Apple Watch 2 Not Likely to See March Debut

A December rumor pointed towards a possible March 2016 event to unveil a next-generation Apple Watch, but information shared today by TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino suggests a redesigned second-generation Apple Watch will not be coming so early in the year. That conflicts with some recent rumors suggesting trial production on the Apple Watch 2 is set to begin soon.

Citing several sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans, Panzarino says that while new design partnerships and accessories are a possibility for March, a second-generation Apple Watch is not expected. There is, however, a potential March event in the works, but it is not clear what would be launched at that time. New Macs and the rumored 4-inch iPhone 6c are possibilities.

Several things that I’ve heard (from several sources) indicate to me that we won’t see a new hardware model of the Apple Watch in March. Design partnerships, accessories, that kind of thing maybe but not a „Watch 2.0“ with a bunch of new hardware features like a camera. I could be wrong, of course, but I’ve heard enough to put it out there.

To further back up his claims, Panzarino says supply chain checks have not indicated that production on a second-generation Apple Watch has begun and there’s been no „major action“ on the software development side that would point towards the possibility of a newly redesigned Apple Watch debuting in the next few months.

As with anything related to Apple hardware announcements, the tea leaves are hard to read and the companies plans can change (the advantage of never publicly announcing hardware). But as of now, March seems like it’s a bit too early to count on Watch 2.0.

The Apple Watch, introduced in April of 2015, is a new product category for Apple so its upgrade cycle is difficult to determine. With the iPhone, Apple introduces updates on a yearly basis, but if no second-generation Apple Watch comes out in March, it is not clear when a new version will debut. As Panzarino says, an update alongside the iPhone 7 in September is a possibility, putting the Apple Watch on an 18-month upgrade cycle.

As further evidence that an Apple Watch 2 might not come until later in 2016, we have not seen any concrete rumors about features that might included in a second-generation device and there have been no schematics or part leaks that we might expect to see just a few months ahead of the launch of an updated device.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 2
Tag: Apple Watch 2
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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How Apple’s super-secret Industrial Design team really works

This feature is adapted from my book, Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products. It offers a rare look inside one of Apple’s most secretive institutions: the Industrial Design studio. Where do Apple’s great products come from? For the last 18 years — since Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997 — most […]

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


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JUUK Revo Review: Modern Apple Watch Link Bracelet for Under $200

Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet is arguably the most luxurious Apple Watch band available, but at $449 it may be worth considering similar but less expensive third-party options available. Enter JUUK, a new company that aims to fill that niche with its lineup of Revo stainless steel link bracelets for under $200.

JUUK, pronounced „juke,“ is a watch company created by Eugene Ho, a Canadian with nearly two decades of experience in the watch industry. Ho, who moved to Hong Kong in 1997 to establish Pacific Watchworks, has worked on popular brands including Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Ecko, Reebok and many others.

„During that time, I’ve developed great relationships with some of the top watch component factories,“ Ho told MacRumors. „This means that I’m not an Apple accessories vendor trying to make watch bracelets. I’m not a guy coming off the streets trying to make watch bracelets. The watch industry is in my blood, and developing high quality watch components is all that I know professionally.“

Revo stainless steel link bracelets for Apple Watch are offered in polished, brushed or gunmetal finishes for between $145 and $195. A trio of 42mm bracelets are available to ship immediately, while 38mm bracelet pre-orders will ship in late January 2016. 42mm polished or brushed spare links are also available for $12 each.

Given the popular adage „you get what you pay for,“ this review will take a closer look at the design and fit of the 42mm Polished Revo model, $195, to see how it compares to Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet.

Design

JUUK’s 42mm Revo has a premium look and feel. The link bracelet is crafted from 316L stainless steel, the same grade used by Apple and many Swiss watchmakers, and this particular model has a lustrous all-polished finish. The modern design closely matches the stainless steel Apple Watch’s polished case, but like other bracelets of its kind, it collects fingerprints easily and is more susceptible to surface scratches.

In my two weeks of testing the Revo, being careful not to graze it on any hard surfaces, the bracelet still collected some surface scratches visible in natural light. The underside of the Revo is brushed to better hide those blemishes, a common practice in the watch industry for polished bracelets, but opting for the 42mm Brushed Revo entirely may be the better option for Apple Watch users who are less vigilant.

While Apple began selling „Made for Apple Watch“ lugs for official third-party bands in October, the Revo has unofficial adapters on each end of the link bracelet that slide into the Apple Watch casing with ease. The adapters have locking mechanisms on the underside that must be pressed in for a secure fit. Some third-party Apple Watch lugs do not fit very well, so I was pleased this bracelet worked without any issues.

The link bracelet has a width of just under one inch throughout, and is about 1/8″ thick, compared to the tapered design of Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet. The thicker bracelet looks modern and sleek, and isn’t overly heavy, in line with the premium craftsmanship I expect from Apple products. There is an embossed JUUK logo on the bottom of the bracelet that I could do without.

Fit

The 42mm Revo link bracelet fits wrist sizes up to 214mm or 8.42 inches, while Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet fits 140–205mm wrists for comparison. Apple also sells a 42mm Link Bracelet Kit for wrists that exceed 205mm. Revo bracelet links do not have Apple’s simple release button for link adjustment, but JUUK does eschew cheap friction pins for the costlier screws usually found in luxury watches.

The bracelet was simple to adjust and fit comfortably after I removed about five or six individual links. There is a tiny space between each link, giving the bracelet some flexibility, which is important since your wrist size can change slightly throughout the day based on environmental and physiological factors. The looseness also prevents the Revo from pinching your wrist hair.

One of the most impressive features of the JUUK Revo, and something that makes it more expensive than some third-party bands, is its 316L stainless steel double push button butterfly mechanism, allowing the bracelet to slide on or off your wrist with ease. Some other bracelets use a cheaper folded steel buckle to keep the cost down, but JUUK aims for a higher level of fit and finish.

Value

JUUK sells the 42mm Polished Revo for $195, which is $254 cheaper than Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet. For perspective, that is enough for an entire Apple Watch Sport during Best Buy’s current $100 off sale. JUUK provides free next-day international shipping, including tracking information, with every purchase via Hong Kong Post. All prices are listed in U.S. dollars.

JUUK provides a 2-year limited warranty covering manufacturing defects, and also offers a 100% refund within 2 weeks of the purchase date provided the bracelet is in its original packaging and has never been used before. The bracelet is not a Kickstarter project, so 42mm Revo models ship the next business day as opposed to the long lead times some crowdfunded products have.

Overall, the premium look and feel of the 42mm Revo makes it a worthwhile purchase, and I personally recommend that prospective buyers of Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet consider this $195 bracelet before making that purchase. A small screwdriver and JUUK microfiber cloth are included in the box.

Bottom Line

JUUK’s 42mm Polished Revo earns a stamp of approval as a less expensive yet quality alternative to Apple’s 42mm Stainless Steel Link Bracelet.

Pros

Premium look and feel

316L stainless steel matches Apple Watch casing

Double push button butterfly mechanism

Costlier screws for length adjustment

Nice packaging with small screwdriver included

Apple Watch adapters have locking mechanisms

$195 for link bracelet

Free next-day international shipping

Two-year limited warranty and two-week return policy

Cons

Polished finish collects fingerprints and smudges easily

Polished finish is more susceptible to surface scratches

JUUK logo may be an eyesore for those looking for an unbranded bracelet

How to Buy

The 42mm Polished Revo can be purchased through JUUK’s website for $195 with free international shipping available.

JUUK is offering MacRumors readers 10% off 42mm Revo models using coupon code MACRUM until December 31, 2015. The discount is not valid for 38mm models.

MacRumors is not an affiliate partner with JUUK and receives no compensation for this review or any purchases made through the JUUK website.

Tags: Apple Watch bands, JUUK Revo
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AT&T launches 2-for-1 sale on iPhone 6s and Galaxy S6

There’s never been a better time to scoop up the new iPhone 6s if you’re on AT&T. The carrier announced this morning that it’s having a huge ‘buy one get one free’ promotion that includes top of the line Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy Note 5, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. […]

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


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MacRumors Gift Guide by Juli: Philips Hue, UE Roll Speaker, Canvas Smart Desk, and More

We’re going to be sharing a selection of gift guides on MacRumors over the next two weeks, featuring items hand-picked by our team of editors and writers along with a master gift list curated from the suggestions of our forum members.

Our first gift guide was written by me, Juli Clover, and features a list of items that I own and love, would love to receive, or would love to gift to someone. There is no theme here, but as I’ll explain along with each suggestion, all of these items are things that I own personally or have done a lot of research on.

Philips Hue HomeKit-Enabled Starter Kit ($194)

I’ve been using the Philips Hue line of lights since they first came out in 2012 and I have nothing but good things to say about these bulbs, which can be set to a whole range of different colors or various shades of white. The most recent Hue Starter Kit includes HomeKit integration and features brighter 800 lumen bulbs. HomeKit integration isn’t a must, but it is simpler than opening the app and you can ask Siri to do things like turn all your lights cerulean or hot pink.

If you know someone who already has a Hue setup, an extra light is a fun gift to give. I’d recommend the $90 Hue Go portable light or the $90 LightStrip Plus, good for ambient lighting anywhere. A $60 Hue Tap for activating four different scenes from a single switch is also a useful accessory.

Pressed Flower iPhone Case ($40)

With the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, I opted to get a rose gold iPhone. It’s a gorgeous color that I want to show off, so I’ve been looking into case options that let the color peek through. Searching through cases on the Internet, I found these lovely dried flower and leaf cases, a nice alternative to a traditional case. I’ve also see similar cases on Etsy that are priced more affordably, around $18.

Alternatively, Casetify is also a good site to visit for case designs that go well with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. There are dozens of community-created clear-style cases that showcase the iPhone’s design, priced at $40.

UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker ($99)

Lately I’ve been lusting over a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so I can listen to music and audiobooks in the shower, and I think this compact speaker from Ultimate Ears hits a sweet spot between price, design, and sound quality. It has a strap so it can hang up and it’s flat enough to comfortably fit into a bag so it can come along to the beach or the pool.

For louder sound, there’s also the UE Boom 2 ($199), which we actually reviewed earlier this year. We haven’t tested the UE Roll, but we were fans of the UE Boom.

Fjallraven Kanken Laptop Backpack ($60 to $100)

I bought a Kanken laptop backpack from Fjallraven just before CES last year to a comfortable, not-too-large solution for toting my Retina MacBook Pro around, and it’s turned into one of my favorite bags. Different versions of the Kanken hold up to a 17-inch laptop, and my version for the 15-inch RMBP is impressively compact for all that it can hold.

It has a separate zip compartment for my laptop (excellent for airport security), along with a front pocket, two side water bottle pockets, and an inner pocket that holds my iPad Pro. The internal space is big enough to hold all the accessories I use, including hard drives, over-ear headphones, a purse, and more, and the straps are padded so it’s comfortable even when weighted down. Mine’s purple, but it comes in a bunch of colors, all made from water resistant fabric. I liked it so much that I bought another mini Kanken (~$60) for hiking and day trips. The mini is big enough for an iPhone or an iPad mini, but nothing larger.

Knomo Elektronista iPad Purse ($295)

The Knomo Elektronista is one of my favorite products I reviewed this year. It functions as either a purse or an electronics organizer with a ton of pockets and an included battery pack. It has dedicated inner pockets for an iPad, an iPhone, credit cards, cables, and other odds and ends, plus two outer pockets and a removable strap.

It unzips at the sides so everything inside can be accessed quickly, and my favorite part – it’s slim enough that it can fit inside a larger backpack or purse when you need more carrying space. I’d also like to point out the accessories from Intrepid Bag Co. to anyone looking for a laptop/ipad bag. We’ve partnered up with Intrepid on some giveaways and response has been super positive – they make some gorgeous (but expensive) bags. I can also recommend bags from Chrome Industries – they’re rugged, have tons of pockets, and are good for people who commute but need to carry a laptop or iPad.

Cable organizing solutions

I’ve been working on keeping my office more organized, and one step towards that has been implementing some useful cable management solutions. I bought the $27 CableBox from BlueLounge after it was suggested to me by a co-worker to hide my power strip and all attached cords, and I loved it so much I bought one for my mom right afterwards.

Cable storage may be an unconventional gift, but if you know someone who has an uncontrollably messy desk (like our editor-in-chief Eric Slivka), it’ll definitely be appreciated. Paired with the CableBox, I like the CableDrops ($10), which keep cords on desks, and Cable Turtles ($25) for winding up excess cord. If you want to get fancy, there’s the Griffin Guide Magnetic Cable Management set I reviewed last month, but it’s on the pricy side at $40.

For travel, something like the Cordito ($38) or the Cord Taco ($32 for 5) is ideal because they keep all those pesky iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch cables from getting tangled. For organizing both cords and small accessories, I use a Grid-It from Cocoon ($15) in my backpack, and it’s also been a popular gift I’ve given in the past.

Anova Precision Cooker ($199)

I haven’t used an Anova Precision Cooker for sous vide before, but when we posted about Apple selling it recently, our forum members were quick to chime in about how awesome it is. A couple of my co-workers are also big fans, so this seems like an ideal gift for a cooking enthusiast. The newest version includes Wi-Fi so you can keep an eye on your food from the iPhone, but there are older, less expensive versions that are Bluetooth only.

iSkelter Canvas Smart Desk for iPad Pro ($68)

iSkelter makes traditional desks and lap desks for Apple accessories by hand, and the Canvas Smart Desk is its newest product, designed for the iPad Pro. I have one of these on hand to test ahead of an upcoming giveaway, and it’s one of my favorite iPad Pro accessories so far because it’s perfect for working away from my desk.

There’s a cutout for the iPad Pro itself, where the iPad Pro lays flat for drawing or playing games, but it also fits the Smart Keyboard when propped up, giving me a stable surface for typing. There’s a cutout for the Apple Pencil at the side, and another cutout for an iPhone or another iPad. A larger Canvas Pro edition is also available for $68 and includes extra space for holding something like a coffee cup. These are on Kickstarter, but will ship before Christmas.

Apple Pencil ($99)

If you can get your hands on one, an Apple Pencil also makes for an awesome gift for a new iPad Pro owner. Apple Pencils are out of stock, so the only way to get one ahead of Christmas is to check your local Apple Store repeatedly. Apple Pencils aren’t just good for artists – they’re fun for everyone. Paired with some simple doodle drawing books (some of my favorites are by Sachiko Umoto), an Apple Pencil is a good way to unwind and pick up a new hobby.

We’re going to be sharing additional gift guides over the next two weeks, so make sure to keep an eye out for them. If you have a favorite product, feel free to add it to our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide Master List, which is going to be turned into a gift guide culled from our forum members’ most loved items.

Tag: gift guide
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Hate Apple’s new iPhone battery case? Don’t buy it

Yes, Apple launched a new battery case for iPhone 6s today, and yes, it’s butt-ugly. All battery cases are, but because this one has an Apple logo on it, the Internet is getting all bent out of shape over just how ugly it is. There’s one thing nobody is mentioning, though: You don’t have to buy […]

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


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Bumps and spills won’t harm this rugged, water-resistant Bluetooth speaker

Lust List: BlueSync RGD Bluetooth speaker by GoGroove There are those of you who like to take risks. Face it, you love living on the edge, taking your precious electronics into dusty, dirty and even wet locations. If your dream is to play tunes at high volume while you raft Class V rapids, rappel down […]

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


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Microsoft’s Holiday Ad Spreads Message of Peace Outside Apple’s 5th Avenue Store

In the spirit of the holiday season, Microsoft today released a new ad that focuses on calling for peace between the company and its public rival, Apple. The 60-second advertisement sees Microsoft employees making their way from the company’s new Fifth Avenue store in New York City over to Apple’s flagship store to share a festive carol with the Apple employees and others.

The ad’s event took place on November 16, with Microsoft employees from around the country joining together in New York City – along with a local NYC children’s youth choir – to sing „Let There Be Peace On Earth“ to a group of Apple workers. Microsoft had to get permission from Apple to film outside the storefront, according to AdAge, due to New York City’s strict security rules. Beginning December 3, the ad will run on television, along with the debut of a longer two minute version online.

Most of Microsoft’s messaging over the past few years has been in spots that directly compared the company’s products with its rivals’, with a focus on Apple, and listing reasons why customers would prefer the Microsoft option. Last year the company compared the Surface Pro 3 with the MacBook Air to the tune of a Christmas jingle for its main holiday commercial, so this year’s peace-centered message is definitely a departure.

Tags: Microsoft, Ads
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