Wednesday April 22, 2015 12:03 PM PDT by Juli Clover
Apple Watch-focused site WatchAware has seen some major improvements since its launch earlier this year, and its Apple Watch apps section now houses screenshots and details from all 2,143 Apple Watch apps that have been approved by Apple to date.
It's the most comprehensive resource for Apple Watch app discovery, displaying all Apple Watch apps in a grid-like view. App screenshots and videos are positioned on top of Apple Watch casings to give a clear picture of what each app will look like on when it's actually being run on your wrist.
Apps on the site have varying levels of interactivity. Some apps just cycle through available App Store screenshots, but others include videos or more interactive elements that let you switch between the app itself, Glances, and Notifications, the three types of experiences developers can create on the watch.
WatchAware now organizes available apps into categories to make it easier to find the type of app you want to see, and deeper category lists are going to be implemented later today. A search tool will be added to the site this afternoon, and there are also curated lists that highlight some of the best available apps for the Apple Watch.
Each of WatchAware's Apple Watch listings have detail pages accessible with a click, offering more information on the app and tools for sharing on social networks. In this detail page for the new Apple Watch game Letterpad, for example, it includes screenshots, an app description, a download link, and sharing tools.
It's also possible to embed apps into blog posts with fully customizable options for choosing bands, casing materials, the amount of band shown, and the portion of the app that's displayed first.
We're just days away from the 4/24 Apple Watch launch date, which will see the first customers receiving their watches. Checking out WatchAware for a list of available apps could be a useful way to figure out what you might want to download when you have your watch in hand.
Wednesday April 22, 2015 10:36 AM PDT by Juli Clover
Knock, the iOS app that lets you unlock your Mac with Bluetooth instead of a password, is today being updated with Apple Watch support, bringing the same unlocking capabilities to Apple's upcoming wrist worn device.
Knock for iOS lets an iPhone pair to a Mac to bypass the need to enter a password, and Knock for Apple Watch will work in the same way. It will no longer be necessary to dig an iPhone out of a bag or a purse, because the Apple Watch with Knock Glance will also let users log into their Macs.
When we saw Apple Watch, we knew immediately that we had to make Knock one of the first apps available for it. Knock and Apple Watch are a match made in heaven. With Knock 2.0, leaving your iPhone in your bag or the other room isn't a problem. Whenever you open your Mac, Knock is right there at your wrist, ready to go. And with the Knock Glance, you can even unlock your Mac while you walk over to it -- or lock it as you walk away.
Today's Knock update also includes Touch to Unlock, which aims to introduce an extra layer of security for those who need it. With Touch to Unlock, unlocking a Mac with an iPhone also requires a finger to be placed on Touch ID, so it's no longer possible to unlock the Mac with just the iPhone in the event of a theft.
The new Touch to Unlock feature works in conjunction with the Apple Watch in a unique way that's similar to how Apple Pay works. When the Apple Watch is placed on the wrist, users are prompted to use Touch ID or a PIN code to unlock a Mac, and that enables the Apple Watch to continue to unlock the Mac as long as it remains in contact with skin on the wrist.
When removed from the wrist, the Apple Watch will no longer be able to unlock the Mac, effectively preventing it from being used to open a Mac with Knock installed without the owner's permission. Touch ID Apple Watch verification through skin contact lets Knock users take advantage of two-factor security without the hassle of needing to place a fingerprint on the iPhone each time a connected Mac is unlocked.
Knock for iPhone has received some criticism because it often takes longer to unlock a Mac with the iPhone than it does when entering a password, but some users have found it to be a fun alternative to the standard password entry for Macs. It's not clear if the Apple Watch will speed up the unlocking process, but Knock provides an interesting look at one of the ways the Apple Watch can be used by developers.
Wednesday April 22, 2015 7:14 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard
After facing a wave of controversy in March over reports of false claims made towards her cancer diagnosis, Australian indie developer Belle Gibson this week spoke out, admitting that "none of it's true" in regards to her ever having cancer (via News.com.au).
Last month, when $300,000 of her app sales failed to find its promised home at certain charities, the legitimacy of her cancer claims began to be questioned. Gibson is the founder of The Whole Pantry, a healthy lifestyle and diet app that focuses on naturally-occurring ingredients and solutions to complicated recipes.
Gibson claimed that her app, which launched in 2013 on iOS, was the culmination of a lifestyle and choices that helped her personally overcome terminal brain cancer, a statement she's now claiming to be completely false when talking to The Australian Women's Weekly earlier this week.
“No. None of it’s true,” she confessed. “I am still jumping between what I think I know and what is reality. I have lived it and I’m not really there yet."
“In the last two years I have worked every single day living and raising up an online community of people who supported each other ... I understand the confusion and the suspicion, but I also know that people need to draw a line in the sand where they still treat someone with some level of respect or humility — and I have not been receiving that.”
Amid the firestorm against her, Penguin Australia has stopped selling her book and Gibson has faced monetary troubles as numerous accountants have instructed her to provide any leftover funds from The Whole Pantry's sales to the charities she initially pledged money to.
The Whole Pantry Apple Watch app before it was removed by Apple.
The Australian Women's Weekly suggests that Gibson may suffer from Factitious Disorder, whose sufferers feign illnesses and disease to gain a wider audience and recognition. Despite the whole ordeal causing her to shut down The Whole Pantry's Facebook page and even her own personal Instagram account, Gibson hopes her honesty on the matter helps her grow from the situation.
"I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human. She’s obviously had a big life. She’s respectfully come to the table and said what she’s needed to say, and now it’s time for her to grow and heal.’”
Apple began promoting Gibson's app The Whole Pantry as a featured spot on its Apple Watch app page, going so far as to fly Gibson out to Cupertino to assist her in being one of the first-wave launch apps for the Watch. The company ended up pulling the app from its App Store, and stopped promoting the Apple Watch version, when the fraud allegations began in March.
Note: Due to the controversial nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.
Keynote for iOS was the only app to receive an update introducing new features, gaining support for the Keynote Remote Apple Watch app that will let Keynote presentations be controlled directly from the wrist.
Today's round of updates are the first Apple's iWork apps for Mac and iOS have seen since January. None of the apps have gained significant new features since an October update that brought compatibility with OS X Yosemite and Continuity. Both Beats Music and Remote have also gone several months without seeing an update until today, having last been updated in November and September, respectively.
Tuesday April 21, 2015 12:20 PM PDT by Juli Clover
After promising to deliver voice calling capabilities back in 2014, WhatsApp has finally delivered, introducing voice over IP features in its latest update. With the new version of the app, it's possible for WhatsApp users to call friends and family directly within the app using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection at no cost.
The introduction of voice calling to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp app puts it on par with Facebook's other messaging app, Facebook Messenger, which gained voice calling back in 2013. It also allows the app to better compete with other iOS-based VoIP calling options like Skype and FaceTime Audio.
Today's WhatsApp update also brings a few other features, including the iOS 8 share extension for sharing videos, photos, and links to WhatsApp from other apps, contact editing tools, and the ability to send multiple videos at one time.
-WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they're in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone's Internet connection rather than your cellular plan's voice minutes. Data charges may apply. Note: WhatsApp Calling is rolling out slowly over the next several weeks.
-iOS 8 share extension: Share photos, videos, and links right to WhatsApp from other apps.
-Quick camera button in chats: Now you can capture photos and videos, or quickly choose a recent camera roll photo or video.
-Edit your contacts right from WhatsApp.
-Send multiple videos at once and crop and rotate videos before sending them.
WhatsApp can be downloaded from the App Store for free. The new WhatsApp calling feature will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks. [Direct Link]
Tuesday April 21, 2015 10:06 AM PDT by Juli Clover
Imation's LINK Power Drive is a useful iOS accessory that combines multiple functions into one small, portable package. It's a hard drive with 16 to 64GB of storage for backing up files or storing photos and videos to save space on your iPhone, and it's also a 3,000mAh battery (enough for approximately one charge for an iPhone 6 Plus).
We were impressed with the LINK Power Drive's compact size and its built-in Lightning cable, micro-USB cable, and stand. There's a handy toggle to turn the battery feature on and off, and there's an LED that shows the charge. The built-in battery can be charged via micro-USB and will charge your device whenever it's toggled on.
The LINK Power Drive uses an accompanying Power Drive LT iOS app to manage files, letting users transfer files to the drive or play media files directly from it. There are also tools for automatically backing up the iPhone's contact list and camera roll. Transferring files from a Mac or PC to an iPhone is easy with the Power Drive, as it's possible to plug it into a computer, load up files, and then transfer them over to the iPhone using the app.
The app supports file types like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, MP3, M4A, MP4, MOV, BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, and TIFF. It requires an iOS device that's running iOS 7 and later, so you'll need a newer iPhone to use the LINK Power Drive.
We had a couple qualms with the Power Drive - the app is unfortunately not optimized for the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus despite having received several updates across 2015, and it's also a bit frustrating to have the app pop up every time the Power Drive is plugged in.
Tuesday April 21, 2015 8:42 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard
A few MacRumors readers have taken to the forums to confirm that Apple has begun charging many users based out of the UK, Germany, and France who got in an Apple Watch pre-order early on April 10.
The charges in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France come after customers in the United States yesterday began first experiencing charges taken from their debit or credit cards, followed by a change of order status from "Processing Items" to "Preparing for Shipment", for a select group of customers.
As reported earlier yesterday, bulk shipments of Apple's new wearable began arriving at centralized distribution centers across the United States in preparation for the April 24 launch date this Friday. Despite the forward momentum of the news over the past day or so, there still has not been any change to the initial 4/24 - 5/8 delivery date estimate for all of the Apple Watch's early pre-order customers.
Related roundup: Apple Watch , Tag: Apple Watch pre-orders
Monday April 20, 2015 1:25 PM PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Watch will make the flying experience more convenient for both casual and frequent flyers, with a number of airlines updating their apps for the Apple Watch in recent weeks, or announcing support coming soon, including American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue, British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair, Qantas Airways, Air Canada, WestJet, Emirates and Japan Airlines.
Notable airlines that have not announced or planned Apple Watch support include Southwest Airlines and Virgin Airlines in the United States, and Cologne-based Lufthansa, the largest airline in Europe. As more airlines begin updating their apps for the Apple Watch, however, it is likely that others will follow in an effort to keep up with their competitors around the world.
The roundup below provides a closer look at Apple Watch apps for several airlines across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Japan. A handful of other general flight-related apps are also listed that provide general flight statuses, notifications, real-time departure and delay information and more for an easier traveling experience.
American Airlines for Apple Watch provides comprehensive flight information on your wrist, including gate change announcements, an in-flight map with estimated travel time remaining until arrival, and baggage claim and connection details. You can also receive a notification when it's time to leave for the airport and check in to your fight directly from your Apple Watch. American Airlines is free on the App Store.
Delta Air Lines will also be joining the mix of airline apps for Apple Watch in a future update to its current Fly Delta app for iPhone and iPad. Delta for Apple Watch will deliver notifications about flights to users ahead of their boarding times, and it will give them access to the boarding pass stored on their iPhones directly on the wrist.
Delta for Apple Watch will offer flight numbers, gate numbers, flight times, and other info. If a flight gets changed, for example, users will get a notification on their Apple Watch. There will also be a notification when a flight is approaching a destination city, with information about luggage pickup. Fly Delta is free on the App Store.
United Airlines has not released screenshots or in-depth details about its Apple Watch plans, but it has confirmed that support for the wrist-worn device is in the works. United's app will offer at-a-glance information on upcoming flights, including gate numbers and status, and let users view their flight reservations. It will also pull a traveler's boarding pass from the Passbook app, and it's able to alert users if flight times or gate numbers change. United Airlines is free on the App Store.
JetBlue has updated its app with Apple Watch support, enabling users to purchase onboard premium offerings from their wrists. The new Apple Watch app provides flyers with a Glance flight status, travel countdown and smart mobile boarding pass from the Apple Watch. JetBlue is free on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.
Air Canada, the largest airline in Canada, recently updated their app with Apple Watch support for viewing the status of your flights departing within 24 hours, seeing your countdown to boarding time from your Glances, getting notifications for checking in and boarding your flight, using Handoff from your Apple Watch to complete your check-in and viewing boarding passes from Passbook. Air Canada is free on the App Store.
WestJet, the second-largest Canadian airline behind Air Canada, recently updated its app for the Apple Watch to allow users to keep track of saved flight statuses and details in Glances, or view a countdown of time remaining until your next WestJet flight. WestJet boarding passes saved to Passbook will also be available on Apple Watch. WestJet is free on the App Store.
Keep up to date with the latest flight information using British Airways for Apple Watch. At a glance, the app allows you to view the status of your next flight, access both scheduled and estimated departure times, and view the latest weather at your destination. The app also provides up-to-date information about the flight's gate status and provides notifications on your wrist when your gate status changes at Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5. British Airways is free on the App Store.
EasyJet, a low-cost airline in the United Kingdom, has also updated their app with Apple Watch support recently, providing personalized flight information and real-time views of travel information checked most frequently by passengers. Apple Watch users can also tweet and post to Facebook at various stages of their trip directly from the watch face. EasyJet is free on the App Store.
Qantas for Apple Watch is designed to eliminate the stress that can be associated with the flying experience. The app will provide a range of up-to-the-minute travel information and notifications on your Apple Watch including: departure time and gate information, in-air departure and arrival time-zone information, transit time information, lounge access eligibility, frequent Flyer login access, baggage carousel information (at selected destinations), boarding pass access (via Passbook) and delay or cancellation notifications. Qantas Airways is free on the App Store.
Air France for Apple Watch will deliver much of the same functionality as the airline's iPhone app, access upcoming reservations, including the ability to check if your flight is on time or confirm that you are checked in. You can also view all of your essential trip information via Glances, including your gate or departure terminal, your seat and the time remaining before boarding, and obtain your boarding pass through Passbook. Air France is free on the App Store.
Ryanair has pledged support for the Apple Watch when the wrist-worn device becomes available in Ireland.
United Arab Emirates
While the Apple Watch is not available in United Arab Emirates until later in 2015, the airline Emirates recently updated their app with Apple Watch support for a hands-free travel experience. Emirates will be the first airline in the Middle East and African region to offer an Apple Watch app, with similar functionality as others: review your list of upcoming trips, access real-time flight information, receive notifications and access your boarding pass through Passbook. Emirates is free on the App Store.
Japan Airlines has developed an Apple Watch app that it will be available when the device launches on April 24. The app will offer similar functionality as the other airlines listed above. JAL is free on the App Store.
FlightTrack 5: Flight tracking, real-time departure and delay information, and more
TripCase: Manage your trips, receive free flight alerts, and more
In our ongoing iPad Air 2 keyboard review series, we've looked at the ClamCase Pro and the BrydgeAir. Today we've got a look at another popular iPad keyboard that MacRumors readers suggested we review, the Qode Ultimate Pro from Belkin.
The Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case is one of the more versatile keyboard cases we've looked at, because it's able to detach from the keyboard to serve as a standalone iPad case and it's usable in both portrait and landscape modes. Other standout features include backlit keys, a full keyboard layout, and auto on/off functionality.
What's in the Box and Setup
The box includes the two-piece keyboard, an accompanying micro-USB charger, and instructions on how to get it up and running. Setup is similar to any other Bluetooth device, with pairing done by pressing the Bluetooth button on the keyboard and selecting the keyboard in the Settings menu of the iPad.
We ran into some occasional difficulties with Bluetooth, where we had to remove the device completely from the list of known devices and re-pair, but for the most part, the Bluetooth connection was solid in our testing.
The Qode Ultimate Pro comes in two separate pieces: a detachable keyboard and a plastic case that snaps on to the back of the iPad Air 2. The two pieces connect to one another using several magnets. There's a magnetic flap covered with a leather-like material on the keyboard that attaches to the back of the case to hold the pieces together, and then the case fits into one of two slots on the keyboard where it is held in place by additional magnets (these magnets also control the automatic connection between your iPad and the keyboard). The two different slots allow for slightly different viewing angles.
Using magnets to attach the two pieces of the case together allows the iPad to be used without the keyboard attached or with the keyboard folded back, providing several possible use cases not possible with other keyboard cases on the market.
Monday April 20, 2015 9:26 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard
With Apple Watch's April 24 delivery date getting closer and closer, a few accessory manufactures have been revealing new stands for the wrist worn device.
First is "The Timber Catchall for Apple Watch", a more comprehensive version of Pad & Quill's "Luxury Pocket Stand", which the company announced closely following Apple's "Spring Forward" event. The Timber Catchall aims to provide grooves for keys and loose change with a larger area on its base built for charging a resting iPhone, along with an elevated specified area designed for the Apple Watch.
Pad & Quill's Timber Catchall can be pre-ordered from its website in three different color options at three different price points: American Cherry ($99.00), African Mahogany ($109.00), and Premium American Walnut ($139.00). All versions of the stand have an estimated "Late May" shipping date.
DODOCase's "Charging Stand for Apple Watch" has a similar natural wood finish akin to Pad and Quill's line of stands, but with a weighted base that the company promises will provide "sturdy placement" and less fumbling when removing the Watch from the stand.
As a less traditional charging option, DODOCase is also selling the "Dual Charging Dock Organizer", which is fashioned after a novel and allows users to simultaneously charge their Apple Watch and iPhone. The slot for an iPhone "Holds all iPhone sizes, and can fit most phone cases", according to the company, and a hidden compartment lies underneath to thread the Watch's MagSafe adapter and allow for an easy laid-flat charging solution with the wearable.
Most interesting is a hidden storage compartment underneath the charging area of the stand, big enough to hold headphones, charging cables, and even extra Apple Watch bands when not in use.
Part of our Apple Watch accessory collection: a Dual Charging Dock Organizer for both your iPhone and Apple Watch. Our innovative Charging Dock is made from a Baltic Birch wood tray, which magnetically attaches to a handmade Bookbound Cover. Apple’s inductive MagSafe charger is seamlessly integrated into the wood dock, allowing your watch to lay flat while your phone slides into a carved divot perfectly angled for optimal viewing capability.
The book features a hidden compartment beneath the Birch tray to store cables, headphones, and extra watch straps. When not in use, close the cover and everything disappears into the disguise of a book. The Charging Dock Organizer will become your essential bedside table companion or desktop accessory featuring traditional craftsmanship for today's modern technology.
Monday April 20, 2015 8:11 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard
A new video posted to YouTube over the weekend takes a look at the startup time for a demo Apple Watch, with the device taking exactly 1 minute and 10 seconds to go from a black screen to showcasing the clock face of the Watch. Although that startup time seems lengthy in comparison to those of other Apple products, multiple factors could be affecting the device's boot process.
The Apple Watch in the video is a demo unit, with internals reportedly very close to retail units, but heavy software customization and other factors particular to the demo setup could be impeding this particular Watch's boot time. It's also unclear how much starting up an Apple Watch will be an issue with consumers, with most likely to leave the device on while charging it overnight, similar to an iPhone.
The Apple Watch has been up for pre-order for just over a week, with many models drifting past the initial 4/24-5/8 delivery window from the moment of availability or very soon after, and all models selling out within just a few hours. Customers in the first wave of deliveries should begin getting shipping updates on their Apple Watch orders shortly as the official April 24 launch on Friday draws near.
As we head further into April, deals have begun to dry up a bit. There are still discounts on a few select iPad models, and low prices on the iMac, older MacBook Air, and older MacBook Pro models. Deals on current products like the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 are unavailable this week, so if you're looking to buy a tablet, you might want to hold off for a bit.
We have several exclusive offers just for MacRumors readers this week, on games from GameAgent and products from Casetify, a site that offers custom iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch accessories. We've also rounded up some great apps you can get on the cheap this week.
iPad Air 2
Best Buy continues to offer the lowest prices we've seen on a single iPad Air 2: the 16GB Cellular iPad Air 2 in silver is available for $499.99, $130 off its regular price.
Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Amazon also have remaining stock of now-discontinued higher-capacity iPad mini 2 models, which are a good deal if you're looking for an iPad mini. Compared to the iPad mini 3, the iPad mini 2 only lacks Touch ID.
There are quite a few apps that are on sale at discounted prices or available for free for a limited time. We'll highlight a few here, but make sure to check out our sister site AppShopper for a complete list.
Woot is offering the Lifeproof Fre case for the iPhone 6 for $54.99, down from $79.99. Woot's also got an Apple Lightning cable 2-pack available for $15.99. StackSocial is selling TuneUp for Mac for $14.99, down from $49.95.
Woot has the Jawbone BIG Jambox for $179.99, down from $299.99. the MyCharge Hub 9000 Power Bank is available for $64.99 from Amazon, down from $139.99.
Groupon is selling the Griffin Survivor Case for iPhone 5/5s for $11.99, down from $49.99. DailySteals has the iPad mini Smart Case in beige for $20, down from $69.
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