Happy Hour Podcast 012 | Apple Watch first impressions

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Apple Watch is finally here (well for some of us) and this week Zac, Benjamin, and Michael talk about their first impressions and experience with it. Has it been living up to the hype so far? Feel free to drop us a line about your Apple Watch experience at listenermail@9to5mac.com. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

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Apple aiming to launch Apple Watch in second-wave of countries by late June

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Apple CEO Tim Cook announced during the company’s Q2 earnings call this evening that he anticipates Apple Watch will launch in additional countries by late June. As of right now, Apple Watch is only available in 9 countries. A report earlier this month claimed that Apple would launch Watch in a second-wave of countries on May 8th, but we quickly debunked that rumor.

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Jony Ive & Marc Newson discuss the design, usability, & materials of Apple Watch (Video)

As the Apple Watch arrives in the hands of customers, Vogue has shared a video interview with Jony Ive and Marc Newson, in which the two discuss the design process of the device. Ive and designer Newson both discuss the reasons that customers may purchase the Apple Watch, as well as their own opinions on the design and the choices that went into the design process. The interview, conducted by Suzy Menkes, was held at the Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Florence, Italy.

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Apple airs three new Apple Watch ads: ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’

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In coordination with the Watch’s worldwide release, Apple has ramped its marketing campaign further with three new ads that are airing starting today. The ads titled ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’ focus on everyday activities being enhanced by the Watch. Unlike some of Apple’s product-focused marketing, this is more in the style of iPad commercials.

The ‘Rise’ ad focuses on morning activities, such as using the Watch to wake you up or answer text messages in the breakfast queue. ‘Up’ is focused on the Workout and Activity apps, highlighting the ‘Stand’ notifications and related fitness features. ‘Us’ focuses on communication highlighting Digital Touch sketch, tap and heartbeat sharing features as well as the controversial animated emoji.

All three videos are embedded after the break …

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First Apple Watch orders now being delivered to customers as Apple updates website: ‘The Watch is here’

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Although the US will not receive their watches for a few more hours yet due to timezone discrepancies, some international customers have already taken delivery of their Apple Watch orders. For instance, some customers in Australia are now receiving their Watches, such as the one pictured above.

The image also clearly shows the packaging for the Apple Watch Sport finally. Unlike the gold Edition and stainless Watch models, the Sport is shipped in an elongated skinny rectangle with the Watch laid flat across the box.

More photos after the break …

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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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Things task management app coming to Apple Watch with focus on Today View

We’ve known for a while now that the popular Things to-do list management app is coming to the Apple Watch, and we even posted a few screenshots of the application this morning. But now, Cultured Code, the developers behind Things, have provided an in-depth look at how their application sets itself apart from the other task management Apple Watch applications. While the Mac, iPhone, and iPad versions of Things separate tasks into Today, Next, Scheduled, and Someday tasks, the Apple Watch app focuses in on the Today View.

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Apple posts Apple Watch guided tour videos for Apple Pay, Activity & Workout apps

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Update: Apple has now uploaded today’s three new Guided Tour videos to YouTube, as well. They are embedded below.

Apple this evening has updated its Apple Watch Guided Tour webpage with three new videos. These new videos highlight Apple Pay, Activity, and Workout features of the Apple Watch.

The videos demonstrate the ability to pay via Apple Pay on your Apple Watch, track your daily activity with the Activity app, and set workout goals, regiments, and track heart rate via the Workout app.

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Stationary Apple Watch charging dock shown in Apple Environment video

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Apple’s new video about its contributions to environmental protection appears to show a previously unseen and unannounced accessory for the Apple Watch. In a portion of the video detailing chargers for Apple devices ranging from the iPhone to the new MacBook, Apple shows a stainless steel Apple Watch being dropped on a stationary charging dock. This charging dock is noticeably different than the charger that’s included with the Apple Watch, and could be an official Apple alternative to the third-party Apple Watch stands and docks that are about to hit stores…

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Apple preparing to ship out first Apple Watch orders as customer credit cards charged

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Ahead of the expected first Apple Watch arrivals on April 24th, Apple has began charging customer credit and debit cards. Various users on social media that pre-ordered the Apple Watch are reporting that they have been charged by Apple for their order. According to reader reports, both Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport customers have been charged.

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Apple Maps partner Yelp announces Apple Watch app with local listings and reviews

Yelp today has joined the long list of companies that have debuted apps for Apple Watch. In a blog post this evening, the popular ratings and reviews app shared the first screenshots of its Apple Watch app. The Yelp app for Apple Watch provides the majority of the information you’re used to seeing in the company’s other iOS apps, just on your wrist.

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