PSA: Apple Watch’s sapphire display cracks just like iPhone screens

Apple Watch screen cracked

Yep, that’s a cracked Apple Watch display. Nope, it’s not actually an Edition, just plated, but the $549 and up steel model uses the same sapphire display as Apple’s $10,000 and up watch. And yes, the Apple Watch’s sapphire display reacts to accidental drops against hard surfaces just like iPhones.

In describing the craftsmanship of the Apple Watch, Apple calls sapphire “the second-hardest transparent substance after diamond,” adding that “that’s why we chose it to cover the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition faces,” but it still sells a $79 AppleCare+ warranty to cover accidental damage because sapphire is clearly not invincible.

Here’s what to expect if you accidentally break your Apple Watch display and what I learned about how easily it can happen… Read more

What the Apple Watch Retina Display looks like when magnified to the pixel level

Bryan Jones has taken close up images of the Apple Watch screen, magnified such it is possible to discern the individual pixels and sub-pixels. The images show the arrangements of red, green and blue light that make up the images users see on the Apple Watch Retina Display.

Jones compares the screen technology with that of iPhone screens (shown below). They look quite different likely due to the fact that Apple Watch uses an AMOLED display rather than a LCD. iPhone pixels are tightly packed together with the red, green and blue aligned vertically. With the Apple Watch, the blue sub-pixels act as spacers for the stacked red and green sub-pixels. Jones also notes that the imaging specs are a lot smaller than compared with an iPhone which seems to be in aid of maximising battery life. When zoomed in to this level, it means you can see a lot more black space. Jones says this contributes to the Apple Watch’s excellent contrast ratios.

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Future of iPad: Dual-app viewing mode, then J98/J99 ‘iPad Pros,’ multi-user support

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Facing slowing growth for the first time since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple is working on several significant software and hardware updates to reinvigorate the tablet over the next year. Apple is developing a dual-app viewing mode, 12-inch iPads codenamed “J98″ and “J99,” as well as support for multi-user logins, according to sources briefed on the plans. First planned for debut last year, the split-screen applications feature for the iPad could be introduced as soon as June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, while multi-user login support and the 12-inch iPads will apparently arrive later…

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DisplayMate: Apple Watch has ‘excellent’ display, but Ion-X glass bests sapphire in light tests

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Screen technology analysis firm DisplayMate, best known for comparing the display performance of phones, tablets, and laptops, today published an extensive report on the screen inside the 42mm Apple Watch. Describing the screen as “excellent,” DisplayMate’s Dr. Raymond Soneira also explained the relative benefits of the Ion-X glass found in the $349+ Apple Watch Sport versus the Sapphire Crystal used in the higher end Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition models, notably praising the lower end model’s glass as superior across a number of tested categories. Read more

LG publicly claims Apple will release ‘iMac 8K’ with 8K screen this year

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Last week, Apple’s biggest display partner LG Display published an explainer on 8K (7,680 by 4,320 resolution) screens, claiming that the specification is the future of display technology. LG has already demonstrated 8K monitors at CES in Las Vegas, and notes that the panel boasts 16 times the number of pixels as a standard Full HD screen. Strangely, however, LG’s document explicitly says that Apple is working on an 8K version of the iMac (emphasis ours):

It has become clear that Japan is planning to launch an 8K SHV test broadcast and then promptly restructure the UHD service. Apple has also announced that they will release the ‘iMac 8K’ with a super-high resolution display later this year. Korea is also preparing to offer an 8K service demonstration at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. LG Display displayed a new beacon of the 8K era by revealing their 98-inch 8K Color Prime Ultra HDTV at CES 2015.

As anyone who reads up on Apple would tell you, this statement from LG Display is not accurate: Apple has not announced an iMac with an 8K display and has not publicly indicated that one is coming this year…

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Mac Pro monitor review: The best 4K & UHD monitors for Mac

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So Apple didn’t release a 4K (or 5K) standalone Retina display alongside the new 5K iMac, but you can’t hold off any longer on a shiny new display for your Mac Pro. I found myself in the same predicament not too long ago and decided to put a number of displays to the test in recent months. 4K might offer 4x the resolution of your standard 1080p display, but for the short time they’ve been around, they’ve also cost about 4x as much as the alternatives. The good news: There are a few Mac Pro compatible 4K displays (and UHD alternatives) finally starting to hit more reasonable price points just as recent OS X updates fix some issues early adopters first had with the higher resolution displays.

I’ve been testing Mac Pro compatible displays from Dell, Sharp, Samsung, LG, and others that are officially supported by Apple, and put together a list of my thoughts and top picks for those planning on picking up a new Mac Pro this holiday season. Despite my tests being done mostly on a new, stock Mac Pro, these picks stand for Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook users as well.

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Report claims Apple developing 3D iPhone display tech & software that doesn’t require glasses

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A 2012 Apple patent application showing a 3D GUI

According to a report from Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News citing supply chain sources (via UDN), Apple is working on a 3D iPhone display of sorts that doesn’t require the use of special glasses. The translated report also claims Apple is actively developing 3D “software ecosystems.” Read more

iPad Air 2 anti-reflective screen a ‘major innovation’ but last-gen brighter/more efficient

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Today DisplayMate Technologies published its usual detailed analysis of Apple’s latest product releases with an in-depth review of the display technology in the new iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2 displays.

One of the more notable improvements in the new iPad Air 2 display is the anti-reflective coating that, according to DisplayMate, “reduces ambient light reflections by about 3:1 over most other Tablets and Smartphones (including the previous iPads), and about 2:1 over all of the very best competing Tablets and Smartphones (including the new iPhone 6).” Read more

New reversible USB Type C (rumored for 12-inch MacBook) will offer full DisplayPort functionality

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The next-generation USB “Type C” standard that became available to manufacturers last month will also offer a “DisplayPort Alternate Mode”, enabling the new USB cables to “deliver full DisplayPort audio/video (A/V) performance, driving monitor resolutions of 4K and beyond, SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.1) data and up to 100 watts of power–over a single cable.” That means new USB cables that adopt the new slimmer Type-3 standard can essentially also work as a full-fledged DisplayPort cable. The announcement was made today by The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), which worked with the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to offer the functionality: Read more

Dell announces 27-inch 5120×2880 display, a perfect panel for a future Retina iMac

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Dell has just announced a brand-new 27inch external display with an insane resolution of 5120×2880. Pixel counts of this magnitude were thought to be several months out, stretching into mid 2015, so Dell’s abrupt announcement has come as a bit of surprise. In summary, the 27-inch panel has 14 million pixels across its surface, resulting in a PPI of 218. This is the same density as a 15inch Retina MacBook Pro, but obviously much much larger.

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The monitor is expected to be available by the end of the year.

What’s notable about this resolution is it shows that a Retina iMac is now very feasible. 5120×2880 is exactly double 2560×1440, the resolution of the current 27 inch iMac, in each dimension.

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Alleged 4.7-inch iPhone 6 sapphire display meets sandpaper and Joe Rogan’s mean archery skills

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Last week, YouTuber Marques Brownlee got his hands on what is claimed to be a sapphire glass panel from Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6. The initial video (found here) put the panel through a variety of torture tests including, knives, keys, and even a flexibility test to show off the panel’s durability. While there were no scientific tests performed to prove the front glass is actually sapphire, the result of each test was very impressive. Well, apparently that wasn’t enough…

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