Apple Planning March 2016 Event to Unveil Next-Generation Apple Watch, iPhone 6c Possible Too

Apple may be planning to host an event in March of 2016 to unveil the next-generation Apple Watch, reports 9to5Mac citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans. The updated device could then ship a month later in April, marking one full year between Apple Watch releases. Apple released the first-generation Apple Watch on April 24, 2015.

Rumors about the second-generation Apple Watch started leaking out well before the original Apple Watch launched, as there were health-related features Apple was forced to shelve because of inconsistent performance. Apple experimented with sensors for measuring things like skin conductivity, blood pressure, and blood oxygen, and some of these could make their way into the next-generation device following a year or work on improving the technology.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said the company’s efforts in the health arena would be conservative, because it does not want to deal with the FDA. „We don’t want to put the watch through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) process,“ he said.

Other features rumored for the next-generation Apple Watch include a front-facing FaceTime camera to allow Apple Watch users to make and receive FaceTime calls and a new Wi-Fi chip that may allow the Apple Watch to do more without a connection to an iPhone.

Today’s report on the Apple Watch also says the much-rumored iPhone 6c could also be unveiled at the event, in line with rumors that have pointed towards an early 2016 launch. The iPhone 6c is a next-generation lower-budget 4-inch phone designed to follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 5c. It’s rumored to include an aluminum shell, an upgraded A8 or A9 processor, Touch ID and Apple Pay support, and a curved edge cover glass like the iPhone 6.

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Apple Planning March 2016 Event to Unveil Next-Generation Apple Watch, iPhone 6c Possible Too

Withings Adds to Activity Tracker Lineup With New Activité Steel

Adding to its lineup of Activité-branded watch-style activity trackers, Withings today announced the Activité Steel. The Activité Steel is designed to fit in between the expensive original Activité and the more affordable Activité Pop.

Like the other Activité activity trackers, the Activité Steel is designed to look more like a traditional wrist watch than a fitness device. It features a stainless steel case, chrome hands, and a sub-dial that was inspired by a tachymeter. According to Withings, the Activité Steel was designed to have a „distinctive masculine feel.“

„While the tracker market is booming we see growing demand from health conscious people who are not willing to compromise their style,“ says Cédric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. „Steel is the perfect Christmas gift for those demanding trendsetters.“

The Activité Steel keeps track of steps taken, showing progress towards a daily goal on the small sub-dial on the watch face. It is also able to automatically detect several activities, including running and swimming, and at night, it’s able to monitor sleep length and quality.

There’s a standard watch battery inside so there’s no need to charge the Activité Steel, but the battery will need to be replaced approximately every eight months. As it does not charge, the Activité Steel is water-resistant up to 50 meters like the other two Activité watches.

All of the information gathered by the Activité Steel can be viewed in the accompanying Withings Health Mate application, which lets users insert activity goals, keep track of food consumed, and interact with friends to reach fitness goals.

The Activité Steel, initially available in classic black, can be ordered from the Withings website for $169.95.

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Withings Adds to Activity Tracker Lineup With New Activité Steel

Apple Pay Coming to Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s in 2016

Popular coffee chain Starbucks will begin accepting Apple Pay by the end of the year, says Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey, who spoke today at Re/code‘s Code Mobile Conference in Half Moon Bay, California.

Starbucks plans to team up with Apple to launch an Apple Pay pilot program in select U.S. stores this year before rolling Apple Pay out to approximately 7,500 company-owned Starbucks locations in the United States in early 2016. The Apple Pay payments service will be connected to Starbucks’ own loyalty program, but it is not clear if Starbucks customers who make purchases with Apple Pay will be able to earn Starbucks rewards.

At the current time, Starbucks uses its own barcode-based in-app mobile payments system for coffee and snack purchases made within its retail stores. The Starbucks iOS app does support Apple Pay, but only for reloading Starbucks cards. Given the popularity of Starbucks, Apple Pay availability at the chain could be a major boon for Apple.

In addition to Starbucks, Apple Pay will also be available in KFC fast food locations and Chili’s sit-down restaurants starting next year. In Chili’s, customers will be able to pay for their food directly at their tables using Apple Pay.

On stage, Bailey said Apple was „fully committed to NFC,“ calling it the „best technology out there“ for mobile payments. She also said Apple wants to bring Apple Pay to as many countries as possible in the future, expanding beyond the United Kingdom and the United States.



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Apple Pay Coming to Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s in 2016