The AppAdvice week in review: Time ticks forward on the Apple Watch
The week before Thanksgiving in the United States was a busy one. Here are just a few of the stories that we covered during the past seven days.
I’ll Get that for you
You can no longer download “Free” apps. Instead you must “Get” them.
In the latest example of regulation run amok, Apple has removed “Free” buttons on its digital stores, and replaced them with ones marked “Get.” The change has been made on the App Store, iTunes Store, Mac App Store, and iBookstore.
The move addresses concerns made by the European Commission (EC), which called the “Free” tag misleading when coupled with in-app purchases.
Go “Get” your apps right now, folks.
Sapphire-gate would have been a disaster
Back in 2010, Apple was heavily criticized for what became known as “Antenna-gate.” At the time, many iPhone users were experiencing dropped calls due to the placement of antennas on the iPhone 4. Eventually, Apple offered every iPhone owner a free Bumper case and the problem went away.
There would have been no easy fix had GT Advanced Technologies been able to supply sapphire crystal displays for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
In a scathing report in The Wall Street Journal, the partnership between Apple and GT was described as “troubled from the start.” The New Hampshire-based company was never able to produce sapphire that was usable.
As Aldrin Calimlim explained:
The ill-fated partnership was formed as a result of Apple’s search early last year for a company to supply the sapphire coating of its next-generation iPhone’s screen. GT then presented itself to Apple, saying that it was developing a furnace capable of producing a large sapphire cylinder or boule that would yield more screens at lower costs …
Seemingly an ill omen of things to come, the boule came out so cracked as to render its sapphire unusable. But GT promised Apple that subsequent yields would have improved quality and went on a hiring spree. GT hadn’t built enough furnaces at the time, though, and many workers were left with nothing to do as far as sapphire production was concerned.
What little sapphire GT managed to produce, however, was still mostly unusable, with rejected cylinders stored in a so-called “boule graveyard” in an area of the Mesa plant.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released on Sept. 19 … without sapphire crystal displays.
On Tuesday, Apple released the WatchKit toolset for developers so they can begin to design apps for the Apple Watch.
The WatchKit SDK is part of the just released iOS 8.2 beta, which can be downloaded by registered developers from the Developer Center.
As Brent Dirks noted:
“Apple Watch is our most personal device ever, and WatchKit provides the incredible iOS developer community with the tools they need to create exciting new experiences right on your wrist,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK, developers can now start using WatchKit to create breakthrough new apps, Glances and actionable notifications designed for the innovative Apple Watch interface and work with new technologies such as Force Touch, Digital Crown and Taptic Engine.”
The Apple Watch is expected to arrive in early 2015.
- Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can play 4K video thanks to A8 chip
- Beats Music will likely be bundled into iOS starting sometime next year
- You can now manually upload photos via the iCloud.com site
- Square will accept Apple Pay beginning in 2015
- Apple will soon allow accessory makers to tap the Lightning port for new uses