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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Apple Watch review roundup: the best smartwatch yet, but not an essential purchase

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Apple has just lifted the embargo on the Apple Watch for reviewers, allowing the technology press the to give their verdict on the device ahead of Watch preorders on the 10th. The device will actually be available to the public on the 24th. The Apple Watch is a huge release for Apple, its first new product category under Tim Cook. The anticipation for Apple Watch has been simply immense. The pricing model alone is a huge step for the company, entering ‘high-end’ luxury for the first time with the Apple Watch Edition … and a price tag in the $10,000 range. These reviews are our first glance at whether Apple succeeded in making the next hit product.

Reviewers got a demo of the entire Apple Watch buying process, from the initial Apple Store try-on experience right through to handling the device for a few days. Reviewers got to choose their watch-band combination, although the Edition was not available for reviewers (although you can see what Pharell thinks about it of course)

Read below for our roundup of the reviews from a handful of publications:

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Apple will fight iOS bugs with first-ever iOS Public Betas: 8.3 in March, 9 in summer

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In an effort to eliminate bugs from upcoming iOS versions ahead of their general releases, Apple plans to launch the first-ever public beta program for the iOS operating system, according to multiple people briefed on the plans. Following the successful launch of the OS X Public Beta program with OS X Yosemite last year, Apple intends to release the upcoming iOS 8.3 as a public beta via the company’s existing AppleSeed program in mid-March, according to the sources. This release will match the third iOS 8.3 beta for developers, which is planned for release the same week. Apple then expects to debut iOS 9 at its June Worldwide Developer Conference, with a public beta release during the summer, and final release in the fall…

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New iWork & iLife apps go for simplicity, upset power users all over again

Following the introduction of Apple’s new iWork apps at its iPad Air event earlier this week, an increasing number of users have taken to Apple’s support forums to voice concerns over the removal of features as the apps receive new simplified user interfaces that bring them more in line with the iOS versions. Several pages of complaints from users in Apple’s forums point out that many features, those mostly used by power users, have been removed from Apple’s new redesigned version of Pages:

Why does Apple get rid of so many useful features in new pages? iWork 13 has been a huge disappointment and nothing more than a downgrade to match the capabilities of the iOS iWork apps.  If Apple simply made performance upgrades to iWork 09 I would have been happy.  I hope there is a way to get back to the most up to date version of iWork 09.

It comes down to this. Apple has discontinued Pages in its entirety. You can no longer download it or purchase it, and Apple won’t support it. Apple has simultaneously introduced a completely new and different product, also called Pages, that is designed for different users and different use cases. Despite the name, it is not a successor to Pages (old), except in the licensing terms, it is completely a completely different species of animal. Those of us who depended on Pages (old) cannot use Pages (new). We have to save all our Pages files in a widely used format and import them into a new word processor that supports the formatting.

Pages isn’t the only app, users are also hitting Apple’s forums to list features that have been removed from the redesigned versions of Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie: Read more

From beta 1 to release: how each major iOS version has transformed

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Following its introduction earlier this month, Apple’s newest operating system has fallen under criticism and scrutiny from both designers and casual users alike. Due to both the tight development timetable and the new design direction under Jony Ive, following the removal of former iOS SVP Scott Forstall last fall, iOS 7 is, understandably, the most controversial and intriguing iOS version yet.

In response to much of the negative criticism directed towards iOS 7, some have suggested that iOS 7 will change substantially before it is released to the general public. Looking back at previous versions of iOS reveals a long trend of subtle refinements to the operating system during beta periods, not dramatic changes. Let’s take a look at how each version of iOS has transformed:

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Instagram releases v2.0 with overhauled camera UI, high-res photos, and real-time filters

Instagram has released a huge update today with Version 2.0 in what they’re calling one of the “largest revamps” to the app’s core camera technology since it launched. Along with a UI overhaul, the app now supports images with a resolution up to 1936×1936 on the iPhone 4 (in your camera roll, not on Instagram), in comparison to the 612×612 prior to the update.

As part of a brand new camera UI, the most impressive feature is the new “live filters”. They’ve taken the old filters and rewritten them to be “200x faster”, allowing you to instantly apply effects in real-time within the camera UI. The image above shows off the new UI, but you can go here to learn exactly how all the new elements work. Oh, and you can also now enable and disable borders on every filter.
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