Posts Tagged ‘iwatch’


Apple WatchOS 2

  1. Native Apps! – The biggest news is that developers can now write native watchOS apps. Currently, all watch apps are written as extensions for iPhone apps so that the bulk of the CPU processing is done on the iPhone itself. Now apps can be truly standalone. How much this impacts on battery life is yet to be seen, but we love the idea!
  1. Facetime Audio – If this is able to be used over Wi-Fi without an iPhone, this would be awesome. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
  1. APIs, APIs, APIs – Developers now get access to all the watch sensors including the digital crown.
  1. Nightstand Mode – When the Watch is on its side and charging, it automatically goes into Nightstand mode – displaying a digital clock. The Crown transforms to a snooze button and the side button turns off an alarm. Very cool.
  1. Time Travel – A new feature that lets you scroll from the current time into the future, letting you see upcoming events and weather forecasts. So, if you have a meeting at 3PM, you could check your watch at 1PM and scroll forward 2 hours to see if you’ll need an umbrella, all without entering any dedicated calendar or weather app. Clever and obvious now that I’ve seen it!
  1. Voice Activated Workouts – You can use Siri to start and end workouts if you can bear to be seen talking to your wrist in the park.
  1. Support for HealthKit and HomeKit APIs through Siri – “Siri,,turn my living room lights play me some Eric Clapton in the kitchen” or using the new APIs, turn the digital crown to adjust your room temperature in the Nest app? You get the idea.

Amillux has entered the market space for iPhone and Apple Watch docks with it’s rather eye-catching Unify Dock.
Like other products in this space, the Unify Dock charges both your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time but – as far as we can ascertain – is the only dock that uses just one cable.
Manufactured in the USA from aircraft grade 6061 aluminium, the Unify Dock certainly looks the part. It is fully adjustable to allow your iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 or 6 Plus to fit snugly in the charging position and Amillux state that all genuine Apple iPhone cases can be accommodated along with most 3rd party cases.
Those with keen eyes and an interest in crowdfunded technology may have seen the Unify Dock before on Kickstarter. The Kickstarter project was cancelled by Amillux when they found a quicker way to enter the market with the help of a strategic partner.


With final prototyping already complete, Amillux co-founders Kyle Jesse and Andrew Acree inform The Tech Spy that the Unify Dock will be listed on Indiegogo shortly for a second attempt of crowd funding. 

One benefit of this strategic shift is that the dock should be available much sooner than initially anticipated and at under $100, including a genuine Apple Watch Charging Disk. This would enable you to keep your existing disc at the office or in your bag for emergencies. One to watch. Pardon the pun.


The big day is here. The Apple Watch is now in the hands of the lucky few who ordered one on release day.

Apple are currently experiencing supply constraints meaning that if you ordered one now, you won’t receive one until late June.

I went to the local Apple Store on the 11th April to try on a few models and see if they worked for me. Here’s how the 42mm stainless steel model looked:


Demo Mode Activity App

It is gorgeous. The band is expertly crafted and compliments the watch face perfectly. As a luxury watch owner, I was expecting to see a big difference between this watch and the ones I own, but I just couldn’t fault it.The watch and straps look and feel to be made with precision and with an exceptionally high quality. I stood there unable to choose which strap combination I would buy and in reality thinking of how many of them I would purchase over time. The steel bracelet and Milanese Loop were particularly beautifully made.

I think Apple have hit the nail on the head here, you are buying one face and then get to choose multiple straps. Essentially you will have a watch for different occasions as the straps were so simple to remove with a click of a button but yet felt so secure. Imagine buying a Rolex or Breitling with a leather strap and deciding to buy a steel bracelet for diversity later. The luxury brand will charge you £600+ for that strap, where as Apple ask you for on average around £120.


Milanese Loop

Apple’s appointment system allows for fifteen minutes to try on up to three different watch and band combinations. In reality, I tried on many more.

It should be noted that the watches they allow you to try on are locked into a demo mode which Apple staff tell me is to prevent people trying them on and running out of door. Fair enough, but it meant that I couldn’t test the digital crown for example to see how easy it is to operate. For actually testing the watch, they have one bolted to the table.

Demo Mode iMessage

I tried using the Apple Watch’s various apps and found them to be of the typical iOS quality. I came away without ordering one as I came to a strange conclusion. When the Apple Watch was first announced I thought ‘I’d love a smart watch, but I’d want it to look like a normal watch’.
After trying one on, I had completely the opposite reaction. I don’t think I need any of the Apple Watch’s features, but I want one precisely because it looks so good. What a turnaround.


Earlier this morning Bloomberg reported that Samsung have now confirmed they are working on a Smart Watch.

In a Bloomberg interview with Executive Vice President of Mobile at Samsung, Lee Young confirmed “We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them”. Amid rumours that Apple are working on the iWatch, Samsung’s Lee states “the issue here is who will first commercialize it so consumers can use it meaningfully”.

Samsung are not new to the Smart Watch territory, back in 2009 they released the S9110 which was a flop as it tried to cram an entire phone into a 11.89mm thick watch sacrificing a lot of features. The difference between then and now, is that the general theme that these companies are following is having a watch which doesn’t replicate the Dick Tracy or Michael Knight style, using the watch to talk through, but merely using the watch as a portal to the phone, showing notifications from Facebook, Twitter and email and being able to read text messages or control the volume of your phone.

The one thing that is certain, is that both Apple & Samsung will come up against some serious competition in the form of the immensely successful Kickstarter project, Pebble, and also the likes of Cookoo which both offer low powered Bluetooth connectivity to your mobile with multiple notifications at a glance, geofencing and both are open sourced with access to API’s.

The problem with Apple and Samsung, is that they will probably lock the watch down to iOS or Android, where as the Cookoo and Pebble both allow the user to use any phone they wish.

The biggest issue is not what the phone will do, or if Apple produce a better product than Samsung, it’s how these companies will displace the major players in the watch market off of your wrist. I am sure The Watch Spy will agree that it will be unlikely that we will see somebody wearing a Breitling on one wrist and an Apple iWatch on the other.

We look forward to seeing how this race pans out as both are rumoured to be out in 2013….