Apple Watch could lead to 7x increase in wearables market

Tim Cook says won't be in a hurry to reveal Apple Watch sales numbers. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch could trigger a drastic increase in wearable tech sales. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s great at hopping into new markets just as they’re set to explode, and it seems that the upcoming Apple Watch is no different.

Despite mixed reports about consumer interest, research firm IHS thinks demand for sensor-equipped wearable tech devices is going to see a major acceleration starting next year — largely thanks to Cupertino. Just how much of an increase are we talking about? Try 7x the size of the existing market by 2019, according to analysts.

“Similar to the iPhone and iPad, IHS expects the Apple Watch will set a de facto standard for sensor specifications in smartwatches,” says Jeremie Bouchaud, director and senior principal analyst, MEMS & Sensors. “Most other wearable [original equipment manufacturers] will follow Apple’s lead in [incorporating multiple sensors into devices] — or will add even more sensors to differentiate.”

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Secret hardware upgrades make the iPad Air 2 the fastest frickin’ tablet on the planet

Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

The iPad Air 2 is starting to hit doorsteps for preorders today, and already, the benchmarks are blowing us away, with an early Geekmark score showing that the iPar Air 2 is the fastest, most powerful tablet out there. Period.

But that’s not the surprising thing about the iPad Air 2.

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Tim Cook meets with top Chinese official to discuss iCloud phishing attack

Photo: Apple

Holy mackerel! Tim Cook hates phishing. Photo: Apple

Tim Cook has met with a top Chinese government official in Beijing, to discuss the reported “man-in-the-middle” phishing attack on iCloud users in China, reportedly being carried out by authorities.

While very few details of the meeting have been made public, it is reported by the Chinese media that it took place on Wednesday in Zhongnanhai, the Beijing complex which houses China’s central government.

Cook and Vice Premier Ma Kai discussed user privacy and “strengthening cooperation” going forward.

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Jailbreak the latest iOS devices with Pangu

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been holding out on upgrading to iOS 8 until a jailbreak is available, your wait is over — courtesy of Team Pangu.

Currently available for Windows only, the promised iOS 8 and 8.1 jailbreak works on devices up to and including the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and iPad Air 2, as well as earlier devices.

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Apple spends less than Google and other tech giants on lobbying fees

Photo: imelda/Flickr CC

Photo: imelda/Flickr CC

Apple may be out-earning its rivals, but there’s one place it’s lagging behind: political lobbying.

While companies like Google and Facebook continued to pour millions of dollars into influencing U.S. lawmakers during Q3, Apple spent a fraction of this sum.

According to recently published data, between July and September Google spent $3.94 million on lobbying, while Facebook spent $2.45 million. Apple, for its part, spent just over $1 million — mainly pushing issues related to consumer health legislation, transportation of lithium ion batteries, international taxes, e-books, medical devices, and copyright.

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Apple launches a portal for businesses to get better exposure in Apple Maps

Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Screenshot: Cult of Mac

If you’ve got a business that Apple Maps just keeps on getting wrong, great news. Apple has just launched a new portal for U.S. businesses to add or edit their listings within Apple Maps.

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Timbuk2: 25 years of sewin’ bags in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Twenty-five years ago, a bike messenger sat in his garage and used an old-school Singer sewing machine to stitch his mark on the world.

That bike messenger was Rob Honeycutt, and the bags he made in 1989 were called Scumbags. They were designed for use by the city’s notorious two-wheeled delivery riders, whose fashion sense tended toward crude cutoffs, T-shirts and hoodies.

A year later, Honeycutt changed his operation’s name to Timbuk2, and the company’s been crafting an increasingly ambitious line of bags ever since, expanding far beyond the world of tattooed dudes on fixies.

“Timbuk2 wasn’t going to the office 25 years ago,” CEO Patti Cazzato told Cult of Mac during a recent tour of the company’s Mission district factory, where all of Timbuk2’s custom bags are made.

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Early reviews of latest iPads praise new hardware, but wish for more

Order your new iPad now! Photo: Apple

Photo: Apple

Preorders for the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will start arriving on doorsteps as soon as tomorrow, and now a flood of early reviews has hit the web.

There’s a general theme throughout these dozen or so reviews of Apple’s newest tablets: boring. While these are unequivocally the best iPads every (like every year since the original), that’s not quite enough anymore.

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Apple and GT Advanced Technologies amicably part ways

GTAT's sapphire glass didn't land in the iPhone

GTAT’s sapphire glass didn’t land in the iPhone

Apple is in the market for a new sapphire supplier.

GT Advanced Technologies and Apple have reached an agreement that will see the two companies amicably parting ways, after the sapphire supplier filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month.

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Turn your game audio up to 11 with these Bluetooth cans

These Astro 38s are easy to pair, last for hours, sound amazing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

These Astro 38s are easy to pair, last for hours, sound amazing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I typically try out a new product for review without reading any of the documentation or media relations stuff that the folks who send us such things want us to look at. I want to have as pristine an experience as possible. Sometimes that leads to little surprises.

I put these new Astro Gaming A38 Bluetooth headphones on my head last week, and paired them with my iPhone to play a little music. After a few songs of various genres, I stopped the tunes and took these off my noggin. I suddenly realized that my girlfriend had been blending up a protein shake in the nearby kitchen. It was surprising because I honestly could not hear it with the headphones on my head and playing music at a relatively low volume – and our blender is really loud.

While they’re great for music, these are also fantastic sounding headphones that help you immerse yourself into any game on your iPad or iPhone, cutting down on the auditory distractions from the outside world when they’re powered up.

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