What Jony Ive’s ‘promotion’ to Chief Design Officer really means

jonathaniveknighted.jpg.pagespeed.ce.M8HNaX_YtwS8LqJnVBW4A lot of folks are taking Sir Jonathan Ive’s just announced title of as Chief Design Officer at face value. Congratulations are in order and all that. But there is a lot more going on than a title change.

Ive basically runs Apple and can do or have anything he wants. Titles aren’t of any significance, especially to someone with as little ego and indifference to such things as Ive. There is clearly more to the story Apple is telling us.  Read more

Jony Ive promoted to ‘Chief Design Officer,’ handing off managerial duties July 1st [Tim Cook Memo]

Alan Dye, Jony Ive, and Richard Howarth

Apple’s Jony Ive has served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Design for several years now, but Apple has announced today that the executive is being named Chief Design Officer (a newly-created position). Additionally, Ive and will be handing the managerial reins of both the industrial and software design units at Apple over to two new leaders on July 1st.

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$100 kit lets you plate Apple Watch with 24K gold DIY-style (Video)

We’ve seen a number of solutions for getting a gold Apple Watch without spending the $10,000+ price Apple charges for the 18 Karat gold Apple Watch edition. We went hands-on with one of the first companies doing gold plating for Apple Watch, but that requires you to mail-in the device and pay approximately $400 on top of the Watch’s retail price (depending on the model).

Another option is this $100 DIY kit that offers an easy step by step solution for gold plating the Watch yourself with 24K gold… Read more

Apple Watch “3rd party gold-plated edition” w/ link bracelet gets first unboxing and hands-on (Video)

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I know what you may be thinking: why would you spend any significant amount of money on a gold Apple Watch? Well, this isn’t an Apple Watch Edition, but it’s the closest thing available to my wallet. This Apple Watch and Link Bracelet was beautifully plated with 18K gold and it looks stunning.

I’m not even a fan of gold, but I can definitely appreciate the beauty here. This is just about as classy as it gets if you’re into the style. Last week, this used to be an ordinary Apple Watch, but a few days with the people over at WatchPlate changed it for life. If you’re not into spending a boat load of cash on an Apple Watch Edition, this is the next best thing and quite possibly a better option…

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A skeptic’s Apple Watch diary: One month in, after the novelty wore off

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When I decided that I was keeping my Apple Watch after my arbitrary one week trial, several of you wondered whether that would still be the case once the novelty had worn off. Indeed, I wondered that myself.

Well, it’s now a month in as of yesterday, and I can definitely say the novelty has worn off – and, somewhat to my surprise, I’m still wearing it every day. Perhaps it’s time to drop the ‘skeptic’ part of the title.

Given the kind interest shown in my earlier pieces, I thought I’d update you with a few additional things I’ve noted and the reasons I’m still wearing it …

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Designer shows why Apple is adopting San Francisco as its new system font

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When Apple launched the Watch, it also designed a new system font to go with it: San Francisco. The typeface was specifically designed to combine a clean look with readability on the small display of the Apple Watch.

We exclusively revealed last week that Apple doesn’t intend to limit San Francisco to the watch: it instead plans to adopt the new typeface for Macs, iPhones and iPads. San Francisco is expected to replace Helvetica Neue as part of iOS 9 and OS X 10.11. Designer Wenting Zhang features the font in a look at “the beautiful details of the type forms that often get overlooked” …  Read more

The Logic Pros: TE’s new pocket-sized synths & how to sync them up with your Mac

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The Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

Teenage Engineering, best known for its flagship synthesizer/sequencer the OP-1, recently unleashed a new line of tiny music makers on the world known as the Pocket Operators. The PO-12 Rhythm is a drum machine, the PO-14 Sub is a bass module and the PO-16 Factory is dedicated to melodies and lead lines. The appearance of the units may have some writing them off as toys, and considering they were partially inspired by pocket calculators and the Nintendo Game & Watch products, that may not be totally off base. But creativity and musical inspiration come from unexpected places sometimes.

Having gone hands on with the PO-16 model for over a week now, I have found it to be quite a playable little instrument, with its own interesting quirks, creative limitations, and boutique sound. Most examples of the little device in action appear to be freestyle techno jams, song re-creations or somewhat avant guard pieces that don’t seem to offer much in the way of real-life production applications. So I decided to run the new Factory model through its paces, putting it alongside some bigger name virtual/hardware instruments in the space to see how it would hold-up in a more typical Logic or GarageBand production.

Read on for more details on the PO-16, how to sync this bad boy up with your other hardware and to hear how it sits inside a mix with some big name software/hardware… Read more

Review: Griffin’s WatchStand is a tall, cheap way to dual-dock your Apple Watch and iPhone

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I respect any accessory developer who attempts to solve a legitimate problem, and admire developers who find smart ways to solve multiple problems simultaneously. Unlike many competing Apple Watch stands, Griffin Technology’s new WatchStand thinks past the initial challenge of mounting your watch, and also includes a place for your iPhone to rest on your nightstand. As you’ll see in my guide to the best Apple Watch stands and docks, it’s impossible to find a combination Watch and iPhone stand at a lower price: normally $30 via Amazon, WatchStand is currently on sale for only $22.49 direct from Griffin if you use discount code MEMORIALDAY at checkout.

As that low price suggests, however, WatchStand makes compromises in both materials and functionality. Built primarily from plastic with a rubber core, it’s certain not to scratch a stainless steel or gold Apple Watch. But would you actually want to use it with one of Apple’s more expensive timepieces? That’s another question…

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Review: Kanex USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter solves the WiFi dead zone problem for the 12-inch MacBook

Kanex USB-C to Ethernet

Adapters for adding thicker ports are nothing new for Apple’s modern line of notebooks. Even the high-end Retina MacBook Pro decidedly excludes a direct Ethernet connection, and Apple’s MacBook Air and new ultrathin 12-inch MacBook are especially too thin for a wired connection to the Internet without relying on an adapter in the middle.

While modern WiFi is fine for most everyday situations, even Apple acknowledges that a wired connection is necessary in some instances. To remedy this, it sells a $29 USB Ethernet Adapter and a faster $29 Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter. The 12-inch MacBook has neither port, however, additionally requiring Apple’s $19 USB-C to USB Adapter to work with the slower adapter.

Fortunately with USB-C being a new industry standard, accessory makers like Kanex are ready with solutions like the $29.95 USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter made for the new 12-inch MacBook and other USB-C computers… Read more

Gold Apple Watch Editions arrive for regular customers with new box, booklet, gold pairing screen [Gallery, Video]

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Nearly a month after the Apple Watch officially went on sale, gold Edition models have begun arriving for non-celebrity customers who placed the earliest online orders. As expected, the Apple Watch Edition’s white external packaging is nearly identical to the cardboard box for the stainless steel Apple Watch, save for the box noting the color of the 18-Karat gold casing and unique band on the side.

Inside the box, however, the items are a bit different. As we’ve noted before, the Apple Watch Edition includes a colored leather-covered box that integrates the MagSafe charger. The Edition also includes a color-matched cleaning cloth with the word Edition embossed into the material. The steel Apple Watches instead include a plastic white box with lining and a beige cleaning cloth. The Edition also includes a booklet explaining the manufacturing process. 

When you power on the Apple Watch Edition for the first time, a gold, not silver, description of the Watch’s hardware materials appears (as can be seen above). MacRumors noted earlier today that Editions started to ship, and the images of arrived Watches first appeared on their forums. You can find a gallery of more images below.

Update: Below, we’ve also added the first video unboxing of the Edition as well as pictures of the bundled booklet into the gallery.

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Reading Roundup: Everything to know (so far) about iOS 9 and OS X 10.11

Over the past week, we’ve published several articles detailing the future of iOS (the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch’s operating system), OS X (the Mac’s operating system), and Watch OS (the software that runs on the Apple Watch). With the long weekend ahead, we’ve decided to put together a roundup of all of our published stories on these topics…

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Review: Mophie’s Watch Dock elevates your Apple Watch with jewelry store-quality metal and leather

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As I noted in yesterday’s review of the Nomad Stand for Apple Watch, I wasn’t initially certain that the Apple Watch needed a dock, but actually using a Watch changed my mind: just as the Apple Watch Edition’s custom charging cases hinted, it’s best to keep metal or metal-accented Watch bands from rubbing against nightstands during charging, and even Apple’s fluoroelastomer Sport Bands tend to flop around when the Watch’s charging puck is connected. My guide to the best Apple Watch stands and docks spotlights many potential solutions, some of which are a lot more compelling than others.

Mophie’s Watch Dock ($60) is completely different in looks from the Nomad Stand, but their identical price points reflect one critical area of overlap: class. Each has the materials and design necessary to look great with everything from Apple’s $1,100 black stainless steel Apple Watch to the entry-level $350 silver aluminum Apple Watch Sport. Unlike the wide Nomad Stand, Watch Dock goes for height, combining black leather with a mostly aluminum stand that has a compact footprint. Thanks to its clean lines and manageable size, Watch Dock could easily become the retail Apple Watch display stand of choice when more watch and jewelry stores start selling Apple timepieces…

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