Regulators Crack Down on Marketers of ‘Unlimited’ Data Plans
TracFone Wireless, the largest provider of prepaid mobile service in the United States, agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges that it had deceived customers in its marketing of "unlimited" data plans.
What Happens if Apple Drops Google From Its Browser?
Yahoo's chief executive wants to get the company's search bar into Apple's Safari browser, as it did with the Firefox browser. What that would mean to Google, Safari's current search bar, isn't so clear.
In an effort to catch up to rival services like Facebook, Twitter will now allow people to shoot, edit and post video directly from its mobile apps. Also, private messages on the service can now be sent to as many as 20 people.
How to handle an unexpected offer for your early-stage startup
You are running your first startup. You are starting to build your team and gain customer traction. It is starting to feel like you might be living the dream after all. Then, bang! You get an unsolicited offer to buy your company.
Seeking higher daily engagement, Yahoo CEO hints at messaging product
Monthly active users are a fine metric, but Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wants to grow the number of people who touch her company’s products daily. To do that, she’s considering messaging. “We want fewer tourists and more fanatics, [people] who are using the product all the time,” she said during today’s fourth quarter earnings call. She hinted that […]
Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out
New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with [...]
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to do a review on a recently updated Android application called MoboRobo. It was an application that I haven’t heard of before, so whenever I agreed to do the review I knew I would be going into this without any thoughts about it whatsoever. I didn’t know [...]
Google Fiber officially expanding to four new cities
With rumors of a Google Fiber expansion popping up, many were waiting to hear which cities would receive the super-fast Internet service. Today, via the Google Fiber Blog, Google announced four new cities to which Google Fiber will be expanding. The cities are Atlanta, Ga., Nashville, Tenn., Charlotte, N.C. and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., marking [...]
Motorola is offering up to $140 off select devices for Valentine’s Day
Motorola is spreading the Valentine’s Day love with a special sale in February. On Monday, February 2, Motorola will be offering 200,000 promo codes for $140 off a purchase of $499 or $50 off a purchase of $249.99. Promo codes will be available from 11:00AM to 11:59PM CT on February 2 and can [...]
NSA's reported Huawei hack gives glimpse of agency's role in 'cyber Cold War'
The latest report based on leaks by Edward Snowden has it that the NSA hacked into the servers of a Chinese router company that had itself been accused by the US of potentially aiding government espionage.
Twitter battle in Turkey heats up, spreads to YouTube -- reports
The fight over a Twitter ban in the country intensifies, as the government reportedly blocks a workaround, the White House weighs in, and Google refuses to yank YouTube vids critical of the prime minister.
SK Telecom and Nokia make big cells and small cells play nice
SK Telecom has just incorporated a tongue-twister of a technology into its Nokia-built LTE network in Gwangju, South Korea. It’s called Enchanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination, or eICIC for short, and its…
Can media do for Snapchat what it did for Facebook?
Snapchat is distancing itself from its core messaging feature with its new Discover feature. Instead of offering new communication tools, it's focusing on media content to hook users. It's hoping that will…
Netflix is revamping its data architecture for streaming movies
Netflix is revamping the computing architecture that processes data for its streaming video service, according to a Netflix blog post that came out on Tuesday. The engineering team wanted an architecture…
Watch a drone shoot fireworks at people from the drone's point of view
Some guys essentially weaponized a drone by strapping Roman Candles onto the flying machine and making it fly around and shoot fireworks at people (themselves). The video made by PIEROGRAM is totally crude but is also a preview of how the world will end. Death by laser shooting drones and human stupidity.
Terrifying Medical Instruments Found on Blackbeard's Sunken Ship
The jolly good life of a pirate was not a jolly healthy one, what with the syphilis and scurvy and ship-raiding. Archeologists excavating Blackbeard's flagship off the coast of North Carolina have unveiled their latest findings: a cache of medical instruments that include this rather horrifying urethral syringe.
On January 27th, 1880, Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for an incandescent lamp. It was still two years before his first power grid would flicker to life in NYC, and Edison was living on the precipice of a new age. Oh, how things have changed.
You'll Waste Hours Watching the Time Tick By On this Nixie Tube Clock
Though the technology is ludicrously outdated, Nixie tubes have actually remained a popular alternative to LEDs and LCD displays—at least in devices where function follows form. So it's no surprise that MB&F, known for its over-the-top watches and music boxes, has embraced them on its new Nixie Machine clock that people won't be staring at just to read the time.
IoT opportunities reliant on dependent developments, say Taiwan makers
Taiwan makers are eyeing opportunities with the the Internet of Things (IoT) but believe business opportunities will come slowly as hardware, software and new concept developments need to coincide to create demand.
Acer to help app developers enter international markets
Acer has recently started a new project for its Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) platform and will expand its cooperation with small-to-medium-size app development ventures to help them advance into the worldwide market.
Taiwan market: Xiaomi ships 100,000 smart bracelets in less than 2 months
Xiaomi Technology has sold 100,000 units of its Xiaomi smart bracelets in the Taiwan market in less than two months. The vendor aims to ship 500,000 smart bracelets in the local market in 2015, according to sources at local retail channels.
Annual sales of e-bicycles expected to surpass 360 million by 2023, says Navigant
As innovation in engine-powered two-wheel transportation accelerates, the market for e-bicycles is expected to expand. The technological trends contributing to this development include combined throttle-control and pedal-assist models, electric cargo bicycles, all-in-one retrofit kits and wheels, 3D-printed bicycles, and the use of e-bikes in security applications. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, worldwide sales of electric bicycles are expected to surpass 360 million annually by 2023.
Handset solution vendors vying for wearable and peripheral device chip market
Handset solution vendors, including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Marvell Technology, Intel and Spreadtrum Communications, are expected to focus on expanding their product portfolio by rolling out chips for wearable devices as well as peripheral devices/applications for smartphones in 2015, according to industry sources.
Samsung starts smartphone production lines in Indonesia, says report
Samsung Electronics' production lines for smartphones in Indonesia have reportedly started operating recently, according to a Korean-language Edaily report citing sources familiar with Samsung's operations.
HSI seeks public tips to help locate human trafficking fugitives
Top Priority Sector:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has released the names and photographs of 10 fugitives wanted for human trafficking crimes in the hope that tips from the public could lead to the individuals’ identification and arrest.
FBI report shows drop in violent and property crimes in first half of 2014
Top Priority Sector:
Statistics released this week in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report have revealed overall declines in both violent and property crimes reported for the first six months of 2014 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2013.
The report is based on information from 11,009 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2013 and 2014.
ShotSpotter adds six new cities in second half of 2014; now in more than 90 cities to help deter illegal gunfire
Top Priority Sector:
Newark, CA-based SST, Inc., the maker of ShotSpotter and a provider of gunfire detection, location, alerting and analysis, has announced it is now deployed in more than 90 cities worldwide, with six new cities -- Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Pittsburgh, PA; Savannah/Chatham, GA; Trenton, NJ and Cape Town, South Africa -- signing up in the second half of 2014 to bring ShotSpotter to their communities.
Iron Mountain appoints Bill O’Neill to lead Federal business
Top Priority Sector:
Iron Mountain Incorporated, a provider of storage and information management services, has announced that Bill O’Neill will be joining the company as vice president and general manager for Iron Mountain’s Government Services business. In his new role, O’Neill will lead Iron Mountain’s efforts to generate growth and market share in the Federal government sector by delivering records and information management solutions for the company.
Hundreds of people died in terrorist attacks on foreign mass transit systems over the past twenty years. To prevent similar attacks in the United States, Congress mandated new measures in 2007 that include security plans, vulnerability assessments, and training. Shockingly, Washington, DC residents learned this week that vital security measures have not been implemented and the public remains at risk when using the metro system.
NTSB to focus on safety of rail tank cars and commercial trucking in 2015
Top Priority Sector:
Rail tank cars that carry crude oil, ethanol and other hazardous materials across the country must do it more safely. That's one of four new issues on the NTSB's “Most Wanted List for 2015.”
Also new to the list of top 10 areas that need safety improvements are: Requiring that transportation operators be medically fit for duty; strengthening commercial trucking safety; and requiring pilots to strengthen procedural compliance.
U.S. and partners gather to foster a more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean
Top Priority Sector:
In follow-up to the launch of the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative (CESI) in June 2014, the Vice President, Secretary of Energy Moniz, other senior Administration officials, Caribbean Heads of Government, multilateral development banks, and other international partners participated in the Caribbean Energy Security Summit January 26 in Washington, D.C. to work together in support of Caribbean energy security. The Summit highlighted ongoing efforts under the CESI, including support for improved governance, enhanced access to finance, and increased donor coordination.
Harris Corporation receives order from Air National Guard for vehicle communication systems
Top Priority Sector:
The Harris Corporation has received an order to supply communication systems to the Air National Guard (ANG) for crucial ground-to-air communications during wartime and domestic emergency responses, including natural disasters.
Sony is killing off Music Unlimited, partners up with Spotify to launch PlayStation Music
To just about no one's dismay, Sony has announced that they will officially shut down their Music Unlimited service in all 19 countries, replacing it instead with upcoming PlayStation Music powered by Spotify.
With little competition, Facebook officially pulled in $12 billion last year
After Apple reported a record-breaking earnings numbers, Facebook is now chiming in with their Q4 2014 earnings. It's definitely nowhere near Apple's numbers, but pretty damn good for a social network everyone loves to hate.
LG G2 for $209, Kemco RPGs on sale, Interstellar pre-order offer, and more [Android Deals]
Looking for a cheap smartphone? Some new entertainment options (including a discounted Amazon Fire TV)? The best deals on apps and games? You’ve come to the right place. We’re freeing you of the grunt work and rounding up the best Android-related deals out there.
Snapchat becomes a news discovery platform in today’s big update, & here’s a quick preview [VIDEO]
Snapchat started off as a simple social network for sharing one-off photos and video between friends and family, but like any successful social platform they want it to grow into something much bigger. That's why they've introduced a new Discover tab in today's big update.
Germany’s A9 autobahn route set to allow self-driving cars, but not just for Google’s benefit
If Google's efforts to bring self-driving cars to market isn't proof enough that this is poised to be the next big automative breakthrough, perhaps Germany's latest efforts are. The country has approved the use of self-driving vehicles on a portion of its autobahn A9 route.
sciencehabit writes In their quest to make ultrastrong yet ultrasmall fibers, the polymer industry may soon take a lesson from Uloborus spiders. Uloborids are cribellate spiders, meaning that instead of spinning wet, sticky webs to catch their prey, they produce a fluffy, charged, wool-like silk. A paper published online today in Biology Letters details the process for the first time. It all starts with the silk-producing cribellar gland. In contrast with other spiders, whose silk comes out of the gland intact, scientists were surprised to discover that uloborids' silk is in a liquid state when it surfaces. As the spider yanks the silk from the duct, it solidifies into nanoscale filaments. This "violent hackling" has the effect of stretching and freezing the fibers into shape. It may even be responsible for increasing their strength, because filaments on the nanoscale become stronger as they are stretched. In order to endow the fibers with an electrostatic charge, the spider pulls them over a comblike plate located on its hind legs. The technique is not unlike the so-called hackling of flax stems over a metal brush in order to soften and prepare them for thread-spinning, but in the spider's case it also gives them a charge. The electrostatic fibers are thought to attract prey to the web in the same way a towel pulled from the dryer is able to attract stray socks.
Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses
alphadogg writes Amazon Web Services today launched a new product to its expansive service catalog in the cloud: WorkMail is a hosted email platform for enterprises that could wind up as a replacement for Microsoft and Google messaging systems. The service is expected to cost $4 per user per month for a 50GB email inbox. It's integrated with many of AWS's other cloud services too, including its Zocalo file synchronization and sharing platform. The combination will allow IT shops to set up a hosted email platform and link it to a file sharing system.
Snowden Documents: CSE Tracks Millions of Downloads Daily
Advocatus Diaboli writes Canada's electronic spy agency sifts through millions of videos and documents downloaded online every day by people around the world, as part of a sweeping bid to find extremist plots and suspects, CBC News has learned. Details of the Communications Security Establishment project dubbed 'Levitation' are revealed in a document obtained by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and recently released to CBC News. Under Levitation, analysts with the electronic eavesdropping service can access information on about 10 to 15 million uploads and downloads of files from free websites each day, the document says.
Scientists Discover How To Track Natural Errors In DNA Replication
BarbaraHudson writes Researchers figured out how to label and keep track of new pieces of DNA, and learned to follow the enzyme responsible for copying those pieces. Their research focused on enzymes called polymerases. These enzymes create small regions in DNA that act as scaffolds for the copied DNA. Scientists assumed that the body deletes the scaffolds containing errors, or mutations, and the standard computer models supported this theory. However, the actual research showed that about 1.5 percent of those erroneous scaffolds are left over, trapped within the DNA. After running models, scientists now believe they can track how DNA replicates and find the most likely areas where these scaffolds with errors turn up. The erroneous scaffolds usually appear close to genetic switches, those regions that turn on when genes activate. The mutations damage the switch, which results in genetic disease, as well as increasing the likelihood of cancer.
Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?
Nerval's Lobster writes: What does it take to become a great — or even just a good — software developer? According to developer Michael O. Church's posting on Quora (later posted on LifeHacker), it's a long list: great developers are unafraid to learn on the job, manage their careers aggressively, know the politics of software development (which he refers to as 'CS666'), avoid long days when feasible, and can tell fads from technologies that actually endure... and those are just a few of his points. Over at Salsita Software's corporate blog, meanwhile, CEO and founder Matthew Gertner boils it all down to a single point: experienced programmers and developers know when to slow down. What do you think separates the great developers from the not-so-fantastic ones?
An anonymous reader writes: A new study confirms the potential hazard of nearby gamma-ray bursts. It quantifies the probability of an event near Earth, and more generally in the Milky Way and other galaxies over time: "[Evolved] life as it exists on Earth could not take place in almost any galaxy that formed earlier than about five billion years after the Big Bang." This could explain the Fermi's paradox, or why we don't see billion-year-old civilizations all around us.
Inside the Largest Virtual Psychology Lab In the World
bearhuntz writes: Riot Games has been using League of Legends as a psychology lab to run scientific experiments and reduce toxic player behavior for a while now. This article explains some of the experiments they're doing, and what the results have been. "For example, one product is a restricted chat mode that limits the number of messages abusive players can type per match. It’s a temporary punishment that has led to a noticeable improvement in player behavior afterward —on average, individuals who went through a period of restricted chat saw 20 percent fewer abuse reports filed by other players. The restricted chat approach also proved 4 percent more effective at improving player behavior than the usual punishment method of temporarily banning toxic players. Even the smallest improvements in player behavior can make a huge difference in an online game that attracts 67 million players every month."
An anonymous reader writes: YouTube today announced it has finally stopped using Adobe Flash by default. The site now uses its HTML5 video player by default in Google's Chrome, Microsoft's IE11, Apple's Safari 8, and in beta versions of Mozilla's Firefox browser. At the same time, YouTube is now also defaulting to its HTML5 player on the web. In fact, the company is deprecating the "old style" Flash object embeds and its Flash API, pointing users to the iFrame API instead, since the latter can adapt depending on the device and browser you're using.
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
Bits Blog: Regulators Crack Down on Marketers of ‘Unlimited’ Data Plans
TracFone Wireless, the largest provider of prepaid mobile service in the United States, agreed to pay $40 million to settle charges that it had deceived customers in its marketing of “unlimited” data plans.
Bits Blog: Twitter Adds Group Messaging and Video Recording
In an effort to catch up to rival services like Facebook, Twitter will now allow people to shoot, edit and post video directly from its mobile apps. Also, private messages on the service can now be sent to as many as 20 people.
Black to the Future: BlackBerry Classic lands in Australia
Depending on where you stand, the BlackBerry Classic is either a perfect device or completely obsolete. Either way, it's now on sale in Australia.
Available from Telstra, the Classic is available for $504 outright or on a range of 24-month plans ranging from $63 per month with 500MB of data, $550 of calls and MMS, and unlimited text, to $130 per month with 3GB of data and unlimited talk, MMS and text.
The BlackBerry Classic marks a return to the company's roots, boasting a physical keyboard and a chunky build, though not as chunky as the bizarre BlackBerry Passport.
Old is new again
While it certainly resembles older handsets – moving on from efforts like the BlackBerry Z30 to mimic the more streamlined smartphones we're used to seeing – BlackBerry claims the Classic offers a browser with triple the speed, 60 per cent more screen space, and 50 per cent more battery.
BlackBerry also claims the Classic will feature a greater variety of apps, though most of the world's most popular apps remain absent.
Our guess is Telstra won't be stocking as many Classics as it does iPhones.
Long for the mobile phones of yesteryear? BlackBerry could be embracing another old design with rumours of a new slider handset.
Now we can add the Samsung Galaxy J1 to that list - and be happy Samsung is at least starting with the right number, this time.
The J1 was rumored earlier in January, when we saw some images and noted that it could be a solid Moto G competitor.
Now the company has officially launched the handset, a low-end device with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 4.3-inch 480 x 800 display, dual SIM, 512MB of memory, 4GB storage, microSD, a removable 1850mAh battery, 2- and 5-megapixel cameras, and Android 4.4.
The phone has only appeared on Samsung's Malaysia website, though, and its announcement wasn't heralded by any worldwide press releases, so it seems the J1's availability is pretty limited for now.
TenPlay becomes the first Australian first catch up service on the Apple TV
After years of being considered a hobby product, the Apple TV streaming box has finally begun delivering Australian catch up services, with Channel 10 this week launching TenPlay for the Apple TV.
The service automatically begun appearing in the app grid of the Apple TV, bringing access to Channel 10's collection of catch up programming across its One, Ten and 11 digital channels.
Full episodes of shows like The Project, I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and SharkTank are all available to stream minutes after broadcast.
While TenPlay is no stranger to a variety of platforms, with apps for iOS, Android, Xbox One and more, it has claimed the mantle of being the first Australian catch up TV service to launch on APple's little black box.
It's just not cricket
TenPlay may offer a massive glimmer of hope that Australian entertainment companies are beginning to leverage Apple's box, but it's not the first Australian app to get on the box.
That title actually goes to Cricket Australia, which launched a Cricket app earlier in January for the Apple TV.
The Cricket app offers a similar approach to sports catch up as the MLB and NBA, but without any live streaming.
Instead, cricket fans can enjoy news, highlights and archival footage via the Apple TV's interface.
TV of the future
With the arrival of Stan and Presto – and not to mention the impending launch of Netflix in Australia – the streaming market is becoming significantly more competitive, and accessing that content on the big screen is going to become increasingly important to users.
Devices like Fetch TV will be working hard to bridge the gap of customers who want to both watch broadcast TV and stream video, but if Apple can create a complete hub of streaming services down under, it will certainly help local uptake.
But still, the fact that Apple has launched two Australian streaming services this month is a promising development for the future of the device.
Unlike Internet Explorer, Microsoft's new browser will support extensions
Internet Explorer lacks many features compared to better browsers like Chrome and Firefox, including the popular add-ons called extensions.
That will change with Microsoft's new Windows 10 browser, codenamed Project Spartan, which the company hopes will appeal to fans of Google's and Mozilla's browsers.
Microsoft's @IE Dev Chat Twitter account confirmed during a conversation with users that they're "working on a plan for extensions for a future update to Project Spartan."
Off to a good start
Extensions let users customize their browsers with a variety of features.
According to The Verge Microsoft is also working on a way for developers to port their Chrome extensions directly to Spartan, streamlining the process and potentially ensuring Spartan gains a library of extensions as quickly as possible.
Project Spartan will ship with all Windows 10 devices beginning this year.
Is lifting your remote in order to escape the repulsive swamp of reality TV just too much effort? Well, your Xbox One's new features are here to help you put all of that behind you.
The Australian public preview of OneGuide on Xbox One is now underway, bringing some new functionality to your TV viewing experience.
Rather then lifting their arm like a sucker, OneGuide enables Xbox One owners to switch between TV channels through voice commands, as well as browsing TV listings without actually being exposed to the horror contained within: "Xbox, what's on Channel 10? Family Feud? God help us all..."
What's on the box?
Favourite channels can be marked, giving faster access, and Snap Mode can be used to watch TV on the side while leaving the lion's share of the screen for other applications. OneGuide listings are available on the new Xbox One SmartGlass Beta app, too.
OneGuide also makes it easier to access TV on demand by providing handy listings that indicate which shows are available on demand from video apps.
Xbox claims the TV viewing experience on its latest console will improve even further with the launch of the USB-attached Xbox One Digital TV Tuner in March 2015, bringing streaming of free-to-air TV across the home network using the SmartGlass app.
Did you side with PlayStation in the console war? Check out the PlayStation TV.
Cut to the chase What is it? An iOS 8-friendly watch that plays nice with your iPhone When is it out? April What will it cost? Starts at $349 (likely north of £223, AU$403)
Apple Watch release date
Saying something like "Hey, Siri, set a reminder for the 'Apple Watch launch' for three months from now" is going to be a whole lot easier with simple a flick of the wrist in just 90 days.
April is when the Cupertino firm will release its smartwatch on the masses, winding back the digital crown on rumors that suggested March for the official Apple Watch date.
That's still right on track with the vague "early 2015" launch window Apple had previously stated and the "spring 2015" that was leaked from an internal alleged internal memo last year.
Although this Apple Watch release date news is so fresh that not even Apple's website is updated with the information, believe us, we've already blocked off the entire month to wait in line. It's happening.
We're no longer asking "when will Apple Watch come out?" Instead, we're focused on "how much will the Apple Watch cost?" There's really no precedent for a truly premium smartwatch price just yet.
That notorious Apple tax pushes the pricetag to $349 given components involved. That's £223 in the UK and AU$403 in Australia, but expect those prices to be even higher, above the straight dollar conversion.
It's true that Apple has recruited high-profile people throughout the watch and biometrics industries who have wound up on its Apple Watch team. That talent comes at a price.
Then there's a hidden cost. While a subsidized iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are cheaper upfront in the US, stores make up the difference with contract kickbacks. Not so with a smartwatch. Stores need a cut too.
For the sake of comparison, Android Wear's cheaper initial watches included the Samsung Gear Live at $200 (£170, AU$250) and LG G Watch at $230 (£160, AU$250) at launch.
But Apple's biggest and most stylish competition is from Motorola, and the Moto 360 price is $249 (£199, likely AU$275 given its rivals' prices).
Apple is aiming for luxury given the sapphire glass-protected display, an imposing digital crown, two sizes and even the 18k gold colored edition. Expect prices for that version to climb even higher.
Apple Watch won't be an impulse buy for most consumers. That's why we'll continue to update this page to see whether or not the iPhone-compatible smartwatch is a fit for you. Stay tuned.
What does Apple Watch do?
Apple's first wearable gadget beams messages, Facebook updates and simplified apps to our wrists, eliminating the all-too-common need to take out our devices to constantly check notifications.
There are more than a dozen ways to interact with the watch, from receiving glanceable notifications, to feeling "taptic" feedback, to summoning Siri, according to the developer WatchKit software.
It's going to become especially convenient to pocket the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and even bigger 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus in your jeans, or to always stow the thin, but still 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 in a bag.
Is that phone call coming from a telemarketer not worth your time or an emergency from a loved one? Apple Watch makes mundane notifications easy to dismiss while keeping you in the loop on life's most important alerts.
Other apps seen in the Apple Watch video include iMessages, Health, Calendar, Weather, Mail, Photos, Camera's shutter button, Passbook that now includes Apple Pay and even Apple Maps for navigation.
The number of apps coming is increasing all the time, even before the launch of the watch, and users can even try out the functionality of the wrist-dweller before deciding to go out and buy one.
We've rounded up the best Apple Watch apps to help you decide whether you'll want one at launch. Many will be extensions of built-in iPhone apps, but there will also be new ones.
Use the watch as a flashlight (by making the screen go white), track your pizza delivery or even browse Instagram without getting the phone out of your pocket - certainly a hassle of some more than others.
All of these Apple Watch apps and settings can be organized within a single iPhone companion app, according to newly leaked iOS 8.2 beta details.
Developers are now readying more Apple Watch apps thanks to the WatchKit SDK launch. They're being given a headstart with the software and it could bring a whole new section to the iTunes App Store.
The smartwatch also takes cues from the Nike FuelBand SE and other fitness trackers with health sensors and nutrition apps, a must for any serious wearable gadget these days.
Sure there are fitness apps on your smartphone, but you're not always carrying your iPhone while tracking your steps and activity. The Apple Watch is better suited for your everyday workout.
Apple Watch design, buttons and straps
Apple Watch design
The final Apple Watch design isn't too far from the made-up renders that we saw ahead of the official announcement. It draws inspiration from iPod Nano with a rectangular-shaped screen plus one knob and a single button.
The Apple Watch is more than "iPod Nano meets the iPhone," though. The smartwatch display comes in two sizes measured by height: 38mm (1.5in) and 42mm (1.65in). Both are slightly smaller than the entire Pebble Steel watch height, which measures 46mm (1.8in).
We also now know the resolution of each screen. The 38mm Apple Watch will have a resolution of 272 x 340, while a 42mm version will have a 312 x 390 display.
Apple has only revealed the height of its new smartwatch screen, so we can't properly calculate the pixels per inch, and anyone who does is just guessing. But it'll likely rival the 300ppi of the Samsung Gear S.
The Apple Watch's screen is surrounded by casing made of custom alloys of stainless steel and aluminum that, according to the company, stand up to the physical demands of daily wear and another BendGate.
Beyond the "Apple Watch" and "Apple Watch Sport" versions, a special "Apple Watch Edition" mixes in 18-karat yellow or rose gold for a premium look. It certainly goes well with that gold iPhone 6.
That brings the metal colors to six: stainless steel, silver aluminum, space black stainless steel, space gray aluminum, 18-karat yellow gold and 18-karat rose gold.
Apple Watch digital crown
The Apple Watch doesn't have a round display like the Moto 360, but the casing does feature a circular knob known as the "digital crown."
This input is unique among smartwatches, but a true classic derived from traditional watches. Apple has of course put a modern-day twist on its functionality.
The Apple Watch digital crown replaces the pinch-to-zoom touchscreen mechanic used on everything from iPhones to MacBooks, which is too impractical on such a small display, according to Apple.
Rotating it allows you to zoom into your app selection, your location on Apple Maps and a photo from a gallery. Scrolling through dates and stopwatch times is handled by this knob too.
The digital crown also acts as the Apple Watch home button. There's no Touch ID sensor here, but Apple Watch is smartly tied to your wristwatch with an anti-theft passcode required whenever it's taken off.
Apple Watch conversation button
The button below the digital crown allows you to start a conversation with friends. Pushing it brings up a their contact info photos and zooming into a specific person with the digital crown gets things started.
Beyond calling and messaging Apple Watch wearing friends, you can get their attention with a gentle tap. It vibrates the "taptic" feedback on their smartwatch.
What's intriguing about this taptic feedback system is that it's said to be more precise and subtle than a vibration everyone can hear. Want to ditch a party? Your friends' secret sign may be three taps on the Apple Watch before bailing. It's an interesting way to get someone's attention.
The Apple Watch goes all Drawesome on us with a bizarre sketch function for light messaging on the wrist. Snapchat became big, why not Swipechat? You can also share your heartbeat with someone in real time, though we're not sure why you would want to.
Apple Watch bands
The variety of Apple Watch bands played better than U2 at the press conference, giving consumers a way to personalize their smartwatch.
Standard straps include Leather Loop that conceals magnets for easy fastening, the leather Modern Buckle and the leather Classic Buckle. There's also a gym-friendly elastomer Sport Band.
Higher-end metal straps include the Milanese Loop with flexible magnetic stainless steel mesh and the stainless steel Link Bracelet.
The ability to swap the straps without having to use tooling or visit or jeweler is one of our favorite features in the Apple Watch vs Moto 360 comparison.
Watch faces, battery and the competition
Apple Watch faces
Apple is promising customizable watch faces with "millions of different appearances." It brings everything to its timepieces, from time lapse backgrounds to classic Mickey Mouse arms as dials.
However, just to be clear, the smartwatch comes with a base of 11 watch faces, according to the official Apple Watch press release. Most allow you to change the colors, design elements and add functionality.
The Apple Watch face gallery shows off an Astronomy design with an interactive, real-time 3D model of the earth, moon and planets. Likewise, the Solar acts as a contemporary sundial.
If you want a moving background, there's the Motion watch face, or a still image, there's the Photo face. Utility, Chronograph, Color, Modular and Simple exhibit more contemporary designs.
Apple Watch has a number of competitors that run on Android Wear, and since their upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop, you can now download a large range of watch faces there already.
Google seeded Watch Face API to developers and a number of striking designs are already available to download. We're guessing that Google will be a bit more relaxed about custom watch faces vs Apple.
This could mean that we'll see the usual quality versus quantity debate when it comes to comparing watch faces on Apple Watch and Android Wear devices.
By the time the Apple Watch launches in April, there will be a variety of faces already available for Android Wear, so Apple might have a fight on its hands when it comes to watch face customization.
Apple Watch battery life
Tim Cook didn't go into great detail about the Apple Watch battery life, but he did hint that the smartwatch is designed to be "worn all day" and is "simple to charge at night."
"We think people are going to use it so much you will wind up charging it daily," Cook later reiterated at a conference in late October.
An Apple spokesperson backs up our theory, more or less confirming that the smartwatch requires a daily charge. The person also reportedly said Apple is working on modifications to eek out more battery life.
Disturbing reports about Apple Watch having as little as 2.5 hours of battery life have also surfaced, but those are just unfounded rumors and seem overblown. A lot of it depends on use time and battery size.
Previously, when it was known as the Apple iWatch, it was rumored to have a 400mAh battery, but Cook is saving that announcement for a later date or when we finally test it out in April.
He did, however, call attention to the unique recharging method. The Apple Watch's back crystal houses a magnetic inductive wireless charging solution similar to the MagSafe design.
Again, it looks as if Apple bucks another trend - this time it's the popular Qi wireless charging method - in favor of its own standard.
Apple Watch compatibility follows the company's strict iPhone 5 or later policy that's reflective of its recent Apple CarPlay initiative. It's lightning or nothing.
Even though the battery-saving Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology made its debut in the iPhone 4S, it's time for an upgrade. It may also be time to find space to step up to iOS 8.
Just don't expect any Android phone, new or old, to work with the Apple Watch. Android Wear can't connect to Apple's devices, and we don't expect Apple to return the favor.
We plan to strap the Apple Watch to our non-dominant wrist, but its got a lot of competition to stay buckled in due to all of the Android Wear and Samsung smartwatches.
Both smartphones may bring about companion smartwatches with HTC tipped to enter the foray with its own wearable and Samsung always eager to add another dozen watches to its collection.
LG G Watch R
The LG G Watch R is one such competitor which could give Apple a run for its money. Unlike the Apple Watch (and many other smartwatches) the LG G Watch R comes with an attractive round face that gives it a classy, traditional look.
The screen also looks gorgeous thanks to the P-OLED technology, and on the back of the watch is a heart rate monitor for health apps.
Unlike the Apple Watch the LG G Watch R only comes in one size so if you're not a fan of the design then there's little you can do about it.
At $299 (£220, AU$280), the LG G Watch R is one of the more expensive smartwatches on the market, and is around Apple Watch price. By April, however, LG may give it a price cut.
The Moto 360 is another stylish smartwatch with a circular design, and it's one of the best wearables on the market today. Although the LCD screen won't be quite as accomplished as the Apple Watch's display, we feel the round design gives the Moto 360 the edge in the looks department.
It's also around $100 cheaper than the lowest priced Apple Watch will be, and again there's a good chance that it will get even cheaper by the time the Apple Watch makes it way into the world.
The Apple Watch beats the Moto 360 in customization options with the large variety of bands that will be available. Both the Apple Watch and the Moto 360 also allow you to change the style of the watch face, with the recent update to Android 5.0 Lollipop allowing a huge range of new designs to be available to Moto 360.
Apple posted its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2015 - the period ending December 27, 2014 - and the results are mind-blowing.
Thanks to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple sold more phones than in any previous quarter. With markedly different designs and new features, the new handsets finally gave old iPhone users a good reason to upgrade, and interest in large phablet-style phones has never been higher.
But that wasn't Apple's only record - the company also made more money from Mac and App Store sales.
And perhaps the biggest milestone of all is that with $18.04 billion (about £11.87b, AU$22.72b) in profit, Apple just made more money in a single quarter than any other company in history, according to TechCrunch.
Apple vs natural gas
Apple reportedly unseated Gazprom, a Russian natural gas company, beating its record by a couple of billions. The iPhone maker now holds five of the top 20 of these records, the other 15 all belonging to oil and gas companies. Holy crap.
Vastly increased sales in China helped in this area as well, it seems.
As far as the nitty gritty, Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones, including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Compare that to 51 million iPhones sold during the same period the year prior.
And the company's total revenue grew 30% year-over-year to $74.6 billion (about £49b, AU$94b).
For the second quarter Apple predicts revenue between $52 billion (about £34b, AU$65b) and $55 billion (about £36b, AU$69).
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