Things are looking up for those still waiting for their Apple Watch. Apple has started shipping the Space Black Stainless Steel and Space Black Stainless Steel Link Bracelet, and the combination looks very swish indeed, if you’re into that sort of thing. Shipping for most models of the Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch are now at a more reasonable, but still somewhat lengthy 5-7 weeks. One of Apple’s manufacturing partners blames the limited production numbers on worker shortages, saying they are beginning to catch up with demand.
Ping’s original launch seemed so promising: billed as a a social network for artists and their fans, it was a way for both parties to connect on mutual music-loving ground. But even that wasn’t enough, as the service flopped soon after. Rumour has it Apple will have another go at the music-based social network when it launches its new music streaming service, where artists and bands will be able to have their own official page where they’ll be able to post as much (or as little) content as they want, depending on how it all pans out.
There’s a bunch of Apple Watch and app-related news to get to this morning, but first, a small correction: Stan is now actually available on the Apple TV, meaning you can stop AirPlaying everything from your iPad or iPhone to get it onto the big screen. At time of writing yesterday, Apple’s “Whats on Apple TV” page hadn’t updated with the Stan app, despite Apple TVs showing up with the app.
Everyone’s favourite analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with a new set of predictions for the next iPhone. Starting with the addition of Force Touch, Kuo writes that the display size will stay the same as the current iPhone, with an optional rose-gold coloured casing to match the Apple Watch Edition. The rest of his list are all, more or less, expected improvements: a better camera, a sapphire lens cover, an improved Touch ID sensor, that kind of thing.
If we’re going to be talking about iPad Pro rumours, we might as well go all out and discuss the possibility of a flexible touch panel that has increased sensitivity. Thanks to a silver nano wire material, the touch sensitive portion of the larger-screened iPad may even be able to recognise multiple pressure levels, leading to Force Touch on an iPad that’s slightly bigger than normal. It’s also possible that Apple may be thinking about adding a thin layer of sapphire to the display, but it’s unknown if sapphire can be produced in that quantity by Apple’s suppliers.
We don’t know much about Apple’s upcoming music streaming service, beyond a vague inkling that it might be based off an iTunes Radio and Beats Music hybrid, or that it might be released sometime around WWDC next month. A new report from Re/code is now saying Apple’s new music service will push paid subscriptions, luring in users via free samples. All it’s really lacking to be a true Spotify-competitor, then, is the ad-supported portion — you’ll likely be able to listen to some music, but how much, and for how long?
Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of slightly longer — but always worth your time — reads about the wonderful world of Apple. If I may be so bold, it’s a fantastic change of pace from the rapid-fire nature of the regular news posts. Bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, four of the five Good Reads pieces this month are related to the Apple Watch. And for good reason: it’s the first truly new Apple product category since the launch of the iPad in 2010, which means there’s more than enough speculation to keep Apple pundits pounding away at keyboards for weeks to come. Over at Above Avalon, Neil Cybart says it’s time for the Watch.
Just as was the case when the product was introduced in September, many are overthinking the watch, turning Apple’s refrain about making great products into a complex business theory that risks missing the obvious keys to success. By overthinking the watch and ignoring the clues we received over the past few years, it is too easy to miss what Apple Watch actually is: freedom to do different things with technology.
A closer look at the System in Package S1 in the Apple Watch reveals Apple is still using Samsung’s older 28nm fabrication process. We learned last week the SiP contains 512MB of RAM, Wi-Fi, and an accelerometer and gyrometer, but today’s deeper investigation reveals there are some 30 components in the tiny SiP measuring just 26x28mm, something that’s been labelled “quite an achievement”.
Call it Apple’s revamped version of iTunes Radio, call it their brand-new streaming service, but whatever you’re calling it, Apple’s music-related thing will most likely be launched at the WWDC keynote on the 9th of June. In sharing details about the new streaming service, 9to5Mac also says they have very minor details about iOS 9 — redesigned Siri and new wallpaper being among them. But if reporting by The Verge is anything to go by, Apple is having a few problems inking last-minute streaming deals with the record companies.
It’s cool, you can stop the speculation now: Apple has unveiled their plans for certified third-party bands for the Apple Watch. From the limited information available on Apple’s website, the Made for Apple Watch program should operate much like the Made for iOS one does — Apple has given designers of third-party bands a band design guidelines document. I wonder if all this will mean we’ll see cheaper versions of Apple’s own higher-end bands, such as the (nice, but pricey) link bracelet.