First screenshots of top Apple Watch apps revealed by new tool [Gallery]

While hundreds of apps for the Apple Watch have been announced and detailed, screenshots of most of the major applications have yet to be revealed, until now. Developer Steven Troughton-Smith has created a tool to view screenshots of Apple Watch applications by pasting in the link to the existing iPhone application. Below, we’ve put together several galleries of several notable Apple Watch applications, including Twitter, Instagram, Uber, Starbucks, and Apple’s own Keynote presentation remote. We’ll be updating this post live as more application screenshots are discovered. WatchAware is also showcasing more interactive previews of over 2000 Apple Watch apps.

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First look: Clear, the iOS app that vets your social media history for indiscretions

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Going for a sensitive job, or just friended your new romantic interest on Facebook, and want to make sure your drunken post from six months ago isn’t going to come back to bite you? That’s the experience Hipster co-founder Ethan Czahor had when he was hired as Jeb Bush’s chief technology officer. Journalists went digging and found some extremely embarrassing posts that led to his resignation.

He’s now put that experience to good use, though, beta-launching Clear, an app which aims to vet your social media history for offensive or insulting posts and offer you the ability to delete them (not to be confused with the to-do list app of the same name). I decided to take it for a quick spin …  Read more

Controversial kids app After School back in App Store with new protections in place

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An app that allows school children to make anonymous posts about other students in their school – what could possibly go wrong? Little surprise that After School received numerous complaints about cyberbullying, and was pulled from the App Store by Apple for objectionable content.

Today the app is back, reports Daily Dot, but with a whole raft of new features designed to guard against abuse. All posts are now moderated before they appear on the service, keyword-checking is used to filter out offensive content and detect threats, and the app offers immediate live support when someone makes a post suggesting that they are depressed or thinking about harming themselves …  Read more

App Store revenue likely to double by 2018, generating $20B – IDC/App Annie

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Data from IDC and App Annie suggested that both Apple and Google are likely to see their app store revenues doubling within the next four years, reports Re/code. Based on Apple’s 2014 total revenue of $10B, this would suggest that Apple is likely to hit total revenue of $20B in 2018, with developers seeing $14B of it.

“I would consider this projection conservative,” App Annie CEO Bertrand Schmitt said in an interview, noting that the company has consistently been revising its forecasts up over the past two years as revenue has exceeded expectations.

The study also suggested that the trend toward freemium apps, which derive their income from in-app purchases, will continue–though this model is more common on Android than iOS …  Read more

Apple announces $1.9B European plan for two of the world’s largest, clean energy data centers

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Apple has announced that it will be spending €1.7B ($1.92B) on two new European data centers, each of which will be among the largest in the world at 166,000 square metres (1.8M square feet)–three times larger than the company’s North Carolina facility.

One will be in Ireland, the other in Denmark, with each set to begin operations in 2017. Apple says that the facilities will provide online services across Europe, including the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Apple Maps and Siri.

We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date.”

As with all of Apple’s data centers around the world, the new centres will be powered entirely by clean, renewable energy …  Read more

Inbox by Gmail iOS app now has full iPad version, still requires invite at present

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Inbox by Gmail, which Google appears to view as a replacement for the popular email client Sparrow, has been very quietly updated, notes TechCrunch, to include a native build for iPad. The app is currently only available in some countries (including the U.S.), and neither the App Store description nor What’s New entry mention the iPad build.

The app, which our hands-on last October described as “a marriage between Gmail and Google Now,” has tended to polarise views, some loving it, others hating it–with very few falling between the two …  Read more

VLC for iOS back in the App Store for some/upgraders, should be available to all shortly

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The VLC for iOS app–a favorite media player for many–has returned to the App Store in some countries and is expected to be available for all shortly. Some existing US users (us included!) are also reporting on Reddit being able to update to the latest version (2.4.1) if they have the previous version from before it was removed.

The app has something of a checkered history in the App Store, first removed from the store way back in 2011 after a licensing dispute; the original open-source developers claiming that the App Store terms were incompatible with the GNU Public License for the code. The app finally returned in 2013 before disappearing once more last September …  Read more

Opinion: Could Apple’s Pinterest profile be an early step toward properly-curated apps?

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iOS and Android are completely different worlds when it comes to apps. Android is pretty much the wild west, with little control over quality or even safety (malware is commonplace). iOS, on a non-jailbroken device, is a walled garden, where Apple decides what apps can and can’t do, and which ones get approved for sale.

Yet despite that carefully-controlled approach, the App Store can still feel like a bit of a jungle. Which is why I wonder whether the Pinterest tie-in announced yesterday may offer hope for the future.

But let’s start with the problem I think needs to be solved, and that problem begins with search. Results may vary by country, and you can try the searches for yourself to compare your results with mine, but here’s what I get for a few obvious app searches …  Read more

Tim Cook insists iPad prospects still rosy despite 18% drop in sales, 22% fall in revenue

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Apple’s press release yesterday noted “all-time record revenue from iPhone and Mac sales as well as record performance of the App Store,” while remaining silent on iPad sales. The reason? The slide continued last quarter, with year-on-year sales down 18%, and a reduction in average selling price meaning revenue was down 22%.

Tim Cook acknowledges that the switch to larger-screened iPhones mean the iPad is being squeezed from both sides.

There’s probably some level of cannibalization that’s going on, with the Mac on one side and the phone on the other.

It’s also undeniable that people upgrade their iPads less frequently than their iPhones–Cook putting the number at “somewhere between” the 2-year cycle of the iPhone and 5-year cycle of Mac–meaning that Apple needs to find a continual stream of customers buying an iPad for the first time …  Read more

Apple hires Burberry’s VP of Digital Retail initiatives ahead of Watch launch

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Apple has made yet another key hire from the fashion industry: Chester Chipperfield, the Vice President of Digital and Interactive Design at Burberry. Chipperfield was “responsible for User Experience and Digital Design for all channels” and was “highly involved in digital retail initiatives” at Burberry, according to his LinkedIn profile. He confirmed the move to Apple on his profile as well as on Twitter

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Apple targets for Apple Watch battery life revealed, A5-caliber CPU inside

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Although Apple has said that the Apple Watch will need to be charged nightly, the company has not disclosed any details on how long the wearable’s battery will last. For the first time, people with knowledge of the Apple Watch’s development have provided us with the specific performance targets Apple wants to achieve for the Apple Watch battery, but the actual numbers may fall short of those targets.

According to our sources, Apple opted to use a relatively powerful processor and high-quality screen for the Apple Watch, both of which contribute to significant power drain. Running a stripped-down version of iOS codenamed SkiHill, the Apple S1 chip inside the Apple Watch is surprisingly close in performance to the version of Apple’s A5 processor found inside the current-generation iPod touch, while the Retina-class color display is capable of updating at a fluid 60 frames per second.

Apple initially wanted the Apple Watch battery to provide roughly one full day of usage, mixing a comparatively small amount of active use with a larger amount of passive use. As of 2014, Apple wanted the Watch to provide roughly 2.5 to 4 hours of active application use versus 19 hours of combined active/passive use, 3 days of pure standby time, or 4 days if left in a sleeping mode. Sources, however, say that Apple will only likely achieve approximately 2-3 days in either the standby or low-power modes…

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