O'Grady's PowerPage

iFixit begins teardown, analysis of Apple Watch

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

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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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Some boutique, department stores to have Apple Watch units available for April 24th launch

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, 08:26
Category: Apple Watch, News, retail, Wearables

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If you’re looking to actually walk into a store, put your mitts on an Apple Watch tomorrow, pay money for it and walk away with said Apple Watch, your choices are limited. The wearable WILL be available, but only in very limited inventories at select retail locations.

Apple has apparently partnered with a few department stores and boutiques. Among these are The Corner in Berlin, Maxfield in Los Angeles, and Dover Street Market in Tokyo and London. It’s also been reported that Maxfield will be opening two hours early on the 24th to accommodate Apple Watch customers.

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Fluctuations in shipping times point to possible WWDC refresh for 15-inch MacBook Pro

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, 07:10
Category: MacBook Pro, News, retail

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It’s when the available inventory fluctuates that something new could be around the corner.

Over the past month, the Online Apple Store has seen 15-inch MacBook Pro inventory slowly drop from “in stock” to a current shipping estimate of one to two weeks, suggesting that a refresh is in the offing.

As of Wednesday, Apple’s online storefront shows the largest MacBook Pro model with integrated Intel graphics as shipping in one business day, while availability of the step-up model with discrete Nvidia GPU is currently at one to two weeks.

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DJ from your wrist with djay 2

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, 07:41
Category: Apps, DJ, iOS, iPad, iPhone

DJ from your wrist with djay 2 for iPhone - Jason O'Grady

djay 2 for iPhone ($2.99, App Store) is out today with a major update that includes Apple Watch support. For the first time you can cold rock a party from your wrist.

djay 2 was already my favorite iOS DJ app and I can’t wait for my Apple Watch to arrive so that I can play with its new watch features.

According to developer algoriddim, djay for Apple Watch allows you to browse your iTunes library, cue and mix your favorite songs, and control audio effects and loops for each deck individually from your wrist.

When you’re ready to stop mixing individual tracks you can invoke djay’s popular Automix feature, pulls tracks from Spotify and mixes them automatically, directly from your watch.

The best news is that djay 2 for iPhone ($2.99) with Apple Watch integration as well as djay 2 for iPad ($9.99) are free on the App Store through April 30.

Website, Google Doc crowd-sourcing Apple Watch orders

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 21:51
Category: Apple Watch, Wearables

If you’re breathlessly refreshing Apple’s order status page in an attempt to figure out if your Apple Watch will arrive on Friday, take a breather.

Tracking one’s Apple Watch order has turned into a national pastime here in the U.S. as eager pre-orderers try to figure out if they’re in the first first batch of Apple watches set to arrive in two short days. Apple’s “We’re working on your order” email, sent earlier this evening to some customers, has brought things to a fevered pitch.

An aside: It’s curious that Apple doesn’t use Touch ID to authenticate users of its Apple Store app attempting to access the “Order Status” tab, instead opting to have users type in their passwords the old fashioned way. 

If you count yourself as one of the obsessed Apple Watch trackers, there’s a new website that will help you read the tea leaves.

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Unpacking Apple’s ‘We’re working on your order’ email

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 21:02
Category: Apple Watch, Wearables

We’re not sure what they mean yet, but Apple just sent out an email that says “We’re working on your order” to many people that pre-ordered an Apple Watch.

The email’s subject line begins with “Your Apple Watch Order” followed by your order number and looks like this:

Apple Store email: "We're working on your order" - Jason O'Grady

I received the email above at 8:02 p.m. PT this evening, but there’s no rhyme or reason to it, unless it means bad news.

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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

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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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Apple support article offers workaround for recent issues with Setup Assistant on 12-inch MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 07:21
Category: MacBook, News, Software

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As nifty as the new 12-inch MacBook is, a number of users have encountered an issue using the Setup Assistant during the initial setup of the notebook. The bug apparently has the spinning beach ball appear during setup, putting the user in an endless cycle.

Apple recently shared a support article that offers users of the new 12-inch MacBook assistance getting around the issue.

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Recent job posting indicates Apple may be looking to include public transit data within Apple Maps

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 13:02
Category: iOS, News, Software

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It’s the hiring that shows where a company’s going.

A recent Apple job listing shows that the company is looking for a software engineer to help bring public transit information to Apple Maps.

The listing reads as follows:

“As a member of the Routing team, you will work on one of the most anticipated features of Apple Maps,”

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