Editorial

We're going to need a bigger Friends interface...

Friends is a new communications interface on Apple Watch, important enough that it's assigned to a single press of the Side button.

Laid out like a clock, you have twelve Friends slots — one for each hour position — that you can assign to your contacts on the Apple Watch and cycle through using the Digital Crown. Apple offers to populate Friends with your iPhone Favorites during set up, but you can easily assign or reassign Friends at any point using the Apple Watch for iPhone app. While the clock position interface is fun, and twelve sounds like a lot, the limitations can assert themselves quickly and... awkwardly.

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Mac revenue exceeds iPad revenue for the first time since 2011

So much for the "post-PC era:" Apple generated more revenue from Macs this quarter than iPads. A number of factors seem to be aiding the growth.

Despite a contracting worldwide PC market, Apple managed to buck the trend — once again — by selling more Macs than it ever has during its second quarter: More than 4.5 million Macs in total. What's more, Macs beat iPads in terms of revenue. What's going on?

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Flying the Apple Watch skies

I've been wanting to try travel with the Apple Watch since the company first introduced it. This weekend, I had the chance.

The iPhone has been my frequent travel companion for a while now. I do almost everything with it. So, I was curious to see how different (if at all) traveling with the Apple Watch would be. I've long believed the Apple Watch's killer feature would be convenience. But reality doesn't always live up to our beliefs, especially when it comes to travel. So, with that in mind, on my flight home yesterday I decided to put the Apple Watch to the test.

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The difference between Apple and Samsung industrial design

"Paint the back of the fence", has been referenced time and again, "because you'll know."

It's a quote from the late Steve Jobs' father intended to help instill pride in craft. Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design, has spoken numerous times about the importance and inevitability of great design as well, about the care and consideration it takes, and how people notice it even when they don't notice themselves noticing it.

Recently there was a brouhaha about a Qualcomm sticker junking up the Samsung Galaxy S6 on Verizon. You don't see a sticker like that on the iPhone 6 or any other iPhone, of course, because Apple cares more about the look of their product than the licensing fees or other considerations refusing it entails. Same with Intel Inside stickers on the Mac.

But when I looked at the picture of Samsung's product, it wasn't the sticker that bothered me so much. That, I assume, can be peeled off. It was something else I saw that bothered me, and something I can now never un-see.

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NSFW: Imagining a new Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad

I'm an unabashed fan of mechanical keyboards, so you might assume that I don't like the new tech in the MacBook, but you'd be wrong.

I love it. I want to see it everywhere, especially on the desktop. I'm smitten with two parts of the new MacBook: The keyboard and the new trackpad. I'd love to see them available for desktop Macs too.

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Apple Watch and durability: How tough are Apple's screens?

Watches take a beating unlike any other item we wear or carry ever day. How will Apple's Ion-X and sapphire screens hold up to those beatings?

Anyone with an iPhone has seen how screens hold up to the scratches and scuffs that occur with a device that lives in your pocket or purse, potentially with keys or loose change. The Apple Watch, however, is out there in the open, exposed to a wide range of incidental daily contact. And the screens are right out front.

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Apple Watch and durability: How tough are Apple's finishes?

Watches take a beating unlike any other everyday carry item. How will Apple's gold, stainless steel, and aluminum finishes hold up to those beatings?

Most of us have seen how an iPhone (sans case) tends to look after a year of daily use - all of those dents, dings and scratches occur to a device that lives primarily in your pocket, in your hand, or on your desk. A watch leads a far less privileged life, swinging exposed on the wrist, open to a tremendous amount of incidental daily contact.

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Why I'm going with the 42mm Apple Watch

The Apple Watch comes in two sizes: 38 and 42mm. I'm going big. Here's why.

If you haven't seen an Apple Watch in person, you're missing out. Aluminum Sport, stainless steel Watch, or gold or rose gold Edition, they're all built spectacularly well — this isn't your other vendor's smartwatch. They're also, regardless of whether you go 38mm or 42mm, quite moderately sized. The small isn't too small and the big isn't too big. That means most people will have a choice as to which size they want to get. I found myself in just that position and, ultimately, here's why I decided to go big.

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The Apple Store experience, good and bad

Some Apple customers' resistance to going to an actual Apple Store is a telling problem for the most profitable retailer in the United States.

My weekend job is working at a local independent Apple reseller. For the past week or two we've had a steady trickle of customers who have come in looking for the Apple Watch. We have to tell them we don't have it — the only places where you can find the watch right now are Apple retail stores and a few select high-end boutiques.

What's interesting to me is their reason for wanting to come to us: They don't want to go to an Apple Store. They've been there, either for a Genius Bar appointment or to buy something. And they're not anxious to go back.

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Switch to iPhone: For a better Microsoft experience

If you want or need to use Microsoft Office and services, you'll want to use them on iPhone.

We've already covered how iPhone and iOS provide not only a great Apple app experience, but a great Google and Microsoft app experience as well. Because of the iPhone's popularity and uniformity of platform, it's not only easy to develop for iOS, it's hard not to. That may be why a lot of people who prefer Google or Microsoft services also prefer switching to iPhone to use them on Apple's hardware. It's not just Apple enthusiasts who say so either.

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