Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘apple watch’ Category

Apple’s New Razor Blades

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On today’s Apple marketing-fest, Tim Cook made a big change in the order of business we’ve come to expect of their product launches: He led with the razor blades instead of the razors.

Specifically, he led with Apple’s new gaming subscription service (Apple Arcade, $4.99 monthly, available Sept 19th, 150 countries, 100 new games added to the launch catalog) and its new filmed content subscription service (AppleTV+ content streaming service with first shows arriving Nov 1, over 100 countries at launch, also $4.99/month).

That alone was a statement of strategic focus moving forward. The razors are important, but the razor blades are where the new growth comes from.

So what about the hardware?

About what you’d expect. The Apple iPhone Pro probably stood out most (I don’t need a new Watch, iPad, yadda yadda yadda), if only because the speeds and feeds looked absolutely bionic. Who doesn’t want three cameras to cover all angles and motion of your Friday night beer pong contest?

And slow-motion selfies — don’t forggettt thosseee slowwww mo-shunnnnn selff-eeeeeees.

Today’s launch may have been all about the razor blades. But if you ask me, it’s been a very long time since Apple launched a new and must have razor.

Written by turbotodd

September 10, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Posted in 2019, apple, apple watch, iPhone

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Growing Wearables

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The wearables market is growing in North America, with Apple Watches continuing to lead the pack in shipments.

According to a report in VentureBeat, research firm Canalys cites in a new report that the market is now segmenting into two sweet spots, $200 to $299, and $400 to $499.

These two together now represent 60% of all shipments, and Apple also sent over 60% of its 4.7M global Apple Watch shipments to North America (a 32% quarter-over-quarter growth).

The $500+ market seems to have contracted significantly, and the $700+ market saw very few shipments.

Notably, Apple’s Airpods and Watches did not get a break in President Trump’s latest tariff reprieve for China (while laptops and cellphones did).

Be smart about what you ask Santa for for Christmas this year!

Written by turbotodd

August 16, 2019 at 9:50 am

Apple Blah

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You know you’ve lost some enthusiasm about technology when the most excited you got at Apple’s “dub-dub” (WWDC) keynote was “dark mode.”

I’ve read lots of folks commentary on Twitter and parts beyond claiming this was the best keynote presentation since Steve Jobs left the stage.

Yeah, I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, it was competently done, but I saw a lot of nibbling around the edges and not nearly as much new innovation I would have expected.

But I’ve been around this industry for a wee bit, maybe I’m just jaded. 

Or maybe I’m just already pretty happy with the Apple technology I have.  

I do my daily work on a 2013 MacBook Pro, I have my own personal Macbook Air (circa 2011), an iPhone 7+ with a cracked screen that still works fine, a first-gen Apple Watch, and a first-gen iPad Air. I couldn’t be more of an Apple fan boy. 

But I also don’t like doing real work on the iPad (other than email and a little writing) because I miss not having a mouse too much (although Apple intimated that mouse action would be included in the iPadOS soon, and is already in beta), and I don’t like reading books on the MBP because for me, that’s what iPads and iPhones are for!

Last year, we heard at WWDC that Project Marzipan was going to result in a harmonic convergence of iOS and MacOS apps. This year Apple announced it was forking iOS into an iPad-specific system, and now “Project Catalyst” will help port apps over to the Mac.

Catalyst, Marzipan, where and when does this convergence train end?

CarPlay, which circa 2019 I would think be more important an opportunity than ever (for safety reasons, if nothing else), seemed stalled, save for some compatibility with third-party apps like Pandora and Waze.

But if you’re looking for a new Mac Pro, Apple will sell you its top spec new model for up to $35,000!

What I was most excited about?  

Again, I think for the industry and for developers, the interesting stuff comes in with dev toolsets like ARKit 3, which provides new tools to make AR development easier and allows third-party developers to develop really cool AR apps.

The Minecraft demo was cool, but I’m not a Minecrafter, so I’ll be keeping my iPhone peeled for new AR apps I can use.

In the meantime, let’s hope Apple gets back into the inner ideation sanctum and comes up with something new, and innovative, and soon. 

Plugging a thumb drive into my iPad is supposed to be an exciting Apple keynote announce? 

Puh-leez, Steve Jobs would be turning over in his grave.

Written by turbotodd

June 4, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Posted in 2019, apple, apple watch

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Khashoggi’s Watch

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I’ve been following the disappearance and possible (likely) murder of expat Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey with both horror and fascination.

When I read that Turkish newpaper Sabah wrote that Khashoggi’s Apple Watch may have provided evidence by Turkish officials of his murder, I paid even closer attention.

Could Khashoggi have activated a recording app on his Apple Watch, which was, in turn, connected to the iPhone he left in the car with his wife, and then have had that recording automagically uploaded to his iCloud account?

A report from CNBC pointed out some holes in Sabah’s story which bear following up.

First, they point out there’s no fingerprint sensor on the Apple Watch, so Sabah’s report that the Saudis attempt to delete the audio recording using Khashoggi’s fingerprint to unlock the Apple Watch wouldn’t be viable. The Apple Watch is unlocked with a passcode.

Also, the Apple Watch typically remains unlocked as long as the wearer keeps it strapped to their wrist after inputting the passcode.

Second, CNBC reports that the Sabah report indicated the audio recording was sent to Khashoggi’s iPhone from his Apple Watch, but if he left his iPhone with his fiancee outside the Saudi consulate, it would likely be difficult to maintain a Bluetooth connection to send the audio recording data to that phone.  

The rate of data transfer between Bluetooth 4.0 devices can be up to 25 Mbps, and though the signal can work through walls, the more objects in between the devices, the less overall range. The general range for Bluetooth 4.0 is up to 300 feet, so depending on how close his fiancee’s car was to the actual room where Khashoggi was allegedly being dismembered, the file might or might not have been transferrable back to his iPhone.

If you were thinking perhaps Khaoshoggi was wearing an Apple Watch that has a cellular data connection, CNBC points out that that particular model of the Apple Watch is incompatible with cellular networks in Turkey.

Finally, even if Khashoggi used an app to record from his Apple watch, Apple doesn’t actually ship the watch with a recording app.

So, he would have had to use one of several third-party apps that enable audio recording on the watch, and Apple’s privacy rules require such apps to display a red indicator on the watch a screen while it’s recording audio.

Anyone who looked at the watch would likely know they were being recorded. Of course, it’s certainly possible someone unfamiliar with the Apple Watch might not know what that big red button meant. But an alleged 15 highly-trained assassins?

Which leads me back to a hypothesis shared with me via a former member of the U.S. military. The Sabah Apple Watch story was very possibly a smokescreen published by Turkish intelligence intended to protect its own sources and methods.

Meaning, the Turkish government most likely had that Saudi consulate bugged to high heaven, so it’s very likely they do know if there was a murder and dismemberment taking place there. 

But suggesting via an open source record like a Turkish newspaper that such knowledge came in via an Apple Watch versus a well-placed bug is a very convenient way to let the world know that the Turks had that information, without really letting the world, and the Saudis, know exactly how.

Whatever the role these technologies did or didn’t play, the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi has evolved into an international incident.

Just this morning, The New York Times reported that President Trump said that he spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia and that “the ruler denied any knowledge of what happened to a missing Saudi dissident journalist [Jamal Khashoggi].”

Yet, Trump indicated he would still be sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudia Arabia later this morning to meet with King Salman.

No word yet on whether or not Secretary Pompeo will be wearing an Apple Watch!

Written by turbotodd

October 15, 2018 at 11:03 am

Close Those Circles

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As goes Wichita, so goes Wichita Falls.

Reuters is reporting that one of America’s oldest and largest North American life insurance firms, John Hancock, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones.

Reuters story indicates that policyholders score premium discounts for hitting exercise targets tracked on wearable devices such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch and get gift cards for retail stores and other perks by logging their workouts and healthy food purchases in an app.

Presumably that doesn’t include buying pints of Chocolate Häagen-Dazs.

Privacy and consumer advocates have already raised the alarm, wondering whether insurers like John Hancock could use the data to select for more profitable customers, and penalizing those who don’t close all their Apple Watch circles every day.

And you thought it was just a cool digital watch you could show off to your friends!

Written by turbotodd

September 20, 2018 at 10:16 am

More Wearables

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Happy Friday.

If you’ve been curious about the growth of the wearables market, IDC has some fresh-off-the-press research that was reported yesterday by VentureBeat.

The headline is this: Apple has taken a “decisive” lead away from rivals Fitbit and Xiaomi, garnering 21 percent market share for the 4th (holiday) quarter, and 15.3 percent share for the year.

IDC reports Apple sold 8.0 million Apple Watch units in the fourth quarter, far surpassing Fitbit’s 5.4M and Xiaomi’s 4.9M.  Including they, and other players with lesser market share (Garmin, Huawei), the 2017 holiday quarter for wearables was up 7.7 percent YOY.

In other words, the category is growing at a healthy clip. ; )

Written by turbotodd

March 2, 2018 at 9:26 am

Posted in 2018, apple watch, IoT, wearables

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Apple: Biggest Watchmaker in the World?

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Apple hasn’t exactly been forthright about the sales volume of its Apple volumes.

But with a little digging from industry researcher Canalys and IDC, and some publicly released shipment stats from the Federation fo the Swiss Watch industry, we’re seeing a little more sunlight on the Apple Watch sundial.

According to a report from Business Insider, Apple is, in fact, now one of the biggest watchmakers in the world.

Canalys’ most recent sales estimate suggests that Apple sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry last quarter, about 8 million during the holiday quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook did have this to say about Apple Watch sales volume on February 1:

“It was our best quarter ever for the Apple Watch with over 50% growth in revenue and units for the fourth quarter in a row and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment.”

Time to put to rest the notion that the Apple Watch has no momentum (sorry, couldn’t help myself…too much time on my hands!)

Written by turbotodd

February 12, 2018 at 10:54 am

Posted in 2018, apple watch

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