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Apple Watch: One month later

30 days later, how are we liking the Apple Watch? iMore's staff responds.

It's been a month since we eagerly awaited our UPS drivers and the arrival of the Apple Watch. Since posting our definitive Apple Watch review, we've now had the chance to spend an additional two weeks with it. How has it changed our lives for the better? Where does it still need work? The iMore staff sat down and chatted about how we feel the Apple Watch is fitting into our lives, one month later.

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Waiting for Godot, HomeKit edition

If Apple announces a new change-the-world technology and 11 months later nobody's using it, did the announcement actually happen?

About a year ago, Apple unveiled HomeKit, its take on home automation, and announced that the framework would ship in the fall with iOS 8. Which it apparently did. And then... nothing happened.

Truthfully, we heard hardly anything about HomeKit until this past January at CES, where a bunch of companies showed off HomeKit-enabled devices, coming "this spring" or "soon." It's been four months since, and spring is almost over.

But the fever is, fortunately, about to break: HomeKit has pulled off its blankets and is about to rise from its nap. Last week, Apple told the Wall Street journal that the first HomeKit devices will appear in June, a year after the original announcement.

So what took this so long?

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Saying no to 1,000 things

Can we please focus on Apple's actual strengths and weaknesses, instead of what the company might theoretically, possibly, one day do?

The big news earlier this week was that Apple had reportedly punted its plans to make a television set. The report suggested that the company had worked on it for over a decade: Comments Steve Jobs made to biographer Walter Isaacson have helped stir that pot for years, but the bottom line is that it isn't happening. Between this and the mythical Apple car, we spend an almost idiotic amount of time speculating on what Apple might do, instead of what they're already doing that could be improved.

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New 15-inch MacBook Pro and $1999 iMac 5K: What you need to know!

Apple's latest changes to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and iMac with 5K Retina display won't wow spec-monkeys, but they're still important.

The timing of this week's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro and the 5K iMac updates was curious, given that WWDC is only a few weeks away. My bet is that Apple has other things planned for the keynote and doesn't want these updates overshadowed.

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How the Apple Watch can help battle your iPhone addiction

I ordered an Apple Watch to help me track health and fitness data. Almost a month into using it, however, I'm finding its best feature is that it keeps me off my iPhone and iPad.

Smartphone usage has gotten completely out of hand, though I doubt that's breaking news to anyone. Whether you're sitting at home with your significant other or you're out with friends, you'll see smartphones popping up almost everywhere you look. The time we should spend talking and communicating with one another is instead spent behind glowing screens filled with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, RSS feeds, and YouTube.

I don't think we mean to get as engrossed as we do, but it happens. I'm guilty of it myself. My iPhone buzzes or beeps and instinct tells me to reach for it. I only intend to respond to a single message, but Twitter grabs my attention, or an incoming email pulls me further down the rabbit hole. It's over; I've checked out of the conversation happening around me.

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I'd love it if iOS 9 brought 'complications' to the iPhone lock screen

Complications are what I miss most when not wearing my Apple Watch, especially when I'm looking at my iPhone lock screen.

I've been thinking about this for a while, but I became acutely aware of it this weekend when I took my Apple Watch off for a couple of hours to see what, if anything, I'd miss. I expected primarily to be annoyed by the iPhone's notifications, having to reach for my phone at every buzz and beep like it was 2014 again. But after repeatedly glancing at my wrist and seeing nothing but wrist, I realized how much I'd come to depend on the highly accessible, hyper-dense information provided by the Apple Watch's clock face complications.

"Complications" refer to any feature on a watch beyond showing the time in hours and minutes. With the Apple Watch, however, they've come to mean something more. That's the advantage of taking wearables from analog and digital to computational. Almost subconsciously, I'd gotten used to subtly turning my arm and remaining almost passively, constantly aware of the weather, my activity progress, my calendar, and more. Then, when I did reach for my iPhone 6 Plus to check a notification, the lack of similar information on my lock screen was notable. That's why I'm hoping Apple considers adding complications to the lock screen in iOS 9.

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Oculus Rift: Another example of the Mac's gaming deficit

Surprised Oculus punted on Mac support? You shouldn't be. The Mac has a huge gaming deficit. And it's getting worse.

Last week Oculus VR chief architect Atman Binstock said that the company put the brakes on Mac and Linux development in favor of focusing on Windows. Oculus is the maker of the Rift, a forthcoming VR headset expected to ship in the first calendar quarter of 2016.

Oculus is focusing on Windows initially for the same reason that legendary thief Willie Sutton supposedly targeted banks: Because that's where the money is. But this underscores an important point. OS X has always been at a disadvantage compared to Windows when it comes to gaming, and efforts like this underscore just how much of a disadvantage Macs continue to have against Windows PCs.

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On the Apple Watch and Morse code

We communicated across wires in dits and dahs, once. Why can't we use it to communicate across Apple Watches?

When I first learned you could transmit taps on the Apple Watch, I immediately started to wonder about its potential as a device for sending Morse code. My grandfather was (and my dad still is) a longtime ham radio operator, and while I never learned Morse to either of their satisfaction, I've always had a fascination with the dots and dashes of years past.

After spending some initial time with it, I'll admit: The Apple Watch isn't a perfect device for communicating in Morse code. The taps you can send are limited to short "dit" buzzes, with no proper way to send the lengthier dash "dah". But I still love the idea of using tap-based communication — and it makes a whole lot more sense to me to try playing with Morse's pre-established taptic language over trying to re-invent the wheel, so to speak.

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How to switch from Android to iPhone and keep your Google Keep!

Even though the company hasn't made a Google Keep app for iOS, you can still access it right on your iPhone.

When I explained how to easily switch from Android to iPhone, that was one of the very few concerns Android owners and Keep users looking to make the switch to iPhone mentioned. Sure there are other services like Evernote that work great everywhere, but those invested in Keep wanted to stay kept. Luckily, there are several ways to do just exactly that!

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NSFW: Microsoft doesn't suck, and you don't have to hate it

Microsoft's stumbles with Windows in recent years has created millions of new Mac users. But that doesn't mean you should turn your back on Microsoft.

About half the people I sell Macs to in my weekend job at an Apple retailer are new to the Mac platform: They're PC users looking to make the switch. And lots of them are fed up with Windows. But honestly, as much as I support Apple, I think some of my customers are turning their back on Microsoft at their peril — because Microsoft still does a lot of things right and continues to do a lot of things right.

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