Apple Watch User Guide suggests authorized, third-party band program

Apple’s recently published User Guide for the Apple Watch appears to reveal that Apple is planning an authorized program for non-Apple branded Apple Watch straps:

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Apple is yet to announce such a program, but such an offering for the future makes sense given Apple’s official “MFI” accessory programs for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. A marquee feature of the Apple Watch is its ability to be quickly attached to various bands via a standard connection on the two sides of the device.

While Apple has not yet announced an authorized program for third-party bands, some enterprising accessory makers have already announced bands ranging from unique leather designs to bands that pack in backup batteries for on-the-go charging. Apple sells branded straps such as the Link Bracelet and Leather Loop.

Thanks, @MacTimeTV

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‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ on Apple, NeXT, and Pixar

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…

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‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ on how Steve evolved & the Buddhist notion of ‘Becoming’

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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 ($20/print, $12/Kindle, $30/audiobook or free audiobook with Audible trial) and Apple’s iBookstore ($13). Bringing together years of personal interviews with Steve Jobs and his colleagues, the authors have assembled a substantial collection of insights about how Jobs evolved over time as a person and a leader.

One key focus of the book is reflected in the title: the Buddhist notion “that everything, and every individual, is ceaselessly in the process of” evolving — “becoming” — rather than static.

“[D]espite the fact that he could be almost unfathomably stubborn and opinionated at times, the man himself was constantly adapting, following his nose, learning, trying out new dimensions. He was constantly in the act of becoming.”

For this reason, the authors suggest that Jobs’s personality was misunderstood — at least during his second run at Apple — in part because he decided to cut most of his interaction with the press, except for structured discussions during new product launches. As such, the public picture of Jobs as an intemperate, immature young man wasn’t adequately updated to reflect his later maturity into the wiser and more effective leader who achieved Apple’s historic transformation…

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‘Becoming Steve Jobs’ on Jobs’s Personal Life, Friends, and Enemies

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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/iBooks. I’ve been reading an advance copy of the book, and it’s packed with interesting details — including some not previously known — about Jobs’ personal life, friends, and enemies.

For instance, Schlender and Tetzeli add color to some of the previously known defining moments in Jobs’ life, including the birth of his daughter Lisa and son Reed, and his marriage to Laurene Powell. The book notes that Jobs was not there for Lisa’s birth, which took place at the apple orchard that inspired his company’s name, and later appeared to regret that he’d made a mistake missing the major life event. He became a devoted family man after marrying Laurene — notably at Yosemite National Park — and made time most evenings to have dinner with his wife and kids, but continued to work late into the night from computers at his home. According to the book, Jobs laughed most deeply and often when interacting with his kids, and was there for Reed’s birth; the “hippie” couple even allowed the infant to sleep in bed with them at first…

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Read an exclusive free sample of Becoming Steve Jobs in iBooks

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Becoming Steve Jobs, a new book by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli about Jobs’ life, comes out on March 24th and is available to download both in digital and print. As part of a strong marketing push by Apple in the run up to the book’s release, iBooks is offering an exclusive free sample of the prologue and first chapter that you can download right now. (Update: It’s unclear what countries the sample is being offered in — readers are reporting it showing it for some but not universally.)

Apple has been heavily promoting the book in the last few days, on its iBooks Twitter account as well as through iTunes marketing emails. iBooks describes it as the ‘only book about Steve recommended by the people who knew him best’. For comparison, in one of the chapters, Tim Cook describes the Isaacson biography as a tremendous disservice.

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From ‘Becoming Steve Jobs': Cook says Isaacson book was a tremendous disservice, succession planning began in 2004, more

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Fast Company has today published a sizeable excerpt from Becoming Steve Jobs ($12 Amazon, $13 iBook), the upcoming book about the Apple cofounder’s’ life and his mannerisms. Unlike previous efforts, Apple is openly promoting this book and many executives, CEO Tim Cook included, have participated in interviews. This has yielded some very in-depth, intimate and interesting stories.

Following the story of Cook offering to give Jobs his liver, Cook is quoted as saying the Isaacson book did the late CEO a ‘disservice’. In very similar words to how Cue described the (unrelated) film about Jobs at SXSW, Cook says ‘The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time’.

“The Steve that I met in early ’98 was brash and confident and passionate and all of those things. But there was a soft side of him as well, and that soft side became a larger portion of him over the next 13 years. You’d see that show up in different ways. There were different employees and spouses here that had health issues, and he would go out of his way to turn heaven and earth to make sure they had proper medical attention. He did that in a major way, not in a minor, ‘Call me and get back to me if you need my help’ kind of way.

Cook also recalls how Jobs would call up his mother on the pretense of finding Cook, but in reality just wanted to talk to his parents about convincing Cook to have more of a social life. ‘Someone who’s viewing life only as a transactional relationship with people…doesn’t do that’.

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Review: Scrivener, the must-have software for would-be novelists everywhere

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‘Writing a novel’ seems to be one of the default items on most people’s wish-lists. Most never start it, and most of those who start it never finish it, but if you want to make a serious attempt, using Scrivener would definitely be the biggest favor you could do yourself.

I must admit that the idea of specific software for creative writing stuck me as on odd one when I first encountered it. What’s wrong with Pages or Word? It was only once I tried it for myself that I understood.

What Scrivener does is bring together in one place all the resources you are likely to need to plan, research, write and either submit or self-publish a novel. Outlines, pen-portraits of characters, web pages, photos, notes, PDFs … absolute anything and everything that might help you create your opus magnum is right there all within a single app …  Read more

Paper by FiftyThree app now lets you create & order customized Moleskine books

Paper by FiftyThree, the popular sketching and illustration app, today announced that it has teamed up with Moleskine to offer its users the ability to create and order customized 15-page Moleskin books directly from the app. The partnership with Moleskine means you’ll get a quality, hand-assembled 15-page foldout book on sustainable matte paper, but it also means you’ll have to hand over $40 USD in the process: Read more

Review: TwelveSouth’s BookBook case for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro

We’ve reviewed and enjoyed a number of TwelveSouth products over the years. We were intrigued by the hollowed out book idea with the company’s original BookBook case for the MacBook Air and since it has brought out similar hand distressed leather BookBook cases for other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad mini. While maybe not the ideal option for Apple’s anti-skeuomorphic cheerleaders, I found the stark contrast to Apple’s sometimes cold industrial design a nice juxtaposition.

I tend to not use any skins, covers or cases when using my MacBook on a day to day basis. I slide my MacBook into a laptop pouch built-into my backpack or use a standard laptop case when on the go, and rarely do I actually leave the MacBook in the case when in use. A case was necessary for protection when traveling, but for me the average soft or hard plastic laptop case never quite does the pricey, Jony Ive designed Apple hardware inside justice. BookBook is different… Read more

iBooks 1.3 helps your kids learn to read

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Apple updated iBooks to 1.3 today for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  Most notable is the read-aloud feature included in select children’s books from the iBookstore.

The read-aloud feature uses a real narrator to read the book to you, and in some books, it will even highlight the words as you read along.

Initially, it isn’t certain whether or not the narrator will be a (Nuance?) Text to speech voice or if the audio is included by the developers.

The new functionality isn’t just for children’s books. Enhanced books can now automatically play audio or video included with the book.

Apple is now going beyond the other eBookstores offering innovation and functionality that differentiates books into the realm of apps.  Apple now offers Books directly in iTunes as part of the 10.3 update yesterday as well.

The 1.3 update also offers some bugfixes and enhancements from previous versions. More below: Read more