There are a few Apple Vision Pro headsets out in the wild, and recently we got a chance to use one of them. Here's what we thought.
I've known this day was coming for a long time. Rumors have been floating around about this headset for about five years. ARKit was a clear herald that something like the Apple Vision Pro was imminent.
We got a brief demo of the Apple Vision Pro at WWDC. Thanks to a fan of AppleInsider, I recently got an opportunity to spend about two hours with a unit.
If I was allowed to take pictures — and I wasn't — it would be obvious with whom and where I used the headset. So, regretfully, words will have to suffice.
I've used both the Valve Index and HTC Vive a great deal as I own both. I have experience with every Oculus headset that Facebook/Meta has released, and spent some time with Microsoft's now mostly-defunct HoloLens.
Apple's headset is closest to HoloLens in intent, pricing, and use cases, as far as I can tell right now — but developers will ultimately get the final say.
Apple's design ethos is clear in the headset. It's using fabric not dissimilar in feel to AirPods Max ear pads, blended with modern iPhone design. The curved glass is a marvel, and engineered precisely for the cameras and infrared projectors that live underneath it.
Setup was easy. The iPhone does most of the on-boarding in a manner similar to an initial setup of Face ID. A separate step with a vertical head-move scans your ears to tailor spatial audio.
I don't wear glasses or contacts, nor were there lenses available to me to test-fit inside the headset. Looking inside the headset, it's clear where the lenses will magnetically attach.
It's very early, but I would very much like Apple to discuss now how much this will cost. I would also like to know if there will be special lenses available for users with vision cuts from a stroke, hemianopsia, or more dramatic vision issues than just not having 20/20 vision.
The Apple Vision Pro has a wider vertical field of view than anything else I've used. There's no good way to scientifically measure this at the moment, but it feels like there's almost twice the vertical field of vision on Apple Vision Pro, versus HoloLens
The horizontal field of view isn't edge-to-edge. There is an area of black nothingness at the edges of peripheral vision. This is about the same as the other headsets I've used — but also not quite what Apple is trying to demonstrate in materials about the headset.
In the enterprise cases that Apple has put forth, this allows for more natural eye movement to look up just a little, versus moving your entire head and keeping your eyes fixed forward which is more or less what HoloLens required.
The part I've been most skeptical about is how well the Apple Vision Pro passes through the surroundings to the user. The short version is that it does it very well, with crisp and clear images most of the time.
It falls down a little, and some clarity is lost when objects pass through a shadow, or the lighting situation suddenly changes. However, it takes some conscious thought to "see" that there's missing information if the subject is an object or person you know well as your brain fills in some of the gaps.
In that latter scenario where the lighting changes, it adapts quickly to the change.
Interestingly, when in use in room lighting, the internal screens are about the same brightness as the environment. When you take the headset off, there's almost no pupil adjustment time required.
However, when a room is brightly lit, the screens are dimmer, and there's a brief period of pupillary adjustment when you go outside into direct sun.
It's not clear if this will change as the software matures. We'll see in the fullness of time.
The inverse of this, EyeSight, where your eyes are projected on the outside of the device was not available for me to test.
The main interface of Apple's Vision Pro headset is based on navigating using eye tracking and gestures, with the system needing to determine what the user is looking at specifically as quickly as possible. It does this with infrared projection, with technology similar to the dot projector in Face ID.
And, the company appears to have stuck the landing on this. Vision tracking accuracy is very good, without some of the fidgeting that we've seen in the past, in other systems that do the same.
In the future, we feel like this opens the door for more accessibility across a wide range of impairments and disabilities — but more on that as time goes on. There's a reason why I know what vision cuts from a stroke and hemianopsia are, after all.
So, in short, if you can use gestures on your iPhone, migrating to the Apple Vision Pro will be easy. That is, easy as long as you can adjust to doing the gestures in the air.
Thanks to my host, I got to use the one of the apps that they're developing. This particular app trains the users on an industrial process that demands absolute procedural compliance.
Failure in any step can result in damage to a multi-million dollar piece of equipment that could result in failure of other pieces of equipment, or injury to the operator or technicians nearby.
The system in question is already simulated in entirety on the Apple Vision Pro. The pass-through cameras are detailed enough that in a room-light situation, the procedural steps can still be read looking down at a book.
In this simple demonstration, the Apple Vision Pro directs you to the next step, be it a control panel operation or valve manipulation, and shows you where the next step must take place. At present, it doesn't watch for the action, or require a simulated action by the user, but I've been told that they believe that they can use the Apple Vision Pro cameras to watch for proper operation.
At present, there aren't any QR codes in the manual or any way to take longer than the tutorial allows between steps. The developers of the app I spoke to say that they will see if that can be implemented, or live text-reading from the book using the Apple Vision Pro cameras can be done in the future.
So, in summary, the headset allows the wearer to train without fear on a process that if not followed properly can result in damage to the machinery, or injury to the user. And it does it all without harm to either, even if things go terribly wrong.
Early testers already got to use Safari in a limited fashion. I can confirm that it works, as long as nearly every single web standard is followed.
Some narrow type styles don't read well on the headset. Some design elements just don't work on the headset very well. Infinitely scrolling websites including Apple's product pages also don't read well, and some avant garde designs with custom user interface elements just aren't navigable.
I don't think that this is going to cause a revolution or devolution in web design, for no other reason than Apple Vision Pro won't be a major player in browser share. It is something that web developers might want to keep in the back of their heads, though, and assess as the platform evolves.
As part of my testing, I used a few of my favorite iPad apps. The virtual keyboard works fine, but takes some getting used to. I've struggled here to describe how it takes some getting used to, but words fail — suffice it to say that you won't be typing as fast on Apple Vision Pro as you do on your iPad, MacBook Pro, or external keyboard.
Every productivity app we tested works fine. In most cases, though, you should consider if the Apple Vision Pro is the best place to use the app. For instance, PDF readers work fine, but the iPad is a better platform for most to read on, versus on a floating window on your Apple Vision Pro.
Games are still rough, and Game Center is effectively illegible — but I expect this will clear up with time. Touch actions aren't always being captured, and this is fine for strategy games for the most part, but terrible for timing-sensitive ones.
Unfortunately, the environment I was testing in didn't allow for use of the Mac Virtual Display — but I've been told it works well.
In the early days of the iPad, most of the apps available were iPhone apps, upscaled for the iPad. This doesn't feel much different. Apps that use the key features of the new platform will fare better, and be better user experiences.
Ultimately, hammering those apps into shape is the main reason why we think that the Apple Vision Pro has been announced when it has, in the given form-factor and price. More on that thought in a bit, though.
The Apple Vision Pro speakers are small, and it's clear that Apple has moved what it has learned from AirPods and even MacBook speakers to the headset. Audio is clear and crisp, and sufficiently loud for media consumption.
What it is not, is all-encompassing. Apple has made a conscious decision to keep the audio off-ear, like in the Valve Index, to keep the wearer grounded in the space.
This makes the audio experience more like when you're listening to media on your computer, versus on AirPods Max or the like.
This is fine, and by design. Apple has made it clear that it doesn't want to isolate Apple Vision Pro users from other people or surroundings, and this is about the best way you can do that with a headset.
It's not clear if there's a way to use AirPods in conjunction with the Apple Vision Pro, and I'm not sure if Apple wants you to anyway.
Whatever the Apple Vision Pro battery ends up being called, it's relatively unobtrusive in a pocket or on a desk. Battery life is still a little rough probably because of device analytics at the moment, with us getting a bit over a hour of use without external charge. We're expecting this to radically Excellerate as the software evolves.
The USB-C port works as a pass-through like the MagSafe Battery Pack does with Lightning and the iPhone — it will charge the battery and power the headset simultaneously, with a 60W USB-C PD charger. A 30W USB-C charger will power the device fully or charge the battery, and less than that will supply some power, but not enough to keep the battery topped off.
And again, this is something that developers will ultimately decide, but most use cases we've seen so far are mostly stationary. I don't think it's going to be a major crisis to keep the headset attached to a USB-C power source near constantly.
The headset in use weighs a hair over a pound on the head. It's balanced well with just the back-strap especially after you crank on the knob to get the tightness right. Over the course of the hour and a half or so I got to use the headset after setup, some light neck fatigue set in. Other headsets like the Valve Index are worse, though.
Given the use of other headsets, at this point, I was expecting some mild eyestrain to set in. Semi-surprisingly, I didn't get any, but that may be attributable to the display tech that Apple is using, or some other undocumented Apple tech shenanigans.
We've seen images of a top-strap, but I didn't have one available to use. I think that this is more for bigger hair or differently-shaped heads than mine, more than for limiting fatigue.
And, it's a little warm in practical use. Inside the headset, it's a bit warmer than the exterior air, and that becomes obvious after about an hour — but not uncomfortable.
Cool air is drawn in to cool the electronics through vents on the bottom of the headset and exhausted through the top vents. This appears to be done with a very small fan, with Apple engineering keeping the fan quieter than ambient noise.
As it did with the iPhone, there are other products (mostly) in the same category as the Apple Vision Pro. Apple has never needed to be first to something. It's always taken the time, and iterated on a concept internally, before releasing a genre-defining product.
The Apple Vision Pro defines the genre for sure — at the very-high end. This time, intentionally, they aimed too high on cost for the consumer.
Instead, the company has decided to make aspirational technology. The Apple Vision Pro, as it stands, I feel is what Apple wants the market to be shooting for, going forward.
It will immediately be adopted in enterprise. It will take more time and convincing for the general public.
There's still a lot of work to do on the operating system and presentation, and understandably so. The headset is a phenomenal piece of engineering, and to completely exercise that technology, the operating system and development tools are going to need a lot of iteration not just before launch, but for years afterwards.
Just like the iPhone did, and does.
Apple won't be the ones who say who and what the Apple Vision Pro is for, nor will it for what we expect we'll see in about two years in an Apple Vision non-Pro headset.
Developers are the one who are ultimately going to tell the true tale of what to use the Apple Vision Pro for. And, it's good that they have the hardware now, and not five days before launch.
And like with the iPhone and iPad, Apple Vision Pro won't be the best tool for everything, and everybody. I still feel reading and surfing are better on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, for instance, and other apps will require a more conventional interface.
But, like I got the incredible privilege to test, things like industrial training could be spectacular when fully implemented on Apple Vision Pro. It's easy to see medical implementations coming to the Apple Vision Pro to learn and perform treatments, perhaps guided by a professional, and other tasks being ported to the Apple Vision Pro.
And, I'm very excited to see how 3D video recording and playback work, when they're eventually available. Full FaceTime Persona generation looks like it will be impressive, but we'll see with time.
Apple says the Apple Vision Pro will become available in early 2024. Let's be patient and see what pops out, even if they don't make that date, because what's already been delivered to a select few is impressive enough.
Apple is quietly working on artificial intelligence tools that may compete with the likes of OpenAI, Google and others, and a potential ChatGPT rival is already being used internally, a new report revealed.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reported last week that the iPhone maker was working on a generative AI product planned for release as early as 2024. He provided more details about an internal "ChatGPT-like" service that the company developed for employees in a "Power On" report Sunday.
The internal large language model's (LLM) core is called Ajax, and it was used to develop what some people inside the company call "Apple GPT." The Cupertino-based tech giant is reportedly looking to integrate Apple GPT into more parts of its operations, including the AppleCare team that assists customers.
The internal chatbot reportedly helps with the company's work on prototype features. It also helps with summarizing text and answering questions based on the data the chatbot was trained with.
Apple did not immediately respond to the International Business Times' request for comment.
Apple has reportedly not yet come up with a clear strategy on how it will release the technology to the public, and the tech giant will likely be more cautious with the public rollout of its generative AI product compared to other tech leaders that have already released AI tools.
While Apple has yet to release any generative AI products, its peers have already made significant technological strides.
Just last week, Facebook owner Meta and OpenAI backer Microsoft announced a partnership that will build the foundation of an AI language software called Llama 2, which stands for Large Language Model Meta AI.
Anyone who wants access to Llama 2 will be allowed to use the technology, with John Montgomery, Microsoft's corporate VP for Azure AI, noting that an "open approach" to generative AI will benefit the public.
Open-sourcing the tech will "open up a world of opportunities for them to experiment, innovate in excited ways, and ultimately benefit from economically and socially," Meta said in a press release.
Google, on the other hand, recently reportedly started testing an AI news writing tool that The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal are involved in. The tool is reportedly called Genesis and is in the early testing stage, but it showed impressive abilities that some news executives found "unsettling."
While Apple has yet to publicly unveil generative AI products, the company announced new AI features last month, including an improved iPhone autocorrect that's based on a machine learning program that utilizes a transformer language model. ChatGPT has the same technology.
Apple has long been secretive about its technology, CNBC reported. According to the report, the company usually talks about new features but does not provide details about the technology behind the improvements. Instead of saying AI, the company prefers a more academic phrase such as "machine learning," the report said.
In May, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that while AI is a "huge" technology, the company should be "deliberate and thoughtful" when working with the tech. "There's a number of issues that need to be sorted...in a number of different places, but the potential is certainly very interesting," he said.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are “virtually embedded in every product”, Apple chief executive Tim Cook has said, amid ongoing questions over the company’s plans.
In recent months, as hype over AI has increased and most of Apple’s competitors have rolled out new features making use of the technology, Apple has stayed largely silent on its plans. During its recent Worldwide Developers Conference keynote event, for instance, it did not mention the world artificial intelligence at all.
That has led to concerns from some analysts that the company is failing to keep up with the quickly advancing technology, and that it could miss out on the opportunities it could bring.
But Tim Cook said Apple has been looking into artificial intelligence “for years” and that it was increasing that investment. Mr Cook made the comments as the company revealed its latest results, which showed a slump in sales of many of its products that was slightly offset by the increasing success of its services division.
He also said that the technology are central the design of its products, indicating that it was wrong to suggest that Apple had not yet integrated the technologies into its products.
“We view AI and ML as fundamental core technologies. And they are virtually embedded in every product that we build,” Mr Cook told CNBC in an interview.
“On a research basis, we’ve been doing research for on AI and machine learning, including generative AI, for years,” he added.
The chief executive also said that Apple’s focus on artificial intelligence was one of the reasons that the results showed an increase in spending on research and development.
“We’re going to continue investing and innovating and responsibly advancing our products with these technologies to help enrich people’s lives,” Cook said. “Obviously, we’re investing a lot, and it is showing up in the R&D spending that you’re looking at.”
A pair of rare Apple trainers are being sold by auction house Sotheby's for $50,000 (£38,969).
The shoes were custom-made for employees only in the 1990s and were a one-time giveaway at a conference.
A pair have never been sold to the public before.
Featuring a predominately white leather upper, "a standout detail" is the old rainbow Apple logo on both the tongue and next to the laces and will be "highly coveted", said Sotheby's.
The retailer described them as "one of the most obscure in existence", highlighting the rarity of the sneakers and their value on the resale market.
While the Omega x Apple sneakers are "new in the box", the description says they do have some imperfections, including a yellowing around the midsoles.
The pair feature an air cushioning window in the heel and are a US size 10.5, European size 41 or UK 8.5. In the box there is also an alternative pair of red laces.
Over time, Apple memorabilia has been rocketing in value and many of its retro gadgets are now collectors items selling for high prices - although not all of its items have been hits.
There was a traditional video game console called Pippin which was hugely overpriced, the ill-fated social network called Ping, and the Newton MessagePad which was described as a flop.
Although Apple is famed for its gadgets and innovations, on occasion tech fans have been able to purchase clothing and accessories from the brand.
There was an Apple collection clothing line which incorporated the rainbow logo and Macintosh computer imagery - it included T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts and hats.
It was intended to promote the Apple brand and create a sense of community - however, at the time it was not a major success and was discontinued.
In 2015, Apple partnered with the luxury fashion brand Hermès to create a collection of watch straps. In 2020 it released a strap in celebration of black history month.
For employees there have been Apple Park jackets, designed for those working at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Foxconn will exclusively supply Apple with dedicated servers for training and testing artificial intelligence services, according to Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (via South China Morning Post).
The servers are to be made in Vietnam due to Apple’s plan to diversify its supply chain away from China. Foxconn currently supplies servers to Amazon, OpenAI, and Nvidia for AI applications. Foxconn is already Apple’s primary supplier of data center servers.
Apple reportedly will ‘re-examine’ its artificial intelligence development efforts
A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the United States has reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook seeking details on how App Store guidelines impact “Apple’s iOS App Store and how these policies are impacting American leadership in emerging technologies including blockchains, nonfungible tokens (NFTs), and other distributed ledger technologies.”
The letter comes as Apple has faced criticism from the likes of Jack Dorsey, Coinbase, and others over its App Store rules.
The letter, which was sent last week and is addressed to Cook, is from Gus Bilirakis (R-FL.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL.), the chairman and ranking member of the Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee.
Bilirakis and Schakowsky specifically point to an example from December of last year, where Coinbase said that Apple had blocked the company from offering NFTs without using Apple’s in-app purchase system:
In particular, it appears that Apple has used its App Store guidelines to increase its own profits and reduce the utility of apps in blockchains, NFTs, and other blockchain-related technology. For example, in December 2022 Coinbase accused Apple of forcing it to remove NFT transfers from its Wallet app on iOS. Coinbase claimed Apple was citing its App Store.
The lawmakers are calling on Cook to respond to their questioning to help Congress “fully understand” how the App Store impacts “innovation and and American technology.”
It is essential that Congress fully understand the App Store Guidelines and the extent these guidelines limit innovation and American technology leadership. Apple’s support of innovative new technologies such as blockchains, NFTs, and other distributed ledger technologies could solidify American leadership of these technologies.
The full letter includes detailed questions on things like how App Review handles the review process for different applications, whether Apple “plans to build apps using blockchain or related technologies,” and more.
In the past, Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he owns cryptocurrency as part of his investment portfolio. He also said that Apple is “looking at” crypto, but has no immediate plans to make any announcements in the area.
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November 15, 2022
Emergency SOS via satellite available today on the iPhone 14 lineup in the US and Canada
iPhone 14 users can now connect with emergency services when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage are not available; the service extends to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced its groundbreaking safety service Emergency SOS via satellite is now available to customers in the US and Canada. Available on all iPhone 14 models, the innovative technology enables users to message with emergency services while outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. Additionally, if users want to reassure friends and family of their whereabouts while traveling off the grid, they can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite. Emergency SOS via satellite is available in the US and Canada starting today, November 15, and will come to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.
“Some of the most popular places to travel are off the beaten path and simply lack cellular coverage. With Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 lineup provides an indispensable tool that can get users the help they need while they are off the grid,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Our teams worked tirelessly to tackle a new set of technical challenges to bring this service to life, in addition to building a reliable on-the-ground infrastructure. Emergency SOS via satellite is a breakthrough service available only on the iPhone 14 lineup, and a new innovation that we hope will provide our customers some peace of mind.”
Every model in the iPhone 14 lineup — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max — can connect directly to a satellite through a combination of custom-designed components and deeply integrated software. Emergency SOS via satellite builds on existing features vital to iPhone users, including Emergency SOS, Medical ID, emergency contacts, and Find My location sharing, offering the ability to connect to a satellite for a more 360-degree approach to sharing critical information with emergency services, family, and friends. This game-changing service allows Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) — or emergency services call centers — to connect to even more users in emergency situations, and requires no additional software or protocols to enable communications. Users will be connected directly to emergency services that are equipped to receive text messages, or to relay centers with Apple-trained emergency specialists who are ready to contact PSAPs that cannot receive text messages on the user’s behalf.
“Providing Emergency SOS via satellite is an important breakthrough that will save lives. The critical work being done by Apple to create innovative new solutions to support 911 providers and first responders is a huge step forward in protecting Californians and the broader public during an emergency situation,” said Mark Ghilarducci, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ director.
How Emergency SOS via Satellite Works
iPhone can already quickly and easily call emergency services if a user is in need of help, even if they are unable to dial 911, with a long press on the power and volume buttons, or by rapidly pressing the power button five times. With Emergency SOS via satellite — introduced with the iPhone 14 lineup — if a user is not able to reach emergency services because no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage is available, an easy-to-use interface appears on iPhone to get the user help utilizing a satellite connection. A short questionnaire appears to help the user answer vital questions with a few simple taps, which is transmitted to dispatchers in the initial message, to ensure they are able to quickly understand a user’s situation and location. Apple worked closely with experts to review standard questions and protocols to identify the most common reasons for calling emergency services.
Following the questionnaire, the intuitive interface guides the user where to point their iPhone to connect and sends the initial message. This message includes the user’s questionnaire responses; location, including altitude; iPhone battery level; and Medical ID, if enabled. The questionnaire and follow-up messages are relayed directly via satellite to dispatchers that accept text messages, or to relay centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf. The transcript can also be shared with the user’s emergency contacts to keep them informed.1
“We dedicate our lives to helping people in need, but there are inevitably people who are not able to contact a dispatcher. Emergency SOS via satellite will allow us to help iPhone users in more remote areas who might not otherwise be able to reach us,” said Jennifer Kirkland, ENP, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center’s 911 center manager. “Because this service requires no additional technology for PSAPs, and because Apple has implemented a relay center model that 911 operators are familiar with, we can expect a seamless rollout, both for the PSAPs that accept text messages, and for those that are still voice-only.”
Satellites move rapidly, have low bandwidth, and are located hundreds of miles away from Earth, so it can take a few minutes for even short messages to get through. Apple designed and built custom components and software that allow iPhone 14 to connect to a satellite’s unique frequencies without a bulky antenna. A text compression algorithm was also developed to reduce the average size of messages by 3x, making the experience as fast as possible. With Emergency SOS via satellite, users can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds in clear conditions.2 Using the built-in Emergency SOS via satellite demo, users can test satellite connectivity on their iPhone by connecting to a real satellite in range without calling emergency services, allowing them to experience the process and familiarize themselves with the service.
“Emergency SOS via satellite will not only be useful for those who live in rural areas without cellular coverage, but also for those who find themselves in the path of a natural disaster that takes down mobile networks. It will allow members in impacted communities to connect with 911 and get help, and that’s our mission,” said Laurene Anderson, NENA: The 9-1-1 Association’s president and Charlotte County, Florida’s E911 manager. “Awareness and training will be key to seamless adoption of this service. What Apple is doing to spread the word among dispatchers, and to let the community practice with a demo mode that does not contact 911, will help everyone know what to do when an emergency strikes.”
For users who go off the grid but don’t experience an emergency, this advanced technology also enables them to share their location via satellite with Find My. In the Find My app, users can open the Me tab, swipe up to see My Location via Satellite, and tap Send My Location. The satellite connection on the iPhone 14 lineup also works with other safety features available on iPhone and Apple Watch, including Crash Detection and Fall Detection.3
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Marks and Spencer in York has received a boost with eight new staff.
The store’s Vangarde Centre outlet worked with the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a recruitment drive.
Wendy Mangan - Employer and Partnership Manager for York & North Yorkshire DWP says M&S and the Blue Apple Training company ran a 5-day Sector-based Work Academy (SWAP) at M&S using the store’s Training Academy facilities.
Wendy said: “Blue Apple ran a 5 day Sector-based Work Academy (SWAP) at M&S using the store’s Training Academy facilities. The course consisted of a customer service qualification, interview preparation, work experience and a guaranteed interview with M&S”.
“Thirteen jobseekers started and completed the course and 8 have been offered jobs. M&S are always eager to support individuals who face barriers to get into employment, they were thrilled to build on their already impressive female population of colleagues (with 75% females receiving a role) and happy the course could support the refugee community as well (25% of successful participants were refugees).”
The DWP says feedback from those taking part were excellent.
Among them, Shannon Storeer said: “The course run by Blue Apple was very helpful and informative. It enabled me to have a guaranteed interview and resulted in me getting a full-time job.”
Andrea from Marks and Spencer said “Candidates were well prepared for interviews and asked relevant questions around progression. We would be very happy to participate in the scheme again. ’Blue Apple and York Job Centre worked with professionalism and made great connections with the Academy team.”
The York Jobcentre has further initiatives to help people find work.
This Friday (June 15) it is staging an Information/ Sign-up Session for its Jumpstart Your Potential Course to Excellerate self-worth and become more socially confident.
Friday also sees B&M Work Experience at its Clifton Moor store. The retailer says it will consider anyone with health conditions or needing to fit work around school hours. A guaranteed interview with B&M is promised at the end of the Work Experience placement.
Wednesday June 20 will see NCS run a virtual information session from 10am-11am to help people apply for current Civil Service Work Coach jobs being advertised.
Tuesday July 11 will see a sign up session for a one-week construction course.
Such initiatives are helping the jobless trend to remain down.
York in May has a claimant count of 2,280, including 435 18-24s and 560 over 50s.
This represented a decrease of 260 over the year overall, with over 50s down 14 but 18-24s up 25.
Ryedale has a claimant count of 570 (down 35), including 70 18-24s (up 5) and 175 over 50s (down 25).
Selby has a claimant count of 1145, including 185 18-24s (up 10) and 301 over 50s (down 30).
For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your Jobcentre Work Coach
Sony Apple TV+ free trial: Offer details
According to the company’s official website, PlayStation 5 users (both existing and new) will get 6 months of Apple TV+ trial benefits. PlayStation 4 customers ( both new and existing) will get three months of free trial for Apple TV+.
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In my opening paragraphs to the Apple Watch SE review, I asked how Apple could Excellerate on the already excellent Apple Watch formula, and the answer was to lower the price, which is where the Apple Watch SE succeeds. The question now becomes, where does that leave the $389-plus Apple Watch Series 6? How does it tempt you away from buying the SE, or to upgrade from a previous-generation model?
Interestingly, it does so in a typically watch-like fashion, while making sure the nerdier among us also get our fill of new tech.
Apple has not changed the look of the Apple Watch Series 6 from the Series 5, but it has done what many watchmakers do when they hit upon a popular design: They change the colors and introduce a special edition. You can buy the aluminum Apple Watch Series 6 with a blue case, a new gold case, or in a special (PRODUCT) RED finish, which joins the existing silver and space gray models. Along with the new case, colors come two new strap designs, the Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop, plus new colors for many of the existing straps. (The straps are, of course, backward-compatible to previous models.)
You can see the blue version in our photos, and it’s very pretty. It’s a dark blue and therefore contrasts well with other colors, and isn’t as showy as the cheerful (PRODUCT) RED version. Match it with the right strap, and you have a modern, sporty watch that’s more interesting to look at than the space gray or silver versions. It’s the 44mm version on my wrist, and a 40mm version is also available for smaller wrists. The size and weight are practically identical to the Series 5, apart from a tiny, imperceptible reduction in depth.
My choice of strap here is the Sport Loop in Deep Navy (because it has a hint of the Tag Heuer Formula 1 Gulf special edition about it), which is made from a soft nylon weave material and secured by a hook-and-loop system, and immensely comfortable. The gently curved ceramic and sapphire case back adds to this comfort, and the smoothed off screen and sides mean it happily slips under sleeves. I’ve worn the Apple Watch SE and now the Series 6 for two weeks now and have not once felt the need to take it off due to it being hot, scratchy, sweaty, or generally annoying.
The cheapest Series 6 is made from 100% recycled aluminum, but you can spend more to buy a stainless steel model or a “Watch Edition” in titanium. So should you? These materials will be harder wearing to a degree, but they are both heavier than the aluminum model, and very few will tell the difference between the three unless informed of it. Much of the Apple Watch Series 6’s usefulness comes from wearing it all day. Adding weight may make this less likely to happen, so think twice about spending more.
Introduced on the Series 5, the always-on screen is the feature most will consider the reason to spend more and get the Apple Watch Series 6 rather than the Apple Watch SE. Rather than the screen going dark when it goes to sleep after not being used for a minute or two, the watch face subtly changes design and dims so the time remains visible. Apart from the improved usefulness, this makes the Apple Watch look more visually interesting on your wrist.
I love the way the watch faces change. It’s not a sudden alteration, but rather a slow animated morph between the main watch face and its ambient alternative. On some faces, like the new GMT face, the change is almost imperceptible, while on others like the new Artist face the change is considerable as it drains the color from the screen entirely. The Series 6’s screen is sharp and detailed, and also brighter than the Series 5’s screen, and I never once had to alter the brightness levels to see it outside.
The always-on screen is really all about the visuals because as living with the SE proved, the Apple Watch’s raise-to-wake gesture is so immediate and reliable, that the time is always there when you need it. Having something on the screen all the time changes the way the Apple Watch looks on your wrist, from a piece of soulless technology to something with life and movement. Apple’s varied collection of watch faces are highly customizable, too, and they add a further element of personalization outside of the strap and case color choices.
The always-on screen is a reason to buy the Apple Watch Series 6 over the Apple Watch SE, but it’s because of the fashion, not the utility.
“Blood Oxygen app measurements are not intended for medical use.” Not my words, but the words of Apple, taken from its explainer page on the use of the blood oxygen (SpO2) measurement tool on the Apple Watch Series 6.
Medically, pulse oximetry checks if there is enough oxygen in the blood, and is important for people who have had a heart attack, have lung disease, asthma, or other respiratory problems. That’s why SpO2 helps detect severe complications from COVID-19; but when a medical-grade pulse oximeter is used rather than a consumer product like the Apple Watch. In this article on the benefits of owning such a device at home, Yale School of Medicine’s Dr. Denyse Lutchmansingh said, “unless a patient has true lung disease, there is no need to use pulse oximetry monitoring.”
If it’s not meant for medical use, what good is it? Working on the basis that outside a medical setting some data is better than no data, blood oxygen levels can initially help identify sleep problems like snoring and sleep apnea, be used to generate recovery time recommendations after exercise, or to assess altitude acclimatization in hikers or mountaineers.
Taking a spot reading on the Apple Watch Series 6 takes 15 seconds and requires nothing except tapping the Start button in the associated app. It can also be set up to take periodical measurements, and will alert you if it notices a drastic alteration. Looked at this way, the SpO2 reading taken by the Apple Watch is one more tool in its already comprehensively equipped medical bag.
When you remember this, it makes sense to consider the SpO2 monitoring a silent feature, and not something you’ll actually use on a daily basis or regularly take note of the readings. It, along with other health features, gradually creates a picture of your overall condition, monitors trends, and could quickly let you know if things dramatically change.
You can take an electrocardiogram (ECG) using the Apple Watch Series 6, just like you could on the Series 4 and Series 5. This feature is primarily designed to provide data to your doctor and doesn’t detect a heart attack, blood clots, strokes, or other heart-related conditions. Not my words, but the words of Apple on its support page for the ECG feature. Seeing a pattern here?
This said, the ECG is more useful than the blood oxygen measurement. It’s approved for use in the U.S. and the U.K. (but only for those over the age of 22, apparently), and Apple states it produces readings similar to ECG machines prescribed by your doctor. So if you have been diagnosed with problems that may impact your heart, the Apple Watch may be of some assistance. Again, it can also be helpful as an early warning system when used with other health features on the Apple Watch, but reports can be found that question the validity of any warnings that do come from the watch.
It takes 30 seconds to perform the ECG, and requires you to be seated and resting in a particular way, and to touch the Digital Crown throughout the recording. Results are instantly shown and can be saved for further examination by your doctor. It has worked consistently for me, just like the blood oxygen measurements, and the app is both clearly laid out and attractively animated.
The ECG is another “nice to have” feature that could, in extreme circumstances, be of genuine use in a medical emergency. For most people, and for most of the time, you won’t notice it’s there. Neither it nor the SpO2 measurements are reasons to buy the Apple Watch Series 6, but it’s somewhat comforting to know they’re there.
I’ve gone into more detail about the Apple Watch’s workout plans, the handwashing feature, and the sleep tracking in my Apple Watch SE review, and as this is all applicable to the Apple Watch Series 6, do take a moment to read the sections on these aspects in that review, as my experience has been identical here.
To quickly reiterate, the Apple Watch is a superb everyday activity tracker. The Activity Rings system is clear and motivational for people who want to up their daily activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the data provided in Apple’s Health app is clear and simple. It’s not for the serious athlete concerned with run cadence, interval training, or super accurate long-distance heart rate monitoring.
This approach is reflected in the sleep tracking feature, introduced in watchOS 7. The data provided after wearing the Apple Watch all night is really only duration, with no information on sleep stages, interruptions, or quality. It’s just another piece of the health puzzle for Apple Health to use to keep you informed, rather than bombard you with in-depth data.
The always-on screen does affect battery life, though perhaps not as seriously as you fear. The Series 6 can last a day and a half on a single charge, which includes all health-monitoring features such as SpO2 monitoring active, and sleep tracking overnight. It consistently lasts to the afternoon on the second day, at which time it suggests entering its low power mode to last for several more hours but with limited features.
If you add an hour’s fitness tracking (not using GPS), it drains the battery by about 10% further, which seems to shorten the average use time by about an hour. If you use GPS — the Apple Watch Series 6 has stand-alone GPS so you can use it on a run without your phone — expect the battery life to be affected far more. Turn the watch off overnight and two full working days is achievable.
Charging the Apple Watch if you want to track sleep does become a pain. It takes about 80 minutes to fully charge from zero, which is a sizable chunk of time to find if you’re not placing it on its charger overnight. Incidentally, there’s no charging brick included with the Apple Watch, only the USB cable with a magnetic charging plinth.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has Apple’s new S6 processor inside, promising an improvement in performance over the Series 5 and the Apple Watch SE, which use the older S5 processor. The Series 6’s speed is obvious. Navigating watchOS 7 feels like it’s being done at 1.5x, because everything is just so snappy. It’s the little things that make you notice. It’s faster recognizing when you’re washing your hands than the SE, where the timer usually showed up on the screen between 10 and 15 seconds into your 20-second ablutions, but it’s 10 seconds and under on the Series 6. Tapping complications on the watch face gives instant access to your data, with barely any lag for the lightning-fast animations to cover up.
These aspects are really only noticeable when you compare back-to-back, but it’s those who are upgrading from a much older Apple Watch that will really notice. if you’re coming to the Series 6 from the Series 4 or even earlier, you’ll think Apple has strapped a big turbo to the side of the processor it’ll feel so fast.
Living with the Apple Watch Series 6 on a daily basis is not all that different to living with the Series 5, apart from the slight speed increase you notice at first. It’s also practically identical to living with the Apple Watch SE, leaving aside the always-on screen. The Series 6 has all the same helpful features from Apple Pay support, comprehensive music controls, the walkie-talkie function, reminders to stand up every hour, the Breathe relaxation exercise, Apple Maps, and Siri.
You can buy a Series 6 with a cellular connection if you want to use data services without carrying around your phone, but this will cost you extra each month. Without it, the Apple Watch still handles calls provided it’s connected to your phone, and the speaker is surprisingly loud too. However, callers don’t always hear you well when you’re outside. The notifications it receives are clear and concise, and almost all can be interacted with in some way.
Because wearing and using the Series 6 on a daily basis is so similar to the Apple Watch SE, do check my review of that watch, which I wore before the Series 6, for further insight into what it’s like for general use.
The Apple Watch Series 6 in aluminum with a Sport Loop, Solo Loop, or Sport Band or . Add Cellular connectivity and this becomes $499 and $529. If you want the Braided Solo Loop strap you must add $50 to both these prices. Stainless steel Series 6 models start at $699, titanium models from $849, and Hermés models from $1,249.
In the U.K. a 40mm aluminum Series 6 is 379 British pounds or 479 pounds with cellular connectivity, while the 44mm model is 409 pounds without, or 479 pounds with cellular. Stainless steel models start at 649 pounds, titanium models from 799 pounds, and the Hermés models from 1,199 pounds.
All are available through Apple’s own online store, plus most models can be purchased and other retailers, while carriers also offer the cellular models.
The Series 6 is Apple’s most complete smartwatch yet, and although there are several features you probably won’t use all that often, if you want the ultimate smartwatch package available on your wrist, then this is it. What if you own an Apple Watch Series 5? There’s no really compelling reason to upgrade, unless you absolutely must have the blue, red, or new gold case finish. It’s probably better to wait and see what the Series 7 brings next year.
If you’ve only ever used a Wear OS smartwatch, especially connected to an iPhone, the Apple Watch will surprise you with its performance, reliability, and capability. If you’ve never used a smartwatch connected to an iPhone before and are tempted, the Apple Watch is the only way to go.
No. The Apple Watch Series 6 is the best smartwatch you can buy, but before you do so, ask yourself if you think you’ll ever need the ECG or SpO2 readings, and whether the always-on screen is essential. If the answer is no to any of these, do take a look at , as it’s also excellent and will save you some money.
The only realistic contender if you don’t own an iPhone and don’t plan to buy one is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, which beats smartwatches that have Google’s Wear OS software with its greater usability and slick control system. Samsung also offers two sizes, and the Galaxy Watch 3 has both an ECG and SpO2 meter as well.
At least three years. The old Apple Watch Series 3 has received the latest watchOS 7 software, to give you an idea of how long the Series 6 will continue to be supported, for example. The Series 6 is the better buy over the SE when it comes to longevity, as it has all the top features already inside. The aluminum case isn’t especially tough, but provided it’s treated well it won’t get damaged easily, while the Apple Watch Series 6 is water-resistant to 50 meters and swim-proof, too.
Yes, it’s the best, most feature-packed Apple Watch available this year, and the best smartwatch you can buy if you have an iPhone.
If you are shopping on a budget, check out the best Black Friday Apple Watch deals we found.
The Apple Watch Series 8 was a bit of a boring release for Apple’s wearable, as it wasn’t a huge upgrade over the Apple Watch Series 7; Apple seemed to spend more energy focusing on the Apple Watch Ultra instead. The only real upgrades for the Series 8 were the newer-generation S8 chip and a new body temperature sensor, though the use cases for that are pretty limited. But if you didn’t have a Series 7, then the Apple Watch Series 8 was still a great upgrade for those coming from older models.
We’re still a few months away from Apple revealing the next generation of Apple Watch with a Series 9 model, which is most likely coming sometime in the fall, along with the iPhone 15. But until then, here’s what we know so far, as well as what we’re hoping to see in the Apple Watch Series 9.
What to expect from the Apple Watch Series 9
Last week saw the launch of watchOS 9.5, a relatively small update for Apple Watches that added the Pride Celebration watch face as well as fixed a few unspecified bugs. However, the update seems to be causing an irritating display issue for many users.
Posted to the subreddits r/AppleWatch and r/watchOS, users are reporting that the update has added a noticeable green/gray tint to their screens that changes the colors of the display and makes the usually crisp OLED screen look washed out. You can see what it looks like in the photos below.
The iPhone 14 lineup has been out for a while now, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting when you get your hands on a shiny new device. The iPhone 14 is a great option, as it provides you with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display that is gorgeous to look at and up to 512GB storage, with all of that powered by the fast A15 Bionic chip with iOS 16. But since the iPhone 14 starts at $799, that’s still a pretty penny, so you’ll want to protect your investment.
The best way to protect your iPhone 14 is with a great case. There are plenty of options out there, with something for everyone, but some cases are better than others. Here are some of our favorite iPhone 14 cases that you can grab right now!
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