Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple Watch during Apple’s launch event. European Pressphoto Agency
Running, baseball scores, airline boarding passes and tweets — there is an Apple Watch app for all of that.
And the app selection, of course, will need to grow if Apple Watch is going to reach the iconic status of the iPhone and iPad. In a demo of Apple Watch on Tuesday, Kevin Lynch, an Apple vice president who worked on the device’s software and user interface, showed two dozen third-party app icons and a few screenshots of apps. However, Lynch and CEO Tim Cook, stopped short of saying just how many apps Apple Watch will have when it goes on sale in early 2015, at a starting price of $349.
In his demo of Apple Watch, Lynch showed slides of an American Airlines app that displays a digital boarding pass, a Major League Baseball app that will let you keep up with sports scores, and a Pinterest app that will give you directions to pinned locations.
There was also an app from BMW that will let owners see the charge level of their electric cars and offer directions to their parked cars. Lynch said that Starwood Preferred Hotels is building an app that will let its customers unlock hotel room doors by waving their Apple Watch in front of their room doors.
Apple Watch is both a smartwatch and a fitness band, so there will be health apps too. A Nike+ Running app will let users challenge their friends to a run. And Apple has built its own Fitness app that monitors all your activity and movement throughout the day, and a Workout app that lets you set specific goals for activities such as cycling or running.
The Apple Watch boasts several apps including Pinterest. Wilson Rothman/The Wall Street Journal
And, of course, default Apple-built apps that iPhone users are used to such as Siri, music, weather, calendar, iTunes, photos, passbook, maps, timer, settings, messages and even a built-in phone dialer app.
Apple Watch has to be connected to an iPhone to use all of these apps, and it works with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6 Plus — more than 200 million of which have been sold. Apps will be crucial to Apple Watch’s success. Phil Schiller said Tuesday there are now more than 1.3 million apps available in the iOS App Store. The diversity and quality of iOS apps are a major reason why the iPhone and iPad have become such blockbusters.
With that in mind, Apple also announced a software development kit called WatchKit that developers can tap into ahead of the device’s launch next year. Fortunately for Apple, the competition isn’t that far ahead just yet. There are currently only a couple dozen Android Wear apps available in the Google Play app store.
Apple on Tuesday announced that the next version of its mobile operating system will officially launch on September 17th, just ahead of the company's new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus handsets.
Speaking at today’s special event, held at Cupertino’s Flint Center for the Performing Arts, vice president Phil Schiller showcased some of iOS 8’s new tricks, including support for a new landscape mode on the company’s iPhone Plus, as well as a new one-handed mode to help users better interact with the larger screens that will make their appearance on new handsets.
Originally introduced during this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference back in June, iOS 8 offers only incremental changes over its predecessor’s design language, but introduces a slew of new technologies that are destined to have a significant impact on Apple’s mobile ecosystem, such as Handoff , which allows users to seamlessly transfer their work between all the devices they own, and Extensions .
The new operating system also includes new platforms geared towards making iOS devices hubs for the digital lives of their owners, including HomeKit, which enables communication with connected-home peripherals, and HealthKit, designed to allow users to collect, monitor, and share all sort of health data about themselves.
iOS 8 will come preinstalled on all new iPhone and iPad models, and will be available as a free update for existing users of iPhone 4s, iPad 2, iPad mini, and fifth-generation iPod touch models, or later.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn't fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world's major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It's all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers' comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won't have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association.
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Summary: Apple introduces the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch, and Apple Pay
Dan Miller Sep 9, 2014 2:40 PM
Apple surprised exactly nobody on Tuesday by announcing a new generation of iPhones: the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. And it proved the rumormongers right by unveiling the new Apple Watch. But despite the predictability of those announcements, there were some surprises in the details.
iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus
As was widely expected ahead of the event, Apple unveiled two new iPhone models, the 6 and the 6 Plus . Both sport bigger screens than the last generation iPhone 5s: 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively (compared with the 5s’s 4-inch display).
Both models will be available at three different storage tiers: 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models. The iPhone 6 models will sell for $199, $299 and $399, respectively, while the iPhone 6 Plus will cost $299, $399 and $499. Both models will be available on September 19th, and preorders should open up later this week.
The iPhone 6
Those displays aren’t just bigger, they’re sharper, too: Apple calls the new screens Retina HD. The iPhone 6 has a resolution of 1334 by 750, with a pixel-density of 326 pixels per inch (ppi); the 5.5-inch 6 Plus goes to 1920 by 1080 and 401 ppi. Apple says both screens are more durable than before (though they aren’t made of sapphire, as had been rumored ).
Inside, both phones have a new generation 64-bit Apple A8 chip and an M8 co-processor. The former is 25 percent faster than its predecessor, the A7, according to Apple; graphics processing should be even better than that. Apple says iPhone 6 will get the same battery life as the 5s, while the iPhone 6 Plus (thanks to a bigger battery) should be better.
The camera has been improved on both models (without getting more megapixels), and they both get more advanced wireless capabilities (including 150 Mbps LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi)
While the appearance of a smartwatch wasn’t a huge surprise, the new wearable will sport some intriguing features when it finally ships in early 2015. Perhaps the most intriguing is its support for Apple’s new Apple Pay system (see below), which means you’ll be able to quickly purchase items at select retail stores with a flick of your wrist. Its “taptic” feedback system can notify you of incoming phone calls or help you navigate by applying pressure to your wrist.
The Apple Watch
Otherwise, the Apple Watch does stuff that other smartwatches do: It can track your steps and heart rate, it displays smartphone notifications, and so on. Apple will argue that its watch does so better than those from other vendors, of course. To navigate through its apps, you use the crown (the dial you used to adjust the time or date on an old-fashioned analog watch). (Note that left-handers may not appreciate that particular bit of UI.)
Apple Watch will come in three different models—from a baseline version to an ultra-luxe 18K gold edition—with two case sizes (38mm and 48mm thick) and six different bands will allow a wide degree of personal customization. And, yes, the gadget will require an iPhone to work.
The one less expected bit of news at Apple’s event was the launch a new potential wallet-killer: Apple Pay .
It’s a new payment system that works using NFC (near-field communication technology). The idea is that you’ll be able to hold your Apple phone up to a sensor at a store’s cash register, then use TouchID to complete the purchase. The catch there: Apple Pay will be exclusive to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which are equipped with the requisite NFC radio antenna.
To start using Apple Pay, you’ll need either a credit card on file with iTunes or a card that you photograph with your new iPhone. Either way, you verify the card, then store it to Passbook. Apple has built a couple of different security features into the process. For one thing, it doesn’t store your card number on your phone or in iCloud. Instead, Apple uses encryption to disguise your payment information.
Furthermore, when you hold your phone up to a store’s NFC sensor, the cashier can’t see your card number, security code, or even your name. And Apple itself will turn a blind eye to your transactions, so it won’t know where you’re shopping or how much you spend. If you lose your phone and are worried about someone using [it] to pay for things, you can shut down payments from that device using Find My iPhone.
We’ll know a lot more about Apple Pay, along with the new phones and the Apple Watch when they all ship. In the meantime, keep an eye on Macworld for continuing coverage of Apple’s latest fall product blitz.
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Spec showdown: Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs. the Galaxy Note 4, LG G3 Stylus, and LG G Flex
By Blake Stimac Greenbot | Sep 9, 2014 1:20 PM PT
After a fair amount of time spent bashing Android smartphones for their unwieldy size by Apple fans, the Cupertino company has submitted to the demands of the public and released a phablet of its own. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus shares a majority of the specs as the iPhone 6, but has some tricks of its own to set it apart.
Of course, the iPhone 6 Plus is going head to head with the latest version of the phablet that started it all, the tried and true Samsung Galaxy Note series, along with many other phablets. Below is a chart showing how the iPhone 6 Plus compares to some new and some not-so-new Android phablets.
Apple's biggest iPhone stacks up well against Android phablets, but it's expensive, too.
Apple's phablet holds its own
iPhone Plus ships with a large, 5.5-inch display, firmly solidifying its presence in the phablet market, and there’s little doubt it’ll sell like hotcakes. It may lack the stylus of the Galaxy Note series, but that’s not terribly surprising, as not everyone really cares about that type of input, and Apple has shown little interest in pursuing styluses even on the iPad.
Of course, the iPhone 6 Plus ships with a Retina display, which is just a fancy way for Apple to create it’s own display marketing, and incidentally, get away with not having an iPhone with an HD display: a trend that started in 2011 for Android phones. Rejoice, then, as the larger iPhone 6 Plus has a 1080p Full HD display!
Of course, pixel density is what really counts in smartphone and tablet screens, and Apple has done a decent job in this department, pushing high-PPI displays before Android..
With a pixel density of 401 PPI, the iPhone 6 Plus easily bests the likes of the mid-range G3 Stylus and the almost year-old G Flex, it can't compete with the 2K displays found on high-end phablets, like the new Note 4.
The Apple A8 processor is a beast (we think)
Featuring the new A8 processor and M8 co-processor, the iPhone 6’s bigger brother is just as powerful the 4.7-inch model. The Plus is going to be a snappy piece of kit out of the box, but exact details are still on the sketchy side.
What Apple discloses about the A8 processor notwithstanding, it’ll take time time to find out exactly what’s under the hood of the new chip, including how much RAM the A8 comes with. This also makes it hard to compare the A8 to existing processors on the market that ship in Android phones. By and far the hottest of them all would be the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, which is found on the new Galaxy Note 4.
The A7 was a blazing fast processor, and Apple claims the A8 is has a 25% faster CPU and 50% faster GPU, so we expect it to hold its own against Android phones through the coming year.
We should note that Apple doesn't give battery specs, but claims that the iPhone 6 Plus will last two hours more than the 4.7-inch version when browsing the web, and has nearly twice the talk time and audio playback time. There's definitely a much bigger battery in there, but the larger screen eats away at it when activities call for screen-on time.
Enhanced iSight camera
As a follow-up to the last generation iSight camera, the iPhone Plus has an updated sensor for the 8 megapixel shooter. While a vast majority of Android smartphone surpassed the use of 8 megapixel cameras a few years ago, Apple hasn’t seen the need to, and for good reason. It's still a solid camera that takes great photos, no matter how you spin it.
The camera features are identical between the 6 and the 6 Plus, including super slo-mo 240fps video recording, enhanced panorama, and phase detection autofocus.
One of the few differences between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is that the latter comes with optical image stabilization (OIS). A feature that's still isn't found in too many Android smartphones today, the OIS on the iPhone 6 Plus should have a lot of people excited.
The FaceTime camera has seen very few updates. It's still the 1.2 megapixel shooter found on the previous iPhone, but it now has a slightly wider aperture (f/2.2 instead of f/2.4), Burst photo mode, and HDR for videos.
NFC finally makes an appearance with Apple Pay
A feature that Apple's really been lagging behind implementing NFC into its smartphones, and it, along with Apple Pay has been introduced with the new iPhone lineup. While Android smartphones have been shipping with these NFC chips for years, the payment system backing them, Google Wallet, never got off the ground.
Now that Apple's in the game, there's a good chance that Tap to Pay will actually become a "thing" now. With Apple's marketing prowess, mobile payments could take off in a way that it'll even benefit its competition in the process.
More expensive than the standard model
Unsurprisingly, the iPhone Plus will cost more than the 4.7-inch model. This is the case for a handful of Android phablets, and Apple's premium hardware and design will run you $300 for a 16GB version on a new contract. You'll just need to think about how important an extra 0.8-inches of screen real estate is to you.
Blake Stimac — Staff Writer — greenbot.com
Blake has been an Android fan since the G1 days, tinkering with any device he can get his hands on. When he’s not geeking out on Android devices, you’ll likely find him playing video games or watching a laundry list of horror movies.
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Verizon offers free iPhone 6 in return for two-year contract, used phone
BY MARINA LOPES WASHINGTON Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:31am IST
The Verizon building in New York December 12, 2013. CREDIT: REUTERS/ERIC THAYER/FILES
An employee prepares an Apple iPhone 5C for display at a Verizon store in Orem, Utah September 19, 2013. CREDIT: REUTERS/GEORGE FREY
(Reuters) — Verizon Communications will give subscribers who trade in an old iPhone a free iPhone 6 in exchange for a two-year contract, the country's largest wireless carrier announced hours after Apple Inc unveiled the widely anticipated device.
The announcement came as critics speculated that Apple's newest phone, starting at $199 with a two-year contract, would not be competitive as more carriers eliminate contracts and unbundle service charges from the cost of devices.
Analysts say that by making the cost of devices more transparent, equipment financing plans make expensive handsets like the iPhone less appealing. On the other hand, the plans allow customers to pay for devices in installments, making pricy devices like the iPhone more accessible.
Customers who trade in an iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c or 5s in working condition will receive a $200 gift card to pre-order the 16-gigabyte version of the newer model, Verizon said in a statement. The offer does not apply to Apple's other new phone, the larger iPhone 6 Plus.
Verizon has been more reluctant than competitors to dive into equipment financing, and its promotion indicates its attachment to the older contract model, which binds subscribers to the carrier for a fixed term, said Jan Dawson, analyst at JackDaw Research.
"There is an inherent risk in the shift to installment billing that it creates more loyalty to the device than to the carrier," said Dawson.
"Verizon sees the value of the two-year contract in that tying a device to a two-year plan can prevent churn," said Dawson.
He pointed out that new device releases are major factors for subscribers in deciding whether to switch carriers.
As the market for new smartphone customers shrinks, carriers have been competing aggressively for subscribers, slashing prices and engaging in creative promotions to poach each others' customers.
On Monday, T-Mobile announced it would beat any other major carriers' trade-in rates and give customers a $50 credit as well.
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
350 Years Ago, New Amsterdam Became New York. Don’t Expect a Party.
On Aug. 26, 1664, 350 years ago [...], a flotilla of four British frigates led by the Guinea, which was manned by 150 sailors and conveying 300 redcoats, anchored ominously in Gravesend Bay off Brooklyn, between Coney Island and the Narrows.
Over the next 13 days, the soldiers would disembark and muster at a ferry landing located roughly where the River Café is moored today, and two of the warships would sail to the Battery and train their cannon on Fort Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan.
Finally, on Sept. 8, the largely defenseless settlement tolerated a swift and bloodless regime change: New Amsterdam was immediately renamed New York. It would evolve into a jewel of the British Empire, endowed with a collective legacy — its roots indelibly Dutch — that distinguished it from every other American colony.
The events that led to the Dutch surrender essentially began on March 22, 1664, when King Charles II gifted the territory between the Delaware and Connecticut Rivers, in return for four beaver pelts a year, to his younger brother James, Duke of York, a rival of the Dutch West India Company in the slave trade. (Then, without telling James, the king gave away what would become New Jersey to two confederates.)
By July, New Amsterdam’s 1,500 inhabitants had been roiled by fears of a surprise, unprovoked invasion. Seeking to inherit an intact town, a 23-point Articles of Capitulation drawn up by a British colonel, Richard Nicolls, offered the Dutch guarantees of religious and other freedoms, provisions that would preserve their customs and contracts, and a pledge that “all public Houses shall continue for the uses, which now they are for,” referring to bars.
Stuyvesant, New Amsterdam’s director-general, shredded the offer. The city fathers pieced it back together and, along with Stuyvesant’s teenage son, importuned him to accept the terms begrudgingly. The Dutch believed the transfer was only temporary, though. They recaptured the city in 1673, but relinquished it after about a year more or less in exchange for sugar-rich Suriname.
Steven H. Jaffe wrote in “New York at War”: “Outgunned, weary of the West India Company’s indifference to their fate, valuing their lives and property above loyalty to a distant homeland, and already acquainted with English ways through contact with their neighbors, New Amsterdam’s people would make an easy choice.”
Dennis J. Maika, a scholar at the New Netherland Institute in Albany, said the move was fortunate. “Members of Manhattan’s merchant community turned a potential disaster into a guarantee of commercial and political security,” he said, “and may have ensured a brighter future than what they might have envisioned under Dutch West India Company jurisdiction.”
The Dutch soldiers departed for Holland on the Gideon, a ship that had just delivered 290 more hungry slaves for the beleaguered settlement to feed.
While Colonel Nicolls was popular for his pragmatic peace terms (an avenue barely five blocks long was later named for him in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn), Washington Irving wrote in his satirical history of New York that the Dutch so disliked the British nation “that in a private meeting of the leading citizens it was unanimously determined never to ask any of their conquerors to dinner.”
The impact of the transfer of power after four decades of Dutch rule is still debated.
“The names, the court system and the language changed, but the tolerance, aspirational spirit, geography and diversity remained the same,” said Kenneth T. Jackson, a Columbia University historian and the editor of “The Encyclopedia of New York City.”
Professor Wallace described the shift as “hugely significant,” because “it moved New Amsterdam out of the declining Dutch empire, in which it was a decided backwater, into the rising British Empire, in which it became a very important provincial port.”
Russell Shorto, the author of “The Island at the Center of the World,” agreed.
“The Dutch brought their pragmatic tolerance and their aggressive free-trading sensibility,” Mr. Shorto said. “Those two forces got fused into the bedrock of Manhattan Island. When the English took over, they saw that the island was functioning like no other place in North America. So they kept things more or less intact.”
“By the time of the great waves of immigration in the 19th century, newcomers arriving in Manhattan saw a teeming mix of people all getting ahead by what we would call upward mobility,” he added. “They decided it was America. It wasn’t America: It was New York. And it was New York because it had been New Amsterdam. But as they slowly migrated farther west, all the way to the Pacific, they brought some of that sensibility with them. And so they made it part of America.”
The Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
In “The Fall of New Amsterdam,” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, Peter Stuyvesant (left of center, with wooden leg) is shown standing among residents of New Amsterdam in 1664 as they beg him not to fire on the British warships waiting to claim the settlement for England.