September 19

AAPL: 113.58

-1.34
Stock Chart

Apple Watch Series 2 hit stores on Friday and I’ve spent the weekend testing its new features. From outdoor cycling and swimming in the ocean to comparing it to the first-generation Apple Watch, I had my own list of questions I wanted answered and I’m mostly happy with my experience.

I used the first-generation Apple Watch every single day since April 2015 and reviewed it in May 2015 after a couple of weeks. For me, the original Apple Watch was a tremendous improvement over my Pebble and basic digital watch with features like Siri, iMessage and Apple Pay plus a design that was good enough to continue with Series 2. A year in, I fully realized how effective Apple Watch can be as a fitness tracker which is where much of the focus on Series 2 exists.

Apple Watch Series 2 is similar enough that it’s easy to draw several conclusions about the new version after just two days. It’s a more capable fitness tracker and a better smartwatch thanks to its hardware changes, but the differences are more nuanced than what a spec sheet can tell you.

I’ll start by jumping straight to my conclusion: expand full story

Along with the iPhone 7, I was able to go hands-on with both new flavors of Apple Watch: The Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2.

Apple Watch Series 1 doesn’t contain much new in the way of features, but it does come with a faster processor, which makes it worth considering. Series 2 is a larger upgrade, but depending on how you use your Apple Watch, it might not be large enough to warrant an extra $100.

Whatever the case may be, both new watches are much better than the notoriously slow original Apple Watch, which Apple no longer sells. Another thing that flew the coop with this latest update is the somewhat confusing Apple Watch Sport nomenclature. Now, it’s just Apple Watch, and you can get it in either Series 1 or Series 2.

Watch our hands-on video for an explanation of the new Apple Watch and a look at several of its new features. expand full story

9to5toys 

I’m personally still very happy with my ultra-pocketable iPhone SE so I have no plans to buy the iPhone 7, but with Apple touting a brave new wireless future, I thought the launch would make an opportune moment to decide whether or not it was time for me to make the switch from a wired world.

Those who know me are often surprised to find that I wasn’t one of the first to switch to wireless headphones. I have a well-known aversion to wires, even going so far as commissioning a bespoke desk to hide them away out of sight. But while I’ve tried a few wireless headphones over the years, I’ve always come back to my wired Bowers & Wilkins P5 …

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September 18

AAPL: 114.92

-0.65
Stock Chart

Debuted during the Emmys and subsequently uploaded to YouTube, Apple’s latest Apple Music commercial takes a starkly different approach at showing off the streaming music service. The ad, which comes in at 2 minutes, stars James Corden of the Late Late Show and its popular Carpool Karaoke series, as well as Apple executives Jimmy Iovine, Eddy Cue, and Bozoma Saint John.

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9to5google 

Following an earlier ad to build launch day hype for the new iPhone 7, Apple today has released a pair of new ads for its latest smartphone, as well as a new ad for the Apple Watch Series 2.  For the iPhone 7, the two new TV advertisements focus on the water-resistant capabilities of the device, as well as the camera’s improved low-light functionality. The new Apple Wath Series 2 ad continues Apple’s fitness push…

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September 17

AAPL: 114.92

-0.65
Stock Chart

Seemingly overshadowed by the chaos of iPhone 7 launch week were a pair of articles that highlight an alleged “very toxic atmosphere” at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. An article from Mic pointed to a variety of instances of alleged sexism and inappropriate behavior.

Now, Recode has sat down with Apple’s head of human resources Denise Young Smith to discuss the issues raised in the article and what Apple is doing to combat them.

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electrek 

September 16

AAPL: 114.92

-0.65
Stock Chart

Update: Apple has updated its documentation to reflect the fact that the third-gen Apple TV can do HomeKit remote access, but not automation.

iOS 10 includes a pre-installed Home app from Apple that lets you easily set up and manage smart accessories and automation, which previously required using third-party apps from various developers. There is one important drawback for HomeKit users on iOS 10: you can no longer use the third-generation Apple TV as a hub for automation or remote access.

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WattApp technology allows multiple devices to charge up to 20 feet from a wireless charger
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It was yesterday suggested that Apple may be partnering with Energous, developer of a wireless charging technology known as WattUp. The company later issued a statement downplaying the evidence for the partnership, but – notably – without actually denying it.

Either way, it seems pretty clear by now that Apple is indeed waiting for either this or some similar long-distance wireless charging tech, and it is absolutely right to do so.

When I wrote a wish-list for the iPhone 7 back in November of last year, there were five items on it. Apple delivered three of them. But a number of you wondered why wireless charging wasn’t on my list, and I wrote a follow-up piece explaining my reasoning. The tl;dr version is that Apple should hold fire until wireless charging can be done properly – and I pointed directly to the WattUp tech developed by Energous as an example of how to do it right …

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9to5toys 

iFixit didn’t waste any time on a teardown of the iPhone 7 Plus, and has now done the same with the new Apple Watch Series 2.

The main discovery is a much higher-capacity battery. The 273mAh battery offers almost a third more capacity than the 205mAh one in the first-gen Watch. However, all that extra power doesn’t extend the battery-life of the device – it’s rated for the same 18 hours as the original – it instead powers the built-in GPS and much brighter screen.

iFixit also identified what seems to be the main secret to the greatly-improved waterproofing of the Series 2 …

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September 15

AAPL: 115.57

3.80
Stock Chart

As Jeff detailed in his massive how-to earlier this week, the biggest changes in iOS 10 came with the all-new Messages app. One of the most highly-anticipated features was support for built-in GIF search, which pulls in GIFs from a variety of outside sources. As with any instance of pulling images in from third-party sources, there are bound to be a few inappropriate ones that slip through the cracks, and iOS 10’s GIF search is no different.

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Update: Energous PR sent the following statement to VentureBeat denying the Apple partnership:

Energous is the developer of WattUp – a wire-free charging technology that will be licensed to companies to embed within consumer products. The SEC filing statement from 2014 blankets any future anticipated testing and is not indicative of specific partners.

Following reports earlier this year that Apple is working on wireless charging technology, VentureBeat has dug up more evidence that suggests the company is doing so with help from developer of RF-based charging tech Energous.

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9to5google 

As expected, the most talked-about feature of the iPhone 7 was the one Apple removed: the 3.5mm headphone socket. The company did, though, come to the party prepared. It most likely planned to leak the move a long time in advance, to give people time to get used to the idea and to inform headphone purchasing decisions.

It supplied Lightning EarPods in the box, so the vast majority of iPhone owners who never use anything else could simply shrug and get on with it. It also included a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter so that those with existing wired headphones weren’t left out in the cold.

It marshalled its arguments, both during the keynote and in subsequent interviews: that it needed the space for a larger battery, taptic feedback engine and second speaker. It even used the word ‘courage’ to echo Steve Jobs talking about risking unpopularity when abandoning a standard.

Finally, it pushed wireless as the future for headphones, launching its own AirPods and creating a W1 chip for fast and seamless pairing across Apple devices. We’ve already seen these in a pair of Beats headphones, though sadly they are unlikely to be licensed to other manufacturers.

The fallout from the decision, then, so far seems to be limited. Will Apple be encouraged by this to make the same decision with MacBooks? It’s already testing the waters. If so, how and when will MacBooks also lose the 3.5mm headphone socket … ?

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This week Benjamin and Zac talk about launching sticker packs, the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 pre-order experience, Apple’s iPhone 7 teaser, reviews for all the new hardware, AirPods versus BeatsX, and the release of iOS 10, tvOS 10, and watchOS 3. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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electrek 

Apple made a big, polarizing splash when it announced its new wireless AirPods during last week’s iPhone 7 keynote. The AirPods, which are completely devoid of any wires, were met with plenty of mixed reactions online. Whether or not you agree with the design of the AirPods is one thing, but the new W1 wireless chip, Apple’s first, is promising to bring a better overall wireless audio experience to the masses.

Unfortunately, the AirPods don’t ship until late October, so unless you’re among the few who received early review units, you’ll have to wait until the fall before you can experience the $159 wireless earphones for yourself. That said, you can still take Apple’s new wireless W1 chip for a spin, arguably the most important component of its AirPods, anyway.

The W1 wireless chip is not only embedded in Apple’s AirPods, you’ll find the same chip tucked away in several pairs of new Beats-branded headphones as well. The just-released Beats Solo3 On-Ear Wireless Headphones, for instance, has the distinction of being the first product to hit the market with a W1 chip nestled inside. As such, we felt that it was only right to provide you with a hands-on look at this compelling new wireless headphone option. expand full story

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