Apple Employees to receive 50% off Apple Watch

Apple Employees to receive 50% off Apple Watch

The highly anticipated & talked about Apple Watch are set to kick off for pre-order April 10th. In line with that Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced a 50% discount for all Apple employees. Needless to say its a good time to work for Apple or at least know someone who does. The discount will apply to all locations as shipping roles out worldwide & applies to the Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport models and a $550 discount off the gold edition model.

Meaning prices will come down to:

Sport 38mm = $175

Sport 42mm=$200

Apple Watch 38mm= $275

Apple Watch 42mm= $300

Apple Watch Edition Gold 38mm= $9,450

Apple Watch Edition Gold 42mm=$11,450

This discount will last for 90 days giving enough time for those who really want one to grab one at half the price.

The full memo was released via Apple’s site & can be read down below:

Team,

The day we’ve all been waiting for is almost here: Apple Watch is ready to ship.

Our retail stores are training for a whole new way to engage customers and help them experience Apple’s most personal product yet. On Friday, in over four hundred stores across four continents, we’ll open our doors to people who want to try on Apple Watch for the first time and start deciding which one is right for them.

Tens of millions of people have seen our keynotes and demonstration videos about the watch, and there’s much more to come. Some of the most innovative developers in the world are working on new experiences designed specifically for Apple Watch. More than one thousand apps were submitted in just four days last week when the App Store started accepting them, and the rate of submissions has only been climbing since then.

I know that many of you have been looking forward to choosing an Apple Watch for yourselves, and we want to make it easy for you. Starting Friday, in countries where the watch is available for pre-order, a special Employee Purchase Plan will offer a 50% discount on any Apple Watch or Apple Watch Sport for your personal use.

As we introduce the watch in more countries, the special pricing for employees will be offered in those countries as well. Discounts will begin at pre-order and last for 90 days after availability. AppleWeb has more details, so I invite you to check it out.

Our products enrich people’s lives like no others, and we think Apple Watch is going to delight our customers in ways people can’t yet imagine. We want you to share in that experience right alongside them.

Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard for years to help this product reach our customers. And thanks in advance to the thousands of retail employees around the world who will start placing it on people’s wrists starting Friday.

Tim

The official release for the product will be April 24th while pre-orders start this Friday (April 10th).

Amazon Dash buttons Allow you to Order with just a click

Amazon Dash buttons Allow you to Order with just a click

No this is not an Aprils fools joke on Amazon’s part, this is a real and useful product. The Amazon Dash buttons will allow consumers to order frequently used items in tap of a button. These tiny receivers that connect via your Wi-Fi network allow you to reorder products in your house by simply clicking them.

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The update is sent out to your phone to alert you so you can cancel the purchase if need be. Otherwise the button will automatically place the order so that you can receive the items as soon as possible. Dash buttons are held up via a reusable adhesive & a hook for you to hang it on certain places/surfaces. All of this is linked up between your Wi-Fi network & the official Amazon application making it easy to purchase products on the fly.

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Amazon plans to offer these for a range of brands & products such as Tide, Bounty, Kraft Mac & Cheese and more.

Just press & never run out

 

Simple yet effective these basic buttons can come in handy in many households. Again this isn’t some April fools hoax. The tiny assistive devices are exclusively for Prime members right now. They’re currently free with an invitation request & you can sign up and learn more here.

Google’s CFO Retires & Leaves a Note on Work/Life Balance

Google’s CFO Retires & Leaves a Note on Work/Life Balance

Patrick Pichette the 7 year CFO of the search engine Google has announced his retirement via a post on his Google+.

In his announcement he left a great note on work/life balance or lack there of.

In the end, life is wonderful, but nonetheless a series of trade offs, especially between business/professional endeavours and family/community. And thankfully, I feel I’m at a point in my life where I no longer have to have to make such tough choices anymore. And for that I am truly grateful. Carpe Diem.

The whole post is definitely worth the read and provides a look at Patrick’s a glimpse of his time at Google but more importantly events that occurred over that time frame. Touching on very personal milestones in his life from his family to the very story that started it all the climbing of Mt Kilimanjaro. As of yet Google hasn’t announced a replacement but Mr.Pichette will stay in place until the transition occurs.

It reminds me of the great quote by Alain De Botton

There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.

 

Apple’s “Spring Forward” Event Recap

Apple’s “Spring Forward” Event Recap

Apple’s “Spring Forward” event has just wrapped up & here’s a full recap of everything announced. The primary focus of the event was to highlight the Apple Watch which was announced several months ago while also pushing some updates across the mac lineup.

Video Overview:

Opening Figures-

Apple Keynotes are known for their openings figures & sales this event was no different.

Main aspects from the introduction included

  • Over 120 million people have visited Apple Stores in the last quarter
  • 6 new stores released in China totaling 21 stores
  • 700 million+ iPhones sold

Apple TV-

Cook quickly took the time to touch on the Apple TV updates.

  • Price reduced from $100 to $70
  • HBO Now Introduced

HBO Now will be an exclusive deal to bring HBO’s content & popular shows such as Game of Thrones to the Apple TV platform for $15 a month.

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Research Kit-

Tim Cook then introduced Jeff Williams (Senior VP of Operations) to talk about the importance of research kit. Research kit’s aim to provide a powerful tool for medical research. Advancing how we gather data & making it easier for app developers to build these amazing applications. They went onto showcase some of these apps behind major diseases such as Parkinson’s & Diabetes.

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The “New” Macbook-

One of the more surprising announcements was the all new Macbook that’ll be in the middle of the laptop lineup. This all new macbook as it was touted is the thinnest laptop that Apple now offers. Redesigned from the ground up to provide a more portable & powerful experience from battery to design.

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From a pure engineering standpoint this laptop is an amazing feat as far as what they’ve crammed into while maintaining the power & battery life it offers. Some main takeaways from the Macbook are

  • $1,299 baseline price
  • 13.1 mm at its thickest point
  • Available in Gold, Silver, and Space Grey
  • 9-Hour Battery Life (Estimate)
  • All new keyboard/track mechanisms
  • USB C- All in one port

The all new profile does come at a cost. Your now limited to one “USB C” port that requires adapters to hook up USB, HDMI, and other devices. So port wise your very limited in this case with no other ports available outside of a 3.5 mm jack for headphones.

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Other major technology integrated into the Macbook is the all new trackpad which integrates new sensors & haptic feedback to really verify your clicks/presses. On top of that you can use OS X settings panel to control the tension of the trackpad.

Tech-Spec wise here’s the breakdown for the baseline model.

Retina Display 2304×1440

1.1GHz Intel Core M (Turbo to 2.4GHz)

8GB of memory

256 PCIe-based onboard flash storage 

Weight: 2.03 pounds

Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ac & Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

 

Apple Watch:

Most of the Apple Watch was already known from a design & information perspective. The two main aspects we were lacking in was the release time frame & price point.

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Apple went onto reiterate their idea behind the watch & it being a personal device. They then went onto really specify their materials that go into each watch from the aluminum to steel. Even dedicated a section to showcasing WatchKit’s apps that have been developed thus far & how the interaction with the watch may look like.

Then it came down to brass tax.

Apple Sport Watch-

$350 for 38mm size

$400 for 42mm size

Apple Watch-

$550 for 38mm size

$600 for 42mm size

Apple Watch Edition-

$10,000+

Now each watch price not only depends on the size but the bands well from rubber to steel making it a very varying factor with prices across the board. More over the rumors surrounding the luxury end watch edition came priced at $10,000 to start & can go up to even $17,00 based on your customizations. This of course is very niche watch and Apple plans to offer this for a limited time to those who can afford it. Featuring 18K gold by itself already raises the price in this case your paying a premium for the right to own one of the exclusive watch editions. All watches feature the same specs only differing in material which the base is made of.

Watch

Release date wise pre-orders start on April 10th & set to ship April 24th.

All in all Apple’s Spring Forward event was nothing new under the sun. The exception of course really came in the form of the Macbook which leaves much room for question regarding the macs lineup & future of the Air. The Watch front pretty much secured all notions of price & estimated April release time. We got to get a better look at the overall experience & how well it integrates with iOS & the iPhone in general. Acting as an extension of our every day convenience and irony aside give us time back while tracking it.

Stay tuned for more coverage regarding the event & in-depth look at the announcements.

 

Apple’s “Spring Forward” Watch Event Set for March 9th

Apple’s “Spring Forward” Watch Event Set for March 9th

Apple has announced their March 9th event with the headline “Spring Forward”. The event will be live streamed via their site on March 9th at 10 a.m PDT. Timing wise its more than likely this event will center purely on the Apple Watch. Giving us further details on the product that was announced months ago with little details surrounding areas like price.

apple-watch-6_1

That said I’ll be covering the event live with commentary on all announcements made via the Youtube channel.

As far as what can we expect regarding the Apple Watch lets take a look at what we know first.

What We Know:

Three Models-

There’ll be three models of the smart watch. The Apple Watch (Base level), Apple Watch Sport (Fitness Model), and the Apple Watch Edition (High End Model).

Interchangeable Straps-

Each watch model will feature straps which can be removed & swapped out for leather, rubber, and various other materials provided by Apple & 3rd party companies much like a standard watch.

Apple Pay-

The Apple Watches will feature Apple Pay allowing you to pay with your watch in hundreds of locations around the U.S.

Apps-

Running a mobile version of iOS the watches will support apps specifically for the watch interface. Developers have access to a WatchKit in order to start app development.

Interface-

You’ll be able to interact with the Watch via a touch screen or using the digital crown similar to what you’d use on a standard watch to adjust the time.

Sensors

A set of sensors to monitor your physical activity will also be built in to the smart watch. Pedometer, heartbeat monitor, and so on.

 

What We Don’t Know:

Price point-

The big question is regarding the price of the watch models. Estimated to range from $350-10,000+. The big issue here comes at the high end model the “Apple Watch Edition”.  This is the first time Apple really is entering a luxury market, think of an actual watch thats built with 18K gold then add on the digital features. This is certainly a premium model & it’s price can’t be rightly gauged but more than likely we’ll be seeing something in the 1k+ range. Some argue Apple will offer a sort of upgrade program for this premium model others state that it isn’t like Apple to provide such a program. Then again its unlike Apple to offer a full 18K gold product to begin with. This smart watch is all new territory thats just now coming into public eye & anything can really go here when it comes to price on the Watch Edition. More than likely the Apple Watch & Sport will be the higher selling models for everyday customers.

Battery life-

Another big aspect of a smart watch is the battery life. Something you’d ideally be wearing all day needs to survive just that. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has already been quoted stating

wind up charging it daily

Due to constant usage of the device so we’re estimating about 2.5-3.5 hours of usage at a constant rate. Obviously this would span out across the day if your using it on and off much like a phone. Heavier usage would drain it quicker but using at a glance now & again could certainly last you a majority of the day.

Ship Date-

At the event we’ll be sure to hear the official shipping date of the devices. Early estimates were predicted that it would ship in April but with the event being held a bit earlier we may see a new launch date for specific models or a full scale rollout later in the month.


 

These are the big three questions that’ll all be answered at the event. Alongside recapping the watches capabilities & Apple’s strategy in this new market as they certainly aren’t the only competitors in the space with tons of new products announced from LG to the all new Pebble.

Stay tuned for the official coverage & commentary come March 9th.

LG Watch Urbane Brings Elegance & Luxury to the Smart watch Lineup

LG Watch Urbane Brings Elegance & Luxury to the Smart watch Lineup

LG at the Mobile World Congress event unveiled the all new LG Watch Urbane. The Urbane is a fully functional smart watch running Android that is encased in a luxurious case coupled with a leather strap.

Urbane is housed with a OLED display of 1.3-inches & powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU with 512MB of memory. Currently available in the two iconic silver & gold finishes. As of current the pricing & shipping information is yet to be announced. LG’s watch features an all metal design which is much more durable & timeless as far as aesthetics go. So far the long awaited Apple Watch coming in April is the closest we’ve seen to this sort of design. Urbane strikes this balance of a classy timepiece with the hardware & software of a 2015 smart watch.

LGWatch1

 

LGWatch2

 

As a time piece enthusiast myself I really enjoy the simplistic approach to the design while coupling advanced technology in the watch. They’re definitely advertising it as an everyday sort of wear be it for a casual or more formal like event. This is how I see a smart watch personally fitting into society. Something that is an extension to our technology we already have & exists in a seamless fashion of something that looks & feels familiar but functions efficiently.

LGwatch3

 

Further tech specs reveal it’ll be sporting a 410mAh battery, the screen will featured a 320×320 resolution with a touch screen interface & possible navigation with the crown, a heart sensor, & will be water/dust resistance. Software wise it’ll be running standard Android Wear.

All in all this is the technology smart watch culture clashing with the classic time piece & producing something that is not only visually appealing but highly technical & useful at its core. As time goes on & the rest of the competitors ramp up production of their smart watches we’ll see how the space plays out. Until then LG Urbane watch certainly sits up there with Apple’s Watch in terms of elegance & sophistication while being coupled with great technology.