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jimmylvo at 2014/10/01  23:11:00  

Over the weekend, Ariel Adams of aBlogtoWatch posted an incredibly detailed and informative hands-on review of the Apple Watch. While there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the Apple Watch in terms of pricing, availability, and even functionality, Adams' post provides an illuminating look at what may very well be, to borrow a phrase from Samsung, Apple's next big thing. Adams' full post is impressively thorough and well worth reading in its entirety.

Below are a few of the highlights.

Where the Apple Watch might be sold

An interesting aspect to the Apple Watch centers on where the device might be sold. The Apple Watch represents Apple's first foray into the world of traditional luxury goods and it stands to reason that the device might fit in just as comfortably in a luxury watch boutique as an iPhone does in Best Buy. To this end, Adams isn't the first to speculate that the Apple Watch might be available for purchase in high-end retail stores.

What is more interesting is where Apple Watches will be sold. All of a sudden, Apple has created a product that might not be ideal for sale only at the Best Buy stores of the world, but rather, high-end boutiques and department stores. Apple didn't confirm anything, but they did offer an enthusiastic hint of "that is an interesting idea" when I brought up the topic of selling the Apple Watch in non-traditional outlets such as jewelers, watch stores, and department stores. Literally nothing is out of the question at this point in regard to where people might be able to purchase an Apple Watch, outside of buying directly from Apple.

This certainly make a lot of marketing sense, especially if some Apple Watch models end up selling at prices that reach into the thousand dollar range.

The iPhone will feature a dedicated Watch app

On account of its small display, the Apple Watch will naturally rely on the iPhone to carry most of the heavy lifting, including the loading of apps.

Apple actually made clever use of the Apple Watch's relationship with the iPhone. Apple Watch users will install an Apple Watch app on their iPhone, which will be used to download apps onto the watch as well as likely manage Apple Watch settings.

Paying homage to traditional timepieces

Though the Apple Watch may very well be one of the advanced and technically complex products to ever come out of Cupertino, Apple took pains to ensure that the design, both in aesthetic and function, didn't stray terribly far of course. Jony Ive, for instance, said in a recent interview that he immersed himself in horological history and that Apple even invited over watch historians to speak at Apple's campus.

According to Adams, the work paid off:

Those familiar with the world of high-end timepieces will notice an endless series of "watch-related" design cues, noises, materials, finishes, and features that Apple adopted from the traditional world of watches. Some things they improved upon, and some things were merely used in the overall performance of the Apple Watch. A good example of the latter is the alert noise. Apple could have chosen an endless array of sounds to use when the Apple Watch needs to alert its wearer of something. Instead, they used a chiming sound that is clearly inspired by the mechanical chimes present in complicated watches with musical minute repeater or sonnerie complications.

Forgive me for not going into every single detail of how Apple was inspired by the world of traditional watches for the Apple Watch – there are frankly too many to list.


Perhaps the most important element which indicates that the Apple Watch is truly a "watch" is how it fits and is used on the wrist. The experience of wearing the Apple Watch is as good or better than most high-end timepieces, and operating the Apple Watch is very similar to how people might use their traditional timepieces.

There are so many more details and insightful opinions in Adams' full piece that I can't recommend it enough. Not only did Adams get some hands-on time with the device, but he writes about it from the perspective of someone with an appreciation for and knowledge of fine timepieces. Consequently, Adams' piece provides a lot of color to a product that, again, still has quite a bit of mystery to it.

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jimmylvo at 2014/10/01  23:03:00  

Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD

Mac users who have those speedy Thunderbolt 2 ports on their MacBook Pro with Retina display or Mac Pro now have a wonderful new way to increase the connectivity of their devices. Belkin today released the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD (US$299.99), which allows up to eight separate devices to be connected to a Mac through a single Thunderbolt cable.

Thunderbolt 2 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt, four times faster than USB 3.0, and a whopping 25 times faster than FireWire 800. The Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD features two Thunderbolt 2 ports, one HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports with charging support, one audio port, another audio out port with mic support, and a gigabit Ethernet port. There's also one AC/DC power input.

The dock will support dual displays when one display is a Thunderbolt display, and can support 4K cinema resolution on one display. Up to five Thunderbolt devices can be daisy-chained from the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD.

If the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD sounds like it's right up your alley, it's available for pre-order today and should be in Apple Stores in October. Belkin expects the dock to be available in other retail stores in November.

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jimmylvo at 2014/10/01  22:55:00  

nested folders
It's that time of the year again: Apple's latest mobile operating system is now available and there are already a couple of great ways to break it in the name of customization and productivity! Nested foldersand hidden apps -- two of the most useful glitch-tweaks from iOS 7 -- are present and accounted for in iOS 8, and here's how to make them happen.

Nested Folders

Somehow, in patching up the bug that allowed nested folders in the earliest versions of iOS 7, Apple has allowed the trick to be pulled off with remarkable ease in iOS 8.

nested folders

Start with a folder you'd like to nest (or, place within another folder, if you're not a fan of brevity) and two additional apps.

nested folders

Highlight one of the loose apps so that you can create a folder by merging it with the other unfoldered app.

nested folders

This next part needs to be done quickly, so make sure you've had your morning coffee before attempting it: place the app you're already holding over the top of the other to prompt the creation of a new folder. As soon as the folder icon begins to form, drop the app you're holding and grab the folder you wish to nest.

nested folders

If you do this correctly, you'll be pushed into the new folder while still holding the folder you wish to nest. Simply drop the folder you're holding to place it within the newly-created folder. That's it! The icon badge will even carry through to the higher-level folder so you don't have to worry about missed notifications.

Hiding Apps

This trick had been around on iOS 7 in a variety of forms and it returns in iOS 8. It's useful for hiding apps you don't want someone to find on your phone, or simply to get rid of annoying and un-deletable system apps like Stocks and iBooks.

Our friend, YouTuber Videosdebarraquito, demonstrates this trick in a handy video tutorial, and while it's fairly self-explanatory, I'll lay down the steps for you below.

  • To start, you'll need a home screen full of apps, with least one folder on the home screen, and the app you wish to hide on a separate page.
  • Highlight the app you want to hide and move it to a folder on the home screen, but don't let it go.
  • Instead, move it back out of the folder and down near the dock. Once the folder screen disappears, the home screen will once again be full and if you drop the icon in the dock it will disappear entirely.
  • Apps that you've hidden in this way are still on your phone and can be found by using the Spotlight search, but other than that, there's no way to stumble across them.
  • Apps return to their former location after you've performed a restart, so keep that in mind.

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jimmylvo at 2014/10/01  22:50:00  

One of the great new software-based camera features Apple tossed into its bag of iOS 8 tricks is the ability to take time-lapse video footage.

Curious as to how Apple implemented the feature, designer Dan Provost of StudioNeat -- purveyor ofthe Glif -- recently conducted a number of tests to determine what the iPhone's camera software was up to behind the scenes. Provost soon discovered that Apple's time-lapse feature was cleverly designed and works to ensure that even longer clips don't unnecessarily eat into your device's storage:

What Apple means by "dynamically selected intervals" is they are doubling the speed of the time-lapse and taking half as many pictures per second as the recording duration doubles. Sounds complex, but it's actually very simple.

This is an efficient way to assemble a time-lapse. When you start recording a time-lapse, the app only captures 2 frames per second. If the recording period extends beyond 10 minutes, the app switches to capturing only 1 frame per second, and deletes every other frame it had captured in the first 10 minutes.

An elegant solution, to be sure.

Make sure to check out Provost's full post for more details regarding the nuts and bolts behind iOS 8's time-lapse feature.

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jimmylvo at 2014/10/01  22:45:00  


I’m usually pretty good about giving Apple’s “new way” of doing things a chance. Whether it was the dual scroll arrow on the bottom of Finder windows, or the inverse scrolling on the MacBook’s touchpad, my motto has always been, “Well, Apple must have researched this, so let’s see if this is as good, better, or at least not worse than the old way of doing things.” More often than not I got used to the new way, and had to admit Apple was right (except for those grouped scroll arrows… GEEZ what were they thinking?)

However, I had up to this point never had as immediate and visceral a reaction to a change as I did with Apple’s new “Predictive Text” which permeates iOS 8.

Those 3 boxes, that change with each letter I type, and FLASH distractingly when it thinks it hit gold…. They are so jarring and make my windows feel so cramped, I gave it about half an hour before saying “Hell no”.

Luckily, if you also aren’t a fan, it’s easy to get rid of.
1) Go to your Settings APP
2) Scroll down to GENERAL
3) Scroll down to KEYBOARD
4) uncheck Predictive



Hooray! Your iPhone is now useable again!

I know predictive text has been a thing on other phones for some time, and apparently someone must find it useful, but wow is it annoying. I’m not sure if there is a better implementation out there, but I am not impressed with Apple’s. Sorry.

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