Apple Recruiting Specialized Engineer to Focus on Apple Watch Clock Faces

A job description for a software engineer on Apple’s „Clock Face Team“ discovered yesterday points to the possibility of more robust Clock Face and Complications options in a future watchOS update. As discovered by AppleInsider, the listing is specifically seeking a software engineer with 3+ years of software development experience to join the Apple Watch team.

Responsible for planning and implementing new Clock Faces and Complications for Apple Watch users, the software engineer will work in close proximity to the UI design, iOS Frameworks, and QA teams. Besides the expected timeliness and attention to detail stipulations, the rest of the description for the position at Apple includes the following:

Description

As a member of the team you will have many responsibilities relating to the design, development, and testing of the device software.

Collaborating closely with the design team to push the envelope on human-computer interactions.

Creating solutions tailored to the constraints of the software and the hardware of a small, low power device.

Working closely with the iOS Apps, iOS Frameworks and Hardware teams to create robust and maintainable systems that will stand the test of time.

Coordinating with the quality assurance teams to ensure full test coverage as well as to initiate focused testing on critical components.

New Apple Watch Clock Faces and Complications have been assumed to be in the cards for future watchOS updates, but what we still don’t know is when they will be released. Last September, Apple released the first major public update for Apple Watch in watchOS 2, which introduced three new Clock Faces: two variations on Photo Album (one that shuffles through a set album, and one that sticks to a specific image) and Time-Lapse.

Currently on watchOS 2.1, the next update to the Apple Watch software (watchOS 2.2) is predicted to debut at a rumored March media event. Recent beta tests of 2.2 don’t hint at the inclusion of new Clock Faces and Complications, so there’s a possibility users will have to wait a little longer for these additions. The specific details for the event remain nebulous, but so far the „iPhone 5se,“ iPad Air 3, and new Apple Watch bands are all rumored to be included in next month’s yet-to-be-announced Apple event.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tag: Apple job listings
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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How to Use Time Travel on Apple Watch in watchOS 2

With the recent update to watchOS 2, Apple added a new feature called Time Travel, which lets you turn back (or forward) time to display certain information from a different date and time.

It works with complications on the watch face, like weather, calendar events, sunrise and sunset, stocks, and more. Depending on what you have displayed on your watch face, you’ll see different information.

Understanding Time Travel can be a bit confusing for some, so we’ll explain it more in detail, with some highlights on what different watch faces can do.

Before using Time Travel, be sure to set your complications the way you want them. Now that Apple allows third-party complications, the options are even better.

This feature works best with such watch faces as Utility, Modular, Simple, Color, and Chronograph because those faces have the most customizable complication options.

Once you’ve set up your watch face with the complications you like, all you have to do to activate Time Travel is rotate the digital crown. Scrolling up will move time forward, and scrolling down will move time backward. When you are done, simply tap the screen to return to the current time.

An example of moving forward in Time Travel mode with the Modular watch face might look something like this:

Move time forward three hours. Your calendar changes to show you an event that takes place three hours from now and shows the temperature is predicted to have increased five degrees. Move time forward 10 hours. The temperature drops by 15 degrees. The date changes, and the time of sunrise and sunset changes to reflect the new day.

It’s all rather useful, relative to information that is important to you. For example, if you want to know whether it will rain tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. when you have a meeting at a coffee shop downtown, you can scroll forward in time to see what the weather predictions look like.

With Time Travel, you can generally look forward through the remainder of the current day and all of the following day. Looking backward into the past with most watch faces, you can view events and data from earlier in the current day and from all of the previous day, giving a total of a 72-hour window to scroll through. You can exit Time Travel mode and return to the current time at any point by simply pressing the Digital Crown.

Some complications like weather only function when looking forward in time, while others like stocks (unfortunately) only work when looking backward.

Third-party app developers in general seem to still be figuring out the best ways to use complications, although some popular developers have already updated their apps to support complications and in some cases Time Travel. Popular categories include weather apps like Dark Sky and The Weather Channel, health apps like Lifesum, and travel time prediction apps like ETA. You can manage which third-party apps with complications are available to use through the Complications section settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.

Watch Faces Not Compatible With Time Travel

A few of the watch faces don’t work with Time Travel. So, if you are using one of the below-listed faces, you wont be able to see the feature.

Motion
XX-Large
Timelapse
Photo Album
Photo
Live Photo

Special Watch Face Features

Some watch faces have additional Time Travel features that provide interesting and unique visual changes.

Astronomy

In the Astronomy watch face, you can switch between views of earth, the moon, and the solar system. With Time Travel, you can move through time, watching the sun rise and set above the Earth. You can also see the phases of the moon, and even find out the next time it will be full. With the solar system displayed, you can watch the planets rotate day-by-day for years in the future or past.

Solar

The Solar watch face provides a graph of the sun’s position in the sky, limited to the current day. Based on your current location, as well as the time of day, the sun moves along a curve. With Time Travel, you can visually identify dawn, dusk, twilight, and the day’s zenith at any time before or after your current.

With Time Travel mode on Apple Watch, you can quickly see what the day has in store for you without even having to open up an app or ask Siri for guidance.



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Give your Apple Watch a facelift with watchOS 2

I was so excited to have a color screen on my Apple Watch when I picked the Sport up this past April. When I went through all the watch faces, though, I was rather underwhelmed; really, you have a bright, high-resolution monitor on your wrist and all you can do is put a moving moth […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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iOS 9 Beta 5 Tidbits: New Wallpapers, WIFi Calling for AT&T Users, and More

Apple today released the fifth beta of iOS 9, and as with the previous iOS 9 betas, there are a few new features and tweaks bundled into the release. WiFi calling for AT&T users has been introduced and is coming soon, Apple’s debuted several new wallpapers, and there are tweaks to CarPlay and the iPhone 6 keyboard.

Several bugs have been fixed in iOS 9 beta 5, and features like News and Siri Suggestions are working more smoothly than ever. With approximately a month and a half to go until release, iOS 9 is feeling faster, more polished, and more full featured. For those eager to know all about what’s coming in iOS 9 ahead of its release, we’ve rounded up a complete list of the changes introduced with iOS 9 beta 5 below.

You can also check out all of the changes, large and small, that have been made in previous betas: iOS 9 beta 1, iOS 9 beta 2, iOS 9 beta 3, iOS 9 beta 4.

Wallpapers – Today’s update includes a wide selection of new wallpapers, introducing images featuring close ups of feathers, flowers, plants, and more. Many older wallpapers have been removed, so people running iOS 8.4 should save their favorites now before they’re deleted with the launch of iOS 9.

WiFi Calling for AT&T – Beta 5 adds WiFi calling options for AT&T subscribers, but attempting to turn the option on results in a message saying WiFi calling is not yet available. The addition of the setting heralds the imminent release of the feature for AT&T users. Previously, WiFi calling was limited to T-Mobile. There’s also a new WiFi Assist feature that will „automatically use cellular data when Wi-Fi connectivity is poor.“

Apple Music – There’s a new „Shuffle All“ option at the top of My Music when in Song, Album, or Genre view. It’ll play all songs in a music library on shuffle mode.

Keyboard tweaks – On the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the keyboard has been tweaked and simplified with new shift and backspace keys.

Handoff – Handoff functionality has been changed in iOS 9 beta 5. Previously, Handoff had an option that would allow users to see lock screen suggestions for Apps in the App Store for a relevant location, but now only installed apps will be displayed. In the Settings app, Handoff options under General -> Handoff & Suggested Apps, the option to display App Store apps has been removed.

Regulatory info – The General portion of the Settings app has a new „Regulatory“ section that displays regulatory information for iOS devices. This was information was previously hidden (and is still located) in General –> About –> Legal.

CarPlay – The CarPlay interface has been updated, changing the way images are displayed behind music controls and adding the ability to heart songs that are playing through Beats 1 radio or Apple Music.

Siri Suggestions – The Siri Suggestions interface has been tweaked slightly, removing the labels for calling and messaging a contact. Only icons are displayed now.

Text Replacements – In the Settings app, the section where you can create shortcuts for keys has been renamed „Text Replacements.“

WiFi animation – There’s a new animation that’s used when WiFi is turned off. Instead of the bars disappearing one by one, the WiFi symbol now fades to gray before disappearing.

Additional feature updates in iOS 9 beta 5 will be added here as they are discovered. Apple is expected to release at least one or two more update to iOS 9 before the operating system’s official launch. iOS 9 is expected to be released to the public in the fall alongside new iPhones.



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Apple wants to take mixtapes to the next level

Apple Music is all about curated playlists from Apple’s growing list of experts. But according to a new patent application published today, a future iTunes feature could let users get in on the act by composing “digital mixtapes” for their friends. The patent describes how users would be able to name their album, select the […]

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Taylor Swift to Stream Top-Selling Album ‘1989’ on Apple Music

Taylor Swift has decided to stream her most recent best-selling album „1989“ on Apple Music when the music service launches on June 30 next week, just days after Apple reversed course and agreed to pay artists and rights holders on a per-stream basis during the free three-month trial period – specifically, Apple will pay 0.2 cents for each song streamed during a customer’s trial.

Swift says that she has not reached an exclusive deal with Apple Music like Pharrell Williams has for his upcoming single „Freedom“ previewed at WWDC, noting that her decision was purely because it was „the first time it’s felt right“ for her to stream her album. „1989“ and other Swift albums remain unavailable to stream through rival service and market leader Spotify.

Swift originally vowed not to stream „1989“ through Apple Music because of Apple’s plans to not pay artists during the free trial period, although the iPhone maker quickly changed its mind after the pop artist published an open letter on her Tumblr blog that criticized the move on behalf of all indie artists. „We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation,“ wrote Swift.

Since changing course, Apple Music has signed over 20,000 indie labels through deals with licensing groups Beggars Group and Merlin earlier this week, and reversed a PR disaster in the process. „We think Apple Music provides artists with a business model that’s good for the long term and we look forward to its launch on June 30,“ said the music groups after reaching an agreement with Apple.

Apple Music was announced earlier this month as an all-in-one streaming music service, live global radio station and social platform for artists to connect with fans. The subscription-based service will be available for $9.99 per month after a three-month free trial for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. Apple TV and Android versions of the service will be available in the fall.





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How Photos for OS X Handles Content and Metadata Migration from iPhoto and Aperture [Mac Blog]

Last week, Apple released OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 with support for the new Photos for OS X app, the company’s replacement for both iPhoto and Aperture; Apple also removed both apps from the Mac App Store shortly after Photos was released. Today, Apple released a support document detailing exactly what users can expect when they migrate their content from Aperture and iPhoto to Photos.

When iPhoto content (photos and video) and metadata are migrated over to Photos, they do so without changes. Images migrate over with the adjustments that were applied within iPhoto. Users will not be able to alter the images, but they will be able to revert to the original photo before adjustments were applied. Slideshows and Albums are both preserved in Photos with a few exceptions. Slideshows that use themes not available in Photos have the default theme attached to them, while Smart Albums where none of its Smart Album criteria are supported by Photos are not migrated over.

Keywords are preserved in Photos, and most metadata is migrated over, but there are some exceptions. Some IPTC metadata like Copyright are still attached to works, but they won’t be visible within Photos. They can still be viewed in programs that recognize and display the select IPTC data, like iPhoto and Aperture. Finally, Events are transferred to an album called iPhoto Events in the Album View section of Photos for OS X.

Aperture’s migration of content and metadata works similar to iPhoto, but with a few significant differences. Aperture projects and subfolders migrate to folders called Aperture Projects and iPhoto Events, both of which are available to view in the Album View section of Photos. Photo books also migrate to the Album section of the app. Captions are preserved in Photos, but star ratings, flagged images and color labels are turned into keywords. For example, a one-star rating shows up as „1 star“ keyword, flagged images have „flagged“ keywords attached and the green color label turns into a „green“ keyword. Finally, custom metadata fields to not transfer to Photos.

The entire support document is helpful for those worrying about transferring their content over to Photos and can be viewed on Apple’s website.




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