Friday Morning News
A day after I pick up my Apple Watch from the Apple Store, rumour about the next Apple Watch have hit the intertubes. Sources speaking to 9to5Mac reveal the Apple Watch successor will include a video camera for FaceTime chats from your wrist, more iPhone independence with the Watch being able to function solely over Wi-Fi, and even more premium-priced models. Battery life is expected to stay more or less the same, and the release date for the next Apple Watch is thankfully next year, hopefully later rather than sooner.
AppleInsider says we’re already getting a preview of at least one of those features with watchOS 2, which will bring the ability for the Watch to connect to Wi-Fi networks by itself. Along with native apps, this change will mean the removal of the Watch’s dependence on the iPhone to perform data-refreshing tasks.
Estimates of Apple Watch sales in the US sit at around 2.8 million units sold to consumers, which doesn’t include the figures for Apple Watch units sold in other launch countries. Slice Intelligence is also claiming around one in five Apple Watch owners buy a second band, speculating that the polymer Sports band costs just $2 to make based on materials alone, but admitting this doesn’t cover R&D, packaging, or shipping costs.
We’re still a way out from the official launch of Beats 1, but both the iOS 8.4 and iOS 9 betas have been given a little taste of what it will be like. The station name and logo appeared in the Music app overnight, playing a pre-recorded intro loop voiced by Zane Lowe when tapped.
When I’m not reminding myself that Force Touch is a harder, more deliberate tap and not merely a long press, the feature works pretty well. Apple is already looking beyond Force Touch however, with technology that may be able to sense “hover” gestures for an entirely new method of interacting with your device.
ILounge has a review of the Nomad Stand for Apple Watch, which is a simple one-piece aluminium affair. It only scores a limited recommendation though, mostly because of its high price.
Over at MacStories, Federico Viticci writes about search improvements in iOS 9 and how they will make for a more connected version of the mobile operating system, linking apps together for a more seamless experience.
Some speculation over at Medium investigates the possibility of “MessageKit”, an entire messaging platform that Apple could build in more or less the drop of a hat, and one that would change how we communicate. Every app appears to have its own list of conversations these days, and MessageKit could collect those apps and list them all as chats.
Linda Dong’s Keynote motion graphic experiment is seriously cool: if you showed me that video and told me it was made with Keynote, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Alright, time for some weekend game recommendations, courtesy of Touch Arcade. The great action RPG Transistor has been out on iOS for about a week now, although it’s also available on Steam at a discount thanks to Steam’s Summer Sale. If you’re enjoying playing Fallout Shelter, Touch Arcade has a bit of a guide to the game, otherwise if you’re after something a little more casual, the cute word puzzler Alphabear has been soft launched in Australia and New Zealand.