Apple has today added a new guideline to the App Store Review Guidelines, the first clause specifically targeted at Apple Watch development. This rule that Watch apps that only tell time will be rejected has actually been enforced since Apple started accepting WatchKit submissions as many developers complained to find their apps had been rejected for this reason. The documentation change now formalizes this rule into an official policy.
The Apple Watch does not currently allow third-parties to create custom watch faces. Users are limited to the choice of ten faces that come pre-installed. Most of these faces can be customized with different features and complications (info panels) to suit user’s preferences, but it still leaves many eager for a wider choice of clock faces, especially when you consider that one of the ten faces available is Mickey Mouse.
Hope for third-party faces is resting on Apple’s announcement of a native SDK, which it has promised for later this year. It is very possible though that the native SDK will only allow developers to create apps, not system-level watch faces. As a compromise, there has been some speculation that Apple will add support for third-party complications but not whole watch faces.
Apple does seem to be considering adding more first-party faces soon, though. The Help Guide includes this paragraph:
Apple Watch includes a variety of watch faces, any of which you can customize to suit you. Check frequently for software updates; the set of watch faces that follows might differ from what you see on your Apple Watch.
This seems to imply that forthcoming software updates to the Apple Watch firmware will ship with more watch faces to choose from. At least, that text suggests that Apple has plans for changing the set of faces it bundles with Watch OS in the near term. In September, Apple showed two watch faces, Photo and Timelapse (Timelase is the third screenshot above), in marketing materials that disappeared by the time the Apple Watch was released. It is not unconceivable for these faces to make a return in future.
Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, Developers, iOS Devices Tagged: Apple watch, reject, review
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As Apple continues its marketing campaign for the Apple Watch along with its release, the company has shared a recent interview with Christy Turlington Burns hosted by fitness lead Jay Blahnik at the Regent Street Apple Store in London.
Turlington Burns ran in the London Marathon on Sunday wearing the Apple Watch. Since her appearance on stage at Apple’s March event for the new device, she’s been highlighting using the Watch to prepare for the marathon with updates of her experience on Apple’s website each week. In turn, she’s been able to promote her non-profit organization Every Mother Countsas Apple gets to show off the Apple Watch fitness and health features.
Blahnik, who hosts the interview, previously served as a key developer of Nike’s FuelBand system until Apple hired the fitness expert in early 2013 as we first reported. Blahnik has since discussed his role in the Apple Watch’s development in an internal memo with employees earlier this year. Blahnik can also be seen hosting Apple’s tour of the Watch’s fitness testing facility shared last month.
The Apple Watch features a heart rate sensor and a dedicated Workout app. An activity app tracks how many times a wearer stands each day, how many calories have been burned, and how much exercise a wear has had. A companion app for tracking activity is available on the iPhone when paired with an Apple Watch.
The Blahnik-Turlington Burns interview is available as a free podcast download on iTunes and runs 27 minutes long. The interview was held before Sunday’s race and covers the fashion model’s Every Mother Counts organization in-depth as well as her experience with Apple Watch. [Note: the video version of the podcast seems to be currently unavailable.]
Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Activity, Apple Store, Apple watch, Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts, fitness, iTunes, Jay Blahhnik, London, London Marathon, Podcast, Podcasts, Regent Street, Regent Street Apple Store
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Many of the games are free extensions of iOS games, but a few range in price from $1.99 to $3.99 on the App Store. Our sister site, TouchArcade, gave its initial thoughts on most of the games listed below in a roundup of Apple Watch games and companion apps.
Starting off with the free games, Nimblebit's word game Letterpad tasks players with deciphering the spelling of a word using only a short hint and the number of letters within the hidden word. Solving the word progresses players to the next puzzle, the game slowly amping up difficulty along the way. The game uses Force Touch to let users spend hints, shuffle letters and clear spelling attempts. Letterpad is free on the App Store.
Watch Quest! Heroes of Time is designed specifically for Apple Watch and lets players view and interact with a hero on an epic quest. The catch is that the hero is on auto-pilot, fighting enemies and delving into dungeons on their own, but requires help from the player to ensure success.
So, for example, if a user fails to check in after a specific notification (open a treasure chest, battle a particularly tough foe), the in-game hero will fail to succeed at the mission. Watch Quest! Heroes of Time is free on the App Store, with the added caveat that it's essentially a tutorial mission and the full game can be unlocked at $0.99.
Another interesting RPG-like game is Runeblade, which tasks players with dispatching a rotary of enemies every time they re-visit the app. Upon victory, players win gold that can be used to upgrade damage and attack speed, and then points them onto a new quest and enemies to defeat all leading to bigger boss battles.
Players can look forward to unlockable spells, harder enemies, and "a wealth of items to unlock" as they progress, according to TouchArcade. Runeblade is free on the App Store.
One of the more notable paid apps is called Spy_Watch, which provides a bit of a meta game in letting its players role-play as the offspring of the former head of a famous Spy Organization. While playing, they are faced with the immense task of rebuilding the shuttered group from the ground up while simultaneously digging through clues regarding the player's mysteriously killed father.
What all this essentially boils down to is the player's input on the main menu in deciding on which missions to take to advance the story, earn more cash, or training to advance the player's skill set. After initiating a mission, a timer counts down in real-time, eventually alerting players to return to the game to continue their mission of espionage and discovery on the game's world map. Bossa Studios' Spy_Watch is $1.99 on the App Store.
As TouchArcade points out, many of the first wave launch games on the Apple Watch appear to be designed for quick bursts of gameplay with some form of motivation to keep checking back into the experience. While some games still fall flat on either (or both) of those fronts, and are subsequently not worth much of a mention, we will keep updating this roundup of new and notable games for the Apple Watch as they become available.
More notable games for Apple Watch:
- Rules! ($2.99, currently available as a free download within Apple Store app)
- Trivia Crack ($2.99, ad free)
- Letter Zap (Free)
- BoxPop (Free)
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iPads: mini 3 16GB Wi-Fi $250 (Reg. $399), Air 2 Wi-Fi 64GB $500 (Reg. $599), 128GB $590 ($699)
Add AirPlay music streaming to your house w/ JBL’s SoundFly Air Wi-Fi Speaker for $39 shipped (Orig. $200)Aukey: 20,000mAh powerbank $27 (Reg. $35), Bluetooth hands-free car kit $20 Prime shipped (Reg. $30), more
Review: Omaker M4 Splashproof/droppable Bluetooth 4.0 Speaker with NFC: $25 Prime shipped (Orig. $70)
$50 iTunes gift card for $40 shipped: save 20% on apps, music, movies and more
This $7 iPhone 6 armband is the perfect Apple Watch workout companion (Reg. $12)
Small States Review: Grovemade’s Laptop Stand combines quality craftsmanship & thoughtful design, giveawayMore new gear from today:
Daily Deals: Samsung 50″ 1080p Smart TV $650 (Orig. $950), Quadcopter w/FPV Cam $130 (Orig. $200), more
- New! Your choice of two rugged Lumsing Bluetooth speakers: $20 (Reg. $24+)
- New! Harman Kardon AE in-ears w/mic & remote $49 (Reg. $125+), more
- New! Games/Apps: PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset $70, iOS freebies, more
- New! LG G Watch R drops to $249 following Watch Urbane release
iOttie iTap Magnetic Air Vent Mount for iPhone 6/6 Plus $17 Prime shipped (Reg. $25)Hours Time Tracking app from Apple Design Award winner Tapity goes free ($7 value)djay 2 for iPhone & iPad go free for the very first time
- HooToo USB 3.0 Hubs: 3-port w/ Gigabit Ethernet $12 (Reg. $24), 4-port $7 (Reg. $14)
- Samsung 60″ 1080p 240Hz HDTV $1,100, LG 34″ UltraWide Monitor w/ Thunderbolt 2 $751
- Earjax ‘Lyrics’ Noise-Isolating Earbuds: $35 Shipped (Orig. $100)
- WD Wireless 2TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive streams 4 HD videos at a time, on sale for $160 (Reg. $200)
- Apple-certified MFi Lightning cables: 2-Pack 1.3-ft $10, 3-ft $7, 6-ft $10, 10-ft $10, more
- Home: 1 yr. Sam’s Club Plus w/ $20 GC $41 ($143 value), more
- Groupon 10% off: iPad mini Lifeproof $27, PS4/Xbox One refurbs from $234, more
- New Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 trailer and early access to multiplayer beta
- Baytek PartyMix Portable Bluetooth Speaker $22 Prime shipped (Orig. $46)
- iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit Bundle $65 shipped (Orig. $110)
- EC Technology portable foldable Bluetooth keyboard $27 Prime shipped (Orig. $70)
- 5-Pack of HDMI 6-ft cables $6 shipped (Orig. $12+)
- Jawbone Big Jambox Bluetooth Speaker w/ 3 Color options (refurb) $140 (Orig. $300)
- Laser Printers: Samsung Xpress Wireless All-in-One $100, Xerox Phaser $100, more
- Toshiba 1TB $50 (Orig. $75), 3-Pack Seagate 1.5TB $150 ($210 value), more
- Seagate Expansion 5TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive $120 shipped (Orig. $250)
- Add Ethernet and more USB 3.0 ports to your MacBook for $16 Prime shipped, more
- Media: Meat Loaf’s Greatest Hits free (~$15 value), Unbroken HD rental $1 (Reg. $5), more
- ZeroLemon SolarJuice 10000mAh water resistant Battery Pack w/ flashlight: $26 (Orig. $50)
Rock out with this scaled down Bluetooth-connected Iron Man Mark XLIII mask
The Flyte levitating light bulb works like magic and looks like a dream
- This voice-activated sensor turns any regular trashcan into an iOS connected smartcan
- This iOS connected hybrid trash can vacuum is “the world’s first smartcan”
- ElevationLab’s NightStand is a versatile charging dock for your Apple Watch
- SquareTrade takes on AppleCare+ for Apple Watch with its own 2-yr protection plans
- popSlate’s new case puts an E Ink display on the back of your iPhone 6
- Wakē uses infrared sensors and parametric speakers to wake up one person at a time
- Droplet smart buttons remind you to get things done without a barrage of notifications
- Two of Philips’ new LED light bulbs can be had for just $5
Filed under: Tips and Tricks Tagged: 9to5Toys, AirPlay, Amazon, app deals, Apple watch, Best Buy, Daily Deals, free apps, Gold Box, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, itunes gift cards, video games
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As lucky early adopters get their hands on the world’s first Apple Watches, Spigen has unveiled a collection of accessories designed to hold and protect them. The lineup includes the most aggressively-priced metal stand we’ve seen from any company, as well as affordable protectors that can keep an Apple Watch looking new — important if you want to guard against the bumps and scratches of everyday life, maximizing its trade-in value.
Spigen’s lineup starts with the S330 Watch Stand, an aluminum frame that resembles Apple’s classic iMac and Thunderbolt Display stands, and continues with five different cases and two anti-scratch screen protectors. They’re all currently available for pre-order, shipping in May…
The S330 Watch Stand has obvious appeal. Beyond its Mac-matching metal and shape, it satisfies a widely understood need for elevating and securing the Apple Watch on your nightstand while it’s charging. Anti-scratch TPU holds Apple’s magnetic charger and displays the Watch on a 45-degree angle, moving its charging cable off to the side to prevent accidental disconnection. At only $20, it’s affordable enough to get one for where you sleep, and one for wherever you go after working out.
Liquid Crystal ($15) is Spigen’s most mainstream Apple Watch case. Made from 0.8mm of completely clear TPU, it lets the Apple Watch Sport models shine like their more expensive steel brothers, and adds anti-scratch protection for any Watch’s metal body — scratchable steel Apple Watch owners may especially appreciate this. Precision-cut holes provide full access to the screen, wristband connection points, and rear sensor/charging surface. Regardless of the Apple Watch version you select, Liquid Crystal can keep its body invisibly safe during the scrapes and jostles of city commuting.
Thin Fit ($15) is a hard polycarbonate protector with two features. First, it can protect the front and side edges of the Apple Watch — the parts most likely to accidentally bump against things on your wrist — and second, it can color-shift your Watch. Given the especially limited availability of space gray and space black Apple Watches, Thin Fit’s black version can nicely darken the standard aluminum Apple Watch Sport, while its gold version can cause double-takes at a much lower price than the Apple Watch Edition. Silver and white versions are also available.
Spigen’s three Armor series cases offer different levels of ruggedization for people who like heavy-duty anti-shock protection — particularly useful for athletic users who want to safeguard their Watch investments. Tough Armor ($19, above left) is the most hard-core of the designs, a two-piece hard plastic and soft TPU case that snaps together, recalling Casio’s G-Shock watches. Gunmetal-, gold-, and orange-faced versions are offered, each with an integrated screen protector, black back, and metallic side button cover. Primarily made from TPU, the black or white Rugged Armor ($15, center) is a TPU-only, slimmer version of Tough Armor that has similarly sporty looks and a metallic button cover, but no screen coverage. Slim Armor ($20, right) is a soft TPU case offered in metallic gold, silver, or white versions, each including button protection and a flexible, semi-protective Digital Crown guard.
Except for Tough Armor, screen coverage is optional across all of the Spigen cases. Spigen is offering Crystal ($10 for 3), a “rainbowless” clear protector that promises to protect the entire flat area of the Apple Watch display against scratches, as well as Steinheil Flex ($13), a self-healing TPU film that covers the whole display and bounces back against scratches. While the sapphire displays of the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition mightn’t benefit from screen protectors, these can keep the Apple Watch Sport’s glass face looking new — particularly important if you want to upgrade your Apple Watch by trading it in for a new model next year, but also a simple way to avoid everyday accidental damage.
Filed under: Apple Watch, General Tagged: Apple watch, Crystal screen film, Liquid Crystal, Rugged Armor, S330 Watch Stand, Slim Armor, Spigen, Steinheil Flex, Thin Fit, Tough Armor
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There are a whole bunch of ways to help you get to grips with the Apple Watch user-interface, from online videos to in-store workshops to personal setup to comprehensive flow charts to the full user guide. But having had mine for a few days, I thought I’d put together the instant overview I wished I’d had on day one.
I’m not attempting to cover everything the watch can do, or anything close to it – merely give you the 1-minute overview of where you find things so you’ll be up-and-running as quickly as possible when you take delivery of your watch …
This is, obviously, the watch face. If you choose one with complications – info fields – then you can tap those fields directly to open the corresponding app. For example, tap the activity rings top-left, and it will open the activity app.
Swipe down on the watch-face to see your notifications, exactly as you do on your iPhone. You can also scroll them with your finger exactly as on the iPhone, but as this covers the screen it’s better to use the Digital Crown to scroll. Tap a notification to open it and get options (for example, replying to a message).
Swipe up for what Apple calls ‘Glances’ – effectively just a name for the apps you use most often. You can think of this like double-clicking the Home button on an iPhone to show recently used apps. Just like on the iPhone, you swipe left or right between them and tap one to open it. When you launch an app, available actions are usually swipe left or right between screens, and scroll up and down the screens using the Digital Crown.
Which brings us to the physical buttons, starting with the Digital Crown.
On the watch face, pressing this takes you to your home screen – the full set of apps. If you are in an app, it becomes an escape key, returning you to the watch face. Finally, long-hold it for Siri – exactly as you would the home button on your iPhone.
The second button is mostly used to open your favorite contacts. The digital Crown scrolls around them, then tap when the contact you want is display. You then get buttons to call, message or Digital Touch (if they have an Apple Watch).
Obviously there’s way more you can do, but with that intro, you’ll be up-and-running soon as your Apple Watch is paired and ready to roll. Here’s a summary:
Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, Apple Watch flowchart, Apple Watch guide, Apple Watch how-to, Apple Watch intro, Apple Watch overview, Apple Watch quick-start
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The results of the test confirm that the Apple Watch does have a sapphire crystal display as advertised, with the diamond tester recognizing the thermal conductivity of the scratch-resistant material. The verified Tissot watch also displays a reading on the meter, while the Apple Watch Sport, LG G Watch R and iPhone 6 do not yield any results because all three devices have traditional or ion-strengthened glass displays.
Sapphire crystal is a harder and more scratch resistant material than traditional glass, which is why Apple chose it for the more expensive Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition display and lenses of the heart rate sensor. Apple cut the sapphire crystal with a diamond-encrusted wire to allow for a precise fit and polished it with diamond-covered pellets for a smooth and glossy finish.
"Sapphire is the second-hardest transparent substance after diamond," reads the Apple Watch materials page. "That’s why we chose it to cover the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition faces, and to make the lenses of the heart rate sensor. Our sapphire crystal comes from the highest-quality boules. Only the purest, clearest, and strongest sapphire crystal is harvested. To ensure a precise fit for the case, the crystal is cut using a diamond-encrusted wire. To make room for an integrated antenna, a tiny groove is laser-ablated around its perimeter. And to create the smoothest possible finish, the crystal is polished with diamond-covered pellets."Apple Watch has been put through a variety of tests since it was released last week, giving users an idea of how the wrist-worn device manages based on both normal and unrealistic usage. CNET shared an Apple Watch torture test on Friday that, among other things, involved submerging the watch in hot water and pouring ketchup and maple syrup on it, while another video took the Apple Watch into the shower and swimming pool as part of a waterproof test.
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