Swiss Manufacturer Creates High-End Mechanical Apple Watch Clone

Ahead of the Apple Watch’s launch, many high-end Swiss watch makers were critical of its design and Apple’s efforts to position it as a high-fashion item. TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver went as far as to call it „too feminine,“ saying the Apple Watch looked like „it was designed by a student in their first trimester.“

As time has passed, opinions on the Apple Watch have changed. It has prompted some high-end luxury watch makers to consider delving into the smart watch market themselves, and it also seems to be the inspiration behind high-end watchmaker H. Moser & Cie.’s latest product.

Shared today by watch site Hodinkee, H. Moser & Cie.’s Swiss Alp Watch has a design that’s immediately familiar, featuring a rectangular watch face with curved, rounded edges, a crown at the side, and Apple Watch-style lugs for holding a band in place.

Constructed from solid 18-karat white gold, the Swiss Alp Watch measures in at 38.2mm by 44mm, with a depth of 10.3mm. That’s comparable to the 42mm Apple Watch, which is 35.9mm by 42mm with a depth of 10.5mm. It comes with a beige kudu leather strap with a white gold pin buckle.

The resemblance between the Swiss Alp Watch and the Apple Watch is purely physical. There is no processor, no OLED display, and no sensors in the Swiss Alp Watch, which is entirely mechanical. When flipped over, there’s no heart rate sensor – instead, the inner mechanics of the watch (a finished tonneau movement with a Straumann hairspring, according to Hodinkee) are visible through a clear sapphire crystal panel.

H. Moser & Cie. does not mention the Apple Watch on its website or in its marketing materials, but when speaking to Hodinkee, H. Moser & Cie. CEO Edouard Meylan said the Swiss Alp Watch is symbolic, serving as a proof traditional mechanical watchmaking has a future in a world where the digital smart watch is becoming commonplace. Swiss watchmaking, he says, has weathered other challenges and it will continue on.

„Today, H. Moser & Cie. launches the Swiss Alp Watch as a statement of this new challenge and to prove that traditional mechanical watchmaking has a future, and it is, in fact, the future. It is much more than a watch for us. The Swiss Alp Watch is symbolic. It represents our resilience, our ferocious desire to fight for our values and traditions. It embodies everything we believe in.“

Given that H. Moser & Cie. is pricing the white gold Swiss Alp Watch at $24,900 with only 50 pieces available, it’s unlikely Apple will take offense over the copycat design.

The full story of the H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch, which includes background color on the Swiss watch industry and hands-on details, can be read over at Hodkinee.
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Twitter Considers Boosting Tweet Length Limits as High as 10,000 Characters

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey last night hinted at an incoming change to the 140-character limit for which the social network has been known over the past decade. Dorsey mentioned that the limit has „become a beautiful constraint“ over the years, but the company is aware of certain workarounds its fans are going through to break away from the rule.

He points towards a possibility in the near future for the site to support full-bodied text tweets that are searchable and can be highlighted by users without a strict 140-character restriction. Back in August, Twitter removed the same limit from its private messaging system, and a month later new rumors about the possibility for the same move for traditional tweets began circling.

„At its core Twitter is public messaging. A simple way to say something, to anyone, that everyone in the world can see instantly. We’ve spent a lot of time observing what people are doing on Twitter, and we see them taking screenshots of text and tweeting it.

Instead, what if that text…was actually text? Text that could be searched. Text that could be highlighted. That’s more utility and power. What makes Twitter, Twitter is its fast, public, live conversational nature. We will always work to to strengthen that. And by focusing on conversation and messaging, the majority of tweets will always be short and sweet and conversational!“

According to people familiar with Twitter’s plans, speaking with Re/code, the project is referred to as „Beyond 140“ and has a tentative launch window around the end of Q1 2016. Numbers that have been considered internally by the team range from 5,000 to 10,000 character limits, the latter of which would fall alongside the same restriction placed inside of private messages on the site.

The sources point to expandable actions for the new tweets that would keep timelines as tight and orderly as they appear with the current limit, but include an expandable prompt that would then showcase the tweet’s full text when clicked. Recently, Twitter updated its site to allow full images to appear without being cut off, and changed the favoriting star to a heart.

Tag: Twitter
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CES 2016: LifeProof Announces ‘FRĒ Power’ Waterproof Battery Case for iPhone 6s Plus

LifeProof today announced the expansion of its FRĒ Power case line to the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus, marking the debut of the company’s first waterproof battery case for Apple’s larger-screened iPhones.

The IP-68 rated FRĒ Power is a fully waterproof iPhone case that’s submersible to 2 meters for up to an hour. In addition to being waterproof, it’s able to keep the iPhone safe from dirt, snow, dust, and damage from accidental drops. It’s able to survive a drop from as high as 2 meters, or 6.6 feet, and the screen protector will keep the display free from scratches.

Inside the FRĒ Power, there’s a 3,200 mAh battery that should give the iPhone 6s Plus approximately one full charge. It includes auto-stop charge and rapid recharge technology to maximize extra battery life. Available in „Blacktop Black“ and „Base Jump Blue,“ the FRĒ Power’s design keeps the iPhone protected but leaves the cameras, buttons, and Touch ID fingerprint scanner available for use.

„LifeProof continues to defy the limits of possibility with smartphones,“ said LifeProof President and CEO Pete Lindgren. „FRĒ Power for iPhone 6s Plus takes Apple’s large form-factor device on bigger, better adventures with double the battery capacity and our award-winning four-proof protection against the elements.“

According to LifeProof, the FRĒ Power for iPhone 6s Plus will soon be available for purchase from the LifeProof website. It will retail for $149.99.

Tags: LifeProof, CES 2016
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Tim Cook is big fan of iPhone battery case’s lovely little hump

Tim Cook saw all the complaints fanboys levied against the ugly new Smart Battery Case his company unveiled this week, but the Apple CEO is defending the controversial new product, claiming Apple’s designers ;used ‘great insight’ to solve a crutial flaw facing most battery cases. “The guys had this great insight to put the bend […]

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


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Tim Cook Accepts 2015 Ripple of Hope Award at RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights

Apple CEO Tim Cook accepted the 2015 Ripple of Hope Award at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights on Tuesday night, and gave a nearly twelve minute speech about the need for social change, reports Bloomberg.

Tim Cook at the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights (Image: Bloomberg)

Cook, who spoke after Evercore’s Roger Altman and Unesco ambassador Marianna Vardinoyannis, discussed a wide range of ongoing social issues, including the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change, Apple’s charitable work, access to quality education, privacy and discrimination.

“Today, more than half of the states in this country still don’t offer basic protections to gay or transgender people, leaving millions of people vulnerable to being fired or evicted because of who they are or who they love,” Cook said.

„Today, some in our country would turn away innocent men, women and children seeking refuge,” Cook said, “regardless of how many background checks they may submit to, simply based on where they were born. Victims of war and now victims of fear and misunderstanding.“

„Today, too many children are denied access to quality education simply because of the zip code they live in. They begin their lives facing strong headwinds and disadvantage they did nothing to deserve. We could do better, Robert Kennedy would say, and because we can do better, we must act.“

Cook offered praise for Robert F. Kennedy and said he has two photographs of him in his office that he looks at each day. „I think about his example, what it means to me as an American, but also more specifically, to my role as Apple CEO.“

Read more about Cook’s acceptance speech in the full article on Bloomberg.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tag: Tim Cook
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New smart devices store lets you try tomorrow’s hardware today

b8ta, a company started by several ex-Nest employees, announced today that they are launching a brick-and-mortar retail store, dedicated to selling Internet of Things connected devices. “Right now, consumer desire for innovative products is booming, and there’s never been a better time to be a maker,” said Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta. “However, most new […]

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


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Rovio CEO Leaving ‘Angry Birds’ Company After Just One Year

Rovio, the company behind the successful Angry Birds mobile franchise, today announced that its current CEO Pekka Rantala will be stepping down from the role after just one year in office. As Retuers reported, Rantala’s time at the company included multiple job cuts and restructuring plans within Rovio, and his tenure coincided with the company’s first reported profit decline since the launch of Angry Birds in 2009.

The company has now announced that chief legal officer Kati Levoranta will take the reins as CEO in the first quarter of 2016, after Rantala officially vacates the position. It also revealed a new initiative where „more independence“ will be given its two biggest branches: games and media. Mikael Hed, former Rovio CEO, will lead the media branch while Wilhelm Taht, the current head of external products, will take the lead on the games side. According to the company, this corporate-wide policy change is what spurred Rantala to step down.

„We used to have a corporate model with centralized decisions, but that resulted into too slow reacting in very competitive markets,“ chairman and main owner Kaj Hed told Reuters in an interview. „As the CEO will not be so hands-on anymore, he (Rantala) felt that it wasn’t for him anymore.“

Earlier in the year, reports confirmed that 2014 included Rovio’s first major profit decline due to a lessening interest by fans in the company’s physical consumer products like clothing and toys. Rovio’s profit decline from 2014 also led to the forecasting of impending decline this year, causing 213 jobs to be cut at the company back in October.

The Finnish developer’s Angry Birds franchise brought the company huge success, but has seen diminishing returns recently. At the time of the decline in profit announcement, Rantala hung hope on the impending launch of Angry Birds 2 and next summer’s The Angry Birds Movie as ways to bring the franchise back into the public consciousness.

Tags: Angry Birds, Rovio
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Satya Nadella reaffirms commitment to Microsoft’s Universal App strategy with Windows 10 [Update]

When Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Ballmer recently criticized the company’s Windows 10 Universal App strategy, it was apparently because of comments made by Satya Nadella. Read more…

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