Nest reveals new Nest Cam, 2nd generation Nest Protect, updated iOS app

Following the Nest Cam outed by Best Buy earlier this morning, Nest did in fact take the stage today to announce its new lineup of products. Besides the Nest Cam, Tony Fadell and company showed off the 2nd generation Nest Protect smoke detector, a new mobile app for iOS and Android that brings all of the company’s new products together, and more. Unfortunately, the company’s flagship Nest Thermostat didn’t get any hardware upgrades today, but here’s what’s new… Read more

The Logic Pros: How to control anything in Logic using your hardware MIDI controller

Novation 64-Button Ableton Controller-Logic ProsThe Logic Pros is a new regular series exploring all of the most interesting gadgets and software for making music on your Mac/iOS devices. If there is any gear you would like us to take a closer hands-on look at, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email.

In this week’s edition of The Logic Pros, we will be looking at how to map all those fun looking sliders, switches, buttons and encoders on our controllers to various functions inside of Logic Pro X. In many case, we get home with our MIDI controller, plug it in, and it just works. The keys/pads function just as they should, but the plethora of other dials and faders available generally won’t do much, unless you tell them to.

We will be covering the basics of how to get our MIDI keyboard/controller mapped to just about any parameter in our session, along with a few creative ways to bring some of Logic Pro X’s more powerful features into the real world: Read more

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

steelwatch

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 Watch’s hardware or straps packaging potentially revealed on Apple’s new website

Apple-Watch-packaging

Apple appears to have just provided a first glimpse at the retail packaging for Apple Watch or the device’s straps via the photo above posted to a newly updated jobs page on its websiteThe white box lines up with the little information Apple has provided about the packaging for the entry-level Sport Edition and the stainless steel Watch Edition models.

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Apple details HomeKit compatibility with competing home automation platforms, rules out rival Wi-Fi gear

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Apple will allow its upcoming Siri-controlled HomeKit platform to work with certain existing, non-HomeKit home automation products, including ones using competing protocols such as ZigBee or Z-Wave, but there are many limitations. According to sources briefed on the new specs, the latest Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program specifications detail the types of home automation products other than HomeKit that Apple will permit to interact with its platform.

During the 2014 WWDC, Apple briefly mentioned the possibility of connecting rival home automation products to HomeKit using a hardware “bridge,” but only in recent weeks has clarified the types of accessories that will and will not be allowed. Read more

Chinese smartphone maker claims Apple copied iPhone 6 design

Digione-iPhone-01

Chinese smartphone maker Digione is claiming Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus copy the design of its own smartphone line.

Macworld reports that the company published a letter online yesterday that was originally sent to Apple back in September in order to make them aware that the latest iPhones might infringe on a patent it was granted in July by China’s State Intellectual Property Office. Read more

Apple developing iOS 8.1, 8.2, & 8.3 in shift for 2015 launches

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Starting with iOS 5 in 2011, Apple has released a major new iOS version each fall and a notable follow-up update early in the following year. For example, iOS 6 launched in September 2012 and was updated to iOS 6.1 in January, and iOS 7, which was launched in September 2013, was updated to iOS 7.1 with CarPlay and interface improvements in March 2014. But starting with the recently released iOS 8, it appears that Apple has a different development schedule for 2015 and perhaps beyond. According to sources, Apple is already hard at work on three major follow-up versions to iOS 8: iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3.

8.2 9to5iOS 8.2 visits to 9to5Mac

We’ve confirmed that these major new versions are in development via two means. First, a developer of a major hardware-connected iOS application has shared with us their analytics, and this data indicates that all three versions are in testing by Apple employees in or around Cupertino, California. Second, and much closer to home, our own Google Analytics for 9to5Mac.com show that iOS users are visiting our website via iOS 8.1, iOS 8.2, and iOS 8.3 devices. iOS 8.1 hits to 9to5Mac.com started appearing even months before iOS 8.0 launched, but 8.2 and 8.3 visits only started picking up following iOS 8’s release in mid-September.

8.3 9to5iOS 8.3 visits to 9to5Mac

While Apple works on several iOS features and enhancements over the course of several years, it typically only begins wholly testing major new releases close to the ship dates of the preceding release. Apple working on three significant follow-ups to iOS 8 is a shift from the usual development cycle, one which would normally indicate Apple to be working on just iOS 8.1 as well as iOS 9.0. It’s possible that iOS 9 is also in the works, and of course Apple is always working on nominal bug fix (x.x.1 or .2 or .3) updates, but the fact that 8.1, 8.2, and 8.3 are all in simultaneous development raises some interesting possibilities:

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Apple releases new cheaper iMac with low-end processor, priced at $1099

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As rumored last week, Apple has today released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac SKU was priced at $1299 (which is now the mid-range model).

The cheaper iMac features a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, which represents a significant worsening in performance over the previous base model of iMac, which featured a processor clocked at 2.7 GHz.  The CPU does Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz however, which does make up some of the difference.

Aside from the CPU, the hard drive has also been cut to 500 GB. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip. All other iMac models continue to use either Iris Pro integrated graphics or dedicated Nvidia cards. Otherwise, the internals of the new machine are unchanged.

Apple’s Press release below…

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FuelBand and other hardware discontinued, development team fired as Nike seeks to exit wearable tech market

Nike + FuelBand

Nike has decided to get out of the wearable technology market entirely, according to a brand-new report from CNET. The company is said to have come to the conclusion that fitness software has a more stable future at the company, leading to the discontinuation of the FuelBand and other wearable fitness products and the firing of most of the 70 employees currently working in that division.

The move is interesting timing. Just a week ago, Nike launched Nike+Fuel Lab in San Francisco, a “new program to develop partnerships and products with NikeFuel” hundreds of miles south of its current location at its Oregon HQ.

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This announcement comes only weeks before Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company is expected to show off its upcoming Healthbook application as part of the next generation of iPhone software in anticipation of iWatch hardware coming later this year. Nike’s new strategy will put it more in line to compete with Healthbook as an application rather than the actual iWatch device.

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Apple takes over its homepage to celebrate 30 years of Mac, with accompanying video, timeline and poll

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In addition to interviews with the press, Apple is celebrating 30 years of Mac with a full-bleed graphic on its homepage, which links to a minisite that plots how the Mac evolved over the years. The message says that Apple made the Macintosh with a promise to get “the power of technology .. in the hand of everyone”. “This promise has been kept.”, it reads. The dedicated minisite depicts a (scrollable) timeline of the major models of Mac since 1984, spanning the PowerBook, the iMac and ending with the Retina MacBook Pro and the brand new Mac Pro.

See the accompanying video after the break.

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Mac Pro shipping estimates slip into March as supply fails to catch up with demand

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Shipping estimates for the Mac Pro have slipped from February to March in many countries, suggesting that Apple has made no progress in reducing lead times from around six weeks. U.S. shipping estimates so far remain in February.

Launched last month to rave reviews, the all-new design has been praised for its upgradability, in sharp contrast to the MacBook range. However, it appears that Apple’s desire to keep its promise of a late 2013 launch date, made at WWDC, led to a repetition of the previous year’s iMac shortages …  Read more