Angela Ahrendts today sent out a video to Apple retail employees, once again reiterating Apple’s Apple Watch policies and explaining why the company has decided not to accept walk-in orders.
In the video, shared by French site Mac4Ever [Google Translate], Ahrendts again told employees that the Apple Watch is only available online due to global demand exceeding supply. She also emphasized Apple’s efforts to give customers the best possible ordering experience by restricting in-store orders and said there are no plans to change the current Apple Watch ordering process.
It was not an easy decision, and I think it’s really important to remind every single customer that this is not just a new product for us, this is an entirely new category. And the first time we’ve ever previewed a product two weeks before availability.
The great news is from anyone who did pre-order, they’ll start getting their orders this Friday.
Ahrendts told employees that she’ll be providing updates on supply on a week by week basis, and she asked retail employees to prepare to help customers who will be receiving a pre-ordered Apple Watch in the near future. Ahrendts also once again confirmed that the Apple Watch launch is a unique situation and not reflective of Apple’s launch plans going forward. “We love our launches we do in stores,” she said. “Have absolutely no fear, this is a unique situation.”
The video also covered the MacBook, which has been highly limited even in first wave launch countries. Ahrendts said the response to the MacBook has been “overwhelming” and that it was one of Apple’s best MacBook launches yet. Demand for the Space Gray and Gold MacBooks was described as “off the charts.”
For folks who are looking for a more intense security platform for their Google accounts (even more so than 2-factor authentication), Google has created a way to help keep your personal information away from thieves. It’s called Security Key, and it’s basically a physical USB key that instantly verifies your credentials without the need to input a passcode on your account.
We first heard about Google’s Security Key initiative back in October, and it looks like product will begin rolling out to more users over the next few weeks. Google has just announced that Google Drive for Work administrators will be able to deploy, monitor and manage the Security Key tool in their Admin console without installing any additional software.
IT admins will see where and when employees last used their keys with usage tracking and reports. If Security Keys are lost, admins can easily revoke access to those keys and provide backup codes so employees can still sign-in and get work done.
Administrators can order Security Keys from multiple online retailers or directly through manufacturers. Prices start at just $6 per key and range up to $120. Security Keys come in all different sizes, so be sure to let your Drive for Work admin know that there are many different options to choose from.
Have you been in pursuit of the elusive Loch Ness Monster? Google will now help you look for this legendary creature through its interactive Street View maps. You can even go underwater and look for Nessie courtesy of Google’s partnership with Catlin Seaview Survey.
You can get a detailed view of the Loch Ness lake in these Street View images. Google has even managed to bundle in a bit of humor here by showing a Loch Ness Monster on the map every time you’re close to the mythical creature.
So if you’ve been looking for the Loch Ness Monster for long now, your search should get a lot more easier with these Street View images. Google started this off to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the popular “Surgeon’s photograph” which was said to be the first sighting of the monster.
This image was later revealed to be a hoax by several sources, but it is still highly regarded by many as the photo which started the debate in the first place. Head over to the link below for more details on what Google has done.
Come comment on this article: Google will now let you hunt for the Loch Ness Monster
With Android Wear 5.1 expected to bring the WiFi feature to smartwatches, there has been much speculation about which devices will get the feature. Bad news awaits early adopters of the Android Wear platform as LG has confirmed that its G Watch will not get the WiFi feature when the new update is rolled out over the coming weeks.
This is perhaps the only Android Wear smartwatch out there that doesn’t support WiFi due to lack of necessary hardware. LG has mentioned that the G Watch R and the Watch Urbane come with WiFi preinstalled, so these devices should get the feature as scheduled.
Strangely, the Samsung Gear Live which was announced alongside the G Watch in mid 2014 was revealed to have a WiFi chip built in by teardowns, so it’s likely that the Samsung wearable will receive support for the feature as well.
Motorola and Sony have openly confirmed that their devices (Moto 360 and Sony SmartWatch 3) will be getting the WiFi feature with Android Wear 5.1. The ASUS ZenWatch has also been revealed to be packing WiFi support.
That leaves the LG G Watch to be the only device at this point which will not have support for the feature. The smartwatch will still receive the all new app-drawer, contacts, emojis and some other nifty features, so not all hope is lost for the users.
Do you own a G Watch? What do you make of the news?
Come comment on this article: LG confirms the G Watch doesn’t have WiFi built-in
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active from AT&T is now getting the Android 5.0 update, after the Galaxy S4 started receiving the update not too long ago.
The update brings the usual Lollipop related changes on board, but no Material Design features in abundance as Samsung has gone with its custom TouchWiz UI layering here.
What you will find here though is lockscreen notifications, improved quick settings menus and some other under the hood features that should enhance performance to a great extent.
The update should be available over the air, although you can also try pulling it through Samsung Kies or by heading over to the Settings on your smartphone.
If you’ve received the update already, make sure you let us know by leaving a comment below.
Come comment on this article: AT&T sending out Android 5.0 update for the Galaxy S4 Active
After promising to deliver voice calling capabilities back in 2014, WhatsApp has finally delivered, introducing voice over IP features in its latest update. With the new version of the app, it’s possible for WhatsApp users to call friends and family directly within the app using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection at no cost.
The introduction of voice calling to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp app puts it on par with Facebook’s other messaging app, Facebook Messenger, which gained voice calling back in 2013. It also allows the app to better compete with other iOS-based VoIP calling options like Skype and FaceTime Audio.
Today’s WhatsApp update also brings a few other features, including the iOS 8 share extension for sharing videos, photos, and links to WhatsApp from other apps, contact editing tools, and the ability to send multiple videos at one time.
-WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply. Note: WhatsApp Calling is rolling out slowly over the next several weeks.
-iOS 8 share extension: Share photos, videos, and links right to WhatsApp from other apps.
-Quick camera button in chats: Now you can capture photos and videos, or quickly choose a recent camera roll photo or video.
-Edit your contacts right from WhatsApp.
-Send multiple videos at once and crop and rotate videos before sending them.
When its calling feature hit Android gadgets a couple weeks ago, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton said the tool would make its way to iOS soon enough. Well, today’s the day. WhatsApp calling is rolling out to folks wielding Apple devices, allowing you to chat with friends and family around the world. If you’ll recall, the feature uses WiFi rather a data connection, so you won’t have to worry about international rate hikes. While the new version of the app is already available at iTunes, the release notes warn that the calling feature is rolling out slowly, so it may not be available for you immediately.
Nintendo’s reticence to make downloadable content has been exasperating this past decade. Is it admirable to focus on making full games, the whole thing complete and defined when it ships on a disc? Of course, but it’s also exciting to see games turn into thriving ecosystems of change. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has already been tweaked, balanced and updated multiple times since its release last fall, but it was only this month that it expanded through big DLC. Mewtwo, the formidable Pokémon fighter last seen in Super Smash Bros. Melee, is back and we’re checking out his moves with The A.V. Club‘s own Matt Gerardi on today’s stream.
Catch a look at Mewtwo in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U starting at 3:30PM ET on Twitch.tv/Joystiq , Engadget.com/gaming and here in this post. We’ll be playing crazy matches with far too many amiibo. Will Mewtwo’s skills let us fend off the vicious AI waiting inside a Rosalina amiibo? Tune in to find out.
[We’re playing a retail disc of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, streamed through an Elgato Capture HD via OBS at 720p.]
You could call me a bit of a movie fan. I own hundreds of Blu-rays and DVDs, see an obscene amount of movies in theaters and have been podcasting about my obsessive media habits for the past eight years. Movies aren’t just mindless fun for me; they’re a way of life, a religion. So it was only a matter of time until my 50-inch plasma HDTV started to feel too small and the siren song of an in-home projector came calling. My only problem? I live in Brooklyn. And while my apartment isn’t the shoebox you’d normally associate with NYC, it’s still a tough space to visualize fitting a projector and a giant screen. This is the story of how I made that happen.
Dreaming of a giant screen
So why did I need a projector when I could have just bought a bigger HDTV? That was certainly tempting, especially now that big-screen TVs are getting cheaper every day. But the more I thought about it, I realized that I didn’t want a bigger television set taking up space in my living room. I got a great deal on my 50-inch Samsung plasma HDTV back in 2009, and, aside from the lack of 3D, I don’t really have a reason to get rid of it. And honestly, even a 70-inch TV wouldn’t offer the cinematic scale I really want. No, I wanted a screen that fully recreates the theater experience, something that dwarfs me like the 2001 monolith.
With all of that in mind, my ideal movie-viewing setup came into focus. I realized I didn’t want to completely replace my TV — given my lack of space, that was just too unrealistic. Instead, I needed a projector experience that could be rolled out for movie and gaming nights, and stowed away the rest of the time. That meant I couldn’t go with a traditional wall-mounted projector screen. I needed something portable.
What to buy
Your typical projector setup is made up of two things: a projector and a decent screen. After plenty of research, I ended up going with The Wirecutter‘s recommendation for the best projector under $1,000: the BenQ HT1075. It had all of the features I was looking for: A bright 1080p picture, accurate colors and vertical lens shifting (the ability to maneuver its lens slightly for better placement). It was also surprisingly inexpensive, at around just $800 from Amazon.
Of course, I fantasized about going straight to a 4K projector. But given their higher prices (starting around $5,000), and a dearth of 4K content, it doesn’t seem worth it yet. You can bet I’m upgrading in a few years, though. You can argue about how useful 4K is on 50-inch TVs, but on a projected screen it’s indisputably better.
As for the screen, my options were more limited. After an exhaustive search, I settled on Elite Screens’ ezCinema series, which are reflective (the key element of a good screen), very portable (they only take a few minutes to set up and break down) and affordable at $200 to $300. “That’s a bingo.” I opted for the 100-inch ezCinema model — pretty much the largest screen I could fit in my living room — but its 80-inch screen would also be great for smaller apartments.
Before I ordered anything, I took plenty of measurements to figure out how it would all fit together in my space. The projector calculator at Projector Central was particularly handy for this. In the end, I learned I had enough clearance to display a 100-inch image, but my projector would have to be somewhere behind my couch. That squashed my plan to build a floating shelf for the projector — I ended up just buying an inexpensive folding bookcase that fit it perfectly.
For most first-timers, finding a good spot to place your projector and screen will be your biggest problems. If you’ve got a smaller living space, you should consider a short-throw projector, which can spit out a big image from up close.
Once I had the main components in mind, I also visualized how, exactly, it would fit into my current home theater setup. Right now I’ve got a Harman Kardon receiver connected to a set of Onkyo 5.1 surround sound speakers and subwoofer. Most of my A/V components plug into the HDMI ports on the receiver, so I picked up this splitter to feed the receiver’s HDMI output to both my TV and the projector.
If you’re eyeing a setup similar to mine, I also recommend an IR blaster so that you can change the volume on your receiver or TV when the projector screen is up (it’ll likely block all of your A/V components, so IR remotes won’t work). My aging Google TV Blu-ray player handles the IR blaster side of things, but I still have to get up and reach behind the screen if I ever need to change my receiver’s input. The only component that gives me trouble with the projector screen is my Apple TV. I can control it wirelessly with Apple’s iOS remote app, but I still prefer the convenience of its tiny remote. My fix? I just move the Apple TV to the side of my projector screen whenever I need to.
Altogether, my entire setup cost around $1,200, a bit less than what you’d pay for a high-end 60-inch HDTV (or a 50-inch 4K set). It wasn’t exactly cheap, but it feels like a steal for being able to recreate a theater in my living room.
Putting it all together
Unlike TVs, a projector setup isn’t just a plug-and-play affair. You have to think about where the projector and screen are located, fine-tune the positioning of both and deal with a slew of other issues. Even the brightest projectors on the market can’t compete with daylight, for example, so you’ll need to have some blackout curtains on hand if you want to watch anything before sundown.
Once I had all my components, I first had to figure out where the projector would live. I experimented with a few different locations on my folding bookshelf before I settled on the second-highest shelf, which put the projector around four feet high. That was just enough to get it over my couch, though not high enough to compensate for someone sitting in that seat. It’s not ideal, but for now, the left side of my couch is off limits when the projector is going (unless you’re reclining, or very short).
It took a while for me to get used to maneuvering the portable screen — it’s around 20 pounds and very wide — but it now feels practically second nature. Once you unlatch the (surprisingly sturdy) case, you just need to plant the expansion rod in the center and pull the screen up.
Once the screen is attached to the expansion rod, a process that takes all of 30 seconds, you just need to move behind it, unlock the rod, pull the screen up to your desired height and lock the rod. I could probably be more scientific about this, but really I just pull it up as far as my arm can reach. That puts the useful area of the screen around three to six feet high, which is ideal for viewing from my couch. After several months, setting up the ezCinema display now just takes me around two minutes, and breaking it down is even faster. And when I’m not using it, I just lean it against my office wall (thankfully I’ve got high ceilings).
With the screen up and projector in place, it was time to iron out the wrinkles. My big issue: The projector was spitting out an image that was way too high. I couldn’t move it much lower because of my couch, so my only alternative was to angle the projector down slightly with a very high-tech solution: a box under its rear. Generally, that’s something you want to avoid.
Changing the projector angle leads to lens distortion, which you have to fix with special settings in the projector called keystone correction. It’s possible to straighten out an off-angle picture, but keystone correction often introduces artifacts in your image. I’m working with a small amount of space, though, so I don’t have much of a choice. Luckily, I only have to apply some light keystone correction to fix my distortion issues.
After I settled on the ideal projector angle, I fit the image into the screen area with the projector’s manual zoom and brought everything into focus. At that point, it became clear that even with keystone correction, my image wasn’t perfectly rectangular. So to fill every corner of the screen, I have to deal with a bit of spillover. Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s also not very noticeable when I’m in the middle of a great film.
Enter the void
With everything in place, I sat back on my couch, a mere six feet away from the screen, and enjoyed my first home projector experience: the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was like experiencing HDTV for the first time after suffering through standard def my entire life. It was a revelation. I watched that trailer several times back to back, realizing I’ve been spoiled forever for every other home theater experience that wasn’t a gigantic 100-inch screen.
That was back in December. Since then, I’ve rewatched the entire Matrix trilogy (and yes, the sequels are more bearable now), The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Terminator 1 and 2 and plenty of classic films. Through the sheer size of the screen, I’ve noticed countless details in films I’d already seen dozens of times. It’s also rekindled my love for animation — it’s hard not to appreciate hand-drawn art when seeing Akira, Princess Mononoke and The Legend of Korra blown up.
And, as you can imagine, gaming on a 100-inch screen is life-changing. Playing through Dragon Age Inquisition, Forza Horizon and Bloodborne felt all the more immersive. I didn’t have any issues with latency, or lag time between your controller inputs and what you see on the screen, although that’s something hardcore FPS players should watch out for. It’s also difficult for your brain to process such a giant image, so if you play a lot of Call of Duty, your reaction times may end up being a little slower. I found that slower-paced shooters like Destiny were better suited to projector play.
There are, of course, downsides to watching anything on such a large screen. Artifacts from low-quality streams, badly mastered Blu-rays and DVDs and crummy game engines become more apparent. It’s also tough to watch many sitcoms on a big display, because their lighting and cinematography often looks low-rent.
My big takeaway from this whole projector adventure? I’m not sure how I lived without it. It’s the single most significant home theater upgrade I’ve made in my lifetime of movie viewing — even more so than getting my 50-inch plasma HDTV five years ago, or building up a legitimate surround sound system with grown-up speakers (not just a home theater in a box).
I still enjoy going to the theater — even the crowded and noisy NYC variety — because there’s something truly special about the communal experience of film. But being able to worship at the altar of cinema in my living room is simply priceless.
Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has announced that the Department of Homeland Security will soon open a satellite office in the heart of Silicon Valley. The new location will serve a dual purpose: to solidifying the DHS’s relationships with area tech firms, which have been rather strained over the past few years, and as a means of recruiting. “We want to strengthen critical relationships in Silicon Valley and ensure that the government and the private sector benefit from each other’s research and development,” Johnson told reporters during the RSA Conference on Tuesday. “And we want to convince some of the talented workforce here in Silicon Valley to come to Washington.”
The DHS acts much like a “first responder” in cybercrime incidents, taking the initial investigative lead before coordinating these cases with other federal agencies. “We investigated 265 instances of the Heartbleed vulnerability, and in six weeks narrowed it down to two,” Johnson said. And with an office tucked amid many of the companies that are directly affected by these crimes, the DHS hopes to respond even faster.
Filed under: Internet