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09.08.16 | 1:40 pm

How Apple Watch Series 2 pushes water out of the speaker vent

Apple pointed out yesterday that the only part of the shell of the new Apple Watch Series 2 that can't be sealed off to water is the vent on the side where the speaker emits sound. In order for the sound to get out, there has to be a hole in the shell. If air pushed by the speaker can get out, water can get in. So the speaker vibrates to push air out, which forces water out too. The user can spin the digital crown to make this happen, as an Apple rep showed me yesterday. Problem solved.

09.08.16 | 11:30 am

Apple will not make iPhone preorder numbers public 

The reasoning? Apple told CNBC that "we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer preorder that we will sell out of iPhone 7." In other words, the company claims iPhone preorders are now more representative of supply rather than demand. 

Still, this is a surprising move given the fuss about declining iPhone sales, which have now been down for two quarters. 

Read more

09.08.16 | 6:10 am

Apple kills off the gold Apple Watch

Apple introduced a range of new Apple Watches yesterday, including the new Series 2, a new Series 1, and a Nike+ model, but one thing Apple didn't do was keep its gold model alive, reports Business Insider. Yep, it appears the gold Apple Watch Edition, which started at $10,000, was either too expensive or too gaudy, keeping people from buying it and Apple from continuing the model. Apple still sells the Apple Watch Edition Series 2, but the high-end material is now ceramic and starts at only $1,250. Bye-bye, gold Apple Watch, we hardly knew ye.

[Image: Apple]

09.07.16 | 8:27 pm

Apple’s Phil Schiller says removing iPhone 7 headphone jack comes down to one word: “courage”

Actually, Phil Schiller did a very effective job of putting to bed most of the angst about the removal of the analog headphone jack in the new iPhone 7. He opened his remarks with, "It comes down to one word: courage," causing a couple of chuckles from the people sitting around me at Apple's press event today. But then he explained that in order to move forward and reap the benefits of all-digital audio, we can't cling to old analog technology. 

He also said that as we want to jam in more and more components (sensors, radios, chips, etc.), some of the old ones that take up space have just got to go. Phil, you had me at "courage."

09.07.16 | 7:31 pm

Apple stock jumps after iPhone 7 event, which is unusual

A few hours after Tim Cook and company unveiled the iPhone 7 and the next-generation Apple Watch, shares of Apple Inc. closed up 0.61% on Wednesday at $108.36. 

Interestingly, that's not usually how things go for Apple after one of its product launches. As CNBC reported earlier, company shares ended lower than where they started for 80% of Apple's big launch events. CNBC culled through data for the last 10 iPhone announcements, beginning with the first one in 2007.

Somebody on Wall Street must like watches—or Pokémon.  

Read more from CNBC here. It's a good report.

09.07.16 | 6:09 pm

Apple AirPods: Hands-on demo, and the pros and cons

I was taken aback when Apple used precious stage time at its press event this morning to introduce a new pair of earphones—AirPods. To my knowledge that's never happened before. No doubt it was to help highlight the reasons that removing the headphone jack from the iPhone is a good thing, and not a consumer-hostile misstep. 

I was initially impressed with the AirPods, which have Siri built in, sensors for detecting your ears, fast pairing with your phone, and noise cancellation. 

PROs: They pair with a phone very easily (one tap), and once you've done that all your iOS devices will recognize them. The two-tap Siri command seemed to work well for adjusting volume and requesting tracks. 

I had some second thoughts about the practicality of the $160 earphones, however…

CONs: The sound wasn't materially better than any of the wired earphones. My ears may be unique, but Apple earbuds never fit securely in my ears and stay there. There's no way the AirPods would stay in during a run. And I fear that I would lose these cordless wonders about as fast as I've lost every pair of sunglasses I've paid more than $12.99 for. 

Your results may vary.  

09.07.16 | 5:47 pm

See the Apple Watch Nike+ in action with GPS and new running features

It's become quite clear that Apple has come to believe that the way to the next 20 million Watch sales might be through fitness use cases. So the new partnership with Nike on a co-branded Apple Watch makes sense. The Apple Watch Nike+ offers a different set of colorful pink and day-glo green sweat-resistant bands, and run tracking apps inside that are far more advanced than the ones in the Watch's regular Exercise app. 

09.07.16 | 5:38 pm

Apple Watch Series 2: GPS just made fitness apps a lot more useful (video)

The addition of waterproofing (in water up to 50 meters deep) and the GPS radio have a big impact on the utility of the fitness apps in the Apple Watch. Check out this demo of how the Watch works for swimming, running, and hiking. 

09.07.16 | 5:05 pm

What Apple didn’t mention this morning: lots of stuff

For all that Apple announced at its product launch in San Francisco, there's also a long list of things that went unmentioned—including both stuff which you might reasonably have expected to get stage time, and items that Apple watchers were already assuming would be squeezed offstage or that just aren't ready.

A few examples:

• Macs got only the most cursory of mentions, though the chances seem good some new models are imminent

• Other than a new collaborative version of iWork, there was no news relating directly to the iPad, let alone announcements about new hardware

• Apple TV was a no-show, and I don't think Apple has even disclosed when its tvOS software will be available

• Apple has often played up medical-related efforts such as ResearchKit at its events, but not this time

• Unlike the WWDC keynote, this one didn't involve frequent nods to all those Apple customers and prospective customers in China

Live Coverage of Apple’s September 2016 iPhone/Apple Watch Event

Tune in here at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT for breaking news and expert analysis from Fast Company reporters live at the Apple Event in San Francisco.

New iPhones and the first hardware update to the Apple Watch should be on the agenda, along with details about the new versions of iOS, MacOS, WatchOS, and TV OS. And with any luck, there will be some surprises.

Fast Company's Mark Sullivan and Harry McCracken will be in the audience and will cover the event as it happens. Join us for news and commentary live from San Francisco's Bill Graham Auditorium.

09.07.16 | 3:14 pm

Here’s when Apple is releasing the iPhone 7 and other new products

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: September 16, available for preorder starting September 9

Apple Watch Series 2 and Edition: September 16, available for preorder starting September 9

Apple Watch Nike+: late October, available for preorder starting September 9

AirPods: late October

• iOS 10: September 13 

• watchOS 3: September 13

Catch up on our live coverage from the Apple event.

09.07.16 | 3:03 pm

Hey everybody, 90% of what matters about a smartphone is inside

The conventional wisdom about the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus was that they would be modest refreshes to the iPhone 6s and 6 Plus. From an aesthetic perspective, that's true.

Technology-wise, however, there's a lot that's new, much of which didn't leak: major changes to camera technology beyond the 7 Plus's dual-lens camera, water-and-dust-resistant design, an advanced processor, better battery life, stereo speakers, AirPods, and more. You might or might not consider these phones to be tempting upgrades from whatever you've got now, but it's silly to dismiss them as ho-hum retreads or a stopgap before a major upgrade next year.