How to modify your Apple Watch box into an Edition-style charging case for under $10 (Video)

Apple only includes its fancy charging case if you buy one of the $10,000+ gold Apple Watch Edition models, so I decided to DIY my own using the box Apple includes with its mid-range, stainless steel Apple Watch collection.

If you bought an Apple Watch model— the entry-level Sport collection comes with cheaper, somewhat disposable packaging— you get a box much like with the Edition minus the charging features and leather shell.

With a few drilled holes and less than $10 worth of materials, I transformed my box into a charging case that looks a lot like the Apple Watch Edition charging case.

Here’s how I did it: Read more

Apple Watch support doc suggests tap water rinse to fix Digital Crown

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Despite its splash and water resistance rating, meaning Apple doesn’t recommend going for a swim with Apple Watch, it does recommend running water over it to clean certain components. One problem it’s anticipating is the Watch’s Digital Crown getting stuck or not running smoothly due to trapped debris, like dust or lotions, between the crown and the Watch’s casing. Apple’s fix: hold your Apple Watch’s digital crown under your sink faucet.

From a new support doc Apple published this week: Read more

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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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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How-To: Reclaim your Mac’s old hard drive or build a new one with an external USB enclosure

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Earlier this year, I wrote several guides to boost the speeds of older Macs by swapping their internal hard drives for super-fast solid state drives (SSDs). As readers have confirmed, their older iMacs, MacBooks, and Mac Pros have seen dramatic improvements with new SSDs. But some people were left with a question: what should I do with my Mac’s old hard drive? Throw it away?

A great answer: put it in an external hard drive enclosure and keep using it! My latest How-To shows you how easy it is to reclaim your Mac’s old drive by installing it in a nice USB enclosure such as Akitio’s SK-3501U3 (shown here), which I chose because of its Mac-matching design, reasonable sub-$40 price, and compatibility. External enclosures are also ideal options if you want to choose a high-quality hard drive mechanism for yourself, rather than taking a risk on whatever might be hidden inside a fully-assembled external drive. I’ll explain that, and much more, below…

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How-To: Upload your photos into iCloud Photo Library from your iOS device and iCloud.com

Photos preview at WWDC 2014

Apple announced Photos last year during the WWDC. The Photos app along with iCloud Photo Library will allow you to store all of your photos in the cloud with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, provided you upgrade your iCloud storage space to accommodate your iCloud Photo Library. Photos will end up replacing Aperture and iPhoto. You can upload your pictures to iCloud Photo Library via iCloud.com. Currently this feature is in a public beta and this how-to article will discuss how to get a head start and upload your pictures to iCloud Photo Library before Photos becomes available for the Mac to the public.

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Apple Watch FAQ: preorders, try-on appointments, availability – what you need to know

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With just over a week before Apple Watch previews and reservations kick off in Apple retail and online stores, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on purchasing the device in the early weeks of availability.

Apple is making big changes to its retail sales process with a completely new approach to in-store demos for what is the company’s first product to cross over into the fashion world. There has been a lot of news surrounding Apple’s reservation and in-store sales experience for Apple Watch, so we’ve put together a concise list of FAQ’s for everything you’ll want to know for launch this month. Read more

How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Part 2

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As I noted in Part 1 of How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac, Apple has designed the Mac purchasing process to be easy: pick a model, pick the good, better, or best configuration, hand over your cash, and enjoy your computer. Since most people get confused by tech specs — bullet points filled with numbers and acronyms — Apple downplays them in its marketing materials, leaving customers to sort through the details and figure out what most of them mean.

But these specs are really important when you’re shopping for the right Mac for your current and future needs. So I’ve created this How-To guide to walk you through each of Apple’s Tech Specs pages using clear explanations, hopefully enabling you to properly understand what you’re about to buy. Part 1 focused on the “big 5″ Mac specs you really need to know about, and this Part 2 looks at the rest — generally things that remain the same in a given model, regardless of the configuration you choose…

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How-To: Decode Apple’s Tech Specs pages before buying a new Mac (Part 1)

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Buying a Mac is designed to be easy. Apple has a handful of different models, each generally available in good, better, and best configurations. You’re supposed to start with the specific Mac model that fits your needs, pick a configuration that has the price and features you want, and walk away happy with your purchase. (Better yet, do your research online and save money after ordering from Amazon, or use the product guides off to the bottom right of this page.)

One thing Apple tends to downplay are tech specs — important numbers and acronyms that nonetheless confuse many people. Look carefully on Apple’s web site and you’ll find that there’s a Tech Specs page for every Mac Apple sells; they’re the keys to making an informed Mac purchase that will be right for your current and future needs. My latest How-To is here to walk you through each of Apple’s specs with clear explanations, so you can understand what you’re about to buy. This Part 1 discusses the “big 5″ Mac specs you need to know about, and Part 2 tackles the rest

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