If You Want Apple Watch Series 3 in Stainless Steel or Ceramic, LTE Models Are Your Only Option

With the launch of a new Apple Watch comes a few refreshed collections that the device is available in, requiring users to choose from specific case/band combinations to enter the Apple Watch ecosystem. The Apple Watch Series 3 is available in both non-LTE and LTE-capable models, but there is one downside: if you want a Series 3 in Stainless Steel or Ceramic, you have no choice but to buy a cellular-enabled Apple Watch.

Apple's non-LTE Series 3 Apple Watch brings about all of the usual performance improvements over the previous generation, including a faster processor, W2 chip, barometric altimeter, and more. The LTE models include all of this, on top of cellular capabilities that further de-tether your iPhone from your Apple Watch, so you can make calls, send messages, stream Apple Music, and more right on your wrist.


Apple added in non-LTE versions of the Series 3 for those users who don't think they need a cellular Apple Watch, but it's limited collections for these models to just Aluminum cases. All Series 3 collections in Stainless Steel -- of which there are only four non-Hermés models -- come with LTE, as do both White Ceramic and Gray Ceramic collections. There are also eight Hermés collections with Stainless Steel cases, each one backing the new cellular features.

If you want the improved features of a new Apple Watch Series 3 without LTE, you'll have to choose from four Apple Watch Sport models: one Silver Aluminum Case with Fog Sport Band, one Gold Aluminum Case with Pink Sand Sport Band, and two Space Gray Aluminum Cases (one with a Gray Sport Band and one with a Black Sport Band).


There are also two Series 3 Nike+ collections without LTE, both in Aluminum: a Silver Aluminum Case with Pure Platinum/Black Nike Sport Band and a Space Gray Aluminum Case with Anthracite/Black Nike Sport Band.


That makes six total Apple Watch Series 3 collections without LTE among Apple's 31 new collections of the revamped wearable device. Also of note is that in launch countries where Apple isn't yet offering cellular support, buyers will then be left with Aluminum as their only option.

Launch Countries


Non-cellular available: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK, the US and US Virgin Islands.

Cellular available: Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, the UK and the US

The first impressions of the Apple Watch Series 3 have been largely positive, particularly thanks to its improved performance, Siri's ability to speak aloud, and new heart rate detection metrics. Some initial hands-on reports have noted uncertainty about LTE, but like most premium features the usefulness of a cellular-capable Apple Watch will vary greatly person-to-person.

For a look at all of the new bands that Apple launched yesterday, check out our blog post right here.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Don't Buy)

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Adobe Announces Updates for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator and Audition

Ahead of the 2017 International Broadcasting Convention set to take place on September 14, Adobe has shared details on a series of updates to its video and sound editing software that will be announced at the event. Adobe's fall Creative Cloud updates will focus on Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator, and Audition, introducing new tools for VR, animations, and audio.

Premiere Pro CC, Adobe's video editing software aimed at professionals, features collaboration tools that let users work on multiple open projects simultaneously. Using a tab-based structure, Premiere Pro CC eliminates the need to open and close multiple timelines and allows for copying parts of one project into another with just a few clicks.


There's also a feature for locking a project to prevent edits from being overwritten while also leaving read-only access available, and there are new tools for viewing personal auto-save history, bringing an asset from a previous auto-save to the current version, and creating a new Team Project from an auto-save.

The Essential Graphics panel in Premiere Pro has been updated with time and position-based controls for building Responsive Design into motion graphics, there's a new feature for selecting and manipulating multiple graphic layers at the same time, and there are Motion Graphics templates included in Adobe Stock.


Other new features in Premiere Pro include an updated startup experience that walks users through the editing process, new color labels, and automatic gap removal to make editing the timeline faster and more streamlined.

After Effects CC, Adobe's pro-level app for creating motion graphics and visual effects, includes new Data Driven Animations that use JSON data to create charts and graphs, and expressions for path points on masks, shape layers, and paint brush strokes. Improvements have been made to performance when rendering layer transforms, motion blur, and other effects on the GPU, there's a font menu with live previews, and Adobe has added a new visual map for mapping keyboard shortcuts.


Both After Effects and Premiere Pro feature an immersive display, letting editors experience the content they're editing while wearing VR headsets like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. There are also new orientation-based audio editing tools, new immersive video transitions, and new effects like VR Blur, VR Glow, VR Sharpen, VR De-Noise, and VR Chromatic Aberration.

Adobe Character Animator CC features a new Controls panel for posing and animating characters, a Triggers & Behavior panel, auto stapling for limbs, eye and eyebrow improvements for more expressive looks, and several new behaviors including Layer Picker, Collisions, and Fader. Visual representations of audio waveforms and integration with Adobe Audition have been added, and there are improvements to lip syncing and walk behaviors.


As for Audition CC, Adobe's professional audio editing app, there are editing and performance enhancements, auto-ducking in the Essential Sound panel, smart input monitoring, a new Timecode overlay display, and more.


Adobe plans to make all of these features available to its Creative Cloud users later this year. Creative Cloud plans are available from Adobe.com and start at $50 per month for an individual plan.

Tag: Adobe

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You Can Now Use the Nintendo Switch Voice Chat App While in Other Apps or When iPhone is Locked

Ahead of the Nintendo Direct coming this afternoon, Nintendo recently updated its Switch Online voice chat iOS app with a few useful tweaks to the way the software handles chatting online with friends. Prior to the update, you had to keep the app open at all times to hear and be heard by your friends while playing games like Splatoon 2.

Now, Nintendo explains in the app's update notes that you can both browse to other iPhone apps and lock the device, and voice chat will continue to function in the background through the Nintendo Switch Online app.


The expanded functionality of voice chat should greatly enhance the usefulness of Nintendo's app and online services, which will turn into a monthly paid subscription sometime in 2018. Pricing and tiers include $3.99/month, $7.99/3 months, and $19.99/year.

The app first launched on July 18, a few days ahead of Splatoon 2's debut, allowing gamers to visit SplatNet 2 on their iOS device to look at previous match statistics, check out current stages in rotation, and invite friends to Private Battles on the Switch console. Nintendo's upcoming 45-minute Direct will begin this afternoon at 3 p.m PT and plans to focus on games coming to Switch and 3DS consoles.


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Apple Offering Pre-Approvals to iPhone Upgrade Program Customers Ahead of iPhone 8

Apple has emailed customers enrolled in its iPhone Upgrade Program with instructions on how to get a head start on the iPhone 8 pre-order process.



Apple advises customers to open the Apple Store app on their current iPhone, choose their preferred iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus model, and get pre-approved for an iPhone Upgrade Program loan. The window to get pre-approved ends tomorrow, Thursday, September 14, at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

Pre-approved customers can then return to the Apple Store app when iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus pre-orders begin on Friday, September 15 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time to complete the process.

This year, it appears that iPhone Upgrade Program members will be able to use a Trade-in Kit with a prepaid shipping label to return their old iPhone to Apple, rather than being forced to visit an Apple Store to complete the upgrade process. The mail-in option should make this year’s launch a less frustrating experience.

While the iPhone X is Apple’s new flagship smartphone, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus shipping estimates could become lengthy soon after pre-orders begin, so getting pre-approved is highly recommended.

Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program lets customers upgrade to a new iPhone after they have made at least 12 payments towards their current iPhone and trade it in upon upgrading. The full cost of the iPhone and included AppleCare+ coverage is spread out over 24 months with zero percent interest.

Here’s the monthly cost breakdown for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X in the United States. The program is also available in the UK.



At this time, the pre-approval process doesn’t appear to apply to the iPhone X, which can’t be ordered until Friday, October 27.

(Thanks, Timothy!)

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
Tag: iPhone Upgrade Program

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Disney Is the Only Major Hollywood Studio Not Backing Apple’s Plan to Sell 4K Films at $20

Apple yesterday revealed the Apple TV 4K, a new set-top box that will bring all the features of the fourth-generation Apple TV, along with the ability to stream 4K HDR video content. This includes iTunes 4K movies, which the company confirmed will be sold for the same price as HD movies at $20 apiece. Users will even be able to gain access to 4K movies they've already purchased in HD at no extra charge.

When it made this announcement, Apple showed off a list of Hollywood studios during the keynote that will support 4K movies on iTunes at this price: 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal Pictures. In a new report today, The Wall Street Journal noted that the major absence among this list is Disney.

The one absence from Apple’s list of big studios selling movies in UHD is Disney. It wasn’t immediately clear why the company behind Star Wars and Marvel couldn’t reach an arrangement with Apple. It currently sells its films in 4K on other digital stores, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.‘s Vudu, for $24.99.

Disney’s absence is particularly notable given a longstanding close relationship between the two companies. Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger is on Apple’s board of directors and Disney was the first studio to sell television shows and movies on iTunes.
Apple is said to have made deals with these studios so that 4K films would not rise above $20, but a few weeks ago it was reported that some studios were vying for $25-$30 for each 4K movie on iTunes. It isn't currently clear why Disney films -- which include Marvel and Star Wars -- won't be available in 4K on iTunes, but the WSJ pointed out that Disney currently sells its films in 4K on apps like Vudu, but at a higher price of $24.99. If talks fell through with Apple, that price tag is likely the reason why.

Apple's negotiations with participating studios reportedly went down to the wire, ending just weeks ahead of the September 12 reveal of the Apple TV 4K. Some studios are also said to still be interested in offering movies on platforms like iTunes just weeks after they debut in theaters, suggesting time frames and prices like 17 days after a theatrical debut for $50, or four to six weeks from release for $30. These talks are still ongoing and it remains to be seen if Apple and iTunes would ultimately take part in such a feature.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Tag: Disney
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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New Interview Reveals More Details About Upcoming tvOS/iOS Social Adventure Game ‘Sky’

Game developer thatgamecompany appeared on stage at the Apple Event yesterday with a title that will be launching exclusively on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV soon, called Sky. The game is described as a "social adventure" where players navigate a world in the clouds alongside their friends, and marks thatgamecompany's first game in five years, since 2012's Journey.


Journey was a game that automatically matched players with random other people online throughout the adventure, but it was impossible to join up with a specific friend. In its press release for the game, along with a new interview with president and creative director Jenova Chen, thatgamecompany explained that many fans wrote them after Journey and asked for "a game where they could play together" with friends and family members.

The idea of a wider audience playing the game on smartphones, not just video game consoles, led the developer to launch Sky mobile first and exclusively on Apple devices. This will make it easier to play the game with others, and thatgamecompany said it is "a game specially created to be played, and shared, among loved ones and family." During the keynote, the company confirmed that up to eight players from anywhere in the world can play together at a time.

We wanted as many people to love games, and so we were encouraged to explore this idea at thatgamecompany. Which brings our games, for the first time, to mobile – a platform that many have access to, the world over.

It’s hard to explain the game, but a good place would be to say that Sky is a game specially created to be played, and shared, among loved ones and family. If you can imagine the delight of visiting a theme park where lasting memories are made, we envision Sky will sometimes feel like that.
In a six-minute interview with Geoff Keighley, thatgamecompany president and creative director Jenova Chen -- who was on stage during Apple's keynote -- said that it's "difficult" to summarize the entire game, but many of its mechanics surround "giving" to and helping out other players. Sky is set in a "whimsical" world above the clouds, where a great civilization once resided but is currently in ruins. Chen mentioned that the idea behind this world and the game as a whole was to build a theme park of sorts, where players can return daily and spend minutes or hours discovering new lands alone or with friends.


He also hinted at frequent updates and changes coming to the world, stating that it is "constantly evolving" and when players return there might be new places and sections of the world that open up that weren't there before. Because of the consistent additions and new discoveries happening in the game, Chen compared Sky to a television series that players can return to and experience new chapters in the story and game environment.

A specific release date and price point for Sky have still not been revealed by thatgamecompany, but Chen mentioned that it should arrive on tvOS and iOS "this winter." The company encourages those interested to stay up-to-date on development through a newsletter sign-up than can be found on the game's webpage.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 10
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

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iPhone X vs. 8 and 8 Plus: Display Sizes, Cameras, Battery Life, Face ID vs. Touch ID, and Other Tech Specs

Apple on Tuesday hosted its first-ever event at Steve Jobs Theater, where it unveiled the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X.


iPhone X is Apple's new flagship smartphone, with a stainless steel frame sandwiched between a nearly edge to edge OLED display on the front and glass on the back. iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus also received a glass-backed design, but otherwise the devices look virtually the same as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

iPhone X starts at $999 in the United States, while the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus start at $699 and $799 respectively.

If cost wasn't a factor, the iPhone X is undoubtedly the better smartphone in more ways than one. But the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are very capable smartphones as well, so when there is at least $200 or $300 in savings to be had, it's worth considering which of the three smartphones best suits your needs. Find out ahead… Continue reading "iPhone X vs. 8 and 8 Plus: Display Sizes, Cameras, Battery Life, Face ID vs. Touch ID, and Other Tech Specs"

Doubts and Speculation Surround Apple’s Onstage Face ID ‘Fail’ During iPhone X Keynote

Yesterday at a media event held in Apple Park, Apple announced its much-anticipated all-screen 5.8-inch iPhone X, which features a next-generation facial authentication system called Face ID for unlocking the smartphone in lieu of a home button with Touch ID.

During the keynote at the Steve Jobs Theater, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi took to the stage to demo Face ID. However, much to his chagrin, the facial recognition technology appeared to fail at his first attempt to unlock the iPhone X, forcing Federighi to switch to a backup device to get the demo moving.


Some observers have leapt on the moment as an indication that Face ID is unreliable or a yet-to-be-perfected technology that's unfit to replace Touch ID fingerprint authentication. Vice News even went so far as to link the onstage incident to a sudden drop in Apple's share price. Since the demo aired, however, three competing theories have been put forward to explain the apparent "failure".

One theory is that Apple has adopted the same reboot security measure on the iPhone X that is found on iPhones with Touch ID, and this is what stalled Federighi's Face ID demo. The moment when he tries to unlock the iPhone X with his face, a closer look at the presentation screen reveals the words "Your passcode is required to enable Face ID". As several contributors on Quora have pointed out, a similar message is seen when an iPhone with Touch ID is first switched on, or if the phone hasn't been used in the last 48 hours.

This suggests someone forgot to enter the passcode on Federighi's iPhone X after a reboot. But if that were the case, the message likely should have stated, "Face ID requires your passcode when iPhone restarts", which more accurately reflects the equivalent message Touch ID phones display after a reboot.


Another theory put forward is that several unsuccessful attempts had already been made to unlock the device prior to the onstage demo, since Federighi only tries to authenticate Face ID twice before the passcode screen appears, whereas Touch ID takes five consecutive failed attempts before requiring a passcode. It's possible, but unlikely, and doesn't really explain the two failed tries witnessed by the audience.

The third, more concerning explanation, of course, is that Face ID simply failed to recognize the Apple executive, suggesting the feature has accuracy issues that the company is still working to resolve. Indeed, while Face ID was generally lauded by the media during hands-on iPhone X demonstrations after the keynote, at least one journalist reported "plenty of missed unlocks", and even problems activating Face ID that were only resolved after repeatedly turning the display off and on again, which they called "a little worrying". A similar issue may have befell Federighi on stage.

Apple claims Face ID can recognize a user's face under a variety of conditions and in poor light, despite everyday changes in appearance, such as applied make-up or beard growth. It is also said to boast a mismatch error rate of 1 in 1,000,000, compared to 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID, thanks to multiple neural networks built into the iPhone X's dual-core A11 bionic neural engine. With the iPhone X officially up for pre-order on October 27, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

Related Roundups: iPhone 8, iPhone X
Tag: Face ID

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UK Network EE Will Offer £5 a Month Cellular Tariff for LTE-Capable Apple Watch Series 3

EE will be the exclusive mobile network in the U.K. to offer a tariff for the new LTE-capable Apple Watch Series 3 when it begins shipping later this month.

Announced at Apple's media event on Tuesday, the latest version of the smartwatch contains an eSIM that can connect to a 4G LTE network so users can make and receive calls on their wrist, while watchOS apps can make use of the mobile data connection while untethered from an iPhone.


According to the BBC's Dave Lee, the EE tariff for the Apple Watch Series 3 will be £5 per month for existing EE iPhone contract holders, with the calling function on the watch using the same number as the owner's phone.

EE customers will be able to sign up for the new tariff when the Series 3 Apple Watch becomes available for pre-order on September 15, costing £399 with cellular connectivity and £329 without. Orders for the new watch are expected to arrive on September 22, which is the official launch date of the device.


Apple only mentioned EE as a U.K. carrier for the Apple Watch Series 3 during its media event yesterday, but it's likely that other U.K. networks will offer their own tariffs as the market for the LTE smartwatch matures.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 3, watchOS 4
Tags: EE, United Kingdom
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Don't Buy)

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32GB Storage Option Now Available for iPhone 7 in Jet Black Color, Starting at $549

Apple has added a new 32GB storage capacity option to the Jet Black iPhone 7 as part of a shake-up to its existing smartphone line-up, putting the glossy finish at the more affordable entry point of $549 for the 4.7-inch version, with a 128GB option now going for $649.

The iPhone 7 Plus is also now available in Jet Black at 32GB and 128GB for $669 and $769, respectively. At the same time, Apple has discontinued the 256GB option for the iPhone 7 in any color across the board.

Apple originally offered the Jet Black iPhone 7 at launch at 128GB and 256GB capacities, starting at $749 and $849 respectively, but didn't offer the cheaper 32GB option that the other colors are available in. That put a $100 premium on the glossy finish, pricing out more budget-conscious smartphone customers, but it looks as if Apple has had a change of mind.


As part of its existing iPhone range shake-up, Apple has also discontinued its its (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. Apple's (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were first introduced in March of 2017, six months after the debut of the iPhone 7.

(Thanks, Anna!)

Related Roundup: iPhone 7

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