Tag Archives: iWatch

Microsoft and Apple face harsh realities


It hasn’t been a good week for Microsoft or Apple, and difficult decisions will have to be made at both companies. I suspect Microsoft’s will be more difficult, but neither is off the hook.

First, Microsoft: Layoffs at the company are rare, with a one-time layoff of 5,000 employees back in 2009 the first major staff reduction the company had ever seen. With their renewed push into mobile, however, and the heavily-questioned acquisition of Finnish smartphone maker Nokia, as well as the appointment of new CEO Satya Nadella, layoffs are not as rare as they once were.

All the new Apple stuff

So now we know. The new Apple watch and MacBook – that’s right, just MacBook – have been officially announced at an Apple event a yesterday in San Francisco.


The High End

The High End

The iWatch is clearly aimed at people who want a fashion statement as much as it is those who want a digital assistant, made even more evident by their 12-page advertisement spread in Vogue magazine.

The watch will come in two sizes, 38 and 42mm, and will cost from $349 for the more ‘sporty’ version, while people who have more disposable income can opt for the aluminum-band $1,049 version, or you can spec out an 18 karat gold version for $17,000. Hey, I don’t fault people for being rich or spending their money however they want.

It also provides iWatch-to-iWatch communication so you can send information between them directly, will interface with the Apple App Store, offers many different watch faces which I think is pretty cool, it has a sapphire crystal over the face (which is not unbreakable, just want to clear that up) and two buttons, one of which is a dial, and the face can recognize two different pressures. It can track physical measures, play music, the features just go on and on. It can even unlock your hotel door.

Techwise, it will use MagSafe charging in which you snap the watch against a magnetic plate and the watch charges. it uses Apple’s custom S1 system-on-a-chip, in fact the iWatch is the chip’s debut.

It’s an intriguing device, and with the installed and loyal iPhone base, will the iWatch take off? I honestly don’t know, but it has a lot of neat features and I wouldn’t be surprised.


Silver and gold, silver and gold

Silver and gold, silver and gold

The MacBook was received a little less enthusiastically, mainly because of its single expansion port and price. It’s thin – very thin at 13mm max, you could slice a tomato with the edge of the thing – but has only a single USB type C port. It comes with a 16:10 Retina display, and uses Intel’s Core M (Broadwell architecture). It won’t be a powerhouse, but it should be pretty good. Feedback has been mixed on the new butterfly switches the keyboard will use, and the ‘taptic’ trackpad. We’ll have to see how it works out.

Oh, and it comes in gold, to match your $10,000 iWatch. Surprisingly enough, I like the finish.

Pre-orders start next month, so get your money ready!

So here’s what apple talked about

You may or may not know this already, but at their big reveal Apple on the 9th Apple announced Apple Pay, the new iWatch with its new dev kit and it’s health-monitoring abilities (the even teamed up with the Mayo Clinic!), iOS8, and of course revealed the iPhone 6 in two sizes, with an amazing screen, and camera, and running on the new A8 CPU. Also, iUh-Oh (actually, this always happens).

It was a lot, actually, and a lot of exciting announcements. There are many places you can read about all of those, and to avoid one of my overly-lengthy posts I have provided some links as you can see. However it is in the glow of all these wonderful reveals that I think it’s important to remember the ones who came before, and mourn a death in the Apple family.

I’m not referring to Steve Jobs, although his loss was tragic and far too soon. There will never be another like him, and without him Apple would never have achieved what it has achieved; this industry needed him. He was a master of design and reading the marketplace, his passing was an insurmountable loss, and just like with Elvis, I remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news.

In this case, however, I want to mourn a different Apple-related loss; the death of the original iPod. Today, with the revamp of the Apple store, the original, hard-disk and rotational input-wheel is no longer supported or offered by Apple. How interesting that it was that very patent on the business card I showed in class, and on which I have based a post that will be going up on Thursday.

So long, buddy.

So long, buddy.

It’s ok, really, since we’re light-years beyond that technology anyway. But as a historian of the industry it’s always sad when something – especially something so influential – reaches the end of its life. To quote Indian Jones, “it belongs in a museum!

It’s the big (apple) day!

Today is the day that Apple will finally make its big reveal. Everyone is expecting the iPhone 6, that isn’t news. In fact, people have already started lining up for it!

No, the big story is what else they’re going to announce. The standard response is that it will be the iWatch, although there’s no certainty. Well, there’s a lot of certainty, just not total certainty. There’s also the new version of Apple’s mobile operating system iOS8, mobile payments, and health tracking.

We’ll see. The whole thing will be livestreamed over on Apple’s site at 10am (assuming you’re using a Mac and Safari), so if you’re interested and properly specced, head over and iWatch it all unfold live. Since this is also a defining moment for Apple CEO Tim Cook, whatever they do needs to be spectacular.

iWatch incoming

Now there’s a surprise! Well, not really. We all know 9/9/14 is going to be a big reveal. Hopefully, anyway. We don’t want to be let down.

We have smartphones, so why not smartwatches? Everyone appears to want to get into the smartwatch market. There is Android Wear, Samsung Galaxy Wear, the Google/LG smartwatch, Razer Nabu and entries form Microsoft and Sony.

The header image of this post is the proposed iWatch (which isn’t an official name, by the way) that was presented over on Tom’s Guide, and I have to say it looks like a pretty nifty device. It is also believed that it will have not just the ability to display apps, but will have various health-monitoring functions and present alerts as well.

I wondered how it would actually clip to the wrist in a secure fashion, and how it’s health monitoring function would actually work if the fit wasn’t tight. But I like the way it looks and the additional functionality make it appealing.

This would be nifty too.

This would be nifty too.

Sadly, I also learned it may not look anything like that, and will instead come across as much more pedestrian as you can see over on CNN Money. Their byline even says ‘See Blueprints for Apple’s Smartwatch” and it looks like a regular, square faced watch.

I didn’t think people wore watches too much these days anyway, but I have no numbers to back that up. I haven’t worn one for years, and there has been evidence that smart devices/phones are used for that purpose more and more, even all the way back in 2005 (and don’t miss the picture on that page!).

But now they are, apparently, coming back. I’m ok with it, and after having become troubled about the standard watch-y design the new iWatch will supposedly have, this article over at Gizmodo says the design is still way up in the air and even hint at a design more akin to the one at the top of this post. Here’s another example from artist Todd Hamilton, as presented on the linked page. It’s pretty nifty.

This looks appropriately Apple

This looks appropriately Apple

I feel that if you’re going to make a smartwatch, you shouldn’t force yourself into standard watch design. Make it something unique, especially since we ultimately just don’t know how how well they work in the first place.