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The importance of the Apple Watch band connector

September 21, 2014

An astute insight from Drew Breunig (via MG Siegler):

Apple answers this problem by making the bands detachable. In doing so, they’re isolating the part of the product which will not go obsolete (at least not anytime soon) and making this the precious bit.


Apple Watch introduced

September 15, 2014

So it’s called the Apple Watch.

But even Tim Cook slipped-up calling it the iWatch during an interview with ABC News (kudos to Tom Warren for spotting it), it’s a sign that Apple was calling it the iWatch internally before the official introduction. I believe at first they intended to go with the iWatch moniker, and the change of heart shows how the new Apple under Tim is preparing a new naming for long term.

It’s not about Tim marking his leadership stamp on Apple, or about Tim stepping out of the late Steve Jobs shadow, I truly believe the reason is much simpler than that; calling it Apple Watch sounds more prestige which exactly what Apple wanted. Although calling it as the iWatch has an instant ring to being an Apple device, Apple wants the simple new naming will appeal to a broader audience while at the same time reaffirming the company’s name reputation as the world’s tech leader.

That same reason is behind the naming of the new Apple Pay, it sounds more assuring since it carries the already famous Apple brand, when you answer the cashier at the counter that you’re using Apple’s new payment service it feels as if Apple is the one who’s going to pay it for you. Let’s assume Apple is using the usual “i” moniker, can you imagine the cheeky reaction when the cashier asks you “How would you like to pay for these groceries?”, when you answer: “iPay,” then cashier is confused and will keep on asking you “Yes, I know you’re paying, but with what?” If you feels you’re in the mood and like to play the game, all you’ve got to do is keep saying “iPay” over and over.

Using the Apple brand infront of every new devices and services also helps Tim to lessen the headache of facing possible legal law suits in the future, remember how Apple fought the hard way to require the iPhone brand just after Steve Jobs introduced it back in 2007, or how Apple is still fighting for iPhone name in Brazil, it’s a mess. Everybody wants a piece of Apple’s reputation by simply attaching the “i moniker to their product’s name.

I bet this is where Apple’s recent hiring sprees of Paul Deneve (ex YSL chief exec) and Angela Ahrendts (ex Burberry CEO) comes in play, not to interfere with the Apple Watch design process but to give it more muscles to market the Apple Watch as a luxury fashion item. And we’re already see how it goes, there are around 34 combinations to choose which one of the Apple Watch designs that truly shows who you are. Like the old Apple we know, they won’t let you pollute the UI with themes but instead Apple now lets you customize the look of the Apple Watch to your heart’s content.

Back to the Apple Watch, from now on I’ll just going to call it the Watch, and Apple Pay, it’s a beautiful combination of both a very personal device and a very useful service that Apple have perfected. Sure, you can use the new iPhone 6 with the Apple Pay but wouldn’t it be more convenient to just move your hand a bit near the NFC sensor unit on the cashier’s table with the Watch ready on your wrist? It’s another seamless personal experience, and that’s what the Watch is all about, and what Apple does best.

Lots of people are asking how the Watch is going handle the security token verifying the payment without Touch ID, the answer lies on the brilliant of Apple’s marketing: you have to pair the Watch with the iPhone 5s. If you read the requirements on the bottom of the Watch web page (embedded below), Apple subtly mention it but not during yesterday keynote.

apple watch nfc cap

So basically, the Watch will act as the NFC sensor for iPhone 5, 5c and 5s since unlike the new iPhone 6 those older iPhones don’t have yet the NFC chip. With the iPhone 5s you can quickly use Touch ID to secure the payment informations, but with the iPhone 5 and 5c you’ll have to manually punch-in the security pass codes. Automatically the Watch then sync those security credentials with the heart sensors at its back to make its own Touch ID-like encryption, using your heart-beat instead of your fingerprints. It’s a feat of a remarkable engineering, and an ingenious management ability which Tim is exceptionally good at.

Not only it’s almost impossible right now to put the Touch ID on such constrained face of the Watch, or at its side, but Apple is also still struggling to catch up with the production of the Sapphire glass, even the iPads haven’t receive Touch ID yet. I think it’s brilliant not to include the Touch ID with the Watch, all of those iPhone 5s owners won’t feel like they’re suddenly being left out, instead they’ll feel more like the Watch finally completes their iPhone. And for those who decided to upgrade to the iPhone 6 altogether, the Watch is another nice additional option to have.

Just a thought of the screenshot above; it’s a bit odd how Apple chose to show the Watch‘s home screen instead of its digital clock to go along with the other iPhones lock screen. Just to show that the Watch‘s UI is different than the iPhone’s? Queer. It’s also a noteworthy that Apple doesn’t include a camera on the Watch, I think it’s a correct move since a camera will only depletes the Watch‘s internal storage like a sponge absorbs water. Apple stays mum on the Watch‘s storage, so we can assume it’ll be quite limited in the first release.

There’s also a huge concern regarding the Watch‘s battery life, Re/code got a tip from insider that Apple is still unhappy with one day a charge, that’s just standard in today’s smartwatch battery life. Hopefully Apple find a way to improve it, otherwise it’ll become the Watch‘s achilles-heel, especially the smaller one it would be a nightmare to constantly recharge the Watch before the day ends.

Speaking of size, it’s almost went unnoticed that the iPhone now comes in two sizes. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, Apple deliberately wait until it’s time to introduce the Watch which also comes in two sizes. And this time, Apple completely changed the standard size of the iPhone bigger than before. I won’t sugar coat it, these bigger iPhones are long overdue since 4.7-inch is already considered normal nowadays for a smartphone, making the 4-inch iPhone 5s seems diminutive in comparison.

It’s another brilliant marketing move from Apple, presenting the iPhone 6 at the same event of the Watch, makes all eyes stare at the shiny new Watch instead of barraging the new iPhones size. It’s obvious the Watch will become the new favorite gadget from Apple, I won’t be surprised to see it become the main attraction in the next keynotes, just like how the iPod and iPhone used to.

Ars Technica reviews the Moto 360

September 9, 2014

Ron Amadeo:

The sad news is that, while the company mostly nailed the exterior design, Motorola totally dropped the ball when it comes to the internal components. Somehow, it managed to dig up a batch of crusty old OMAP 3 SoCs for its flagship watch. The 2010-era processor is old, slow, inefficient, and power hungry. Couple that with a 320mAh battery and we get around half the runtime of other Android Wear devices.

Ron keep saying this at least a couple of time, both underlining how essential the guts of a wearable device impacted the battery life and also how we (him in particular) feels being cheated; it only look good on the outside but it’s the other way around inside. Seems like Motorola rushed its smartwach out of the gate before Apple does tomorrow, It’s a pig with lipstick.

This instantly reminds me of a rumor of Apple’s upcoming iWear from NYT:

The device’s circuit board, which includes its sensors and chips, was described as tiny, about the size of a postage stamp.

Now that’s more like it, it’ll definitely save a lot of power and prolong its battery life. If, now this is still a big if, if someone can really pull a marvelous engineering such as this then it’s only Apple who can. I’m hoping Phil Schiller will say his mantra once more on the stage of the event tomorrow: “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass.”

Moto 360 said to be currently sold out

September 6, 2014

Emil Protalinski is rebutting Motorola’s claim that its 360 smartwatch is sold out online:

Naturally, Motorola didn’t discuss how much supply it had, so it’s unclear whether the device really is selling well.

Poor suckers, they had to brag and lie about it before all is lost after Apple’s September 9th event tomorrow. They knew exactly what will happen, their ugly and clunky smartwatch will become obsolete just days after yesterday’s launch.

It all hint to the iWear

September 6, 2014

David Pierce reviews the Moto’s Hint:

The Hint is about the size of a peanut, and nestles entirely in your ear; it looks astonishingly like the earpiece Joaquin Phoenix’s character wears throughout Her, a fact that’s not lost on anyone at Motorola. And the intention is very much the same: you’re not meant to put it in and take it out, but to wear it all the time.

Told you it would come to this, I won’t be surprised if Apple release something like this at tomorrow’s September 9th event.

It’s strange how leaks of the iPhone 6 parts are flooding the internet, but not even one of the iWear’s can be found, my best guess is it still in a prototype phase as we speak. Like the original iPhone back in 2007, where Steve Jobs had to prepare several iPhones on stage just in case. Also, this way Apple can make sure nothing leaks out of its fortress of secrecy, making a really huge splash for the iWear first introduction.

Can’t wait.

Definitely an Apple rip-off

July 22, 2014

Being a decent tech blogger, of course Vlav Savov (The Verge) couldn’t say the obvious, but I can: fuck Lei Jun.

Hell froze over, again

July 22, 2014

Who would have thought this could happen, it’s a different time alright.