How to Pair Bluetooth Headphones and Listen to Music on Apple Watch

Apple Watch includes 6.2 GB of storage space for adding content like apps, photos, and music, with up to 2GB of that space dedicated to storing songs. When you add a playlist, you can listen to music on it, even when your iPhone is not in range. While the process is fairly self-explanatory, there are a few steps you don't want to forget in order to play music from Apple Watch to your Bluetooth connected headphones

Adding Music to Apple Watch


In order to listen to music on Apple Watch without an iPhone in range, you must sync a playlist to it first.

  1. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap My Watch.

  2. Select Music from the list.

  3. Tap "Synced Playlist" to access your iPhone's playlist.

  4. Select a playlist from the list (if there is no playlist visible in this list, you will need to create one on your iPhone).

  5. Place your Apple Watch on its charger to initiate the sync. This step is important. Apple Watch will not sync a playlist if it has not been connected to the charger.

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Related roundup: Apple Watch

How to Set Up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

passbookapplewatchapplepayApple restricted Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus due to the need for an NFC chip that's not included in older phones, which means Apple Pay has been limited to those with newer iPhones since it debuted in October of 2014.

One of the major perks of the Apple Watch is that it enables Apple Pay for some older iPhones because it has the same NFC chip that's in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. If you have an Apple Watch and an iPhone 5, 5c, or 5s, you can now use Apple Pay and the watch to make secure purchases in retail locations.

For those of you who haven't had a chance to use Apple Pay, we've written up a tutorial that walks through how to set it up on your watch.

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Related roundups: Apple Watch, Apple Pay

Video Review: The MOS Kick is a Versatile Stand for Your iPhone

There are dozens if not hundreds of iPhone stands on the market, but every once in awhile, there's one that sets itself apart with a unique form or a rich set of features. The MOS Kick falls into the latter category, offering a stand, screwdriver, bottle opener and tripod connector in a portable package.

Developed by the MOS team that's created several other popular products like the MOS Reach power outlet and the MOS cable organizer, the MOS Kick is made from metal so it can withstand being carried on a backpack or in a pocket.


We went hands-on with a prototype (hence the small bit of rust) of the MOS Kick and found it to be a convenient stand. It works with any smartphone because it includes adjustable silicone pads that hold a device in place. It's able to mount on a tripod with its 1/4" threaded hole, and it has a couple little tools for when you're in a pinch -- a bottle opener and a flat head screwdriver.

Since it's all metal, it's heavy enough to hold an iPhone up on any surface, and when attached to something like a GorillaPod, it's usable in a wide range of situations. On the downside, the MOS Kick is priced a bit high, but it's a handy way to take advantage of some of the iPhone's camera features that require the phone to be still, like time-lapse.

The MOS Kick can be purchased from the MOS website for $24.95.

Tags: MOS Kick, MOS

Apple Store App for iOS Updated With Touch ID Support, Two-Step Verification

Apple today updated its Apple Store app for iOS to version 3.3, adding additional security and convenience features to the app. There's now a "Touch ID" option in the Account section of the app that allows users to enable Touch ID for viewing orders, accessing EasyPay receipts, and making reservations at an Apple Store.

Previously, these sections of the app required an Apple ID password to be input whenever they were accessed, but now the app will ask for Touch ID verification in lieu of a password when Touch ID is toggled on. Before the update, Touch ID usage was limited to Apple Pay for making purchases, but with the expanded Touch ID capabilities, accessing various sections of the app to get order information is much quicker.

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Accessing features like EasyPay Receipts before update on left, after on right

Today's update also adds support for two-step verification within the Apple Store app.
What's New in Version 3.3
- Use Touch ID to view orders, access EasyPay receipts, and make reservations at an Apple Store.
- Support for two-step verification, giving you extra security for your Apple ID.
Apple's Apple Store app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Update 4:35 AM PT: The app is also now available in additional countries, including Czech Republic, Denmark, Singapore, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

Activité Pop Review: Hands-On With Withings' Simple and Stylish $149 Activity Tracker

The Apple Watch is fantastic because it lets you receive notifications, communicate with friends, access apps from your iPhone, and record a wealth of activity-related data, but it's also a device that requires a heavy amount of interaction.

It demands that you look at your wrist when you receive a notification, it taps you on the arm when you're not standing up every hour, and it often reminds you about your fitness goals. It needs to be charged every night and it has to be taken off with every shower, so in short, it's not a device you can slap on your wrist and forget about.

For that reason alone, not even taking cost into account, the Apple Watch is not a device that's suitable for everyone. There are many people who may prefer smart devices and activity trackers that require far less interaction and our Withings Activité Pop review is aimed at those people.

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The Activité Pop is almost the exact opposite of the Apple Watch. Where the Apple Watch commands your attention, the Pop unobtrusively integrates itself into your life -- you don't need to charge it, it's waterproof so it can be worn at all times and never removed, and you only need to glance at it when you want to know the time or your progress towards your daily movement goal.

Design


The Activité Pop has a gender neutral design that harkens back to the simple plastic analog Swatch watches that were popular in the 80s and 90s. It's a modern take on a classic watch with clean lines and colors that fit a range of tastes: Bright Azure, Shark Grey, and Wild Sand. The Pop is monochrome -- watch faces match watch bands.

With the blue watch, for example, the face and band are both blue, giving it an understated look that's not going to draw attention to your wrist. The available colors are benign enough to match most outfits, and the tasteful design doesn't stick out at the gym or at the office.

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I have a small wrist (137mm or about 5.4 inches) and the Pop fit well (if a bit loose) on the second-to-last wrist band hole. The watch face did not look overly large on my wrist, nor did it look too small on someone with a larger wrist. I found it to be similar in size (33mm) to the 38mm Apple Watch, but slightly wider and shorter due to the round face.

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Duet Review: A Premium Two-in-One Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone

Given that the Apple Watch has an advertised 18-hours battery life based on mixed usage, chances are that you will be taking off the wrist-worn device each night to charge. Naturally, accessory makers have been quick to jump on the opportunity to create a wide variety of Apple Watch stands for docking the watch on your bedside table or elsewhere. Ahead, we take a closer look at one of them.

Antsy Labs has risen to the challenge with a Kickstarter project for Duet, a two-in-one stand for docking the Apple Watch and iPhone together. The stand is machined from a solid block of aluminum, in silver, space gray or gold, giving it considerable weight and a sleek design that closely matches the look of the MacBook, iPad, iPhone and other anodized aluminum Apple products.

Duet Apple Watch Stand Full
I received a prototype unit of the Duet that I have been testing over the past week, and my first impressions are mostly favorable. Given that the Duet unit I received was part of a limited production run for members of the press, the stand has a few imperfections that will not be found on the final product. In particular, there are a few minor scuffs on the stand, and the finish isn't as shiny as the unit that will ship to customers.

First and foremost, Duet's built-in magnets allow you to attach the Apple Watch stand to the symmetrical iPhone dock or separate both pieces and charge your Apple Watch and iPhone separately. This multipurpose functionality is a major selling point for the stand, given that many Apple Watch and iPhone standalone stands and docks are available for considerably less than Duet's future $99 price tag.

Duet Apple Watch Stand
Duet has an aesthetically pleasing design that both looks and feels premium, and smartly placed cutouts along the stand's arm and pedestal hide the Lightning connector and Apple Watch charging cables for a clean setup. The stand is quite heavy, and has suction pads on the bottom, allowing for one-handed removal of an iPhone or Apple Watch without the entire stand sliding or moving on most surfaces.

At the same time, one major concern I have about the Duet's design is the lack of rubber inserts — like the Twelve South HiRise — to protect the Apple Watch against possible wear and tear. I just spent close to $750 on my stainless steel Apple Watch and shouldn't have to be worried about scratching it or the charging puck, but I found myself worried more often than not. The potential for metal-on-metal contact was the Duet's biggest downfall in my testing, although the Apple Watch does not physically touch the stand.


Overall, the Duet has a premium design and delivers multipurpose functionality as a two-in-one stand for Apple Watch and iPhone. The stand earns a favorable recommendation, but the lack of rubber inserts where the Apple Watch is positioned and expensive price tag are off-putting enough for me to suggest looking into alternatives as well. ElevationLab's NightStand, for example, is a silicone Apple Watch stand that costs just $30.

Duet is available for a $79 pledge on Kickstarter, where it has already exceeded its $25,000 funding goal, and will retail for $99 after the campaign ends. The stand is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with or without a case. Antsy Labs plans to start shipping Duet to customers in July, but is striving to begin deliveries even sooner. Kickstarter rewards will be shipped towards August.

Adobe Removing Photoshop Touch From App Store Next Week

Photoshop TouchAdobe has announced that it will remove Photoshop Touch for iPhone and iPad from the App Store and other platforms on May 28. The software company says it will be focusing its mobile efforts on other apps in the Creative Cloud suite, including Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC, Adobe Shape CC, Adobe Brush CC and Adobe Color CC. In total, the software maker has over 50 apps on the App Store.


Adobe also announced that it is working on a new retouching solution for mobile devices called Project Rigel that is expected to be available in late 2015. Adobe product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes shared a teaser video of the software through an iPad simulator today, demonstrating retouching features and filter effects such as warping, puckering and bloating, reconstructing, recoloring, brightness and contrast.

Despite Popular Kickstarter, Pebble Seeks $5 Million Loan 'To Stay Afloat'

Popular smartwatch maker Pebble appears to be in some financial trouble, according to a few sources "close to the company," as reported by TechCrunch. The company is having trouble maintaining its growth, turning to a bank in its home base of Silicon Valley for not only a $5 million loan but a $5 million line of credit. According to those same sources, banks in the Valley have been turning down Pebble's financial support requests repeatedly.

The smartwatch company's rocky monetary troubles come a few weeks after a well-publicized Kickstarter campaign, which reached its $500,000 goal in under 20 minutes of going live. The project's final funding amount - which received numerous stretch goals along the way - saw 78,471 backers pledge $20,338,986 for the new slimmer design and color display smartwatch.

Pebble Time
The company actually received around $18 million from the Kickstarter campaign, after fees, and currently staffs about 150 people with more being hired in new positions. Despite all of this success, and an infusion of forward momentum thanks directly to Apple's Apple Watch-focused "Spring Forward" event, the logistics of running the company have forced CEO Eric Migicovsky and fellow company heads to seek venture capitalist funding "in order to stay afloat."

TechCrunch's source also noted that numerous employees were unhappy with the company's direction "as it turns to face competitors from Apple, Android, and outside." This is perhaps alluding to the company's nonchalant attitude towards poking fun at Apple on its own website and Migicovsky's somewhat apathetic responses to Apple's impending entrance into the smartwatch market.

With Pebble facing such troubles just a few weeks after the Apple Watch launch, two events that may yet still be unrelated, it'll be interesting to see how Apple's competitors in the smartwatch market maneuver themselves to stay successful in an ever-growing and crowded field. Still, some employees are happy with Pebble and see a good future for the still-fairly-young company. “We’re a young company. The outlook for Pebble is very positive,” said a current employee who preferred to remain anonymous when speaking with TechCrunch. “It’s been a remarkable journey thus far.”

Related roundup: Apple Watch , Tags: Pebble, Pebble Time

iPhone 5c With Touch ID on Apple's Website Fuels Unlikely Refresh Rumors

A collection of iPhones are modeled alongside the brand new Apple-branded Lightning Dock, revealed Tuesday, on the dock's official store page. An iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and 5s are shown placed on the new dock's lightning charger port, but a mysterious pink-and-black outlier, which appears to be an iPhone 5c at first glance, upon closer inspection can be seen including a Touch ID sensor instead of a traditional home button.

iphone 5c or 5c
Rumors of a cheaper, 4-inch "iPhone 6c" model of the next generation of iPhones began late last year, backed by a few sources out of the Asian supply chain who manufacture the smartphones. More recently, however, reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed these rumors as false, noting that Apple will stick with 4.7- and 5.5-inch models this year.

While the iPhone on Apple's website in question today could in fact be the accidental unveiling of a new iPhone 6c, it's highly unlikely the company made such a slip-up in revealing an entirely new iPhone. It's more likely a curiously egregious Photoshopping error having to do with one of Apple's website designers, and will no doubt be taken down in due time.

Update 10:05 AM Pacific: Apple has removed Touch ID from the iPhone 5c render as expected.

Related roundup: iPhone 6c (2015) , Tag: iPhone Lightning Dock

Apple iPhone Lightning Dock Review: Simple Design With Broad Compatibility, but Some Stability Concerns

Apple's history of iPhone docks is rather hit-or-miss, with the company's recent designs generally tailored tightly to the profiles of the iPhones they were designed for, preventing the use of cases on the iPhones and making the docks incompatible with later iPhone designs.

That changes with the new iPhone Lightning Dock, introduced yesterday a full eight months after the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The new dock forgoes a form-fitting iPhone-shaped depression in favor of a simple Lightning connector embedded in a small, slightly pliable nub to cushion the device as it rests on the connector.

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iPhone 6 Plus with Apple Leather Case on iPhone Lightning Dock

The design has some advantages: it offers a clean and simple look and it'll fit any iOS device with a Lightning port, including many of those with cases. The lack of a recessed docking area also keeps the iPhone's Touch ID home button easily accessible while the device is docked.

There are definitely some downsides, however, with the most obvious being stability. With the Lightning connector being the sole means of support for the iPhone, the device does tend to rock side to side if bumped. And while the Lightning connector is very firmly embedded in the base of the dock and does not feel in danger of being damaged, users may have concerns over potential damage to their iPhone's Lightning port if the device should happen to be bumped strongly while mounted on the dock.

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SwiftKey Keyboard for iOS Gains New Theme Store

SwiftKey is one of the more popular third-party keyboard choices on iOS, due to its autocorrect and word prediction capabilities that are able to adapt to an individual's usage style over time. Since its debut last September, SwiftKey has been updated several times with features like predictive emoji and typing stats, and as of today, it's getting another major update that will allow for deeper customization: a theme store.

The new SwiftKey theme store allows users to purchase new themes to personalize the look of their keyboards with unique color schemes. There are 12 new themes available for purchase, available in a range of different colors and styles.

swiftkeythemes
Organized into categories, there are five new Nickel themes, six Minimal themes, and one animated theme -- Shooting Stars. Colors range from black and white to pink, blue, and orange. In combination with the three free existing themes SwiftKey offers, there are now a total of 15 themes available. Themes range from $0.99 for basic themes to $1.99 for the animated Shooting Stars theme.
Shooting Stars, which features a beautiful night sky, changes as you move your phone, giving the theme a more realistic and dimensional look and feel by making use of parallax. Parallax is just a fancy word for when an object, or objects, seem to be in a different positions depending on where you're viewing them from.

For $1.99, you can give your keyboard a twinkling background with stars that are dynamically generated each time the keyboard loads. If you look closely you may even see some shooting stars fly across the keyboard...
Today's update also includes performance and stability improvements, along with a fix that cuts down on instances when SwiftKey is unintentionally replaced by the default iOS keyboard. SwiftKey recommends that existing users should restart their iPhones or iPads after installing the update to see the performance improvements.

SwiftKey can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Update: SwiftKey tells MacRumors it is having some issues with store purchase validation on iOS at the moment, but the team is working on the problem. Users will receive any themes they've purchased once the issue has been resolved.

Update 11:45 AM: A new 1.3.2 version of SwiftKey has been released, fixing the issue with purchase validation. Users having issues with purchased themes should update to the latest version and reselect the purchased theme in the store. They will not need to go through the purchase process again.

Apple Rejects 'Breaking' App Due to One Small Mention of Android in a Screenshot

News alert app Breaking [Direct Link], which feeds topical news stories via a widget into the Today portion of the Notification Center, has faced a bit of blowback from Apple due to the mention of the term "Android" within a screenshot on the app's store page (via iPhoneHacks).

The app was denied its newest update, version 1.3, due to the Android mishap, which is only mentioned within the screenshots for the app and not anywhere in its actual description. As a few fellow app developers voiced on Twitter, the screenshot in question doesn't overtly promote the rival's brand, either.
breaking app

A few similar stories have emerged so far this year, including a copyright issue Apple had with GIF curating app GIF Finder and creator Matt Cheetham's heavy usage of copyrighted characters, despite his adherence to the individual terms of service for both Tumblr and Imgur. Prior to the Apple Watch launch, the Cupertino company also rejected boating app SeaNav US for citing Pebble support in its App Store description.

While the future of both apps was initially foreboding, both GIF Finder and SeaNav US returned to the App Store, with developer Cheetham documenting in detail his experience with facing Apple's app review board. Today's rejection of Breaking lies in a similar rejection field compared with SeaNav US, both appearing to violate App Store review guideline 3.1, which prohibits the mentioning of competing platforms.

Most developers haven't faced such strict stonewalling on the issue before, which made SeaNav US' rejection - due to the use of "Pebble" - a day before the Apple Watch launch particularly interesting. Today's rejection of Breaking appears to be a bit of a fluke, but no doubt Apple will allow the app's 1.3 update once the particular screenshot in question is removed.