posted 21 days ago on mac rumors
Apple confirmed that all three editions of the Apple Watch will ship with 8GB of internal storage, according to 9to5Mac. Apple Watch users will be limited to up to 2GB of music and up to 75MB of photos that is locally stored on the device and can be listened to or viewed without a paired iPhone. Songs can be synced using the Apple Watch companion app on compatible iPhones running iOS 8.2 or later. 2GB of music works out to anywhere from 200 to 500 songs depending on the audio quality, while the report claims that 75MB of photos will equal to over 100 photos that are automatically compressed for reduced file size on the Apple Watch. A portion of the remaining storage capacity is likely allocated to the Apple Watch's operating system, and will store application binaries and resources when a native SDK is released. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Griffin Announces Charging 'WatchStand' for Apple Watch • LaCie Announces First USB-C External Hard Drive Supporting New MacBook • Fandango Announces Apple Watch Movie Ticket App • The Apple Watch Battery Will Be Replaceable • Apple Issues Security Updates Fixing 'FREAK' Security Flaw • Apple Watch Diagnostic Port Spotted in Apple Promo Videos • Apple Offering AppleCare+ With Accidental Damage Coverage on Apple Watch • Compare Actual Size Apple Watch Models in Apple Store App

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
While Apple discounted the Apple TV to $69 in the United States this afternoon, it also raised the prices on several products across many countries due to the strength of the U.S. dollar. A wide selection of Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt Display, are now more expensive in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Portugal and multiple other countries to reflect currency adjustments. Apple now charges up to $3,049 for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro in Canada A spot check of the Apple Online Store in Canada, for example, reveals that Apple has increased the price of the unlocked iPhone 6 from between $749-$969 to $839-$1,099, Thunderbolt Displays from $999 to $1,199, and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros from between $2,099-$2,699 to $2,449-$3,049. Apple also hiked the price on the 15-inch MacBook Pro in France, with the base model now starting at €2,249 up from €1,999, and the higher-spec model up to €2,799 from €2,499. Apple has made similar price adjustments in countries around the world today in order to ensure parity with United States pricing, following a period in which several Apple products were actually priced at a bargain compared to American prices. For instance, prior to the pricing adjustment, the Thunderbolt Display retailed for $999 in Canada, the same price as in the United States, which converts to around $799 in U.S. dollars based on the average conversion rate over the past month. The updated prices went into effect following the return of the Apple Online Store at the conclusion of Apple's "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco this afternoon. Should the U.S. dollar weaken, as happened in July 2011, Apple will continue to make the necessary adjustments in order to ensure that its products and services are as consistently priced as possible throughout the world. In some cases, international prices will remain higher than U.S. prices as a buffer against currency fluctuations. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Issues Security Updates Fixing 'FREAK' Security Flaw • Apple Watch Diagnostic Port Spotted in Apple Promo Videos • Apple Offering AppleCare+ With Accidental Damage Coverage on Apple Watch • Compare Actual Size Apple Watch Models in Apple Store App • USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for New MacBook Includes HDMI and USB 3.1 Connectors • Apple Updates iMovie for Mac With Photos for OS X Integration • Gold Apple Watch Edition Costs Between $10,000 to $17,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch Pricing: $549 to $1049 (38mm), $599 to $1099 (42mm)

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
We got several hands-on first impressions of the Apple Watch following its September debut, but at that time, finished versions of the Apple Watch with fully functional software were not available. As of today, members of the press are getting their first look at Apple Watches running near-complete versions of Watch OS, and several sites have shared new tidbits and thoughts on the device, which we've rounded up below. TechnoBuffalo's Jon Rettinger tested the aluminum Apple Watch Sport, Apple's most affordable watch, giving a demo of the device's software. A hard press on the screen brings up different watch faces, each of which can be customized, as Tim Cook described during today's event. In a second video, TechnoBuffalo takes a look at the design of the Apple Watch Sport, giving a close up of the backside of the watch and what it looks like on the wrist. Mashable's Lance Ulanoff says all of the different Apple Watch versions "feel good to the touch" and that there's not much difference in the display between the Apple Watch Sport with Ion-X glass and the Apple Watch with sapphire crystal. He also has good information on the fit, which is comfortable despite its protruding back.Apple Watch is not curved to your wrist. In fact, the back bulges out over so slightly to make sure the sensors touch the wrist. This didn't look like it would be comfortable, but it was -- completely. I also got to try a number of different bands. I think the rubbery sports bands are fine, but not my favorite -- they certainly make sense for the more active set. I like leather and metal options, most of which employ some sort of magnet to clasp and even adjust sizing.TechCrunch's Darrell Etherington says that the Apple Watch system software is "expectedly intuitive." The Digital Crown takes a bit of time to adjust to, but ultimately, it "makes as much sense" navigation wise as the iPod's clickwheel. Touch input is "fast and responsive." The camera remote, which allows the Apple Watch to control the iPhone's camera, is described as "especially clever" because it gives photographers a way to capture group shots and timed shots. Re/code's Jason Del Rey has a detailed look at how Apple Pay will work on the Apple Watch. Apple Pay users will need an iPhone that links to the Apple Watch to share payment information from the iPhone. The Apple Watch does not store card or account information, using a placeholder code instead.First, you need to own an iPhone -- a 6, 6 Plus or a 5, 5C or 5S to use Apple Pay with the Apple Watch. Watch owners have to open the Apple Watch app on their iPhone, which Apple is installing on phones as part of an iOS software update. Once the Apple Watch app is open, you tap the Passbook and Apple Pay option in the app to add a credit or debit card to be used for in-store payments using the Apple Watch.A passcode is required for setting up Apple Pay with the Apple Watch, and it has to be re-entered every time the watch is put back on after being removed to unlock Apple Pay. A payment is made by tapping the side of the Apple Watch twice and holding it near a payment terminal. According to Re/code, it does not look like users must have their iPhones with them to make payments with the Apple watch after linking. Several small details on the Apple Watch have also been shared by Apple on its updated Apple Watch pages. The Apple Watch, for example, has a water resistance rating of IPX7 according to a footnote on the page, meaning its splash and water resistant but it is not waterproof. It can be worn during exercise, in the rain, and while washing your hands, but submerging it is not recommended. An Apple Watch apps page on Apple's site shows off a range of apps that were demoed during the event and some that weren't, giving a quick look at some of the things the Apple Watch will be able to do. With the SPG Hotel app, Starwood hotel visitors can use the Apple Watch to unlock their rooms, and with the American Airlines app, Apple Watch owners can get their boarding passes right on their wrists. The Nike+ Running app displays distance, duration, and pace on the Apple Watch, while the Instagram app allows users to browse their feeds, like photos, and leave emoji comments. Shazam will identify songs, Dark Sky will let users know the chances of rain or snow, and the NYTimes Apple Watch app will offer headlines and breaking news. iOS 8.2, released today, includes an Apple Watch companion app that has some information on Apple Watch setup. The Apple Watch will quickly connect to an iPhone using the camera. You just need to hold the Apple Watch up to the camera and align the watch display with the view finder. From there, the Apple Watch App Store is accessible, but it has yet to be populated with apps. It is not possible to delete the Apple Watch app from the iPhone in iOS 8.2. Image via iPhone Hacks The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order beginning on April 10. Apple will also begin allowing customers to test the device in its retail stores on that date. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Offering AppleCare+ With Accidental Damage Coverage on Apple Watch • Compare Actual Size Apple Watch Models in Apple Store App • USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for New MacBook Includes HDMI and USB 3.1 Connectors • Apple Updates iMovie for Mac With Photos for OS X Integration • Gold Apple Watch Edition Costs Between $10,000 to $17,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch Pricing: $549 to $1049 (38mm), $599 to $1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport Pricing: $349 (38mm) to $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now]

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Following today's "Spring Forward" media event, Apple allowed members of the media in attendance to get some hands-on time with the brand-new 12-inch Retina MacBook. Many sites are now sharing their first impressions of the notebook, which includes an incredibly thin design (13.1mm), a revamped trackpad, a Core M processor, silent operation thanks to the lack of a fan, an edge-to-edge keyboard, and a single USB-C port. We've gathered up some of the initial thoughts below to give our readers an introductory look at what to expect from the new MacBook. To begin with, TechnoBuffalo has a hands-on video of the 12-inch Macbook, which gives a good look at the various features of the device, including the edge-to-edge keyboard, the Touchpad, and the new USB-C port. It also gives us a clear picture of just how thin the new MacBook is. Engadget's Dana Wollman says the new MacBook at 2 pounds "makes the Air feel like a heavy old thing." Wollman was initially skeptical of the new keyboard, which has keys with less travel, but ultimately found that the keys are "still springy."Though the buttons are indeed flat, and though they aren't cushy, they are still springy. They pop back up when I hit them. That means I can type at a gingerly pace and know that for the most part, I won't miss a key, and that most of my button presses will register. If this were another machine, I might unconsciously start mashing the buttons, just to make sure I don't have to go back and re-type anything. I was prepared to do that here, but quickly felt my hands relax once I realized they didn't actually need to work that hard. Again, though, there could still be a learning curve for those of you upgrading from an older MacBook.Image via Engadget The Verge's Dieter Bohn says the new MacBook is "ridiculously thin and so light" that he didn't believe it when he picked it up. He was impressed with the "insanely thin" 2304 x 1440 display. The trackpad, he says, is accurate, but Force Click is "far from intuitive" and that it will take him some time to get used to it.You press down hard and keep pressing through the click, as though you were karate chopping with you finger and trying to hit a target behind the trackpad. Do that and you'll feel a subtle second click happen, and ta-da you've activated force click. For the company that famously refused to put more than one button on the mouse, putting an extra interaction like this on the trackpad seems weird.Gizmodo's Sean Hollister was also impressed with the lightness of the new MacBook, writing "it felt like I was holding nothing at all. It's so light," but he went on to say that the notebook is "not completely lovable" due to the MacBook's keys, which are too thin. The screen, though, is "gorgeous" and he loved the new Force Touch trackpad.Apple's new Force Touch pad sounded a little bit gimmicky during the announcement... but I love it. I love it so much. Not because it's easy to press like the laptop buttons of yesteryear--it's not--but because it's so smart. Forget copy and pasting text when you want to look up an address or add events to a calendar: Mac OS is now smart enough to do those things automatically the moment you push down on the trackpad. You just physically push down harder--the sensitivity's adjustable--to take an action on what looks like plain text on the web or even in a text document, and boom, you're getting shit done.Image via Gizmodo SlashGear's Chris Burns calls the display "incredible" with huge viewing angles and crisp, clean details. Burns highlights the single USB-C port on the MacBook, which is the only port on the device. It handles all necessary functions like charging and USB input. He also points out that the FaceTime camera on the MacBook is only 480p, lower quality than Apple's other notebooks. Image via SlashGear Wired's David Pierce says the MacBook is "amazingly sturdy" for being so thin, and its screen is "lovely."Everything about the MacBook is about beauty, whether it's the single USB-C port on the left side--the only port on the entire device save for a headphone jack on the right--or the new Gold, Space Gray, and Silver colors. The Gold is actually much more handsome than gaudy, but the Space Gray is my favorite of the options. It's dark and sleek, fitting for a device that's so, so very thin.Like the other reviewers, Pierce was not impressed with the MacBook's keys, which he says he "immediately hated." The MacBook, he says, runs "quite well" for a device that uses an ultra low power Core M processor. Apple's new MacBook will be available for purchase beginning on April 10. The 256GB base model with a 1.1GHz Core M processor and 8GB of RAM is priced at $1,299, while the upgraded model with a 1.2GHz Core M processor, 512GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM is priced at $1,599. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Compare Actual Size Apple Watch Models in Apple Store App • USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for New MacBook Includes HDMI and USB 3.1 Connectors • Apple Updates iMovie for Mac With Photos for OS X Integration • Gold Apple Watch Edition Costs Between $10,000 to $17,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch Pricing: $549 to $1049 (38mm), $599 to $1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport Pricing: $349 (38mm) to $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Now that Apple's "Spring Forward" media event has wrapped up, the company has posted a full video of the event on its website, which viewers can watch at their leisure. During the event, Apple shared several product videos, which it has now uploaded to YouTube. There are dedicated videos on the new MacBook, each of the Apple Watch models, the new West Lake, China Apple Store, and more. A full list of videos is below. - The New MacBook - Design - The New MacBook - Reveal - Apple Watch + Christy Turlington Burns - Apple Watch - The Watch Reimagined - Apple Watch Sport -Aluminum - Apple Watch - Steel - Apple Watch Edition - Gold - ResearchKit - how iPhone is transforming medical research - West Lake, China - Apple Store Opening Along with the videos, you can also check out our full list of media event highlights below, featuring all of MacRumors event coverage. - Live Coverage of Apple's March 2015 'Spring Forward' Event - HBO and Apple Announce 'HBO Now' Exclusively for Apple TV, Apple Devices - Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69 - Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research - Apple Announces 12-Inch Retina MacBook With Revamped Trackpad, Starting at $1,299 - MacBook Air and 13″ Retina MacBook Pro Updated to Improve Speed and Battery Life - Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch - Apple Watch Sport to cost $349 (38mm) and $399 (42mm) - Stainless Steel Apple Watch Pricing: $549 to $1049 (38mm), $599 to $1099 (42mm) - Gold Apple Watch Edition Costs Between $10,000 to $17,000, Available in Limited Quantities - Apple Watch Launches April 24, Price Ranges From $349 to Over $10,000 - Apple Watch Bands Range in Price from $49 for the Sport Band to $449 for the Link Bracelet - Apple Watch Battery Life: 18 Hours Mixed Usage, Up to 72 Hours on Power Reserve - USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for New MacBook Includes HDMI and USB 3.1 Connectors Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for New MacBook Includes HDMI and USB 3.1 Connectors • Apple Updates iMovie for Mac With Photos for OS X Integration • Gold Apple Watch Edition Costs Between $10,000 to $17,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch Pricing: $549 to $1049 (38mm), $599 to $1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport Pricing: $349 (38mm) to $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Amid all of the excitement over the 12-inch MacBook and new pricing details on the Apple Watch, Billboard has shared some new information on Apple's rumored music service. Initial rumors suggested Apple was hoping to undercut competing services like Spotify on price, offering its upcoming music service for $7.99, but according to Billboard, music labels are said to be highly resistant to pricing under the industry standard of $9.99. Due to labels' insistence on the $9.99 price point, Apple is said to have backed down from its aggressive $7.99 pricing goal, suggesting the service may cost subscribers $9.99 per month instead of $7.99 per month.Negotiations for Apple's upcoming subscription service are evidence labels are standing firm on pricing. Industry sources say Apple has backed down from its effort to lower monthly pricing for its subscription service to $7.99 from $9.99. Apple would have to absorb the loss if it sets a price lower than the standard $9.99.Apple may not be able to offer a lower price point than competing services, but industry insiders that spoke to Billboard have suggested that Apple is talking to artists and labels about exclusives for key releases that will help it stand out from the competition. Limited details are available on Apple's new subscription music service, but it's said to be a complete rebranding of the company's existing Beats Music service. It is rumored to be directly integrated into iTunes and it will be platform agnostic -- available on iOS and on Android, through a dedicated Android app Apple is building. Recent rumors have suggested that Apple will launch its revamped streaming music service in June, during the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter for New MacBook Includes HDMI and USB 3.1 Connectors • Apple Updates iMovie for Mac With Photos for OS X Integration • Gold Apple Watch Edition Costs Between $10,000 to $17,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch Pricing: $549 to $1049 (38mm), $599 to $1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport Pricing: $349 (38mm) to $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has outlined specific information about Apple Watch battery life on its website, claiming that the wrist-worn device gets all-day battery life of 18 hours on a single charge based on mixed usage, and up to 72 hours in Power Reserve mode. The battery testing was conducted in March using a preproduction Apple Watch paired with an iPhone running preproduction software. Apple claims that the Apple Watch has a battery life of up to 3 hours for talk time, 6.5 hours for audio playback over Bluetooth, up to 7 hours during a workout session with the heart rate sensor on and up to 48 hours for timekeeping. Apple Watch charging times are listed as about 1.5 hours from 0% to 80% and 2.5 hours from 0% to 100% using the included MagSafe inductive charger. Apple's claim of all-day battery life is based on using the Apple Watch for 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback via Bluetooth over the course of 18 hours. Apple used a 38mm Apple Watch for testing and claims that the 42mm will generally experience longer battery life. Additional magnetic chargers are available on Apple's bands and accessories page, costing $29 for a 1-meter cable and $39 for a 2-meter cable. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Gold Apple Watch Edition Pricing Starts at $10,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch to Cost Between $549-$1049 (38mm), $599-$1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport to Cost $349 (38mm) and $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69 • HBO and Apple Announce 'HBO Now' Exclusively for Apple TV • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Following today's "Spring Forward" media event where Apple shared additional details on the Apple Watch, the company has a new online storefront that details the prices of all of the different Apple Watch combinations and individual bands. As predicted, Apple is selling the Apple Watch in pre-configured arrangements, but the company is also offering bands on a standalone basis. The entry-level aluminum Apple Watch sport pricing starts at $349 for a 38mm model with an included sport band, while the 42mm model is priced at $399. Standalone Sport bands are priced at $49 across the board, and are available in Black w/ Space Gray pin, Black, White, Pink, Blue, and Green. The Apple Watch Sport is only available pre-configured with Sport bands. Each Apple Watch Sport band purchase actually comes with two bands: one Small-Medium band and one Medium-Large band. Pricing for the middle tier stainless steel Apple Watch starts at $549 for a 38mm stainless steel case with a Sport Band and maxes out at $1,099 for a 42mm Space Black Case with Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet. The standard Apple Watch ships with a range of bands, which are also available individually at varying prices. The Modern Buckle band, only available for the 38mm Apple Watch, is priced at $249 and is available in three sizes and three colors: Brown, Black, Soft Pink, Midnight Blue. The Leather Loop can only be purchased for the 42mm Apple Watch and is priced at $149. It's available in Stone, Light Brown, Black, and Bright Blue. The Classic Buckle, available for both the 38 and 42mm Apple Watch, is also priced at $149. Each of Apple's leather bands is available in multiple sizes, and a guide on how all of the Apple Watch versions fit on the wrist can be found on Apple's site [PDF]. The Milanese Loop, available in both 38 and 42mm configurations, is priced at $149, while the Link Bracelet, also available in 38 and 42mm configurations, is Apple's most expensive watch band at $449. The priciest Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition, starts at $10,000 with a White Sport Band that includes gold accents. The highest-priced Apple Watch Edition is the 42mm 18-karat Yellow Gold version with a Midnight Blue Classic Buckle that also includes gold accents. All of the Apple Watch Edition models appear to include special bands with gold accents that are not available individually at this time. Apple is also selling standalone MagSafe chargers for the Apple Watch. A 1m charger and cable is available for $29, while a 2m charger and cable is available for $39. The Apple Watch will be available for pre-order beginning on April 10. Apple will also have in-store displays that allow people to try on the Apple Watch in its retail stores on that date. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Gold Apple Watch Edition Pricing Starts at $10,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch to Cost Between $549-$1049 (38mm), $599-$1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport to Cost $349 (38mm) and $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69 • HBO and Apple Announce 'HBO Now' Exclusively for Apple TV • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple announced on Monday that the Apple Watch will be available in nine countries beginning April 24, with pre-orders starting on April 10. The first wave launch countries include the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and United Kingdom. Apple Watch will be available for purchase by reservation at Apple Stores, online and at select authorized resellers in China and Japan.“Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before.” Apple Watch Sport will cost $349 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model, the stainless steel Apple Watch will range between $549 to $1099, and the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will cost over $10,000. Customers will be able to preview and try on the Apple Watch by booking an appointment at the Apple Store, or by visiting Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo or Selfridges in London on April 10. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Gold Apple Watch Edition Pricing Starts at $10,000, Available in Limited Quantities • Stainless Steel Apple Watch to Cost Between $549-$1049 (38mm), $599-$1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport to Cost $349 (38mm) and $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Updated to Beef Up Processing, Battery Life, and More • Apple Announces Next-Generation MacBook Starting at $1299 • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday at the “Spring Forward” media event in San Francisco announced that the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition will cost upwards of $10,000, and will be available in limited quantities. At the low end of Apple Watch Edition pricing, the 38mm 18-Karat Rose Gold Case with White Sport Band costs $10,000, and at the high end is the 38mm 18-Karat Yellow Gold Case with Bright Red Modern Buckle for $17,000. Follow the rest of our March 2015 event coverage for the latest information. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Stainless Steel Apple Watch to Cost Between $549-$1049 (38mm), $599-$1099 (42mm) • Apple Watch Sport to Cost $349 (38mm) and $399 (42mm) • Apple to Release iOS 8.2 Today With Support for Upcoming Apple Watch [Update: Out Now] • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69 • HBO and Apple Announce 'HBO Now' Exclusively for Apple TV • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream • Apple Extends iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program Until 2016

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Following the announcement of the brand new line of MacBooks, Apple today revealed a slight update to its MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro lines. Both the 11" and 13" MacBook Air models will be upgraded to 5th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, Thunderbolt 2, and Intel HD Graphics 6000. The 13" model will be getting 2x faster flash. Today the popular 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, 11-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Air all received significant upgrades,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest processors, more powerful graphics, faster flash, longer battery life and the all-new Force Touch trackpad. We’re also bringing the latest processors and graphics, and faster Thunderbolt 2 to the 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air, as well as up to two times faster flash to the 13-inch MacBook Air.”The 13" MacBook Pro will receive the brand new Force Touch trackpad introduced on the new MacBook today at the Spring Forward event. Other new additions to the Pro lineup include: 5th-gen Core i5 and i7 processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 3.4 GHz, 2x faster flash, "faster integrated" Intel Iris Graphics 6100, and an improved 10-hour battery life. There was no mention of an update to the 15" MacBook Pro line at today's event. The updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines can be purchased starting today on Apple's online store, Apple's retail stores, and various Apple authorized retailers. Follow the rest of our March 2015 event coverage for the latest Apple Watch information. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69 • HBO and Apple Announce 'HBO Now' Exclusively for Apple TV • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream • Apple Extends iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program Until 2016 • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
At today's "Spring Forward" media event, Apple announced its much-anticipated ultra thin 12-inch MacBook, with prices starting at $1,299. The new notebook, which features a 12-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2304 x 1440, offers a full Mac experience in the lightest and thinnest Mac form factor to date The 12-inch MacBook is separate from the company's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines. It weighs 2 pounds and is 24 percent thinner than the existing MacBook Air at 13.1mm. It's available in three iPhone and iPad-style colors: gold, silver, and space gray. With the new MacBook, Apple has introduced a redesigned keyboard, featuring a new butterfly mechanism for the keys to make them both more stable and more precise. The edge-to-edge keyboard offers keys with 17 percent more surface area and a redesigned feel. "Apple has reinvented the notebook with the new MacBook, and at just two pounds and 13.1 mm, it's the thinnest and lightest Mac ever," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Every component of the MacBook reveals a new innovation. From its fanless design, ultra-thin Retina display and full-size keyboard that’s 34 percent thinner, to its all-new Force Touch trackpad, versatile USB-C port and breakthrough terraced battery design, the new MacBook is the future of the notebook."Apple's new MacBook also includes a completely revamped trackpad, with built-in Force Touch. Force Touch can detect the amount of pressure placed on the trackpad, introducing a whole range of gestures. For example, a hard press using Force Touch brings up a Map in mail, or a Wikipedia entry in Safari, much like right clicking does now. The trackpad also includes haptic Feedback, letting get tactile feedback from the trackpad when using it. The trackpad is customizable, letting users choose how much pressure is required to initiate a force press. The 12-inch MacBook uses an Intel Core-M processor that starts at 1.1GHz with Intel HD 5300 graphics. It has entirely silent operation because it's the first MacBook to use a completely fanless design. Internally, the logic board is 67 percent smaller than the logic board in the MacBook Air, and Apple's designed new custom-shaped batteries for the device to eke out as much battery life as possible. According to Apple, the new MacBook has an "all-day battery" life at 9 hours of web browsing and 10 hours of iTunes movie playback. To allow for its ultra thin design, Apple has used a single USB-C port in the MacBook, which combines several functions into a one port: power, USB data transfer, DisplayPort, HDMI, and VGA capabilities. The MacBook does not use the traditional MagSafe charging method that's available in other MacBooks. The entry-level MacBook is priced at $1,299 and includes a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage, and Intel HD graphics 5300. There's also a 1.2GHz version with 8GB of memory and 512GB of flash storage available for $1,599. There will be additional configure-to-order options as well. The new MacBook will begin shipping on Friday, April 10 through the Apple Online Store and from Apple retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple Announces 'ResearchKit' Aimed at Medical Research • Apple Lowers Price of Apple TV to $69 • HBO and Apple Announce 'HBO Now' Exclusively for Apple TV • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream • Apple Extends iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program Until 2016 • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Six months after the Apple Watch's unveiling, Apple's "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco today will give us final details on the device ahead of its launch next month. We could see a few other announcements as well, but given the tagline and timing of the event, the Apple Watch will undoubtedly be the focus of today's proceedings. The event is being held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and begins at 10:00 AM Pacific Time / 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Apple will be providing a live video stream on its website for Mac and iOS users and via Apple TV. Live Video Stream of Apple's March 2015 "Spring Forward" Media Event In addition, we will be updating this article with summary coverage and issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account as the event unfolds. Highlights and separate news stories regarding the event announcements will go out through our @MacRumors account. Got some extra rest for today's event. Slept in 'til 4:30.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) March 9, 2015 Apple's online stores around the world are currently down in advance of the event. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream • Apple Extends iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program Until 2016 • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Apple is shifting its retail strategy for the Apple Watch to deliver a more personalized shopping experience, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report claims that Apple Stores will accept in-store reservations for customers to try on the Apple Watch and corroborates that Apple is training its retail employees to help customers choose an Apple Watch model that suits them best. The report, citing sources familiar with the matter, adds that the high-end Apple Watch Edition will have scratch-resistant gold, which an in-depth analysis over the weekend revealed is because Apple mixes the metal with low-density ceramic particles. Apple is also said to have studied a platinum Apple Watch, but the model is unlikely to be announced Monday."The company has refined the smartwatch’s luxury features, making the gold in the Edition model scratch-resistant, according to people familiar with the matter," reports The Wall Street Journal. "It also has studied platinum watch casings, although the company isn’t expected to announce that on Monday, they said."Apple CEO Tim Cook, during a visit to the Covent Garden Apple Store in London last month, told retail employees that Apple has "never sold anything as a company that people could try on before." The chief executive added that "tweaking the experience in the store" will likely be a requirement when the wrist-worn device launches in April. It also appears likely that the Apple Watch will be exclusive to Apple Stores immediately following the product's launch, although for how long remains unknown. Follow the rest of our March 2015 event coverage for the latest Apple Watch information. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Apple's March 2015 Media Event: Spoiler-Free Video Stream • Apple Extends iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement Program Until 2016 • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer

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posted 22 days ago on mac rumors
Best Buy may not carry the Apple Watch when the wrist-worn device launches in April, according to Reuters. The report, citing sources with direct knowledge of the matter, corroborates speculation that Apple might control the Apple Watch sales experience, at least initially, by limiting the product to Apple Stores. Apple has been training its retail employees to deliver a more personalized shopping experience, as many customers will want to try on the various watch editions, faces and bands to determine which is best for them. Given that, it would make sense that Best Buy, and possibly other authorized resellers such as Walmart, Target and Sam's Club, might not immediately sell the Apple Watch. While large fashion retailers such as Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue in the United States confirmed no immediate plans to carry the Apple Watch, multiple high-end department stores in Europe will be showcasing the smartwatch when it launches. Last month, for example, sources told us that Apple is planning an Apple Watch pop-up shop at Selfridges in London near the iconic 19,000-square-foot Wonder Room. French department store Galeries Lafayette is also setting up an Apple Watch display in Paris."Other large retailers, including Macy's, Saks 5th Avenue, Bloomingdales and Barney's said they had no immediate plans to carry the watch. Target and Nordstrom,along with all the major phone carriers, declined to comment on their plans, though a source with knowledge of the situation said Nordstrom has engaged in discussions with Apple."Apple is expected to provide further details about the Apple Watch during today's "Spring Forward" media event. The keynote begins at 10 AM Pacific with a live video stream available on Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. MacRumors will also have full coverage of the event, with a live blog on our front page, news coverage and updates going out on our @MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Also follow and participate in the conversation in our discussion forums. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture'

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
The online Apple Store has been taken offline this morning less than five hours prior to Apple's highly-anticipated "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco, where the company is expected to unveil further details about the Apple Watch alongside other potential announcements. If history repeats itself, the storefront should remain down until shortly after the conclusion of Apple's keynote. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture'

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
With a few hours left to go before Apple's big "Spring Forward" media event, the company has once again unlocked the "Apple Events" channel on the Apple TV in preparation for the big event. Largely expected to be the central focus later today is the Apple Watch, given the Daylight Saving Time reference in the title of the event and the small amount of pricing and launch-related information known about the device so close to its rumored release date of April. Image via MacStories Other outlying possibilities include small refreshes of the 11" and 13" MacBook Air and the 13" Retina MacBook Pro. Less likely to be seen are the long-rumored 12" Retina MacBook Air, and even the recently-rumored iPad mini 4. Fans wanting to watch the event live can also use Apple's official website, the caveat as usual being users will need to be running Safari to stream the event. Apple points out that most any recent version of the software will run the stream, though those with older software may have trouble. Live streaming video requires Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 6.2 or later. Apple's "Spring Forward" event begins at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. MacRumors will be covering all aspects of the event, including a live blog and live tweets which can be followed on the MacRumors Live Twitter page. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture'

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
There are less than 24 hours to go until Apple's big "Spring Forward" Apple Watch event, where we're likely going to find out about Apple Watch pricing and get a solid launch date on the device. Leaks and details on the Apple Watch have been coming out at a rapid pace as we lead up to the event, so make sure to check out our Apple Watch Roundup for everything we currently know. Read the roundup Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture'

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posted 23 days ago on mac rumors
With just one day to go until Apple's "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco, there are still plenty of unknowns about what the company will be showing off beyond a focus on the Apple Watch. As a result, we've put together this summary of what we expect to see, what we might see, and what we probably won't see at the event. Apple Watch Given the time-related tagline of "Spring Forward" and today's start of Daylight Saving Time in the United States, it's clear the Apple Watch is the focus of tomorrow's event. We got a first look at the device last September, but now with just a month to go until launch, it's time for Apple to provide final details and shape the marketing message. Expect more details on launch dates and pricing of course, as well as some updates on performance aspects such as battery life. Also expect apps to play a significant role in the event, with Apple allowing a few developers to show off what they've been able to accomplish over the past few months since guidelines and developers tools for the device were made available. Pricing will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting topics to be covered, with the company so far refusing to disclose any information beyond a $349 starting price. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has made his final predictions, arguing the stainless steel Apple Watch collection will be more expensive than people think.[T]he steel Apple Watch, that’s something that most people still look at as for them. And so they expect the starting price to be around $500, and the various leather and metal band options to cost $100-300 more. But if the starting price for the steel Apple Watch is $500, I don’t see why Apple Watch Sport exists at $350. $150 difference does not justify the difference. If they were that close in price, there’d only be one of them. [...] With Sport and steel Apple Watches, everything you can see or touch is different. Different metal (aluminum vs. steel), different finishes (matte vs. highly-polished), different displays (glass vs. sapphire), different case backs (plastic vs. ceramic and sapphire).With that in mind, Gruber predicts the steel Apple Watch collection will start at $749 while the gold Apple Watch Edition collection starts at $7500. He expects Apple will charge a small premium for the 42mm size compared to the 38mm casing, and various band options will quickly drive up the cost of the steel and gold models. Gruber is of course only one voice among many who are speculating about pricing, but he offers a clear and thorough argument for his pricing predictions, serving as a solid basis for debate and discussion. Possibilities With the Apple Watch undoubtedly being the main attraction tomorrow, the question becomes just how much Apple is willing to have the watch share the spotlight with other announcements. Here are a few of the possibilities for additional announcements: 11" and 13" MacBook Air There have been rumors about an imminent update to the current MacBook Air line for several weeks now, and a leak from late last week claimed to share system information from a new 13-inch model and general details on the rest of the 13-inch lineup. The 11-inch MacBook Air would undoubtedly also receive an update, as it uses the same processors and other components as its larger sibling. The updates would be modest ones, involving a shift to Intel's latest Broadwell processors that were launched in January. General specs otherwise appear to be the same as the current generation, with 4 and 8 GB RAM options and 128/256/512 GB flash storage configurations. 13" Retina MacBook Pro While we haven't seen any specific claims of an imminent update to the Retina MacBook Pro lineup, there are a few signs that one could be coming, at least for the 13-inch portion of the family. As with the MacBook Air, Broadwell chips for the 13" Retina MacBook Pro were released in January, suggesting a release could come at any time. And on Friday, shipping estimates for all base configurations of the MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro in Apple's online store slipped from "in stock" to "1 business day". It's not much of a move, but with the change applying to a logical set of machines ready for possible updates and the delay coinciding with tomorrow's event, it's easy to speculate about an imminent refresh. Given that the MacBook Air and 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro updates are fairly minor, it's possible Apple could simply quietly update them without a mention at Monday's event. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is not yet ready for an update, as the higher-power Broadwell chips for that machine are not expected to launch until mid-year. 12" Retina MacBook Air It looks like this one needs to be filed away in the "possible but unlikely" category for the time being. Rumors of an even thinner MacBook Air with a 12-inch Retina display have been circulating for some time now, but the latest rumor says shipments of the machine from suppliers aren't scheduled to start until the second quarter. Rendering of 12-inch Retina MacBook Air Assuming this is accurate, Apple technically could introduce the machine at tomorrow's event but not begin shipping until next month when the new quarter starts. There appears, however, to be little reason for an early announcement that would have to share the limelight with the Apple Watch, and an April launch for the machine would also bump up against the Apple Watch debut. As a result, it appears more likely we'll see an unveiling of the Retina MacBook Air at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in early June, with shipping beginning shortly after to meet the "second quarter" timeframe. iPad mini Here's another one that should be considered unlikely: a new iPad mini 4. There's a single report of a possible update from Japanese site Mac Otakara, which has offered accurate information in the past, but even the report's author expresses skepticism about this one. The update would include a move to an A8 chip and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, bringing it more in line with the iPad Air 2's specs. In trying to justify the possibility of a mid-cycle update for the iPad mini, it's easy to look back to the introduction of the iPad mini 3 in October, which was viewed as a significant disappointment by many fans of the smaller tablet. Unlike the iPad Air 2, which received significant upgrades, the iPad mini 3 was unchanged from the iPad mini 2 with the exception of Touch ID and a new gold color option. Not Ready Yet Apple has a number of other major updates to its products and services in the works, according to rumors, but several prominent ones appear to not be ready for launch yet. The first is the so-called "iPad Pro", a 12.9-inch tablet that has been rumored for some time but yet to come to fruition. The latest report says Apple's internal timeline for the project has been pushed back due to difficulties with display production, and Apple is reportedly now looking to begin mass production in September, perhaps for launch in October as part of the company's usual iPad refresh event. Another topic of conversation has been Apple's plans for its Beats Music service acquired last year, with the company said to be working to revamp Beats and fold it into the iTunes brand. "Industry scuttlebutt" last year had indicated Apple was shooting to launch the revamped service around February, but it now appears a debut will come at WWDC in June. A revamped Apple TV has also been rumored to be in the works for quite some time, but does not yet appear to be ready for launch. Coverage Apple's media event kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time tomorrow, and the company will be offering a live video stream. MacRumors will also have full coverage of the event, with a live blog on our front page and updates going out on our @MacRumorsLive Twitter account. We'll also have specific coverage of tomorrow's announcements in separate news stories, and our forums are a great place for readers to discuss the announcement before, during, and after the event. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture'

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Back in January, WayTools, a company known for its high-quality NextEngine 3D laser scanner, surprised the world with a collapsible, magnetic keyboard unlike anything we had seen before. Called the TextBlade, the keyboard garnered a significant amount of attention from the media and from prospective buyers who were intrigued with its unique design. Commenters here on MacRumors and across the Internet were immediately curious about the TextBlade, and had several questions. How does it work? How easy is it to use? What's the learning curve? How does it feel? Today we're going to answer all of those questions and more. Yesterday, WayTools invited MacRumors to visit its headquarters in Santa Monica to get an exclusive hands-on first look at the TextBlade. We met with WayTools CEO Mark Knighton, and a group of engineers who helped develop the product to get details on how it works and to try it out for ourselves. Design The first thing that's important to know about the TextBlade is that its design, which is the culmination of years of work and experimentation, has been engineered to be completely different from any keyboard that's on the market today. According to Knighton, the company did not set out to develop a keyboard for the iPhone or the iPad, they set out to develop a keyboard that's a better experience, overall, than any available keyboard, mobile or desktop. Portability is one of the key qualities that dictated the design of the TextBlade. The team at WayTools firmly believes that an accessory designed for the iPad or the iPhone should be smaller than the device itself. The TextBlade is approximately 1/3 of the size of an iPhone and it weighs an ounce and a half, so it's barely noticeable in a shirt or pants pocket. The company adopted an 80/20 philosophy with the TextBlade: 80 percent of the time, most users don't need a keyboard for their iOS devices, but 20 percent of the time, it can be an invaluable accessory. For typing a quick text message, you can use the built-in keyboard, but it is nice to have something when you need to sit down and reply to 20 emails. For that reason, a keyboard should be hidden away and unobtrusive when it's not in use, but small enough to always carry and easy to pull out and set up when it's needed. Collapsed TextBlade keyboards Another major factor that influenced the development of the TextBlade is the hands. The WayTools team looked at the way that people use keyboards, how they hold their hands when typing, and deconstructed that to develop the optimal key spacing, keyboard size, letter placement, and more. According to Knighton:You start with this very humble principle -- the hands are the king of this. What is good for your hands, what feels good for your hands, must dictate this design. Assume you can do magic. What would you most want to do? You would want to have keys that are designed for your fingers.There are four components to the TextBlade -- a stand that holds an iPhone or an iPad, two blades that have a total of eight keys combined, and a space bar that houses the device's battery and 10 LEDs for notifications. Each of the eight keys supports several different features, a function that WayTools refers to as MultiLayering. For example, one of the keys houses the W, the S, and the X, but with a combination of button presses, users can also access numbers and symbols, such as "2" and "@", all from the same key. Combining multiple functions into a single set of keys means a user's finger has to travel less across the keyboard, translating into faster, more intuitive typing. A combination of magnets, sensing zones, and custom hardware inside each key allows the TextBlade to determine which letter is being pressed. There are also deeper editing tools and features built into the TextBlade. Holding down on "D" and "F" simultaneously enters an editing mode that lets users move the cursor by word, line, or letter via arrow keys to make edits entirely on the keyboard. Cut and paste tools are built in, as are undo/redo features that make changing and rearranging text a simple process. Activating the keyboard is done by clicking the two key blades together and then connecting them to the space bar, which turns on Bluetooth. With Bluetooth on, pairing with an iOS device is done like any other accessory, from the Bluetooth settings menu. Once paired, every time the TextBlade is snapped together, it will connect to the computer or iOS device it's paired with. When not in use, the TextBlade folds up onto itself, with each piece snapping together via magnets. The stand slides over the whole package, for a completely portable keyboard that's similar in size to a couple of packs of gum. The TextBlade's keys collapse down for a tight fit between all three pieces Technology Each component of the TextBlade has a built-in computer chip to power the MultiKey and MultiLayer features. The computer chips are networked and connected by magnets, which is what allows the TextBlade to function without any cords or circuits that bridge the different pieces together. Rare earth magnets are built into every key of the TextBlade and all of the magnets perform different functions, from allowing the pieces of the TextBlade to snap easily together to charging to facilitating communication between each piece. There are 23 magnets in the space bar alone, for example. The computer chips power sensing zones behind each key, allowing the TextBlade to accurately determine what letter you're pressing. A lot of data is collected with each key press -- in the screenshot below, an app shows the data that determines the press of the letter, the "U." While most keyboards use a scissor mechanism underneath keys to link a keycap to a plunger, WayTools uses a butterfly-like plastic piece that makes each key more stable. Combined with magnets and sensing zones powered by the aforementioned computer chips, the TextBlade is able to determine which letter or symbol is being pressed with extremely high accuracy, which is what allows one key to house multiple letters. Every component of the TextBlade, from the magnets, to the plastic butterflies, to the molds to form the batteries were developed from scratch by WayTools. There's no element of the design that uses pre-manufactured parts -- it's a completely custom build that's allowed the company to file for dozens of new patents while creating the TextBlade. Two of the blades of the TextBlade house keys, while the third component is the space bar. The space bar is home to a thin, non-replaceable lithium polymer battery and a set of 10 LEDs that are designed to give users immediate feedback on what they're doing at all times. LEDs let you know how much charge is left on the TextBlade and they let you know what mode you're in or what you're going to get next when you type. Two LEDs, for example, denotes "edit" mode, where the cursor can be moved around on the screen, and one lets you know shift is on. Hands-On With the TextBlade So, the answer to the biggest question people have on the TextBlade: Am I going to have to learn to use a keyboard all over again? The quick answer is no, but the longer answer is that there's a definite acclimatization period. The TextBlade is a QWERTY keyboard, so the design is immediately familiar, and the horizontal spacing is equal to or better than a full-sized keyboard at 19 to 20mm, but vertical spacing has been cut down to reduce the distance you need to reach to hit each key, so it's a different feel when typing. It also takes time to get used to the layered keys. We're used to raising our fingers up to hit numbers and symbols, and the motion to insert a number or a symbol is very different on the TextBlade, with a lot less finger movement. Some of the keys have been moved to provide a better typing experience, which also takes some getting used to. For example, the apostrophe has been moved closer because it's a key people use a lot. There's very little to learn because the general location of the keys is familiar, and there's no training to go through, but you have to get used to a different feel and you have to adjust your muscle memory. As described by WayTools engineer Pete DeLaurentis, the amount of time it takes people to get used to the TextBlade will vary depending on how they type.It depends a lot on whether they float or use home row. What you'll find with a lot of programmers, for example, is they'll float with their right hand because if you're a programmer, you have a lot of symbols you need to get to. You can't get them all with your pinky, so most programmers float with their right hand. I had this thing where the left hand I got right away but the right hand took me a while because I usually kept my right hand hovering above the keyboard. You have to have a much better sense of the map in your head when you float. For people who just traditionally touch type from home row, it's very fast.During the time that we had with the TextBlade, we were not able to pick it up and type at full speed because of the need to get used to the movements, but over the course of a half an hour of typing, our speed and familiarity with the keyboard did noticeably improve. In our estimation, a day or two of regular typing with the TextBlade would give users enough familiarity with the design to type at a reasonable speed. According to Knighton, there are two milestones with the TextBlade -- typing faster than you can type on an iOS device and typing faster than you can on a traditional keyboard. Most people, he says, can reach that first milestone in days. Watching the employees at WayTools type on the TextBlade was fascinating, because it gave a look at what's possible when one becomes familiar with the layout of the keys. Their fingers hardly moved on the keyboard -- there was no reaching or flailing about to hit symbols or numbers. There was very little hand movement, but we watched them type as quickly as they could on a regular keyboard. Though there are only eight keys on the TextBlade keyboard, it's easy to distinguish between each letter because of the generous spacing (which matches a desktop keyboard) and the TextBlade did not have trouble determining which letter or symbol we were typing. The spacing was suitable for all hand sizes -- we didn't have an issue reaching any of the keys, and WayTools tested with a variety of hand sizes from large to small. Spacing on TextBlade keyboard compared to Apple keyboard spacing As for key feel, this is an area where the TextBlade excels. Keys felt solid and had a good amount of give when pressed. There's a solid "thunk" when pressing down on a key that's very satisfying thanks to a 2.0mm stroke, and the feel is similar to high-end mechanical desktop keyboards. Most keyboards have an actuation force of 55 grams to register a key press, as does the TextBlade. With the space bar, people prefer slightly less force, so it has an actuation force of 45 grams. The amount of force that is required to press a key can be updated at any time by TextBlade, to meet customer demand. One of the neatest things about the TextBlade is that because you don't need to move your fingers across the keyboard as much, a person can potentially type even faster than they're able to with a standard keyboard. A second benefit is that it feels more comfortable on the wrists because there's no angling upwards to reach keys. Some people have wondered about the angled design of the TextBlade when it snaps together. According to WayTools, this was done for ergonomic reasons. It's designed to match the rest position that people use when resting their arms on a table. When placing our arms on a table, most of us angle our elbows outwards rather than holding our arms straight. In this angled position, the TextBlade was very comfortable to type on. A video of the TextBlade in use Most keyboards use weight to provide a solid, unmovable typing experience, but the bottom of the TextBlade is coated in an elastomer that gives it a solid grip on a desk or surface despite its light weight. It did not shift or move around on the table when typing, and the bottom of the stand is coated in the same material to ensure that an iOS device stays in place. One of the things we were impressed by was the TextBlade's light weight compared to its durability and build quality. The keyboard weighs just over an ounce and folds down to fit into a pocket, but the build quality was solid and it felt like a keyboard that should be priced much higher than $99. Because it's so light, it's also durable -- there's nothing that's going to break when it's dropped on the floor. A collapsed TextBlade compared to the Logitech Keys To Go keyboard Another neat TextBlade feature we want to highlight is the way that it charges. If you tap the spacebar against your wrist, a little card (much like a SIM card) pops out, which plugs directly into a USB port or USB charger. There's no micro-USB cord or cable to forget -- everything you need is built in. The aforementioned LEDs let you know when you need to charge, and the battery lasts for a month without needing to be charged. Steps to charge the TextBlade Customization Options WayTools is planning to release an app, MultiMap, that will allow customers to customize the TextBlade. Users will be able to remap keys, create macros for frequently used expressions or logins, change the language, and more. With the TextBlade, WayTools can deliver over-the-air updates to keep firmware up to date, something that's not possible with most keyboards. The TextBlade will have more functions six months after it's released than it does today. For example, one upcoming update will add multi-device support, and that update is coming a few weeks after launch. Bottom Line You're probably not going to be able to pick up the TextBlade keyboard and type 100 words per minute during your first 10 minutes with it. It will take some time to get used to, and that amount of time will vary by person and by how often the TextBlade is used. For people who are looking for an all together new typing experience that has the potential to be superior to even a desktop typing experience, spending the amount of time that needs to be invested to learn to type on the TextBlade will be a worthwhile endeavor. An impressive amount of engineering and research went into the development of the TextBlade, and it's going to be the smallest, lightest, most portable iOS keyboard available on the market, so people who are looking for the ultimate in portability will also want to take a serious look at the TextBlade. Price wise, the TextBlade's price point is comparable to or cheaper than some of the premium keyboard options on the market, so if you're in need of a portable option and you're willing to to put in a bit of time to overcome existing muscle memory, the TextBlade is a worthwhile purchase. Compatibility The TextBlade works with any device that supports Bluetooth 4.0, from mobile devices to computers. The device's stand is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Air 2. The company is developing an XL stand for heavier devices like the older iPads, but the stand is not a necessary component of the TextBlade -- users can just as easily use an existing stand or cover to prop up an iPad or iPhone. Release Date The TextBlade is in production and many of the components are ready to go. The company has made some last minute changes to tweak the butterflies underneath each key to provide an even better, more precise key feel, and once that component upgrade is ready, the TextBlade will ship out to those who have pre-ordered. WayTools is hosting meet ups next week to give some of its customers who pre-ordered a chance to give the TextBlade a try for themselves before the device ships, so additional opinions and reviews on the device should be available at that time. WayTools wants to make sure that early adopters of its technology have the absolute best experience with the product. For that reason, if the company makes any changes to the design of the TextBlade in the first year, it will ship out a new version of the device to all previous buyers. Early adopters are also receiving the company's MultiMap customization software for free -- later buyers will need to purchase that separately. How to Buy The TextBlade can be pre-ordered from the WayTools website for $99. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • 'Reserve Strap' Plans to Charge the Apple Watch on the Wrist • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture'

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple Watch will take approximately two hours to fully charge and deliver all-day battery life with normal on-and-off usage, according to TechCrunch. Those estimates corroborate a previous report that also claimed the Apple Watch will deliver all-day battery life and support up to five hours of heavy usage per charge. The report also claims that the Apple Watch will only deliver notifications while worn on the wrist. The smartwatch will not ping you for notifications without being in contact with skin so that the device is not disruptive at unnecessary times. Apple Watch will also stop delivering notifications when the battery reaches 10% or lower in an effort to conserve the remaining power."Here’s a tidbit you might not know — in order to receive notifications from apps, the Watch must be on your wrist and locked. They require contact with your skin. There will be no in-app dropdown notifications or constant pinging while it’s off your wrist. Push notifications also cease when the battery reaches 10 percent. Those decisions speak to the care with which Apple is handling notifications."Apple continues to tweak Digital Crown on the Apple Watch, giving the button a "weightier, higher-end feel." Pressing and holding down the Digital Crown activates Siri, which the report claims works well and can be used for labeling, directions and commands using a paired iPhone. The goal of the Apple Watch, the report describes, is to return some of your attention away from your smartphone by allowing you to communicate from your wrist on the go. While both reports this afternoon have provided a closer look at the Apple Watch, there are still several question marks surrounding the wrist-worn device. That will change in less than three days, when Apple provides more details about the Apple Watch at its highly-anticipated "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco. The keynote begins on Monday at 10 AM Pacific and MacRumors will be providing live coverage of the event. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Pad & Quill Messenger Bag • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture' • Apple Watch Site Lets Users Explore Different Band and Casing Combinations

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple will be making significant changes to iPad deployment for education during the upcoming school year that should eliminate some of the hurdles that school districts face when adopting iPads for use in the classroom. In an email obtained by MacRumors, the company outlines plans to make app distribution easier by eliminating the need for an Apple ID to load apps, tweaking the Apple ID for Students program and unifying several deployment programs into one. Apple plans to simplify app distribution by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID this fall, reducing the number of steps needed to set up an iPad. Schools will no longer be required to create generic Apple IDs solely to load content on the tablet, and teachers and administrators will have the option to block students from making personal purchases without approval."To simplify large deployments, including one-to-one and shared use, we want to make app distribution even easier. Today, Apple IDs are required in order to deliver apps and books to students. We are working to change this in the fall by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID. As currently planned, this will greatly reduce the number of steps needed to setup a device. This change should eliminate the need to create generic Apple IDs solely for the purposes of getting content onto iPad. Schools will also have the option to prevent students from making personal purchases without approval."The email also outlines changes to the Apple ID for Students program to roll out during 2016, including schools gaining the ability to create and manage Apple IDs for students that can be used to access iCloud. System administrators will also have be able to reset student passwords. The new approach will continue to meet COPPA requirements for children's online privacy in the United States. Apple will also be improving its Apple Deployment Programs by unifying several programs into one for a simplified administrative experience, making it easier for school districts to enroll, manage, and support large iPad deployments. Apple hopes the changes will continue to result in increased student engagement, better attendance and higher test results at all grades and levels of education. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture' • Apple Watch Site Lets Users Explore Different Band and Casing Combinations • Apple Still Tweaking iTunes Music Store Algorithms, Restored Editorial Focus Pleases Indies

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
With just over two days to go until Apple's big March 9 "Spring Forward" event that's said to be heavily focused on the Apple Watch, information on the device is leaking out at a rapid pace. Apple's been relatively quiet about battery life, stating only that the Apple Watch will need to be charged on a daily basis, but 9to5Mac has a few more details on how long we can expect the Apple Watch to last between charges. According to the site's sources, final software tweaks and optimizations to the device have led to a battery life of approximately five hours of heavy application usage. The device reportedly will not run out of battery life "during a typical day of mixed and passive use," but it will need to be charged on a nightly basis as Apple has previously said. There's also been little said about how the Apple Watch will affect the battery of the iPhone, but 9to5Mac's sources say that there is no "meaningful" observed battery drain while using the device. A Power Reserve Mode can be activated within the watch when the battery in the device becomes critically low, ensuring that it's primary function -- telling the time -- is always available. Power Reserve Mode can be activated at any time via a Battery Life Glance screen.Power Reserve Mode can even be accessed when the Watch has a full 100% charge, and it is not solely activated when the Watch's battery life is low. The mode noticeably dims the display, slows down communication with the iPhone to an on-demand level, and puts the display to sleep after roughly two seconds of inactivity. One unit tested allowed access to all Apple Watch functions while in Power Reserve mode, while another unit was limited to the Clock face.The Apple Watch is also said to have an interesting method of displaying remaining battery life. At 20 percent, the Battery Life Glance (which is just one of many default glances on the watch) will turn an orange/amber color to let users know that battery life is running low, and at 10 percent, it will turn from amber to red. Along with battery life, there are also some new details on onboard storage. We've known for awhile that the device will have dedicated storage for features like music storage, but the exact amount of storage has not yet been shared. It appears that prototype devices have 8GB of storage, suggesting at least some devices will ship with that amount of storage space. Like with the iPhone, there may be several storage options that are available at an additional cost. In just a few short days, we'll have a wealth of information on the Apple Watch. Apple is expected to share more details on battery life, storage space, pricing tiers, and accessory options at its upcoming March 9 event. Apple is planning to live stream the event, and MacRumors will also provide live coverage, both on MacRumors.com and through the MacRumorsLive Twitter account. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Questionable Rumor Claims iPad Mini 4 With A8 Processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi May Launch Soon • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture' • Apple Watch Site Lets Users Explore Different Band and Casing Combinations • Apple Still Tweaking iTunes Music Store Algorithms, Restored Editorial Focus Pleases Indies

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
Apple has quietly listed the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 converter as discontinued on the Apple Online Store in the United States and Canada this week. The converter is required to charge a MagSafe 2-equipped MacBook Air or MacBook Pro when the notebook is connected to a Thunderbolt Display or Cinema Display. The converter still appears to have in-store availability, although for how long remains unknown. Apple discontinuing the MagSafe to MagSafe 2 converter would prove problematic for Thunderbolt Display and Cinema Display users. The company does include the converter in the box for the Thunderbolt Display, but not being able to purchase a replacement if you misplace one would be an issue. We have reached out to Apple for comment and will update this story if we hear back. (Thanks, Chris!) Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture' • Apple Watch Site Lets Users Explore Different Band and Casing Combinations • Apple Still Tweaking iTunes Music Store Algorithms, Restored Editorial Focus Pleases Indies • Apple Watch Magazine Tour Continues in Chinese Fashion Magazine 'YOHO'

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posted 25 days ago on mac rumors
MacBook Air and 13" Retina MacBook Pro shipping times have slipped on the Apple Online Store from "in stock" to "1 business day" ahead of Apple's upcoming "Spring Forward" media event on Monday. Earlier this week, we reported that a MacBook Air refresh with the latest Intel Broadwell processors and Intel HD 6000 graphics appears imminent, and it is plausible that Apple also updates the MacBook Pro with similar hardware. The shipping dates have slipped across North America, with the Apple Online Store in the United States, Canada and Mexico showing the longer "1 business day" estimate. A spot check of the United Kingdom and Australia online storefronts still shows regular shipping times. In-store availability of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in the also appears unaffected in the United States based on Apple Stores in New York and California. Intel's Broadwell processors are available for all MacBook Air models and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, although more powerful chips for the 15-inch MacBook Pro are not expected until later this year. Nevertheless, Apple may choose to focus its March 9 media event solely on the Apple Watch and could hold off on refreshing its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lineups until a later date. Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories • Upcoming Revamped Apple Music Streaming Service Won't Offer Free Ad-Supported Tier • Apple and Other Companies Push Forward in Fight for Marriage Equality • Gmail for iOS Updated With Quick Actions, Share Sheet and Attachment Viewer • Apple Rumored to Offer Personal Engravings on Apple Watch • Apple Patents Waterproofing Method 'For Shielding Electronic Components from Moisture' • Apple Watch Site Lets Users Explore Different Band and Casing Combinations • Apple Still Tweaking iTunes Music Store Algorithms, Restored Editorial Focus Pleases Indies • Apple Watch Magazine Tour Continues in Chinese Fashion Magazine 'YOHO'

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