AAPL’s numbers today are going to be huge, analysts predict: double-digit growth in all but iPads

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With Apple set to reveal its fiscal Q2 earnings after market close today, analysts are expecting double-digit year-over-year growth in all categories except iPads. Fortune‘s roundup says that analysts predict revenue of $56.84B, up a massive 24.5% year-over-year, and above the top end of Apple’s $52-55M guidance. Earnings per share is predicted to be $2.21, up a third on the previous year, with gross margin just shy of Apple’s top-end guidance at 39.4%.

Double-digit growth is expected in both iPhones and Macs. For iPhones, the prediction includes sales just under 56M, 32.6% higher than the same quarter last year, while Mac sales are forecasted to hit 4.7M, 13.6% up on last year …  Read more

Major LA hospital integrating HealthKit data into patient records, but unclear if they can opt out

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LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is now integrating HealthKit data into patient records to provide doctors with a more comprehensive picture of the health of the patients they are treating, reports Bloomberg.

The hospital updated its online medical records system this weekend, turning on access to HealthKit for more than 80,000 patients, Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, said in an interview.

“This is just another set of data that we’re confident our physicians will take into account as they make clinical and medical judgments,” Dworkin said.

Tim Cook said back in February that he thought this type of use of HealthKit would be “profound” …  Read more

Apple moves to third-generation Siri back-end, built on open-source Mesos platform

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Apple is now on its third-generation system for handling Siri queries, moving to the open source Mesos platform, according to the Mesosphere blog. Apple reportedly made the announcement at the Bay Area Mesos meetup last week.

During a presentation, Apple engineers said that the switch to Mesos would reduce latency, assist scalability, and made it easier to deploy new services as Siri’s capabilities are expanded …  Read more

Best Apple analyst posts AAPL Q1-Q2 estimates: Macs shine, iPads disappoint, iPhone has peaked, 3.8M Watches

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KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the few analysts we feel credible, has his Apple numbers ready for Q1 2015. The analyst projects iPhone, iPad, and Mac shipments to be 58.2 million, 10.1 million, and 4.5 million respectively. He also estimates that Apple Watch shipments are currently at 631,000 units.

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Review: Misfit’s Bolt LED bulb promises iPhone and wearable control of color-shifting lights

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Two of the hottest product categories at this year’s CES were home automation and wearables, which Apple is now tackling with HomeKit and the Apple Watch. As has historically been the case, the price premiums Apple has set for its products have left plenty of room for more affordable alternatives. Misfit, a company co-founded by former Apple CEO John Sculley, is now competing in both categories: the just-released Bolt Wireless LED Smart Light Bulb ($50) joins a small collection of Bluetooth-controlled lights, while its late 2014 wearable fitness and sleep tracker Flash ($33-$50) is in the process of being upgraded to control Bolt.

Misfit’s pitch for Bolt is interesting. It’s billing the color-shifting bulb as producing “gallery-quality light,” and focusing its new Misfit Home app for iOS on creating “Lightscapes” — lighting scenarios including neutral bright white, warm sunrises and sunsets, candlelight, forest and volcanic tones, amongst other “scenes” where the color is set but the brightness is adjustable. When Bolt works, it’s a wonderful source of light, but as is common these days, some post-release tweaks will be needed to exploit its full potential…

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Apple airs three new Apple Watch ads: ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’

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In coordination with the Watch’s worldwide release, Apple has ramped its marketing campaign further with three new ads that are airing starting today. The ads titled ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’ focus on everyday activities being enhanced by the Watch. Unlike some of Apple’s product-focused marketing, this is more in the style of iPad commercials.

The ‘Rise’ ad focuses on morning activities, such as using the Watch to wake you up or answer text messages in the breakfast queue. ‘Up’ is focused on the Workout and Activity apps, highlighting the ‘Stand’ notifications and related fitness features. ‘Us’ focuses on communication highlighting Digital Touch sketch, tap and heartbeat sharing features as well as the controversial animated emoji.

All three videos are embedded after the break …

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First Apple Watch orders now being delivered to customers as Apple updates website: ‘The Watch is here’

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Although the US will not receive their watches for a few more hours yet due to timezone discrepancies, some international customers have already taken delivery of their Apple Watch orders. For instance, some customers in Australia are now receiving their Watches, such as the one pictured above.

The image also clearly shows the packaging for the Apple Watch Sport finally. Unlike the gold Edition and stainless Watch models, the Sport is shipped in an elongated skinny rectangle with the Watch laid flat across the box.

More photos after the break …

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Apple updates TestFlight to support testing of Apple Watch apps

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Update: Developers are still waiting for Apple to update the backend distribution infrastructure, before they can utilize the update to the TestFlight client app.

Apple has updated its TestFlight app to support Apple WatchKit apps embedded inside beta iOS apps. This has been a significant frustration for developers in the run up to the Apple Watch’s release, as it made testing apps for the new platform difficult.

Developers should now be able to deploy beta versions of their iOS apps without removing the Watch extensions.

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Apple publishes the Apple Watch User Guide online, explaining various hardware features and bundled apps

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Update: Now available on iBooks to download on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac.

Apple has today posted its Apple Watch User Guide, as customers begin to receive their Watches starting tomorrow. The guide serves as an accompaniment to the Watch, teaching users how to navigate around the interface and access various features. The guide covers all of the native first-party Apple Watch apps as well as general user-interface tips and tricks.

There is also a section on pairing the Watch, which will prove useful when Watches start being distributed into customers hands from tomorrow morning. There is also information about how to properly take care and clean the Apple Watch bands.

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Randy Ubillos, Final Cut creator & chief of video/photo software, to leave Apple after 20 years

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Randy Ubillos has today announced his retirement from Apple. Ubillos has worked at Apple for over twenty years, leading development on Final Cut Pro and newer versions of iMovie and iPhoto, part of Apple’s iLife suite. Offically, Ubillos was Chief Architect of Photo and Video Applications. Most notably in recent years, Ubillos headed the project to bring some of the latest iMovie concepts back to Apple’s professional software suite. This resulted in Final Cut Pro X.

Ubillos also led development of Apple’s creative pursuits on iOS, with versions of iMovie and iPhoto designed for the touchscreen experiences of the phone and tablet.

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djay unveils an Apple Watch remote mixer, djay Pro for Mac gains Pioneer DJ support + video features

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In addition to making djay 2 for iPhone (reg. $2.99) and iPad (reg. $9.99free for one week, Algoriddim is ready to reveal djay for Apple Watch, which it dubs “the world’s first wearable DJ controller”, and two big announcements for djay Pro for Mac including a new partnership with Pioneer DJ and a brand new video mode for mixing. Read more

First Apple Watch orders now ‘shipped’ to customers for Friday delivery

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Apple has now started sending delivery notifications to customers that their Apple Watch orders have ‘shipped’, ready for the launch tomorrow. Many users on Twitter are tweeting their orders to show that the status has changed to shipped (or dispatched, internationally).

Customers can now track their orders as they go out for delivery. So far, it seems that only US orders have entered this stage. Shipping notifications for international customers in the launch countries are likely to follow soon.

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