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Apple Daily: TAG Heuer’s Apple Watch Rival on the Way; Steve Jobs’ Yearbook on eBay

Late last year, TAG Heuer chief Jean-Claude Biver made a turn-around on his earlier dismissive comments about the Apple Watch, and today he made an announcement that shows he’s taking his stated intentions to provide an luxury alternative to the Apple Watch seriously. In other news, you can buy Steve Jobs’ high school yearbook if you have ,000 to throw around.

TAG Heuer Announces Plans to Create Smartwatch with Google and Intel

Around this time last year, Jean-Claude Biver, president of watches and jewelry at luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, was among those who scoffed at Apple’s then-rumored intentions to build a smartwatch. Things have changed a little since then. Today at the Baselworld watchmaker convention in Switzerland, TAG Heuer (a LVMH company) announced that it would release a smartwatch of its own sometime later this year with the help of Intel and Google.

In a video statement to Bloomberg, Biver called it his “biggest announcement ever” in his 40 years in the industry, and that the device, powered by Android Wear, will be the “greatest connected watch” on the market. The device is currently thought to take heavy inspiration from the TAG Heuer Carrera (see below), although the traditional watchface will be replaced with a digital interface. Details about features and pricing are expected to surface later this year.

“We can’t produce the engine, the chips, the applications, the hardware — nobody can produce it in Switzerland,” Biver said, accentuating the importance of bringing Intel and Google on board. “The hardware and the software will come from Silicon Valley. But the watch case, the dial, the design, the idea, the crown, that part of the watch will, of course, be Swiss.”

But Biver also pointed out that his company’s watch would differ greatly from the Apple Watch.

“The difference between the TAG Heuer watch and the Apple Watch is very important,” he said. “That one is called Apple and this one is called TAG Heuer.”

High School Yearbook Featuring Steve Jobs Available on eBay

Back at Homestead High School in 1972, Steve Jobs was sporting a groovy ‘do with hair reaching down to his shoulders, and if you feel like plunking out ,999.98 for a “Buy It Now” price on eBay, you can own a yearbook featuring the photo at this very moment. The starting bid is ,999.98, and at the time of writing, not a single person has bid on it.

There are no signatures in the yearbook, unfortunately, but it does contain photos of figures directly or tangentially associated to Jobs, such as his sister Patty Jobs and Mark Wozniak, Steve Wozniak’s brother. The seller was a freshman at the time who shared an electronics class with Jobs, who apparently showed little of his future talents.

“Jobs didn’t seem serious about the class and would clown around a lot,” said seller bcwright77 in a statement to Cult of Mac. Kind of makes one wonder if that made it into the upcoming Becoming Steve Jobs biography.

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


Apple Daily: Android Devices for Apple Store Credit; Steve Jobs Documentary Controversy

If you happen to known an Android user who’s been wanting to trade in his or her Apple device for an iPhone, you should tell them that they might have the chance to do so soon. In other news, Apple’s not too happy about a damning new documentary about Steve Jobs.

Apple to Include Android Devices in Its Trade-In Program

Up until now, Apple’s recycling program has centered on trading in old Apple devices for store credit toward the purchase of new Apple products, but a new report from 9to5Mac claims that the Cupertino company will start accepting Android devices for the service as well. Apple has repeatedly tried to win over devotees of other operating systems, but seldom so directly.

The amount of credit Android users will receive in return will of course depend on the condition and age of the particular device. Apple Store employees will reportedly receive training for the program sometime this week, and the program itself is expected to go live in the near future.

Apple is usually sparing when it makes direct attempts to win over users of Google’s rival operating system, such as when it issued a guide for importing data to iOS from Android devices last September. It often prefers to take an indirect approach, as in Apple’s decision to bring gigantic screens to the iPhone. Judging by last quarter’s earnings report, it worked rather well.


New Steve Jobs Documentary Frowned On By Apple Execs

Alex Gibney’s documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine premiered at SXSW in Austin this weekend, and it’s noteworthy for painting a grimmer picture of the Apple co-founder than we’ve seen in most film takes on Jobs’s life so far. It acknowledges Jobs’s undeniable talent, yes, but it’s also intent on demonstrating that Jobs often seemed like he lacked the capacity for empathy.

Apple executive Eddy Cue isn’t happy about it. In a tweet from this morning, he said that he was “Very disappointed in SJ: Man in the Machine” and that it was “an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend.” Cue added in a following tweet that he believes the upcoming book Becoming Steve Jobs, which claims to show Jobs’s metamorphosis from a “reckless upstart” into a “visionary leader,” is “well done and the first to get it right.”

The Hollywood Reporter called the film a “convincing, but perhaps unnecessary, primer on Steve Jobs’s flaws and misdeeds” and emphasizes that Gibney is “not in search of a complete portrait.” The film as a whole does cover the high points of Jobs’s life, it claims, but Gibney apparently digs in “only when he has a negative anecdote to tell.”

Not surprisingly, Apple reportedly “refused to cooperate” with the makers of the film.

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


Apple Daily: New iOS 8 Beta Open to Public; New Info from Upcoming Jobs Biography

If you’re not a developer but you’ve always wanted to tinker with Apple’s iOS betas before they go live, today’s your lucky day! In other news, it turns out that the new Steve Jobs biography set for release later this month is as full of new stories and information as originally claimed.

Apple Opens iOS Beta Testing to the Public with Today’s Patch

Today Apple seeded a new beta for iOS 8.3, and it’s significant as it’s the first iOS beta that members of the public can download for testing — provided, that is, that they’ve already signed up for Apple’s public beta tests. Apple has also updated its associated Appleseed site to reflect the changes.

The opening of iOS betas to people aside from developers comes on the heels of Apple’s apparent successes with open betas for Mac OS X Yosemite. Previously, betas for OS X and iOS were only available to developers who’d forked out the annual fee.

Apple is still apparently in the process of rolling out the beta to all users in the program, as the new iOS beta currently isn’t listed for some existing testers, but that should change throughout the rest of the day and tomorrow.

Keep in mind that this is a beta, and thus potentially unstable by its very nature. Users will almost certainly find bugs (and after all, that’s the point), and there’s always a small chance something about the beta could do some damage to your device. But if you can’t wait to experience what Apple has up its sleeves for yourself, it’s the best way to do it.


Upcoming Steve Jobs Biography Reveals New Information

The upcoming biography about Steve Jobs by reporter Brent Schlender and Fast Company editor Rick Tetzeli won’t be out until March 24, but in the meantime, Cult of Mac has previewed the book, entitled Becoming Steve Jobs, based on Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” feature. The excerpt wasn’t much, but it was enough to show that earlier claims about the book  being stuffed with new insights and stories about the Apple co-founder were true.

One of the most notable portions tells about how current Apple CEO Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs a segment of his own liver because the two shared the same blood type, but Jobs refused. Jobs turned down the offer.

“Somebody that’s selfish doesn’t reply like that,” Cook says. Indeed, the book as a whole paints of different picture of Steve Jobs, and one that clashes with the image of Jobs as an self-centered man that became so strong in the wake of the release of Walter Isaacson’s increasingly maligned biography (particularly from people like Cook, Eddy Cue, and Jony Ive, who knew Jobs personally).

As Cook himself reportedly says in the book, Isaacson’s biography “was just a rehash of a bunch of stuff that had already been written, and focused on small parts of his personality. You get the feeling that [Jobs was] a greedy, selfish egomaniac. It didn’t capture the person. The person I read about there is somebody I would never have wanted to work with over all this time. Life’s too short.”

The brief glimpse into the book also reveals that Apple did, in fact, toy with buying Yahoo in order to get an easy start into the search business. Elsewhere, Dormehl and Tetzeli diverge significantly from Isaacson by saying that Jobs wasn’t interested in television.

“I just don’t like television,” Jobs reportedly told Apple design chief Jony Ive. “Apple will never make a TV again.”

You can preorder Becoming Steve Jobs from Amazon yourself for .78. The book is also available for preorder on Apple’s own iBooks platform for .99.

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


Apple Daily: New Apple Watch Details; New Steve Jobs Bio; Mac Photos Beta

Tim Cook relayed a lot of details about the upcoming Apple Watch to employees at the main Berlin Apple Store, and most of them leaked out into the public. Let’s hope Cook still has some some surprises in store for next Monday! In other news, there’s a new Steve Jobs biography on the way, and if you’ve been itching to try out the new Photos for Mac app, you can hop in today if you have beta access.

Cook Spills ‘Tons’ of Details About Apple Watch During German Visit

Apple’s next big media event, thought to focus heavily on the Apple Watch, is still a week away, but Apple CEO Tim Cook apparently just can’t contain his excitement about the device. Cook revealed some of the features of the upcoming watch to employees of Berlin’s flagship store during a recent visit to Germany.

According to 9to5Mac, Cook said that with an Apple Watch, we’ll be able to open the doors to hotel rooms (notably at Apple-loving Starwood Hotels) and order ahead of time from chains like Panera Bread, which is already in the process of making an Apple Watch app. We’ll also apparently see a lot of health-related apps next Monday (although no specifics were given), and Cook has reportedly invited more than 100 developers to Cupertino to test and design apps ahead of time.

Cook also mentioned that the Apple Watch is expected to launch in Germany specifically in April — the same month it’s set to launch in the United States — and that means it will likely launch in other European countries at the same time. (It’s likely, however, they’ll have to wait a week or two during the same month.)

In addition, Cook noted that he sees Apple Pay as a global service, and that there’s a chance that we could see it “in Europe generally this year.”

New Steve Jobs Biography to Hit Shelves on March 24

There’s currently a movie starring Michael Fassbender in the works based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography of Steve Jobs, but that apparently isn’t stopping anyone from attempting to tell the tale even better. On March 24, Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader will hit store shelves as well, and this latest effort purports to provide fascinating new stories about the Apple co-founder and to portray him as a man who “wrestled with his failings and learned to maximize his strength over time.”

The book was co-written by Brent Schlender, a journalist who interviewed Jobs several times throughout his life for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Fortune, and Rick Tetzeli, the executive editor at Fast Company. The biography is particularly notable since it draws so heavily on Schlender’s own interviews with Jobs, and it’s reportedly chock-full of new stories from other Apple worthies such as Eddy Cue and Jony Ive.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball (via MacRumors) received an advance copy of the book, and he claims that it’s the “the book about Steve Jobs that the world deserves.”

The book itself can be preordered on Amazon for hardcover, Kindle, or Audible.

Apple’s Latest OS X Public Beta Includes New Photos App

If you’re enrolled in Apple’s OS X open beta testing program, the company’s got a special prize in store for you today — as of the latest build for OS X 10.10.3, you can now try out of the upcoming Photos for Mac OS X app.

The app is designed to replace both iPhoto and Aperture, although most of the people who’ve had a chance to try it out claims it improves on the former but falls considerably short of the options provided by the latter. Try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

The patch also comes with a page for picking emoji, which also categorizes emoji and introduces racially diverse emojis and skin-tone modifiers. There’s even a new emoji for watches, which has amusingly been redesigned to resemble an Apple Watch.

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


Apple Daily: Cook Remembers Jobs; 2014 iOS Sales; Samsung iPhone Memory

Apple fans are once again remembering the life and times of Steve Jobs today on what would have been the 60th birthday of the legendary co-founder. In our Tuesday edition of Apple Daily, we’ll find out how current CEO Tim Cook acknowledged that date, along with news that Samsung may still be in the iPhone memory game, the latest Apple acquisition, and how much of the smartphone market iOS and Android have gobbled up to date.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Commemorates Steve Jobs’s 60th Birthday

It’s been just over four years since the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, but his predecessor certainly hasn’t forgotten the influential legacy of the man who brought him into the Cupertino fold. On Tuesday morning, current CEO Tim Cook started his day with a tweet acknowledging Jobs’ birthday on February 24.

Steve Jobs holds Apple

“Remembering Steve, who would have turned 60 today,” Cook wrote, capped off by a quote from his former mentor: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Although Cook’s influence has changed many things at Apple over the last four years, there’s little doubt that the executive team and the iPhone maker’s global workforce continue to live by those words. (For more Steve Jobs quotes, click here.)

Next-Gen iPhone Will Mostly Use Samsung Memory Chips

The Korea Times reported late Monday that Samsung Electronics appears to still be very much in the Apple manufacturing game, despite rumors of an icier relationship between the two patent foes. An unnamed industry official claims Samsung will provide “at least half” of the DRAM chips needed for this year’s presumed iPhone 6S, and the door appears to be open for Apple to increase that amount, should it become necessary. Samsung will also reportedly provide mobile processors for the same device, which is widely expected to arrive this fall.

Samsung mobile memory chips

Apple Acquires Audio Plug-In Developer Camel Audio

Apple’s music-centric software GarageBand and Logic Pro X could become a lot more powerful in the future, thanks to Cupertino’s acquisition of music software plug-in maker Camel Audio. According to The Loop, the creators of Alchemy quietly closed their doors back on January 8, removing all products for purchase and limiting email and download support for previous purchases.

Camel Audio - Alchemy

As noted by MacRumors, Camel Audio’s corporate registry now points to Apple’s London address at 100 New Bridge Street, while the company’s only director is listed as Heather Joy Morrison, one of Cupertino’s fleet of attorneys. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the acquisition to The Loop in their typically standard way: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

iOS, Android Now Dominate 96.3 Percent of Smartphone Market

Poor Microsoft and BlackBerry: The latest quarterly smartphone data from IDC is now available, and it shows Apple and Google absolutely dominating the worldwide market with 96.3 percent of shipments made during the fourth quarter of last year, a slight increase from 95.6 percent during the same quarter in 2013.

iPhone hovers over Earth

Unfortunately, Android accounted for 76.6 percent of all smartphones sold, but considering how few iPhone models Apple actually has in the lineup, 19.7 percent is nothing to sneeze at — especially when it coincides with 46.1 percent year-over-year growth. (By comparison, Windows Phone holds a meager 2.8 percent share, while BlackBerry slipped into near-total irrelevance with 0.4 percent. Ouch!)

IDC released its calendar year 2014 data as well, painting very much the same picture, with iOS and Android again responsible for a whopping 96.3 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


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