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Apple Watch goes through DisplayMate testing, results posted

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2015, 06:43
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables

applewatchface

The Apple Watch is out the door, its display is impressive and seems to hold a terrific resolution, even given its tiny screen.

The display itself features a Flexible OLED covered by either a sapphire crystal or Ion-X strengthened cover glass on the Sport model. This being Apple’s first OLED display, Dr. Raymond Soneira over at DisplayMate went bananas, testing its performance, power management, color management, color gamut, color accuracy, ambient light sensor, reflectance, viewing angles and other aspects of the wearable.

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Apple Watch may not be able to detect users’ wrists through certain tattoos

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, 08:25
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables

applewatchwristtattoo

Your snazzy new Apple Watch may not be able to detect your wrist if there’s a tattoo in the way.

A Reddit user posted on Monday that his Apple Watch didn’t receive notifications and would lock when placed on his tattooed wrist. Before trying to contact Apple, though, he tested the Watch against his unmarked hand, which suddenly allowed it to work as intended.

Turning off wrist detection entirely was said to solve the problem, but at the expense of features like Apple Pay.

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Apple Watch battery details posted, specs now available

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 27th, 2015, 07:51
Category: Apple Watch, battery, Hardware, News, Wearables

applewatchcharge

If you were curious about the Apple Watch’s battery life, Apple just posted the specs.

The company posted a technical specification web page, complete with details as to service and recycling for the wearable’s batteries. The page states that the Watch should hold 80 percent of its original capacity at 1,000 “complete” charge cycles — meaning charging from empty to full. Typically, batteries last longer if they’re only partially depleted before being recharged.

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Apple internal documents point towards expected gradual discoloration, deformation of Apple Watch Sport and Leather bands

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 27th, 2015, 07:42
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables

applewatchlinkband

The good news is that you’ve got your paws on your spiffy new Apple Watch, it’s in the mail or it’s due to ship soon.

The bad news is that the band on the Sport or Leather Apple Watch band isn’t the hardiest of warriors and can be expected to become discolored or deformed over time.

And Apple knows it.

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Australian users test Apple Watch, find unit is more waterproof than initially thought

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 24th, 2015, 07:18
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables

aussieshower

The Apple Watch is apparently a bit more waterproof than had been imagined.

After snagging their Apple Watch units, a few Aussie Apple Watch buyers over at FoneFox put the wearable through a variety of waterproof tests to see how much moisture the unit could take before failure.

The first test is a basic splash test followed by a five minute simulated shower complete with shampoo and soap, at the end of which the Apple Watch comes out noticeably unscathed and completely responsive to inputs on both its touch interface and digital crown. It should be pointed out that all of the tests were completed with a 38mm Apple Watch Sport.

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iFixit begins teardown, analysis of Apple Watch

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 24th, 2015, 07:47
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables

applewatchopen

It’s the teardown you’ve been waiting for.

The coolest of felines over at iFixit finally got their mitts on an Apple Watch and a full teardown reveals that the much-vaunted heart rate monitor is actually capable of acting as a pulse oximeter, allowing it to calculate the oxygen content of your blood by measuring how much infrared light is absorbed. This feature could become useful in future generations, but is not yet utilized in the first generation of the Apple Watch.

The teardown revealed that even the antenna connecting the Digital Crown to the rest of the watch is apparently made of gold, even on the low end models of the device.

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My love-hate relationship with Apple’s new USB-C port

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 08:25
Category: Hardware, MacBook, Review, USB-C

My love-hate relationship with Apple's new USB-C port

Apple began shipping the new 12-inch Retina MacBook this week (more on it in a future post) and with it, a totally redesigned power adapter based on USB-C. (There are a lot of opinions about Apple’s roll in developing USB-C, which you can read here, here and here, but they’re outside the scope of this post.) As with most things in life, USB-C comes with a number of benefits and compromises which were undoubtedly debated ad nauseam in Cupertino for months. Here are my thoughts on USB-C after using it for a few days.

The positive

  1. The USB-C connector is small, which allows it to fit in small places (like the side of the MacBook 12-inch). It could conceivably end up on other Apple hardware in the future, but don’t recycle your Lightning cables just yet.
  2. The Apple 29 Watt USB-C Power Adapter is smaller than other MacBook power supplies, but it’s a one-trick pony. Apple also missed the opportunity to add a couple of female USB-A jacks on it which would have addressed the MacBook’s “one port” criticisms and earned Apple a ton of good will in the process.
  3. It’s a standard (part of the USB 3.1 specification) which means that third parties can make USB-C cables and dongles without having to worry about being sued by Apple. This should increase competition and lower prices. Eventually.
  4. When you plug in the MacBook’s USB-C power adapter it makes a satisfying “dong” sound – just like the iPhone does. While it’s a nice touch, it doesn’t respect the MacBook’s mute setting, which puts it dangerously close to the neutral category. The iPhone vibrates when connected to power while muted and I’ve heard that Apple could fix the MacBook behavior in a software update.

Read more about the things that drive me crazy about the new USB-C port…

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Unbox Therapy video puts Apple Watch Sport Ion-X glass through scratch tests

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 08:25
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Wearables

scratchtools

The Ion-X glass found on the Apple Watch Sport isn’t quite as tough as sapphire glass found on the more expensive Apple Watch models, but it holds its own.

Unbox Therapy posted a scratch test video in which the Ion-X glass was exposed to keys, a knife, steel wool and sandpaper. To its credit, the new glass type held up against everything but the sandpaper, albeit it was noted that the sapphire glass coating found on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets held up to the sandpaper during scratch tests.

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iFixit posts teardown of 12-inch MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015, 08:07
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News

12inchmacbook

The teardown you’ve been waiting for has been completed.

And it shows off some really nifty stuff.

The coolest of cats at iFixit have published a teardown of the new 12-inch MacBook. The feature shows just how tiny the notebook’s logic board is, coming in at 67 percent smaller than that of the MacBook Air. The piece also shows a new terraced battery design for the MacBook, allowing more batteries to be efficiently fit into a small space.

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Apple introduces NVMe support in OS X 10.10.3 update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 13th, 2015, 08:36
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News, Software, Yosemite

elssd

It’s a subtle change, but it could be pretty neat in the long run.

Last week, Apple’s introduction of its OS X 10.10.3 update also quietly introduced support for the next generation NVM Express (NVMe) interface to SSD Flash drives. These drives can be found on the new Retina display MacBook as well as other units.

The cool cats at AnandTech offered a good description of the AHCI technology, which has resulted in the NVMe technology:

AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) dates back to 2004 and was designed with hard drives in mind. While that doesn’t rule out SSDs, AHCI is more optimized for high latency rotating media than low latency non-volatile storage. As a result AHCI can’t take full advantage of SSDs and since the future is in non-volatile storage (like NAND and MRAM), the industry had to develop a software interface that abolishes the limits of AHCI.

The result is NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory Express.

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