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First batch of Pebble Time shipments rolling out May 27

Pebble has announced that the first shipments of Pebble Time will be heading out the door starting May 27, with all customers that have opted for the smartwatch set to receive tracking numbers by mid-June.

From Kickstarter:

  • Production is now in full swing since bringing the factory online at the beginning of May.
  • With things moving along at this rate, we expect all Pebble Time Rewards to be manufactured by the end of the month.
  • By the end of May, all backers can expect an invitation to finalize their selections in the Reward Portal so we can get your Pebble Time processed and shipped.
  • Every backer with a Pebble Time included in their selected reward tier should receive a tracking number from us by mid-June.
  • Shipments will continue on a rolling basis as watches land at distribution centers.

Pebble has also mentioned that it is putting final touches on the Android and iOS app tailored for the device, which will be called Pebble Time Watch. The app allows you to customize your Pebble Time with custom watchfaces, apps, utilities and new Timeline-ready content, all through Pebble’s appstore. Here’s what you can look forward to:

Source: Kickstarter

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Space Black Apple Watch (steel) in pictures

The Space Black Apple Watch looks and feels like dragon scales, or the Batmobile, or something from Krypton.

Technically Space Black is a diamond-like coating (DLC) on the stainless steel of the Apple Watch, but those are just words and they don’t really do justice to how this model turned out. It’s darker than it was back in September when Apple showed it off for the first time, and the new tone really does seem like something made of shadow and light. It took a while to ship — even the very first orders didn’t arrive for several weeks. But holding it now, I can’t help but think it was worth it.

Here’s what the Space Black casing looks like with the Space Black Link Bracelet, the black Leather Loop, and the white and black Sports Bands.

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Global Awareness Accessibility Day and what you should know!

It’s Global Awareness Accessibility Day — #GAAD — and that matters to everyone.

Accessibility and inclusivity are often thought of as helping people with visual, auditory, or physical challenges, learning challenges, are on the Autistic spectrum, or otherwise need assistance beyond what technology normally supplies. The truth is, making products accessible and inclusive, the way Apple does, makes them easier to use and better for everyone. It lets people young and old, novice and expert, use an iPhone or iPad or Apple Watch, and use it well. For those with challenges, however, it’s not just about access, it’s about empowerment. It can improve their lives and let them travel, communicate, and interact in ways never before possible. #GAAD is about getting the word out, so everyone can help, and everyone can benefit.

Accessibility guides

If you’re new to accessibility on iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, here’s how to get everything set up and how to start using it.

Accessibility awareness apps

If you’re looking for apps, Apple’s App Store team has put together a selection of iPhone and iPad apps that aid in accessibility awareness.

Suggested reading

If you want to read and learn more, here are a couple of great articles to check out:

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How to set up and use Accessibility on Apple Watch

The Apple Watch, like all of Apple’s products, has accessibility built right in.

Devices like the Apple Watch can be convenient, even empowering for many people. For those with accessibility needs, however, they can be life changing. They can let people go where they could never go before, speak with people they could never reach before, and see the world in ways that were once impossible. What’s more, by making the Apple Watch accessible and inclusive to people who are blind or have visual impairments, deaf or have auditory impairments, or who have motor skill or learning or other challenges, Apple makes it more accessible and inclusive to everyone.

The Apple Watch is in its first generation, but here’s all the accessibility features it already enjoys, along with how to set them up and use them.

How to set up and use Voice Over for Apple Watch

How to set up and use Voice Over for Apple Watch

VoiceOver literally talks you through the Apple Watch interface, making the visuals accessible to those who need audio. Part of Apple’s suite of accessibility features, VoiceOver will speak the names of icons and apps, buttons and sliders — of everything that needs identifying and can be interacted with on your Apple Watch. For those with visual impairments or blindness, it can not only make technology usable, it can be life changing.

How to set up and use Zoom on Apple Watch

How to set up and use Zoom on Apple Watch

Zoom increases the magnification of the Apple Watch interface, making it bigger for those who need to see it more easily. To better aid those who need greater visual accessibility, Zoom lets you set a default magnification level for the Apple Watch but also adjust it dynamically. For those with visual impairments or partial blindness, it can make what are otherwise small, hard to see screen elements bigger and easier to see.

How to enable grayscale mode on your Apple Watch

How to enable grayscale mode on your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch display is full color — but it doesn’t have to be. If full color is a detriment rather than benefit to your visual accessibility, you can easily toggle it off. It’s one of the fastest changes you can make on the Apple Watch and, best of all, it’s system-wide. So, once you’ve enabled it, it’s enabled everywhere.

How to enable bold text on your Apple Watch

How to enable bold text on your Apple Watch

For some, Apple Watch text will be big enough, just not strong enough for easy reading. One of the accessibility options the Apple Watch provide is for bold text, or a stronger typeface with thicker strokes to make characters and words even more legible. You still get a fair amount of text on screen, the text just stands out a little more from the screen.

How to reduce motion on your Apple Watch

How to reduce motion on your Apple Watch

Animation can make an interface look slick and sleek but it can also make it hard for some people to use. If you suffer from vertigo or any form of motion sickness and watching things slide and zoom around on your Apple Watch(/apple-watch] is causing you distress, don’t worry. You can switch transitions to fades and otherwise reduce the amount of motion right in the accessibility settings.

How to reduce transparency on your Apple Watch

How to reduce transparency on your Apple Watch

Layers of gaussian blur and light and dark transparency can look great, but they can also make it harder for some people to read text and parse images. For accessibility reasons, you can go into your Apple Watch settings and reduce the amount of transparency used in the interface. That’ll make screens more opaque and everything more legible and understandable for anyone who finds the default transparency distracting or disorienting.

How to enable On/Off Labels on the Apple Watch

How to make on/off labels more visible on your Apple Watch

You can toggle a lot of settings from off to on and back again, including one that makes toggle state more visible. By default on the Apple Watch, thanks to its iOS heritage, the difference between “on” and “off” for a lot of options in settings is little more than what side the switch it on and whether it’s green or not. If that isn’t accessible enough for you, you can make the toggles even more visible by — wait for it! — toggling on labels. That way you get a helpful O in off state and I in on state. It’s especially useful if color alone isn’t enough of a differentiator for you.

How to enable mono audio on your Apple Watch

How to enable mono audio on your Apple Watch

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing in one ear, mono audio can help make sure you still get all the sound. With a Bluetooth headset, you can listen to audio right from your Apple Watch. Stereo audio, however, can have separate sound in each channel — left or right. Mono audio puts all the sound into both channels — left and right. That way, whether it’s music or talk, you won’t miss anything.

How to set up the accessibility shortcut on your Apple Watch

How to set up the accessibility shortcut on your Apple Watch

Need fast access to an accessibility feature on your Apple Watch? Set the shortcut! On the iPhone, you can set three quick clicks of the Home button as an accessibility shortcut. On the Apple Watch, you can do the same thing with three quick presses of the Digital Crown. It lets you quickly toggle an accessibility feature on or off whenever and from wherever you want. All you have to do is set it up!

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Apple Store app snags support for Touch ID and two-step verification

The Apple Store app has finally been updated today with support for Touch ID and two-step verification.

Apple Store app snags support for Touch ID and two-step verification

The Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad got a pretty significant update today, finally adding support for Touch ID for making reservations at Apple Stores and checking receipts, along with two-step verification.

Here’s the lowdown on what’s new in version 3.3 of the Apple Store app:

  • Use Touch ID to view orders, access EasyPay receipts, and make reservations at an Apple Store.
  • Support for two-step verification, giving you extra security for your Apple ID.

It’s been a long time coming, so this update should be good news to frequent users of the app. If you’d like to nab today’s security-focused update, you can hit up the store link below to get started.

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Weather Line update brings improvements to daily view, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus tweaks

Weather Line for iPhone and iPad has scored an update today that adds improvements to daily view, and much more.

Weather Line update brings improvements to daily view, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus tweaks

Weather Line, a nifty weather app for iOS that strikes the balance between minimalism and information overload, has been updated today with the ability to track current temperature and calendar dates in daily view, and additional improvements for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Here’s the full breakdown of what’s new in Weather Line version 1.5

If you’d like to try Weather Line out for the first time you can snag it for $1.99. Otherwise, you can grab today’s update from the store link below.

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Adobe will pull Photoshop Touch from the App Store on May 28

Adobe announced that it would be discontinuing Photoshop Touch late next week.

Adobe will pull Photoshop Touch from the App Store on May 28. The company now believes that users are better served by the free apps they have released to the App Store over the last year, which bring you new ways to edit photos, and will even let you edit video.

From Adobe:

Sometimes building for the future means we need to make hard choices and today I am also announcing that we are discontinuing Photoshop Touch. For those of you who have been using Photoshop Touch, thank you and please continue creating amazing work with it; while it will no longer be available in stores as of May 28th and we won’t ship further updates, it will remain completely functional on your devices for the foreseeable future.

Adobe also announced Project Rigel, a new mobile photo retouching solution due in late 2015, which they showed off in this video here:

Both the iPhone and iPad versions of Photoshop Touch will be discontinued. No word on whether or not Adobe will also discontinue Photoshop Express.

Source: Adobe

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Game of Thrones Episode 4: ‘Sons of Winter’ due May 26 for Mac, May 28 for iOS

The fourth episode of Telltale’s Game of Thrones series, titled “Sons of Winter,” now has an official release date of May 26 for Mac and May 28 for iPhone and iPad.

If you haven’t given Telltale’s Game of Thrones series a shot yet, it follows the members of House Forrester as they deal with events surrounding the War of the Five Kings—something fans of the HBO series are intimately familiar with. What are the Forresters getting themselves up to in this episode? Telltale provided the following summary of the action:

In Episode 4, the fate of the scattered Forresters hangs in the balance, and no one allied with the family is safe. An unexpected meeting offers Rodrik a new opportunity to free Ironrath from its Whitehill stranglehold, but with young Ryon Forrester still held prisoner, his next moves are critical. Gared must abandon Castle Black and venture beyond the Wall in search of the mysterious North Grove, risking encounters with Wildlings and worse. In King’s Landing, the population is reeling from a recent royal death, and Mira must step carefully in an increasingly complex game of politics where secrets are traded as currency. Far away in Essos, Asher infiltrates the slave city of Meereen at the behest of Daenerys Targaryen, but will the friendship he holds dear break under the strain of a mission that raises memories best forgotten?

Along with the release date announcement, Telltale also released a trailer for “Sons of Winter” that should stoke your excitement if you’re an avid fan of the series. If you want to catch up on the series, you can snag each episode for $4.99 a piece on iOS. Mac users, on the other hand, will have to shell out $29.99 to pick up each episode as it is released.

Source: Telltale Games

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Split-screen multitasking again rumored to be making its way to the iPad

Apple is said to be planning some major updates for the iPad with iOS 9, including a split-screen app mode, which was also rumored to be coming last year with iOS 8.

Along with other features planned for iOS 9, Apple may be planning some significant, iPad-only features for this year. While first reported to be coming as part of iOS 8, the iPad may be getting a side-by-side app mode, which would allow multiple apps to be displayed at the same time. However, the mode may also allow users to open multiple views of the same app side by side as well, according to 9to5Mac:

Sources now say that Apple plans to show off the side-by-side feature for iOS 9 using currently available iPad models. The latest plans suggest that the split-screen mode will support 1/2, 1/3, and 2/3 views depending on the apps. When split, the screen can either display two different apps side-by-side, or multiple views of the same app. This would enable iPad users to see two separate Safari tabs, or compare a pair of Pages documents at the same time.

Apple is also said to indeed be planning two models of the rumored iPad Pro, presumably the Wi-Fi-only and cellular models. The split-screen mode, though thought to work with current iPad, was apparently originally developed for this device, and Apple is reportedly looking at optimizing iOS even further for the larger screen:

While current “iPad Pro” prototypes are said to run a version of iOS that looks like a larger variant of the iPad mini and iPad Air version, Apple’s goal is to further tweak iOS for the bigger iPad so users can better leverage the additional screen real estate. Besides split-screen apps, Apple is considering redesigning core apps and features, including Siri and Notification Center, to be better presented on the larger display.

Also reportedly in testing is support for multiple users on the iPad, which, much as it does on the Mac, would allow users to create separate partitions for themselves on a single iPad. This feature has apparently taken a back seat to other iPad improvements, and may not in fact ship this year.

Source: 9to5Mac

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The Apple Watch isn’t Great as a Fitness Tracker, but it has Potential

As someone keen on wearable technology encouraging me to get fit, it felt a little too easy to be cynical about the Apple Watch before getting my hands on one. The battery life sounded poor, it looked kind of bulky, and the lack of built-in GPS made me wonder why I’d want one to go alongside my iPhone. Those issues aren’t miraculously solved, but it turns out the Apple Watch has grown on me a lot already in my short time with it. There are a few good reasons for that, partly due to stock apps and partly due to some of my old favorites.

(more…)

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