Unlocking Airplay to be a two-way communication street could produce a much more direct interface for the distant TV screen.
You don’t want to admit it, but you were talked into being an early adopter of Android Wear or Pebble before Apple Watch was even a thing. Now that Apple Watch preorders have kicked off and the Watch is almost in your hands, it’s time to unload your Android Wear watches before people catch on and resale values plummet.
Good news: NextWorth, one of the leaders in mobile device trade-ins, today announced it will begin paying out for your old Android, Samsung, and Pebble watches (and soon Apple Watches too). expand full story
Bloomberg reports that Samsung has signed on to provide A9 chips to Apple for the next-generation iPhone. Apple moved to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in 2013 for its processors, looking to reduce its reliance on Samsung, who is a major competitor in the smartphone space and a legal foe. With that said, it was reported last September that Samsung was still supplying 40 percent of the A8 chips found in the iPhone 6 despite Apple’s attempt to part ways.
Will the first generation Apple Watch become collectible? Or will your shiny new Apple Watch go the way of old iPhones and iPads in a year or two when the upgrade to a newer, likely more feature-filled model proves too hard to resist?
If Apple follows the release cycles of its other products, the Apple Watch could see at least a minor refresh every year and perhaps even a larger overhaul every other year, much like we see with Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
What might Apple’s second and third-generation Apple Watch collections look like? And what will that mean for owners of the current collection? expand full story
Apple will begin rolling out an iPhone trade-in program in China in the near future. The option may become available in stores as soon as March 31st, allowing Chinese users to take advantage of the program that has helped boost iPhone sales in several countries already, including the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
Chinese retail employees will determine the condition of the phone being traded in, and offer Apple Store credit to customers, Bloomberg reports. Devices that are traded in will be sold to Foxconn by Apple. The manufacturing partner will then make any necessary repairs and resell them through its own online outlets:
This render provides our first look at Apple’s plan to build a sizeable new R&D center in Japan. We first heard that Apple would be building a facility “on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centers in Asia” from the Japanese Prime Minister late last year.
Japanese news site NHK reports that the center will be built on the outskirts of Yokohama, the second biggest city in Japan after nearby Tokyo. The city’s mayor announced in a news conference that Apple had purchased the remains of a Panasonic factory on the site, and would be building a 25,000 square meter facility over four floors. The scale of the building would suggest that it could accommodate around several hundred employees, though Apple may of course be allowing for future expansion. expand full story
Becoming Steve Jobs, the new biography of Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli, will be officially released tomorrow by Crown Business/Penguin Random House, and is currently available as a pre-order from Amazon ($12+) and Apple’s iBookstore ($13). While some of the book’s material will be familiar to avid followers of Jobs and Apple, there are some interesting details inside about how Jobs’ companies Apple, NeXt, and Pixar interrelated.
On NeXT: The book notes that the computer industry changed during Microsoft’s leadership, shifting to an environment where companies — the largest buyers of computers — were seeking reliability and stability rather than innovation. According to the authors, NeXT’s key failure was that it successfully identified a real market for $3,000 workstation computers targeted at the higher-education market, but went so far beyond that price point — in some cases in pursuit of industrial design goals — that few actual customers existed for its product.
NeXT, which was headquartered in the same business park where Steve Jobs first saw Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and graphical user interface, came tantalizingly close to undermining Microsoft at a key point in its growth: IBM licensed the NeXTSTEP operating system for use in workstations, and might have used it to compete against Windows personal computers.
“But Steve… held up IBM for more money, leading to another round of protracted negotiations. He overplayed his hand. Cannavino stopped taking Steve’s calls and just abandoned the project, although there was never any real announcement that it was over. It was a minor disappointment for IBM, ending its ‘Plan B’ fantasy of creating a real alternative to Microsoft’s new Windows graphical operating system for PCs.”
And there’s more…
Today during its latest Un-carrier event, T-Mobile announced new initiatives including brand new plans and pricing for businesses and a promise to all of its customers that it won’t increase prices. It’s also paying off bills for those locked into leasing plans on other carriers if they switch to T-Mobile.
That “Un-contract” guarantee that prices won’t increase goes for all of its Simple Choice plans (including Simple Choice promotional plans) as long as you remain a T-Mobile customer with a qualifying plan. However, the carrier will only offer the guarantee to those with unlimited 4G LTE data for two years. The guarantee will automatically start for all existing customers on March 22nd. expand full story
Update 3/31: Apple’s latest data reflects 78% as measured on the App Store on March 30th.
Update 4/14: Two weeks and one iOS 8.3 update later, the App Store now reports 79% iOS 8 adoption.
Apple now says that 77% of active iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches are now running some version of iOS 8. The remainder of active devices running older software than what was released last September include one out of five devices still running iOS 7, and a small 3% running iOS 6 or earlier. The data comes from Apple’s App Store Distribution dashboard, which captured the adoption rate earlier this week.
While the information does show the steady climb of active devices upgrading to iOS 8 at a steady, gradual rate, it does not reveal how many users are running the very latest version, iOS 8.2, which is required for iPhone users to pair with the upcoming Apple Watch, which will be released on April 24th… expand full story
Apple has shown off the Apple Watch at a special event now on two occasions: first after the iPhone 6 last September, then after the new 12-inch MacBook last week. We know how the Apple Watch will look, how much it will cost, when we can buy it and for how much. Many developers are ready to ship apps for the Apple Watch, and we’re already seeing an accessory market for Apple’s wearable.
Since last week’s event, I’ve been thinking about why Apple might have chosen to have its second Apple Watch unveiling more than a month before people can actually buy the device. My conclusion? It’s complicated, but mostly necessary considering the complexity of actually buying the right watch.
Apple’s motivation is to ensure that you have an iPhone 5 or later before next month, and that you have the answer to a number of questions including how many millimeters your wrist measures if you plan to pre-order before trying on an Apple Watch. And because we know how major iPhone launches go with getting the exact model you want, pre-ordering will be the first opportunity to secure the Apple Watch of your choice or risk waiting even longer. expand full story
Apple is reportedly planning to bring its Force Touch technology to the next version of the iPhone, the Wall Street Journal says. The tech was first introduced in the Apple Watch last September, then made its way to the latest MacBook model during yesterday’s “Spring Forward” event.
Starting off the Apple Special Event today, CEO Tim Cook welcomed HBO CEO Richard Pepler on stage to announce a new content deal for the Apple TV. HBO Now, the network’s premium, Internet-based subscription service, will debut exclusively on Apple TV next month.
News of HBO and Apple being in talks to distribute the new HBO Now service first broke earlier this month after being announced last fall.
HBO Now will be available within the HBO channel for $14.99/month, no cable subscription required, and subscribers joining in April will get the first month free. HBO Now will include past and current television shows and movies. expand full story
HBO is reportedly negotiating with Apple to have the Apple TV included as a launch device when the network’s new standalone streaming service launches next month. International Business Times reports Apple has been “aggressive” in pushing to get access to the new service as HBO reportedly plans a launch by mid-April in time for the latest season of hit show Game of Thrones: expand full story
AppleInsider is reporting that it has received information about the next-generation iPhone hardware. It claims that the next iPhone, generally expected to be a ‘6s’ style device (meaning that it will feature internal changes but the external chassis will be the same as the 6), will feature 2 GB of RAM, just like the A8X in the iPad Air 2. It also says that Apple is considering inclusion of an Apple SIM as standard, just like the cellular iPads.
For some context, the iPhone first shipped with 1 GB of RAM in 2012 with the iPhone 5. This means a RAM jump is now about ‘due’, with many expecting an increase last year to help accommodate the increased asset size required by the Retina HD iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Although 9to5Mac cannot directly backup the claims, the advancements feel like an obvious progression for the device given Apple’s inclusion of 2 GB of RAM in the iPad Air 2 as well as the introduction of the Apple SIM last fall. Note also that Apple has doubled RAM every few generations of iPhone, and given that many were expecting an increase last cycle, it is not surprising to see it rumored for the ‘iPhone 6s’, which is likely to feature new and improved internals like other ‘tock’ years.
Nearly eight years have passed since Apple released the first-generation Apple TV, a product originally hyped as “something really special” but quickly demoted to a “hobby” after initial sales fizzled. The second-generation version arrived with much less fanfare in late 2010, and the modestly tweaked third-generation model got a mere five-minute launch at a March event three years ago. Since then, there’s been plenty of evidence that Apple was working on updated hardware, a major partnership with cable companies, and major new content deals, but apart from the quiet addition of new channels, nothing’s actually happened.
Since total Apple TV sales remain soft by comparison with Apple’s other product lines, next week’s fashion-focused and celebrity-packed Apple Watch special event would be a great opportunity to launch an updated Apple TV to a broader audience. The current-generation Apple TV is older than its predecessor was when Apple replaced it, and there are at least 10 software and hardware tweaks that could fundamentally improve the Apple TV experience. Here’s our list of 5 features Apple TV really needs, and 5 features it would really benefit from having…
We have received images of a white building under construction behind the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, the venue for Apple’s ‘Spring Forward’ event on March 9th. The tipster said that security guards are patrolling the scene, wearing ‘Apple Security’ shirts, confirming the connection between the building and Apple.
Apple built a similar external structure for the Apple Watch’s original unveiling in September, which acted as a demo hall for the products (iPhone 6 and Apple Watch) that Apple had announced at the event prior. Given the similarities, it is likely that this is the purpose of this new building as well.
It is worth noting, however, that in the past Apple has simply used side rooms inside Yerba Buena for its demo areas. Unlike the Flint Center, previous events show that there is space for indoor demos if Apple wanted to use it.
More images after the break …