed at the showcase. Pre-orders for the iPhone 7 are expected to begin on Friday, September 9, with sales commencing on September 16.

Despite the anticipation that Apple has built up around its new iPhone 7, many analysts share the belief that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is trying to hide the fact that the iPhone 7 will feature much of the same technology that other iPhones already have. Apple will also have to face up to challenges such as selling the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack. Users of the new device will have to rely on Bluetooth equipped headphones that have licensed the use of a lightning jack from Apple’s Made for iPhone program, reports Forbes.

Convincing people of new changes will always be a challenge for a company like Apple with expensive products. It will require a lot of work to convince people to first purchase the new device, as well as new bulky adaptors or new headphones specifically to use with the iPhone. But Apple is already “laying down the groundwork” to convince its followers that the iPhone 7 isn’t just an iPhone 6 with a few new tweaks.

Apple has set up interviews with media outlets to get the word out. Technology journalist Steven Levy has reportedly been given a C-level briefing on the changes Apple has made to Siri, to promote its headway into artificial intelligence. Fast Company’s Rick Tetzeli will be speaking to Apple’s Angela Ahrendts, senior vice president of retail and online stores, about how Apple is changing its retail environment. And even Tim Cook will be speaking out to The Washington Post in an interview with Jena McGregor.

It’s a major PR move by Apple to set the tone for the iPhone 7 release, and squash any negative press about it beforehand. With any luck, the new device will save Apple from financial decline. The company reported on July 26, declines in every one of its major hardware businesses in the three months that ended in June. Industry analysts questioned whether people have lost their affection for Apple, or if they are just waiting for the release of the iPhone 7 release. Much of the details about the iPhone 7 are still embargo, so only time will tell if it lives up to Apple’s PR hype.

Published in Devices

Is the Apple Watch a luxury or a necessity?

Written on Monday, 16 May 2016 11:55

Apple’s fiscal year results ending September 26, 2015, provided an insight into the success of the Apple Watch, the latest trending tech-wearable to hit the market. Apple CEO Tim Cook did not share exactly how many Apple Watches were sold during that time, but buried in the company’s annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it’s noted that the Apple Watch accounted for over 100 percent of the annual growth of Apple’s net sales according to its “Other Products” reporting category.

During that period, Apple reported revenue growth of over 20 percent, from $3.38 billion to $10.06 billion, meaning the Apple Watch could have contributed at least $1.7 billion, according to a report by VentureBeat. This number could be even higher seeing Apple Watch sales “more than offset the decline of iPod and accessories sales,” between April and June, says Apple CFO, Luca Maestri.

“We shipped a lot [of watches] in the first quarter, then the last quarter we shipped even more,” said Tim Cook during the Wall Street Journal Digital conference. The Apple Watch may have drawn in profits and generated excitement, but with strong competitors in the market such as Huawei, Motorola, Samsung and LG, the smartwatch arena is only going to get more crowded with more options to choose from. Even Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer is preparing to launch a $1,800 Android Wear and Intel-powered smartwatch in November.

Apple Watch: Pros & Cons

How will the Apple Watch compete? Is it really worth your money? That is the question many consumers are asking themselves today, especially when the Apple Watch 2 is on the horizon. Because of this, Apple Watches recently dropped in price, making it a little more tempting to don in 2016, especially because its app count is also higher making it more worthwhile than it has ever been.

The Apple Watch is a very personal and convenient device, perfect for anyone expecting a gadget fully-tied to your iPhone. It is compatible with the iPhone 5 and other newer iPhone models. The watch is available in various case materials, colors, sizes and unique interchangeable watch bands. The cheapest Apple Watch model, according to Tech Radar, costs $299 (£259, AU$429) which is a lot lower than the launch price of $349 (£299, AU$499), peaking at a ridiculous $17,000 (£13,500, AU$24,000).

The Apple Watch clearly exists within a niche market, primarily suited to Apple-lovers/collectors who take tech, luxury and convenience seriously. With prices dropping, it suggests that Apple is preparing to release something new soon. Apple speculators reckon the Apple Watch 2 will be released sometime around September along with the iPhone 7.

With the newly introduced lower prices, now is a better time than ever to buy an Apple Watch. The question is: should you? The Apple Watch is able to receive your messages and mail directly from your iPhone which is convenient and it can even locate your iPhone when it’s lost, using what some consider being the easiest Find My iPhone app yet. Apple is reportedly building on this idea, proposing a Find My Watch app, reversing the handy iPhone retrieval.

Adding to this, Apple is also looking into adding a detector to the device which would deploy a light vibration against the wrist when you wander too far away from your iPhone. Do these features justify the high price of the Apple Watch? It really depends on how often you lose your iPhone!

There are other conveniences the Apple Watch does to lure you into a purchase. For example, checking into a flight is made easier thanks to a QR code. In addition, the Apple Watch features an efficient fitness tracker, which enables you to keep track of how many steps you take, calories you burn, and your heart rate. Using it on the go, the Apple Watch is expected to last for about 18 hours of regular use before the battery runs out.

In October 2015, the Apple Watch OS 2 update was released after a slight delay. The update opened up the Apple Watch’s engine, digital crown and microphone to developers, meaning there will be many more apps to come in order to enjoy the Apple Watch experience. The update also features Wi-Fi connectivity, more Siri capabilities, email replies and more customizations.

There are several beneficial features of the Apple Watch that make the purchase worthwhile. It’s an aesthetically pleasing device to wear on wrist; it looks good, it’s lightweight, and less chunky (only 42mm) compared to its Samsung counterpart. The ability to glance at the watch screen every time you receive a message is an advantage, saving you from having to pick up your iPhone every time you receive a message. In addition, the Apple Pay app has already made its way into countries such as the U.S. and Singapore, as well as the Uber app, which can both be used on the Apple Watch.

So should you buy an Apple Watch? Comparing various Apple Watch reviews, one thing’s for sure: the Apple Watch is not an iPhone replacement. For instance, the smartwatch can makes call, but is not able to add new contacts to the device memory. In addition, it can dictate text messages and send them as an audio or transcription, but it does not have the ability to edit the text. Likewise, the Apple Watch can recognize and name songs through the Shazam app, but it requires an iPhone microphone to do so, which sort of defeats the purpose.

The Apple Watch doesn't do that much, but no smartwatch does, and Apple’s advantage is that it’s primed to get the best of the developers' produce (in just the same way as the iPhone and iPad did) to get premium apps that will make owning a smartwatch the best that it can be. Once you've purchased the Apple Watch and got over the high price, it is a genuinely useful thing to have around at times. The new OS 2 advancements make it even better.

Overall, the smartwatch concept is going to become more useful when the hype dies down and new apps emerge. Apple set the stage for other competitors to step up to the smartwatch challenge, the same way Apple set the stage for tablets and smartphones. But in doing so, some of Apple’s competitors have emerged as tough competitors, namely Samsung. At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference and having spare cash to spend on niche products. The Apple Watch is a luxury, not a necessity. 

Published in Gadget

Comparison: Samsung Gear S2 vs. Apple Watch

Written on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 09:27

In 2015, smartwatches were received by the world with a mixture of excitement and skepticism. Smartwatches are basically wearable computing devices worn on a user's wrist offering functionality and capabilities similar to those of a smartphone. Some people were excited about adding a new device to their collection of smart devices, while others doubted the necessity of smartwatches, because of their blatantly similar features to smartphones; such as connecting to the internet, making calls,  sending messages and providing fitness monitoring. So what is all the hype about? Are smart watches really worth the investment? Comparing the two leading smart watches by Apple and Samsung, you will find that it really comes down to personal preference.

Published in Gadget