Sunday, May 31, 2015

Target and Apple Pay

If you're wondering why Target has an app that supports Apple Pay but their stores don't support it, then you've come to the right place! In the off chance that you're actually wondering that, here's the explanation. Remember when Target had that embarrassing data breach a few years back, causing a bunch of credit card numbers to be released? Well, now they have to patch that hole with a chip-and-PIN upgrade. This replaces that vulnerable magnetic strip on your card with an embedded microchip. Only after this upgrade will Apple Pay be rolled out.
"Our focus is on getting chip-and-PIN in place in time for the holidays. Down the line we want to accept all the types of payments that our guests want. But this decision was all about focus. ... It is a major undertaking to convert to chip-and-PIN, and I decided that we can't distract the team."
- Brian Cornell, CEO of Target

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Apple Provides Temporary Fix For Text Message Bug

If you've gotten one of those text messages that crashes your phone, Apple has provided a temporary fix before they release an update for it.
"Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update. Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app. 
1. Ask Siri to "read unread messages."  
2. Use Siri to reply to the malicious message. After you reply, you'll be able to open Messages again
3. In Messages, swipe left to delete the entire thread. Or tap and hold the malicious message, tap More, and delete the message from the thread." 
Personally, my iPhone is in Do Not Disturb mode 23 hours a day, because... life, and as a result, my iPhone doesn't crash. It's something to consider. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Automatic Apple Watch App

If you have an Automatic installed in your car, you can use an Apple Watch to quickly locate where you parked your car and how long it has been parked. This is very useful if you are ever lost in a parking lot or if you are monitoring how long you've been parked at a parking meter. Automatic is available from the Apple App Store for free [Direct Link] while the adapter is $99 [Direct Link].

Image Credit: Automatic

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Apple Watch: First Impressions

Today, I got my Apple Watch. It is a 42mm Apple Watch with Brown Leather Loop. I'll just ramble on about some of my thoughts. One of the things I like is how I can easily picture it as a lifestyle device. I can see myself using it for a workout or using the MLB At Bat app at a ballpark. It brings new potential to the playing field.  It's not just a tiny iPhone. I like how notifications popup with a subtle vibration. Also, people seemed to be turned off by its battery only lasting a single day, however it's not to say that you'll run out in a single day. With a lot of use, you should have 20% at the end of the day, assuming healthy battery life. The main drawback to the Apple Watch is the reliance on the iPhone. Every time you open an app, it has to load the app from the iPhone. These loading times vary based on the size of the app and the proximity from the iPhone. Typically, they're short loading times, but if your iPhone is more than 10 feet away, loading can get tedious. Overall, I'm a big fan of this watch and look forward to using it, however I do see some area for improvement. When the next generation comes out, we pioneers only hope that our current bands will work with the next few generations.

Sorry about the quality and lighting of this picture!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Apple Pay Rewards

If you have a credit card, you most likely know how rewards work. For example, one credit card may give you 2 points for every dollar of gas, 3 points for Amazon purchases, and 1 point for all other purchases. Then, after you've collected 10,000 points, you learn that the best reward to spend them on is a soda or something. Apple is supposedly doing this with Apple Pay, hopefully, with better rewards. It's not known how this will work, but we think it'll be revealed at WWDC this year. Perhaps this will incorporate iBeacons into it, where you walk past certain products and your points unlock sales for those products. WWDC's keynote will be on June 8th.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Apple Watch Battery Complication

Many people have the battery life complication widget on their watch face for their Apple Watches. However, many are finding this a waste of space for their watch face. In addition, despite Tim Cook noting that you'll have to charge your Apple Watch everyday, the watch is still intended as an "all-day device." If you're waiting to get an Apple Watch, don't put the battery life in your watch face, just use the battery glance instead. The battery glance is available by scrolling up from the watch face to reveal Glances, and just swipe left or right to find the battery life.

Image Credit: CIO

Monday, May 25, 2015

How Much Storage Does The Apple Watch Have?

With developers having to make modifications to their apps to fit the Apple Watch, it brings up a question: How much storage does the Apple Watch have? Apps like 1Password require you to select certain items to sync to an Apple Watch instead of having all the items on the Apple Watch. The answer is 6.2 GB, not including Watch OS. Hopefully, most Apple Watch apps will do their best to optimize their storage use.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Losing the Signal

Remember when BlackBerry was one of the top smartphone manufacturers? Neither do I, but apparently they were. You can read the book on BlackBerry's rise and fall. It's called Losing the Signal by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff. It explores how the iPhone contributed to BlackBerry's downfall. You can read it in style in iBooks by pre-ordering it for $14.99 [Direct Link].

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Apple Watch Edition Begins Shipping

The first people who ordered their Apple Watch Editions on April 9th are now starting to see their fine jewelry begin to ship. The first ones arrived as early as today. It should be noted that Apple Watch Edition is a limited edition model that is in limited quantities. It's long ship time and limited stock are good reasons to consider buying it sooner than later.

Image Credit: iFixit

Friday, May 22, 2015

38 New Emoji Characters

The Unicode Consortium has picked 38 emoji characters as candidates for Unicode 9.0. These emojis include cucumber, shrug, and a selfie. The full list is available on their blog. Why do we need an emoji for a rubber duck? Some of these emoji have very little application, but I suppose it's better to have them than to not...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Select Apple Watch Bands Available Now In Retail Stores

Apple Stores are now selling some Apple Watch bands. These bands include various colors of the Sport Band and the Classic Buckle, according to Apple Radar. If you want a band, you might want to check your local Apple Store first to avoid massive delays.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How Apple Watch Demos Units Work

Thanks to Blog do iPhone, we now know how the Apple Watches in retail stores work. Basically, underneath where the band disappears into the case of the demo unit, there is a Lightning cable that connects to the much speculated diagnostic port of the Apple Watch. This establishes a connection from the Apple Watch to the case and the iPad mini in the case. This allows it to be charged throughout the day. In addition, it's how the iPad mini is able to show information about the app the Apple Watch is in. Apple managed to do a great job at keeping this hidden as many people tried to figure out what the diagnostic port was for.

Image Credit: MacRumors
Image Credit: MacRumors

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Apple Watch Coming To Retail In June

While he was visiting China, Tim Cook told employees that retail stores would get the Apple Watch in June for multiple countries. Hopefully, this is a sign that the delay and shortage of Apple Watches will be over soon. This news sparked emotions with people, including myself, as it essentially means people who pre-ordered after April 11 would've been better off just walking into a store and buying their Apple Watch in-store instead of getting it delivered after it was available in stores (many people are getting it in the last week of June). Most Apple Watches (specifically the 42mm models) are in a delay spanning 5 weeks to a vague delivery date of July. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Find My Watch Coming Soon...

According to 9to5Mac, Apple will release a way to find an Apple Watch, called Find My Watch, supposedly a similar concept of Find My iPhone. It may also be able to let users know if they've left their iPhone behind. It's not known when this feature will hit the public.
"First, Apple has been working on a feature dubbed “Find my Watch” for the Apple Watch, which as the name implies will allow a user to track a Watch’s location, as well as lock or remotely wipe it if it is lost or stolen. [...] Given the Apple Watch’s reliance on an iPhone, Apple plans to implement Find my Watch via what’s currently known inside the company as “Smart Leashing.” According to a source, the Watch will use its wireless signal to establish its location relative to the iPhone, and will optionally be able to notify a user if the iPhone is accidentally left behind."
- 9to5Mac 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Leather Loop and Modern Buckle Begin Shipping

Just after the Link Bracelet started shipping, the Leather Loop and Modern Buckle began shipping. Customers who ordered these models April 9th will probably get them this week, or have received them last week. This is good news for me, as I ordered an 42mm Apple Watch with Brown Leather Loop. For the longest time it had an estimate of June. Now I have a more specific estimate of June 22-29. A bit of a letdown, as I was hoping mine would come in May. At least that gives me something to look forward to...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Apple Watch Delays Should Be Alleviated Soon

Apparently, labor shortages were a huge factor in the delay of the Apple Watch. Because of the Lunar New Year, Chinese manufacturers had labor shortages which cause huge delays in manufacturing the Apple Watch. However, this should be alleviated as the Lunar New Year is over.
"Because of labor shortages during the Lunar New Year holidays, Quanta was forced to borrow manpower from other manufacturers and was only able to deliver limited shipments in the first quarter. However, Quanta already has sufficient capacity to manufacture all the orders and should see a giant contribution from its wearable device business in the second quarter."
- Quanta Vice Chairman, CC Leung

Friday, May 15, 2015

iPhone 6s To Have 12-Megapixel Camera

After almost 4 years of an 8-megapixel camera, the next iPhone will get an upgrade. It will have a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera. Combined with superior optics, this will significantly improve the iPhone's camera. The next-generation iPhone 6s is expected to be announced and released this September.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ping Your iPhone From Your Apple Watch

If you misplace your iPhone, you can use your Apple Watch to find it. Provided it's within about 30 feet (if not, use Find My iPhone), the process is simple. Just go to your watch face, swipe up to reveal glances, and then swipe left or right (depending on how you've arranged your glances) to eventually find the Settings glance (shown below). From here, you can tap the large button on the bottom to ping your iPhone. Your iPhone should make a noise, even if the ringer is off. If that's not enough, tap and hold the button to make the flashlight of the iPhone turn on. This can help in the dark. I hope this helps!

Image Credit: iPhone Tricks

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Space Black Link Bracelet, Leather Loop, and Modern Buckle Start Shipping

After a delay of the Space Black Link Bracelet, Leather Loop, and Modern Buckle bands for the Apple Watches, the delay has been easing up as some models have started shipping. This isn't for everyone, but mostly for the people who pre-ordered pretty early on (around April 9). I pre-ordered on April 12 and mine hasn't gotten past the "Processing Items" stage. Fingers crossed guys!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Apple Dominates Greenpeace Energy Index

In part of its 2015 Click Green Report, Greenpeace finds that Apple excels at using renewable energy and being green. As shown below, Apple has a perfect score while others find it hard to get more than a B in any category. 100% of all Apple processes (including retail) use renewable energy in the US.
"The report found that Apple continues to be the most aggressive in powering its data center operations with renewable energy. Despite continued rapid growth, Apple appears to have kept pace with its supply of renewable energy, maintaining its claim of a 100% renewably powered cloud for another year, followed by Yahoo, Facebook and Google with 73%, 49% and 46% clean energy respectively. Greenpeace found that Amazon’s current investments would deliver an energy mix of 23% renewable energy for its operations."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Apple Watches With Link Bracelets Start Shipping

Apple Watches with the high-end Link Bracelet have started shipping to customers. This comes after a delay of several Apple Watch bands, including Link Bracelets, Modern Buckles, and Leather Loops. Unfortunately for me, I bought mine with a Leather Loop several days after pre-orders started. Anyways, the wait for Link Bracelets should be much shorter and other delayed bands may be on their way soon. Also, the Space Black Link Bracelet has seen no improvement as to when customers will get their hands on.

Image Credit: MacRumors

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Flipboard Apple Watch App

If you use the magazine-like app, Flipboard, then you'll be pleased to hear that there will be an Apple Watch app. It will show you your top 10 stories from your Flipboard. Each comes with a summary of the article. Flipboard is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Amazon Apple Watch App

Amazon has revolutionized the way we buy products, and now they're bringing the innovation to your wrist. It lets you quickly buy products with a voice command and a few taps. It's pretty convenient. Amazon is available for free from the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Friday, May 8, 2015

Philips Hue Apple Watch App

If you have Philips' line of smart light bulbs, there's an Apple Watch for that. On the Apple Watch, you can control the mood of your lights by saving 10 configurations from your iPhone to send to your Apple Watch. The Philips Hue app is available for free on the Apple App Store [Direct Link].

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Redacted App

If you need to share documents with sensitive information, you should try Redacted. It lets you censor images easily. It's available on the Mac App Store for $4.99 [Direct Link]. It skyrocketed up the charts on the Mac App Store and, as of 9:50 PM PDT, is the #2 paid app in the Mac App Store. The creator, Sam Soffes, tweeted asking his followers how much he profited on the first day of release. People guessed around $12,500. It was just $302 with 87 downloads! Talk about exponential growth. It was released just this week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Everything Changes With iPad

Apple has created a new ad campaign for the iPad. It showcases the tagline, "Everything changes with iPad." Like most of their campaigns, it shows how iPad can be used in really cool ways for different parts of life. Be sure to check out the new site for the campaign and the video below.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Clear Notifications On Apple Watch

If you are tired of notifications clogging your Notification Center on your new Apple Watch, there's an easy fix. Start at your watch face screen and drag your finger down the screen. This reveals Notification Center. Force Touch, or press and hold the screen until you feel a vibration. Tap "Clear All" and your notifications will be gone. You can also manage your notifications in the Apple Watch app. Open the Apple Watch app > tap the Apple Watch tab > Notifications > and manage your Apple Watch's notifications from there.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Next-Generation Apple TV To Have Revamped Remote

With the expected announcement of a new Apple TV at WWDC this year, a new remote is also expected. It will come with a touch pad for scrolling. This is a step up from repeatedly clicking the current remote to select from a menu. People suggest that it will be similar to the Remote app [Direct Link]. Hopefully, we'll see some sort of keyboard integration, a feature only available when the Remote app is used. The new Apple TV should come in June and is expected to have an app store.

The Current Apple TV Remote
The Remote App for Apple Watch

Sunday, May 3, 2015

42mm Apple Watches Pushed Back to July

With the coming of the new month, all Apple Watches and Apple Watch Sports in the 42mm size now have shipping dates in July. People who have ordered their watch before this change are unaffected. It is not certain if the demand (and preorders) have increased, or if the new month pushed it back. It is most likely the second option. Hopefully, we'll see better shipping dates soon.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Free Radio on My Phone

Something interesting that's been in the news recently is a way to get FM radio on your phone without using data. According to Free Radio on My Phone, carriers disable a chip already in most smartphones so they make money off of streaming FM radio (which costs data). They're trying to get the word out. If you feel that FM radio should be available without data charges, be sure to take action and spread the word

Friday, May 1, 2015

Do Not Disturb Turns Off AirDrop

Here's something I figured out recently. If you turn on Do Not Disturb on your iOS device, it'll turn off AirDrop. Keep that in mind when you want to use AirDrop. To turn on Do Not Disturb, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, and tap the moon icon (it's on if the icon is white). To turn on AirDrop (even if Do Not Disturb is on), swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap AirDrop. AirDrop is compatible with iPhone 5 and later, iPad 4 and later, and iPod Touch (5th Generation).