Apple Watch fire face was made with actual fire

Apple Watch fire face was made with actual fire
With the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple introduced a new, larger display. It now has rounded edges and thinner bezels. And the company took advantage of that display to introduce new fire, water, liquid metal and vapor faces. Apple didn’t use CGI to create those faces — they shot those faces in a studio.
Many companies would have rendered those effects on a computer given the size of the display. But those are actual videos shot with a camera.
Cool Hunting shared a video of the actual process, and it’s insane:

As you can see, Apple used a flamethrower against a transparent surface, exploded a balloon at the top of a basin of water, made a color powder explosion in a cylinder and rotated a small puddle of metallic liquid.
It says a lot about Apple’s design culture — they don’t take shortcuts and they have a lot of money.
Here’s the introduction video for the new Apple Watch:

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Leak reveals a new Apple Watch Series 4 with an edge-to-edge display

Leak reveals a new Apple Watch Series 4 with an edge-to-edge display
In addition to a leak showing off photos of the new iPhone XS models, 9to5Mac also got a hold of a photo of the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4. The new Watch, which now sports an edge-to-edge display, is expected to be revealed on September 12, at the just-announced Apple press conference, along with the iPhone XS.
The photos of the forthcoming Apple Watch (which 9to5Mac notes are “not a render”) show off a watch that’s clearly different from the existing editions. The display now stretches to the edge of the watch face, confirming earlier rumors that said Apple was planning to give the Apple Watch its first big redesign since its launch in 2015.
Analysts have been predicting the new watch would sport a 15% larger display, offer extended battery life, and include upgraded health monitoring features.

Image credit: 9to5Mac
Apple is apparently taking advantage of the bigger screen area with a new watch face that packs in a lot more complications.
In the image 9to5Mac published (see above), there’s an analog face that’s practically cluttered with extra complications, including the temperature, stopwatch, weather, activity rings, date, music, calendar updates, and even a UVI index. These are both spread around the outside of the clock itself, and inside the clock, underneath the hands.
Arguably, it’s a bit much. But the image is likely showing off all the possible complications that could be added to a customizable face at the user’s discretion, rather than a suggestion that one should – well – add them all at once.
Of course, we’ve already begun debating the look, with some more enthusiastically in favor of the new face and all its accompanying accoutrement, and others – let’s say, more cautiously optimistic.

The photo also shows a new hole underneath the Digital Crown, which seems like an extra mic, the report notes.
Other changes, including whatever hardware upgrades and watchOS software features may arrive, aren’t yet known.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Understanding smartwatches

Understanding smartwatches
I was wrong. Several years ago I reviewed the first Garmin Fenix 3 smartwatch. This was before the release of the Apple Watch. That’s key to this story. I declared Garmin would have a hard time selling the Fenix 3. The Apple Watch would be better in every way, I pointed out. Therefore, there would be little reason to buy the Fenix 3.
But here I am, in the middle of the woods, wearing the fifth generation of the Garmin Fenix while my Apple Watch sits at home on my desk.
In some ways I was right. The Apple Watch is better by most measurable attributes: there are more apps, the screen is superior, there’s a vibrant accessory market, and it’s thinner, faster and cheaper.
The Garmin Fenix is big, clunky and the screen looks like it’s from a Kindle. It’s not a touchscreen nor does it have the number of apps or band options of the Apple Watch. I like it. To me, the Garmin Fenix is akin to a modern Casio G-Shock, and that’s what I want to wear right now.
Smartwatches are often reviewed like phones or vacuums. Specs are compared, and conclusions are drawn. Wearability is talked about, and functions are tested. If the watch has a swimming option, take it in a pool, nevermind the fact the reviewer hasn’t done a lap since high school.
I started out doing the same thing with this Garmin. I took it kayaking. I had kayaked twice in my life, and dear reader, I’m here to report the watch performed well on this kayak trip. The watch has topography maps, which are novel, but haven’t been useful since the river. It has a cadence beat to help keep strokes consistent. I tried it all. I ended up drinking a lot of Michigan beer instead of tracking the performance of the watch. Sorry.
Still, performance matters to a point.
Here’s my OG review of the Garmin Fenix 5: The watch is significant even on my wrist. The screen is underwhelming though it’s always on and visibility improves in sunlight. The buttons have great tactical feedback. The watch is waterproof to the extent it survived a flipped kayak and hours in Lake Michigan. The battery lasts nearly a week. The watch does not know when it’s on or off the wrist, so notifications will cause it to buzz even while it’s on your nightstand.
But most of that doesn’t matter. The Garmin Fenix 5 is exceptional, and I love wearing it.
Smartwatches need to be reviewed like ordinary watches. I need to explain more about how the watch feels rather than what it does or how it works. Of course it tracks steps and heart rate and displays select notifications from my phone. If those items work, they’re not important in a review.
Take a Citizen Skyhawk line. It packs a highly sophisticated complication that’s designed, so the maker says, for pilots. Ball makes a lovely line intended to provide accurate timekeeping for train conductors. There are watches for high magnetic fields, tactical operators, race car drivers and, of course, countless ones for divers. Here’s my point: The vast majority of these watches are not used by divers or train conductors or fighter pilots.
This Garmin Fenix watch, much like the Apple Watch or Rolex diver, can be an aspirational item. It’s like the juicer in my kitchen or rowing machine in my basement. I got it because I wanted to be a person who woke up and juiced some veggies before my workout. I haven’t used either in months.
Smartwatches are different from smartphones and need to be reviewed as such. This Garmin Fenix watch has many modes I would never use, yet I love the watch. There’s a BASE jumping mode. I’m not jumping off a cliff. There’s a tactical mode and a golf mode and an open water mode, and I have no desire to be in situations where I need to track such activities. But I like the thought of having them available if I ever wanted to monitor my heartbeat while shooting targets.
The smartwatch industry is approaching a point where features are secondary to design. It’s expected that the watch will track steps and heartbeat while providing access to various features. It’s like the time and date of a regular watch. Past that, the watch needs to fit into a person’s aspirations.
Everyone is different, but to me, this is how it is laid out: The Apple Watch is for those looking for the top-tier experience regardless of the downsides of constant charging and a delicate exterior. Android Watch buyers are looking for something similar but in a counter-culture way. Samsung’s smartwatches are interesting, and with the new Galaxy Watch, finally reaching maturity.
There are fashion smartwatches with fewer features but designs that make a statement. That’s where this Garmin watch lives and I’m okay with it. Fossil and Timex watches live here too. Using the Apple Watch as a standard, some of these fashion watches cost more, and some cost less, but they all say something an Apple Watch does not.
I’m bored with the Apple Watch, and right now I’m into thinking I live the type of life where I need a smartwatch that tracks every aspect of a triathlon. I don’t really need all these features, but I like to think I do. I also don’t need to have a GMT watch with a third timezone, and I don’t need a watch with a hacking movement hand as if I need to synchronize my watch with other members of my special forces squad. But I have those watches, along with dive watches and anti-magnetic watches. I’m not alone. The watch industry has long existed on selling lifestyles.
I was wrong before. The Apple Watch isn’t better than this Garmin or most other smartwatches— at least it’s not better for me right now. Maybe two weeks from now I’ll want to wear an Apple Watch and not because it’s better, but because it makes a different statement.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Fossil announces new update to Android Wear watches with HR tracking, GPS

Fossil announces new update to Android Wear watches with HR tracking, GPS
Fossil’s Q watch line is an interesting foray by a traditional fashion watchmaker into the wearable world. Their latest additions to the line, the Fossil Q Venture HR and Fossil Q Explorist HR, add a great deal of Android Wear functionality to a watch that is reminiscent of Fossil’s earlier, simpler watches. In other words, these are some nice, low-cost smartwatches for the fitness fan.
The original Q watches included a clever hybrid model with analog face and step counter. As the company expanded into wearables, however, they went the Android Wear route and created a number of lower-powered touchscreen watches. Now, thanks to a new chipset, Fossil is able to add a great deal more functionality in a nice package. The Venture and the Explorist adds untethered GPS, NFC, heart rate and 24-hour battery life. It also includes an altimeter and gyroscope sensor.
The new watches start at $255 and run the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, an optimized chipset for fitness watches.
The watch comes in multiple styles and with multiple bands and features 36 faces, including health and fitness-focused faces for the physically ambitious. The watch also allows you to pay with Google Pay — Apple Pay isn’t supported — and you can store content on the watch for runs or walks. It also tracks swims and is waterproof. The Venture and Explorist are 40mm and 45mm, respectively, and the straps are interchangeable. While they’re no $10,000 Swiss masterpiece, these things look — and work — pretty good.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

Apple introduces watchOS 5

Apple introduces watchOS 5
Kevin Lynch from the watchOS team introduced the next version of watchOS at Apple’s WWDC keynote. It’s been a slow and steady rise for the Apple Watch. It’s by far the most popular smart watch, and it’s becoming slightly more useful every year.
This year is no different. There’s a new workout type for yoga, another one for hiking. You can now challenge your friends for a 7-day competition.
But I’m even more excited about automatic workout detection. If you grab your bike and your heart start beating more rapidly, your Apple Watch will track your workout automatically. You’ll also get notifications to end a workout.
As rumored, Apple is introducing a new Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch users. You press to record a message, release to send it. Your friend will receive a notification. That could open up interesting professional use cases. Cellular Apple Watches make this feature more useful too.
The Siri watch face is getting more integrations thanks to Siri shortcuts. You can receive a Citymapper suggestion for instance.
When it comes to the actual voice assistant, you won’t need to say “Hey Siri” anymore. You can just raise your wrist and start talking.
Apple has ported WebKit to watchOS, which opens up a lot of possibilities. You can view web content from your watch. Apple is adding native podcast support and background audio on the Apple Watch too.
Overall, Apple tackled a lot of low hanging fruits. But it’s a compelling pitch and makes the Apple Watch more essential than ever.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch

How to watch the live stream for today’s Apple WWDC keynote

How to watch the live stream for today’s Apple WWDC keynote
Apple is holding a keynote today at the San Jose Convention Center, and the company is expected to unveil new updates for iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and maybe also some new hardware. At 10 AM PT (1 PM in New York, 6 PM in London, 7 PM in Paris), you’ll be able to watch the event as the company is streaming it live.
Apple is likely to talk about some new features for all its software platforms — WWDC is a developer conference after all. Rumor has it that Apple could also unveil some MacBook Pro update with new Intel processors.
If you have the most recent Apple TV, you can download the Apple Events app in the App Store. It lets you stream today’s event and rewatch old events. Users with old Apple TVs can simply turn on their devices. Apple is pushing out the “Apple Events” channel so that you can watch the event.
And if you don’t have an Apple TV, the company also lets you live-stream the event from the Apple Events section on its website. This video feed works in Safari and Microsoft Edge. And for the first time, Apple says that the video should also work in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
So to recap, here’s how you can watch today’s Apple event:

Safari on the Mac or iOS.
Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.
Maybe Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
An Apple TV gen 4 with the Apple Events app in the App Store.
An Apple TV gen 2 or 3, with the Apple Events channel that arrives automatically right before the event.

Of course, you also can read TechCrunch’s live blog if you’re stuck at work and really need our entertaining commentary track to help you get through your day. We have a big team in the room this year.

Source: Gadgets – techcrunch