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Third-Party Apple Watch Bands May Be Coming Soon Followin...

Today, 02:28 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple today debuted a new developer site (via Macotakara) titled "Creating Bands for Apple Watch", which includes band design guidelines for third-party companies looking to make bands for the Apple Watch. The design guidelines include requirements for the bands to achieve Apple certification in the new Made for Apple Watch program, which is similar to the already established Made for iPhone program.

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Apple Watch bands are easily changed with simple release buttons and lugs that secure the band to the Apple Watch case. When creating your custom bands, refer to the band design guidelines and lug profile. Apple Watch lugs will be available soon through the Made for Apple Watch program.
Firstly, the bands must integrate with the two lugs that mate with the Apple Watch Band Interface. They also should not integrate magnetic chargers and the lug latch must never be jammed while in an extended position. Bands also cannot prevent a user's skin from maintaining direct contact with the Watch's heart rate sensors or general back area. The band themselves must also compensate for any potential shifting or dimensional changes in material.

Apple also has recommendations for the materials that lugs and lug latches should be made of, with the lugs being made out of a specific silicone, nylon or stainless steel while lug latches are recommended to be made out of either nylon or stainless steel. Other requirements for band materials include compliance with applicable environmental regulations in regions where bands are intended to be sold.

Finally, Apple has physical requirements for what the bands for Apple Watch are not allowed to do, which include not obstructing Apple Watch hardware items like the mic or speaker, the charging pad, the antenna, and the heart rate sensors. They also cannot extend beyond the sensor windows, cover the glass or interfere with the Digital Crown or Force Touch.

While the Apple Watch only launched a little over a week ago and many early adopters have yet to receive their new devices, interest in third-party bands has been growing, with some using parts from the Classic Buckle to make their own custom bands. The guidelines for the Made for Apple Watch program are now available, and it's likely the first official third-party bands could be seen in the coming months.mf.gif


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How third-party bands are allowed to work with Apple Watch

Today, 01:40 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
One of the biggest questions still surrounding the Apple Watch has been what kind of accessories will be allowed to work with the device. Several third-party companies have already started advertising their own bands and cases, but Apple has yetmf.gif


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Apple launches official ‘Made for Apple Watch’ third-part...

Today, 01:04 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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In line with our report from a couple of weeks ago, Apple has just debuted an official program for third-party accessory developers to design and launch bands for the Apple Watch. In line with the MFi program for iPhone, iPads, and iPod accessories, this new program is called “Made for Apple Watch.” One of the device’s marquee features is its ability to connect to different straps by way of a standard connector on either side of the Watch, and now, much like with iPhones and iPads, accessory makers will be able to make good use of the product…

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On a new website, Apple provides a pair of design guidelines for third-party bands, and Apple promises that “lugs” (attachments for the bands as shown in the video above) will be available soon . Even prior to today’s launch, several third-party developers have debuted straps with new leathers, battery packs, and unique designs. Apple’s guidelines for third-party band development indicate that the accessories must comply with certain environmental specifications and be able to be tightened enough to a wrist to remain compatible with the Watch’s heart rate sensor.

The guidelines do not mention the hidden diagnostic port that some accessory makers hope to leverage. Today’s announcement additionally does not provide official specifications for developing charging accessories, such as the first third-party capable introduced earlier today. For its part, Apple sells various rubber, leather, and metal Apple Watch bands in addition to extra MagSafe chargers in a stainless steel variation. Apple has also provided design diagrams for the Watch, which may intrigue those interested in the Apple Watch’s industrial design:

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Apple TV remote is getting a trackpad this summer

Today, 12:13 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple has been gearing up to launch a redesigned Apple TV to go with its rumored streaming service, and a new report claims the new black box will also include a redesigned TV remote with a trackpad. According to the New Yorkmf.gif


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Apple redesigns Apple Watch interface guidelines website...

Today, 12:06 AM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple today has published a redesigned version of its Human Interface Guidelines website for Apple Watch WatchKit application development. The new website is far cleaner than the previous website, and introduces lengthier and more interactive descriptions of the different Apple Watch interface paradigms…

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The new website includes short video tours of specific Apple Watch input elements, such as Force Touch, the Digital Crown, and the side button, in order to provide developers with a better look at how WatchKit apps should be developed. Like the previous version of the website, design categories are organized into five sections: Overview, App Components, UI Elements, Specifications, and Resources.

The new guidelines also include a larger promotion of using WatchKit for notifications and short interactions. This new website is yet another offering from Apple to enhance the Apple Watch application development process. Last month, Apple introduced a limited program for developers to receive an entry-level Apple Watch with free expedited shipping. Apple has said that over 3500 WatchKit titles are available.


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Massive LEGO Star Wars ship destroyed in high-def slo-mo

Yesterday, 11:59 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
16 hours to make, mere seconds to destroy this huge LEGO model of Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer from Return of the Jedi. If there’s anything more symptomatic of our consumer culture — aside from the iPhone and Apple Watchmf.gif


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Apple Maps Connect travels to five additional European co...

Yesterday, 11:53 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Apple this week has expanded its Apple Maps Connect service to five additional regions in Europe: Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. The additions were noted in an email to users of the platform and on the Apple Maps Connect website. For those unfamiliar, Apple Maps Connect allows business owners to both manage existing Apple Maps listings and add additional listings to the platform. This service works closely with the Apple Indoor Mapping feature, which aims for businesses to help Apple build up a portfolio of indoor mapping data. Apple earlier expanded Apple Maps Connect via service updates in January, February, and MarchThanks Chris!

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Remote for Next-Generation Apple TV to Include 'Touch...

Yesterday, 11:52 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
appletvremote.jpgApple's next-generation Apple TV will include a new touch-based remote with a revamped design, reports The New York Times, citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans. Described as being "slightly thicker" than the current version, the new Apple TV remote will gain a "touch pad" that will be used for scrolling, along with two physical buttons.

The touch pad will likely replace the circular click-wheel style control that's on the existing remote, giving users an easier way to scroll through content on the Apple TV. Currently, navigating through content on a channel like Netflix with the Apple TV remote requires users to click multiple times on the click wheel.

A touch-based control area on the remote would likely function similarly to the Apple Remote apps on the iPhone and the Apple Watch, allowing for swipe-based controls for scrolling through content available on the Apple TV. Using the Apple Watch or the iPhone to browse channels and make selections on the existing Apple TV is both quicker and easier than using the current physical remote.

Size wise, The New York Times' source says the new remote will be similar in design to the remote control for the Amazon Echo speaker system, which is approximately 0.6 inches thick. The current Apple TV remote is 0.2 inches thick and has not seen a redesign since the Apple TV initially debuted in 2007.

Rumors have suggested that Apple's redesigned Apple TV could make an appearance in June, at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Along with today's rumor pointing towards a new design for the remote, previous rumors have indicated the device will include an A8 processor, Siri integration, a dedicated App Store, and expanded internal storage.

Apple is also rumored to be working on an accompanying Internet-based television service, which may see it providing between 20 and 30 channels at a price of $30 to $40 per month.mf.gif


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New Apple TV remote control will have touchpad in additio...

Yesterday, 11:39 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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As we reported earlier this year, the upcoming Apple TV will feature a redesigned remote with improved functionality, according to The New York Times. We reported that the new remote would have more tactile buttons and a new design, and today’s report adds that the controller will have a touchpad akin to the trackpads on Apple laptops. There will also be two physical buttons on the remote, the report claims.

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Apple’s new Apple TV remote has been heavily tested in the company’s employee training program, according to the report. In an Apple University training course, instructors compared the Apple TV remote to a Google TV remote control that had 78 buttons. Apple emphasized during the course that it wants its TV remote to be simply and easy to understand.

Today’s report also corroborates our own sources and claims that the refreshed Apple TV will be unveiled this summer at WWDC. The refreshed Apple TV will reportedly be slimmer than the current model and feature a redesigned operating system with support for Apple’s upcoming web TV service and its new streaming music service. The device is also expected to use Apple’s latest A8 chip for improved performance.

The upcoming Apple TV will not feature support for 4K content, according to a report from earlier this year. Apple allegedly does not believe that there is any major benefit to supporting the technology with its set-top box.

In reality, the need for a touchpad on the Apple TV remote is very small. Apple already offers a Remote app on iPhone and Watch, both of which are almost certainly more capable than the built-in Apple TV remote touchpad will be. The Apple TV has long been praised for its simplistic remote, so it remains to be seen whether Apple will be able to keep that simplicity with a touchpad.


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First third-party Apple Watch magnetic charging cable arr...

Yesterday, 11:13 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Is this the first third-party Apple Watch charging cable? Apple hasn’t yet announced official plans for a third-party accessory program for Apple Watch, but that hasn’t stopped accessory makers from creating stands, charging docks, straps, and other accessories for the device. This charging cable from Ionic, a company that sells a lot of MFi certified cables and adapters through Amazon, might be the first advertising a third-party version of Apple’s own magnetic charging cable.

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While the company confirmed it isn’t an Apple certified cable (Apple has yet to introduce specs for these cable), it’s the first non-Apple cables we’ve seen up for preorder.

The majority of Ionic Pro’s cables on Amazon are listed as MFi certified, meaning they’ve received Apple’s approval through the company’s Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod licensing program, but accessory makers are still waiting on official specs from Apple. The MFi program is usually the only official way for accessory makers to get Apple’s approval, and it’s required for most accessories that utilize any of Apple’s proprietary technologies, like the Lightning cable/port.

The Iconic Pro cable is listed for $15, undercutting Apple’s price of $29/$39 for 1m and 2m cables through Apple’s online store. The company tells us the price will go up to $24– still a deal compared to Apple’s pricing– once it’s in stock starting May 31. The cable is 1m, but the supplier is planning to launch a 2m version to match Apple’s offerings.

Apple doesn’t usually recommend using third-party charging solutions that aren’t MFi certified for any of its devices, but it hasn’t issued any warnings regarding Apple Watch specifically. Some users have discovered that Apple’s charger works with other smartwatches and devices that use similar inductive charging solutions, like the Moto 360, but it’s unclear what will be required to enable charging of Apple Watch by non-Apple adapters. 

Earlier today we told you about at least one accessory maker’s plans to tap Apple Watch’s hidden port for battery straps and faster charging, and why it’s probably not a great idea this early in the game.


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