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Latest: Apple Daily: Apple Watch meets Star Wars; TIME Honors Tim Cook

In today’s Apple Daily, the Apple Watch was with director J.J. Abrams as much as the Force when he took the stage at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. In other news, Apple CEO Tim Cook was named as one of TIME’s...
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Apple Daily: Apple Watch meets Star Wars; TIME Honors Tim Cook

In today’s Apple Daily, the Apple Watch was with director J.J. Abrams as much as the Force when he took the stage at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. In other news, Apple CEO Tim Cook was named as one of TIME’s “most influential people.”

J.J. Abrams Spotted Wearing Apple Watch at Star Wars Event

J.J. Abrams is already a hot topic today on account of his newly released trailer for his upcoming Star Wars film, but he’s also drawing attention thanks to the Apple Watch spotted on his wrist at The Force Awakens Panel at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what he’s wearing, but it looks like he’s wearing a 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch with a dark blue band that isn’t available to the public.

Apple products made other appearances in the hour-long set, such as when Abrams took a panoramic shot of the crowd in attendance, and when Star Wars: The Force Awakens producer Kathy Kennedy mentioned that she took a shot of the desert around Abu Dhabi with her iPhone (see 53:21).

Panel begins at 37:47.

Abrams joins the growing list of a number of other celebrities who’ve been spotted with Apple’s highly anticipated wearable device lately, such as designer Karl Lagerfeld, singer Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Drake, and The Voice‘s Pharrell Williams.


Tim Cook Named One of TIME’s ’100 Most Influential People’

Apple CEO Tim Cook may not have won TIME’s Person of the Year Award, but he did earn the fourth listing in the magazine’s list of “The 100 Most Influential People,” which identifies worthies from the realms of technology, politics, music, and more. Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis wrote Cook’s short entry, which calls attention to Cook’s achievements in business and his increasing drive to use Apple as (in his own words) “a force for good.”

“It could not have been easy for Tim Cook to step into the immense shadow cast by the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs,” writes Lewis. “But with grace and courage and an unabashed willingness to be his own man, Tim has pushed Apple to unimaginable profitability — and greater social responsibility.”

Cook, says Lewis, “has shown that profitability and integrity can go hand in hand. Tim has done this while introducing, time and again, some of the most innovative products the world has ever seen. Tim Cook is proof that even the most successful companies can and should be judged by more than just their bottom line.”

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Apple Daily: Charity Lunch with Tim Cook Auctioned; Celebrities with Apple Watches

In today’s Apple Daily, Tim Cook is auctioning off another lunch date. In other news, Apple is apparently giving out Apple Watches to high-profile celebrities.

Tim Cook Puts Another Lunch Date Up for Charity Auction

In what has become something of an annual tradition, Apple CEO Tim Cook has put up an auction for a lunch with him over at CharityBuzz, thus allowing the highest bidder to chitchat with him over lunch in Cupertino for around an hour. This year’s auction allows two people to come, and it also includes VIP invitations to an Apple keynote event so the winner and a friend can witness the unveiling of new products in person. The auction itself will end on May 6, 2015, at which time Cook and the winner will decide on a date for the lunch. As before, the winner will have to pay for travel to Cupertino on their own.

The auction is listed as being worth 0,000, but the first auction in 2013 reached an impressive 0,000 while last year’s reached 0,001. As of the time of writing, the highest bid is for ,000.

As in both previous instances, the auction money will go to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, which claims to achieve a “just and peaceful world by partnering with human rights leaders, teaching social justice, and advancing corporate responsibility.”


Apple Gives Celebrities Apple Watches

The gold Apple Watch Edition is commonly thought of as a toy for the extremely rich, and Apple is certainly getting the ball rolling in that regard by giving out units to select well-known individuals. Earlier today, for instance, famed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was photographed wearing a Apple Watch Edition by his bodyguard and assistant Sebastian Jondeau. What’s more, Jondeau said the device’s gold Link Bracelet band is one of a kind and that Apple “specially made” it for Lagerfeld.

As MacRumors notes, the gold that’s used for the Modern Buckle band for the Apple Watch Edition boosts the device’s price from ,000 to ,000, and so a solid gold link band such as the one shown here could cost as much as ,000 if sold at retail. The regular version of the Link Watch is Apple’s most expensive band for the non-Edition versions, and it merely costs 9.

Grammy-winning singer Sam Smith also received an Apple Watch from Apple and posted a photo of it to Instagram, but Smith’s is a tad humbler despite the fact that it was apparently hand-delivered by Apple design chief Jony Ive himself. It’s hard to tell from the light if it’s steel or gold, but the device has a rather simple green Sport band.

“I’m actually the happiest boy in the world right now,” Smith said on Instagram, right before he revealed that he’s still having trouble remembering the device’s proper name. “Just met Sir Jonathan Ive and he is the sweetest man in the world. He’s given me the new Iwatch!! It’s SO SICK!! Feels like Christmas.”

Lagerfeld and Smith are but two of the celebrities that have been seeing the watch ahead of its official April 24 release date; to date, Katy Perry, Drake, and The Voice‘s Pharrell Williams have been seen wearing one as well.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Apple Daily: WWDC 2015 Dates; Apple Acquires Mobile Camera Tech Company

In today’s Apple Daily, Apple announces the dates for this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. In addition, Apple just acquired a company that could revolutionize mobile photography as we know it (provided the company’s tech lives up to its claims).

Apple Announces Dates for WWDC 2015

When will we see the next big announcements from Apple? According to an official announcement from Apple that went out this morning, Apple’s next Worldwide Developers Conference will take place from June 8 through 12 at Moscone West in San Francisco. The event is said to introduce “incredible new technologies for iOS and OS X,” and Apple added that it “can’t wait” to see the new generation of apps the developers in attendance create with those technologies.

If you’re a developer and you’d like to attend, keep in mind that WWDC invitations are only available via a lottery system that’s allowing submissions now through April 17 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Tickets for WWDC 2015 cost ,599, and to qualify for the lottery, you must have registered for the iOS Developer Program, the iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or the Mac Developer Program before today’s announcement. The lucky winners will learn if they made the cut on April 20 at 5:00 p.m. PST. On the bright side, Apple will be livestreaming many of the panels and sessions for developers who aren’t able to attend.

The rumor mill’s been relatively quiet as regards what we’ll see this year at Apple’s biggest event, but so far reasonable candidates are iOS 9 and the public release of Apple’s long-rumored rebranding of Beats Music under (most likely) the iTunes banner.

Just make sure not to bring your selfie sticks, if you’re so inclined. For this year’s press release, Apple called out the growing fad specifically by stating that “you may not use selfie sticks or similar monopods within Moscone West or Yerba Buena Gardens.”


Apple’s Latest Acquisition Could Drastically Change the iPhone’s Camera

If you’ve been waiting for a giant leap forward for iPhone camera technology, you might not have to wait that long. Dow Jones reported this morning that Apple had bought the Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for around million, which means Apple now owns its multi-aperture technology that reportedly allows mobile cameras to attain the quality you’d normally find with a larger SLR camera.

Apple later confirmed the acquisition to The Wall Street Journal through its boilerplate message it uses for almost all such acquisitions once they’re discovered: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Perhaps, but the Cupertino company almost certainly acquired LinX for its image sensor innovations. Rather than using just one sensor to capture an image, LinX’s technology uses multiple ones — the screenshot above, for example, shows devices with two, four, and three sensors respectively. This allows for much greater sensitivity to light, which should mean the end of hideously murky night shots. In addition, a press release from last year claims LinX’s sensors produce better color and largely get rid of motion blur.

They’re also small, as together they take up around half the hardware real estate required by one of Apple’s current sensors.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


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