4 biggest surprises from Apple’s totally unsurprising update

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Will we get more than the iPhone 7 next week?
None of today's announcements were keynote-worthy.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s “surprise” announcement of new products and software wasn’t all that surprising if you’ve been keeping up with the latest rumors.

Today’s updates were practically announced yesterday when the company said its store would be down in the morning for “maintenance.” Despite all the rumors of new iPads and RED iPhones that have been out for weeks, Apple still managed to sneak in a few surprises that were both good and bad.

We’re eagerly awaiting Apple’s rumored April keynote, but here’s the biggest, most surprising news from today’s teaser.

Apple store ‘maintenance’ means get your credit card ready

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Will the new iPad Pro land tomorrow?
Will the new iPad Pro land tomorrow?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The Apple online store will go down for scheduled “maintenance” tomorrow morning, and while it’s offline, you might want to get your credit card ready.

Recent rumors have promised Apple will launch new products this week. There are no plans for a big keynote, but there’s still a chance the Apple store will return with some sweet surprises.

Pokémon Yellow is reborn on Apple Watch

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Don't expect to see this on your own Apple Watch just yet.
Don't expect to see this on your own Apple Watch just yet.
Photo: Gabriel O’Flaherty-Chan

Pokémon fans, prepare yourself for the coolest Apple Watch hack to date.

One of the most popular titles from the original Pokémon series has been reborn on watchOS. This Game Boy Color emulator hack dismisses the idea that Apple’s wearable is no good for gaming by running fan-favorite Pokémon Yellow.

You can now buy AppleCare+ one year after getting an iPhone

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AppleCare
Don't be a fool, protect your tool.
Photo: Apple

If you’ve purchased a new iPhone in the last 12 months but failed to buy AppleCare+ to protect it, Apple is ready to cut you a break.

Apple has decided to extend the period in which iPhone buyers can get AppleCare+ to one full year from the data of purchase, after previously only letting you buy it within 60 days.

Why Apple should make a cheap activity band (and what it might look like)

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A no-frills Apple fitness tracker could get new users hooked on the Activity app.
A no-frills Apple fitness tracker could get new users hooked on the Activity app.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Activity app is one of Apple’s most important and powerful products. Its three brightly colored rings are changing people’s lives around the world, inspiring individuals to make healthier choices throughout their day.

The trouble is, if you want to use the Activity app, your only option right now is to buy an Apple Watch — and Apple Watches are expensive.

With this kind of game-changing product, Apple usually wants to reach as big an audience as possible. Take the iPod, for example. It was too expensive for some consumers. so Apple released a no-frills, sub-$99 version called the iPod Shuffle. Could a similar strategy work for the Activity app? An affordable activity band from Apple could be a Fitbit killer.

Apple Watch surges to ‘best quarter ever’ as Fitbit sales decline

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Apple Watch is no flop.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

2016 was a fantastic year for Apple Watch, according to the latest info from the International Data Corporation that shows Apple’s wearable just experience its best quarter ever.

In its latest report, IDC analysts say Apple Watch is finally closing the gap on Fitbit, which just experienced its largest declines ever in the fourth quarter.

Apple Watch Series 3 to adopt new display technology

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Apple is making another display change for this year's Apple Watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch Series 3 will ship with a new display technology as Apple looks to move away from the “touch-on-lens” (TOL) panels it adopted for Series 2.

Not only are TOL displays more expensive than alternate solutions, but Apple’s manufacturing partners are struggling to produce enough to meet demand. Apple is instead expected to switch to “glass-film” displays for its next model.