The September 9th Apple event was one for the ages. The long-rumored Apple Watch finally debuted, along with two new variants of the iPhone 6. Stay tuned to this StoryStream for every news update, hands-on, in-depth report and more!
Sep 12, 2014
Apple's latest smartphones, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, are now available to pre-order from carriers around the world. Shipping and in-store pickups are set for next Friday, September 19th, but as ever with iPhones you might want to act fast to secure the model you want. Stock of the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in particular may be thin on the ground, if various reports are to be believed.Read Article >
As of this writing, access to Apple's online store appears to be very limited and you will likely have better luck with carriers. For all the information you need on how and where you can pick up your phone, read our guide below.
Sep 10, 2014
If you’ve paid any attention at all to the mobile payments space, you’ll know that one of the most notable pieces of news recently is that the consortium of carrier oligarchs trying to create a payment system rebranded from ISIS to Softcard so that it wouldn’t be associated with the militant group. The irony is thick enough to spread with a spatula, but that’s just the frosting on top of the multi-layered shit cake that has comprised the mobile payments industry so far.Read Article >
Paying with your phone has always been a confusing mess. It has always been a financial cold war between credit card companies, banks, phone companies, and phone manufacturers fighting to divert a tiny rivulet of the humongous river of money that flows through credit cards every day. Incompatible and confusing systems proliferate and vary depending on country, region, carrier, and who makes your phone. The result: incompatible and confusing systems that are hard to understand and even harder to successfully use.
Sep 10, 2014
If you're the type of person who buys a new iPhone every time one is announced, Sprint wants your money — and your phone when you're done with it. Today the carrier announced a new "iPhone for Life" program that will give you a free Apple iPhone 6 or 6 Plus up front, as long as you pay $20 a month to lease it. When you're done, you turn it back in, paying about $480 over the course of a 2-year contract, a figure that can go up if you choose to lease a higher capacity model.Read Article >
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It used to be so simple. Steve Jobs would take the stage and tell us all exactly what it is that we'll desire and buy over the coming months. Choice was an unnecessary evil. There was just one iPad, one iPhone, and fewer customization options across the entire Mac line than you'd find on a single Dell PC order page. In one of his more humorous presentations, the Apple chief even poked fun at Microsoft's tiered Windows pricing by detailing five "different" versions of Mac OS X Leopard, each one costing $129. "Seriously, we have one version of Leopard, it's got everything in it," said Jobs, "and we hope you love it as much as we do." But now things are different.
Notifications are some of the most fragile but important elements of our digital lives today. Some apps use them as a one-bit communication medium, while others use them to ping you with each and every comment on your latest photo. But there's one thing every notification does, which is make your phone beep, vibrate, or at the very least light up. With an Apple Watch, your wrist is now the thing vibrating. But a watch isn't as easy to ignore as the phone in your pocket. Without some smart software and user education, the Apple Watch could be Apple's most annoying gadget ever.Read Article >
Having easy access to notifications is one of the most desirable features of a smartwatch, but today's generation of devices haven't done a great job helping you configure which notifications you want on your phone, and which ones you want on your wrist. Pebble shows every single notification that hits your iPhone, which isn't optimal, and Android Wear goes a step further, letting you prevent specific apps from reaching your wrist, but these watches need to do more. They need to understand that a retweet isn't worth buzzing your wrist about, but a DM from your good friend is.
Apple unveiled its big attempt at defining what a smartwatch should look like today with the introduction of the Apple Watch. There are already quite a few competitors vying to define what should go on your wrist, however: Google beat Apple to the punch just a few months ago by releasing Android Wear, and watches powered by it have been hitting stores all summer.Read Article >
Update: Read our review of Apple Watch.
Sep 9, 2014
Sure, it's called the Apple Watch, but the wearable gadget unveiled in Cupertino today and scheduled for an early 2015 release does far more than keep the time. Apple CEO Tim Cook made a big deal about promoting the Apple Watch's health, lifestyle, and fitness tracking features, which include giving you personalized goals and keeping track of three different broad categories of activities: moving, exercising, and standing. And as my colleague Ben Popper found out, analysts are already predicting the Apple Watch will dominate the growing fitness tracking hardware industry (A Forrester Research study found that 24 percent of US adults plan on purchasing a wearable device sometime in the next year).Read Article >
There's no doubt that if it is released with all the features shown off today, the Apple Watch will be one of the most comprehensive and complex fitness bands on the market. Of course, it's also trying to compete with previously announced rival smartwatches running Google's Android Wear, but so far, those only offer very basic pedometer and heart rate measuring features. And as a recent convert to the Jawbone Up24 (The Verge's top choice in fitness trackers), I'm not entirely sure I'm ready to ditch my light, minimalistic wristband in favor of the flashier, chunkier Apple Watch I've seen from afar (I do think it looks quite appealing, though). Now that the Apple Watch has been announced, if you're looking for a device that's going to be used mainly for activity tracking, which would you pick?
Making good on its announcement made at WWDC earlier this year, Apple quietly revealed the new, cheaper pricing scheme for iCloud Drive today. The new system puts Apple's cloud service on even footing with the competition —complete with the option for a full terabyte of space — though the cost for more storage is still a bit more expensive than what Dropbox and others offer.Read Article >
According to the Apple website, iCloud Drive offers a range of monthly plans that's considerably cheaper than Apple's original annual pricing scheme. Confirming June's announcement, users can opt for a free 5GB, pay $0.99 per month for 20GB of space, or $3.99 a month for 200GB. The new options of 500GB and 1TB of storage are now available for $9.99 and $19.99 a month, respectively. Those plans, however, are already more costly compared to Dropbox and Google Drive's services, which offers a terabyte for $9.99. Those prices on top of the scrutiny iCloud has received recently over Celebgate make it unclear what kind of adoption Apple can expect when iCloud Drive officially drops alongside iOS and OS X Yosemite.
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Apple truly had one of its biggest events in years at the Flint Center earlier today. But one of the best parts of these unveilings is always the videos the company produces for its new and improved products. With two new iPhones and the Apple Watch to build up hype for — along with a new U2 album to get excited about — Apple made no fewer than nine new spots. Watch them all here.
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Admittedly, it's early; the three products were just announced. But some people have already made up their minds. If you're one of them (or haven't decided) cast a vote here.
Apple announced its first wearable today, the new Apple Watch. It's packed with a lot of features, including voice controls, tight integration with the iPhone, custom notifications, and support for Apple Pay, the company's new payments platform. It's going to be available next year starting at $349.Read Article >
Update: Read our Apple Watch review.
Sep 9, 2014
Today's event offered Apple fans a lot to get excited about: a new kind of watch, a huge iPhone and a new way to pay for things, for a start. But there was one topic where the company stayed almost completely silent. Just a week after attackers penetrated iCloud, stealing private photos from the service’s most famous users, Apple made no reference to new security features, or plans to lock down its massive infrastructure.Read Article >
Rumors have been flying for the better part of the week, and now it's confirmed — Tim Cook just name-dropped U2 on stage and the band is jumping on stage now to perform a new song entitled "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" from its brand-new album Songs of Innocence. After performing, Bono joked that the band has made "several albums" in the last few years but hadn't made one that it felt was worth releasing — until today.Read Article >
Now, the band is using Apple's event to officially announce Songs of Innocence — and the band is releasing it today, exclusively on iTunes, for free. It's very much like Beyonce's surprise album release last December, though with the notable difference that it is for free. If you have an iTunes Store account, it'll show up today in 119 countries, and it'll be exclusive to iTunes and Beats Music through October 13th. Anyone who signs up to the iTunes Store in the next five weeks will receive a copy, as well. Indeed, the album is already showing up in the "purchased" section of iTunes users just moments after the announcement.
Sep 9, 2014
A big iPhone, mobile payments, and a smartwatch -- Apple has finally delivered on three of its most longstanding promises about the future of its mobile business. The 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is now accompanied by the 5.5-inch 6 Plus, and both models come with NFC and the “Apple Pay” tap-to-pay system. And the Apple Watch is ready to compete with Google’s Android Wear, with a range of customizable designs and a completely new interface.Read Article >
Update: Read our Apple Watch review.
One of the unanswered questions of the just announced Apple Watch was this: How would people communicate with such a small screen? Now we have the answer: with "digital touch," a program that encourages communication without words.Read Article >
Rather than attempting to, say, text a message on the watch, you can tap a message: the watch can detect when you push its pressure sensors, then buzz the device of the person you're talking to accordingly.
Sep 9, 2014
The just-unveiled Apple Watch will launch early next year starting at $349. It's the first truly new breakout product for Apple since the iPad in 2010, and the company revealed it in grand fashion today. Apple's take on the smartwatch features a radically new user interface primarily controlled by what the company calls its "Digital Crown," a knob on the side of the Apple Watch that allows users to magnify content, scroll down lists, make selections, and return to the home screen without touching or obstructing the screen. Naturally, you'll need an iPhone to use it.Read Article >
Available in a variety of sizes incorporating different materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and 18-karat gold, the Apple Watch also features a flexible Retina display that's better at recognizing touch input. Apple says the watch can be customized in "millions" of ways, and the software puts a focus on communicating in "more intimate" ways: you're able to share personal details like your heartbeat with others (they'll even feel your heartbeat via vibrations from their own watch), or fire off whimsical sketches to fellow Apple Watch wearers. Apple is also making a huge fitness push with new apps like Activity and Workout. But other Apple mainstays like Siri and support for messages, Apple Maps, and other features are also built in.
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The new Activity and Workout apps for the new Apple Watch uses a variety of onboard sensors to measure your movement and heart rate, and even your GPS location with some help from your iPhone. "The Activity app monitors movement throughout the day," says Apple. "The Workout app tracks dedicated workouts."
Apple now has an entirely new category of device on its hands with the Apple Watch, meaning it'll need a robust group of third-party developers working to power it. Apple's always been the best at roping in high-profile teams, and now the first round of its new partnerships is here, powered by the company's special developer program for the watch: WatchKit.Read Article >
The company reeled off a long list of third-party partnerships as part of the announcement. The third-party apps include social: you can check your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in a watch-optimized format using the system. Those were expected; some others were less so. You'll also be able to find your car using a BMW app, check out scores with the MLB app, and even control the temperature in your home with a Honeywell app.If you're heading out on a run, you can tell friends with a Nike app. If you'd rather fly, there's an American Airlines app that works by touch.
One of the most distinct elements of the new Apple Watch is a set of four rings built into its backside, but they're hardly there for style: inside those four rings are sensors that the Apple Watch uses to measure its wearer's pulse. The sensors include infrared and visible-light LEDS in addition to photosensors, which all work together to detect heart rate. Using that information, Apple says that it can begin to put together a comprehensive look at a person's daily activity.Read Article >
Though Apple is putting a focus on these four rear heart-rate sensors, there's a bit more than that at play. There's an accelerometer inside the watch that's likely used for tracking movement. And since the watch is connected to an iPhone, it also uses the phone's Wi-Fi and GPS data to see where you're going. There's a whole suit of health features built in as well, giving wearer's fitness goals and telling them how many calories they've burned.
After such a long wait for just one iWatch, Apple has surprised everyone by revealing two new wearable devices. The two new Apple Watch models have the same design and offer the same features, but are available in two sizes, one 38mm (small) and one 42mm (large). Apple Watch will start at $349 when it is available for purchase early next year.Read Article >
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Apple is showing off a video full of details on the long-anticipated Apple Watch, and it sounds like the company is bringing wireless charging to one of its mobile products for the first time. The Apple Watch will use a MagSafe-style wireless charger — it's inductive and magnetically snaps right on to the back of the Watch. It appears to work pretty much like any other wireless charger out there, but it's still a nice feature to include on a device that you'll probably need to charge every day. Apple hasn't mentioned battery life for its Watch just yet, but with a bright and colorful screen like Apple is showing off, it'll likely need to charged on the regular.
Apple just announced that its new Watch will sport a high-quality sapphire Retina display that serves as a touchscreen and can detect force, a new paradigm for interfaces on wearables that pervades the entire UI. Apple touted the capabilities of the new screen during the announcement, saying the device can determine between a tap and a press.Read Article >
Apple VP Kevin Lynch demoed the device onstage, explaining the new Force Touch feature. Force touches are essentially new gestures that allow the user to better customize the device and dive deeper into the interface. It's a new idea, and we're curious how intuitive it is in practice.
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For the first time since the death of Steve Jobs, Tim Cook took the stage and let himself say Jobs' signature line: "One more thing." The phrase was said moments before the new Apple Watch reveal — probably the biggest new device since Jobs' death — and clearly signals that the company is finally willing to let the Jobs legacy lie. Indeed, the company has been bolder and more daring this year, and their willingness to have more fun was present today. Here's to the new Apple.
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We can finally lay months of rumors and speculation to rest. The iWatch is real and it's called the Apple Watch. Tim Cook describes it as the next chapter in Apple's history. It's a "comprehensive health and fitness device," says Cook, much as it was expected, but it's also "an extremely precise and customizable timepiece." It is the most personal device that Apple's ever created. The key innovation that Apple is touting is a breakthrough in input mechanics, using a Digital Crown on the Watch that can scroll, zoom, and navigate the user interface without obstructing the display.
As is always the case when Apple launches new iPhones, the lower end of the company's product offerings is getting shuffled around. Rather than update the controversial iPhone 5C, Apple has decided to slot that in as a free offering (with 8GB of storage, down from the 16GB it launched with), while the iPhone 5S now occupies its place at the $99 price point (both with a two-year contract, of course). It's probably the most logical thing Apple could have done with its increasingly complicated iPhone lineup — the iPhone 5C is essentially 2012's iPhone 5, and Apple has traditionally put its two-year-old phones in the free price slot.Read Article >
Keeping the iPhone 5S around at the $99 price point serves a few smart purposes — it gives customers a premium-quality iPhone with a smaller screen, should the iPhone 6 be too large, and it also helps the proliferation of Touch ID-enabled devices. As for storage, Apple hasn't released details — but it does seem like it'll continue to offer a few different capacity options for the 5S. We'll find out more once Apple's website is back up.