March 18, 2014

Ahead of the release of Apple’s much rumored “iWatch” wearable product, Google has now officially announced Android’s entrance into wearables with project “Android Wear.” The Android Wear SDK allows developers to integrate a number of features into Android powered wearables and relies heavily on Google Now functionality, as we were first to report late last year.

Google also confirmed that it’s working with a handful of partners to bring Android Wear powered wearables to market by later this year: expand full story

Well, the rumor was true: Apple really has taken what was seemingly a less popular phone than expected, and made it worse. Even more surprisingly, the company confirmed to Fortune that the 8GB version of the iPhone 5C will be sold in only five markets: U.K., France, Germany, Australia and China.

I could understand Apple keeping the 8GB iPhone 4S in the line-up for those who want a new iPhone but are really strapped for cash. With apps the size they are today, an 8GB phone is going to be a pretty horrible experience: by the time you’ve loaded up a few apps and taken a few photos, you can forget about using it as an iPod, and don’t expect to use it as a camcorder either. But from Apple’s perspective, it gives some people who otherwise couldn’t afford an iPhone a first step into the Apple ecosystem, and hopefully they’ll upgrade a little further down the line.

But a 8GB version of the iPhone 5c, and one only sold in five markets? That got me scratching my head …  expand full story

9to5toys 
Former WSJ Apple writer Yukari Iwatani Kane’s long-awaited book based on more than 200 interviews with current and former executives and insiders goes on sale today  ($12.74 Amazon/$14.99 iBookstore/Free Audible Audiobook). We got an advance copy, and I enjoyed the first 85 pages or so of background including Steve Jobs’s transitioning the company during the last bout with his terminal cancer. This area  included some interesting new tidbits (did you know Apple almost sold the original iPad for $399?).

The middle of the book meanders somewhat aimlessly into the big stories after Steve Jobs’s death, but spending way too much time on Foxconn, the Samsung trial, the DOJ ebooks trial and patent minutia. I frankly had a hard time staying involved in some of these chapters because it was like re-reading old news reports with little new information to keep me satiated.

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