Apple Watch 2 ‘Complications’ make working easier

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Watch OS2 review: more app potential but killer feature still missing.

The ‘app slicing’ feature in iOS 9 that enabled developers to send optimally-sized variants of their apps to different devices is unavailable because of a bug in iCloud, Apple’s cloud service for its devices. All of the new watchfaces are picture- or video-based, including six time-lapse faces depicting cityscapes in Hong Kong, Mack Lake, Paris, New York, Shanghai and London. Slicing is one of three components of Apple’s app-thinning process that enables developers to install iOS apps by matching app delivery to the capabilities of the user’s particular device, with a resultant smaller footprint. The company has added in-app purchases to its iOS apps that allow you to subscribe directly from the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad, taking after other streaming services such as HBO Now, Spotify, and Hulu, all of which already supported in-app subscription. Netflix announced the update with a clip from its original show Orange Is the New Black, in which inmates “Crazy Eyes” and Taystee (played by Uzo Adubo and Danielle Brooks) discover an iPhone in Litchfield prison, and try to comprehend Siri.

The update is available as an OTA download for all the devices that support iOS 9. iOS 9.0.1 will fix a bug which was reported by many users wherein the device stuck on the ‘Slide to Upgrade’ screen after updating to iOS 9 or while restoring from a backup. The number of apps is limited at the moment, but a good example is Citymapper, which puts the estimated time of arrival of any planned journey in a complication. The complications also act as buttons to quickly launch the app, rather than having to hunt for them in the app grid, swipe through a glance or ask Siri. It also fixes an issue in Safari and Photos where pausing a video could cause the paused frame to appear distorted. iOS 9.0.1 also fixes an issue that caused many users with a custom APN setup via a profile settings to lose mobile data. Earlier this year, Recode reported that Apple was only charging high-profile streaming companies — including Netflix, Hulu, and MLB.tv — a 15 percent tax rate for subscribers who signed up through Apple TV, rather than the typical 30 percent.

Music industry sources have railed against App Store tax, arguing that it allows Apple’s own Apple Music an unfair price advantage over rivals like Spotify and Rdio, and allows the company to exert undue influence on the industry. Apple’s official App Store Twitter account referenced Netflix’s OITNB clip with a cry-laugh emoticon, but relations may not be so cordial if — as is widely rumored — Apple launches its own streaming TV service. Other watchfaces, such as Astronomy or Solar, will run through their animations when the dial is turned, while you can make Mickey dance by moving his hands backwards and forwards. That would put both companies into direct competition, and could set up a similar situation to that currently unfolding in the music industry, with Apple able to charge its competitors money every time they get a new iOS subscriber. Beyond amusing animations, I found it quicker to dive into the dedicated app to view my upcoming appointments or weather than it was to turn the crown.

Wi-Fi calling is also built-in, which means you don’t need a phone to place a call if being Dick Tracey is your thing and your mobile phone provider supports it – currently EE and Vodafone in the UK. Apple has also added activation lock for if the smartwatch ever gets stolen – a feature the iPhone has had for a while and was conspicuously missing when the Apple Watch launched. We’re not talking leagues faster – I still routinely got the loading screen while the app attempted to pull data from the iPhone – but at least a little. Developers can do more now, including accessing the sensors and various hardware features of the Watch, so I suspect that will open the door to much better, more function apps in the future. And it is still not obvious when you should force touch, when you should swipe left or right, or when you simply have to scroll to the bottom to get stuff done.

It doesn’t cost anything, brings a bunch of security fixes, activation lock and unlocks greater app possibilities, so I don’t know why you would not install watchOS on an Apple Watch if you have one.

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