Launch

How to get your iPhone 7 Friday morning at 8am sharp

It’s the same dilemma every year. You want the new iPhone as soon as possible, but don’t want to spend the night waiting in line to get it. As much as I love Apple crowds, I’d rather spend the night in my bed.

Even if you ordered your iPhone for delivery, there is always a chance the UPS guy won’t come by your house until later in the day, which means you could still be left hanging there for several excruciating hours. First world problems indeed!

Thankfully, if you’ve ordered your iPhone for delivery, we have a trick that may help you score your iPhone first thing in the morning, as soon as 8am.

Apple’s online store goes down ahead of iPhone 6s pre-orders

Apple has just taken its online store down, ahead of its pre-order launch for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Beginning at 12:01 am Pacific Time, or 3:01 am Eastern Time tomorrow, customers will be able to place pre-orders for both of the handsets.

Apple unveiled its new smartphones at a major media event on Wednesday. Although they look similar to their predecessors, they offer several new features including faster processors, better iSight and FaceTime cameras, and of course 3D Touch.

Google unveils ‘Project Fi,’ an MVNO with plans starting at $20 per month

After years of rumors and speculation, Google is officially getting into the wireless business. The tech giant on Wednesday announced “Project Fi,” an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) set to shake up the wireless industry with plans starting at $20 per month.

Google has teamed up with Sprint and T-Mobile for the project, and it will piggyback on their networks. The service is designed to allow devices to dynamically switch between the carriers’ networks and nearby Wi-Fi networks, depending on which offers better service.

Beats launches new iPhone colorways for its Solo2 wireless headphones

Apple’s Beats Electronics announced new colorways for its popular Solo2 wireless headphone line on Friday. The 3 new colors are Gold, Silver, and Space Gray— the same offered on iPhones, iPads and the just-launched ultra slim MacBook.

While Solo2s already came in a variety of colors, these new options will allow customers to buy headphones to match their favorite Apple devices. Other than that, however, these new headphones are identical to other Solo2 wireless models.

You can now pre-order your Apple Watch

Heads up everyone, the Apple Watch is now available for pre-order. You can grab yours from either Apple’s online store or the Apple Store app on your iPhone or iPad. Some of us are able to get through, while others aren’t, so be patient. As usual, it seems the Apple Store app is your best bet.

As a quick reminder, the Apple Watch comes in three models: Sport, Apple Watch and Edition; two sizes: 38mm and 42mm; and with various bands. The Sport is aluminum and starts at $349, the Apple Watch is stainless steel and starts at $549, and the 18K gold Edition starts at $10,000.

Early MacBook reviews praise its ambition, but criticize its compromises

In addition to Apple Watches, Apple gave select members of the press test units of its new ultra-thin MacBook to try out and review. Like the Watch, the new MacBook goes on sale this Friday, so naturally those reviews began hitting the web today.

For the most part it sounds like reviewers agreed with the general consensus back in March, which is that it looks great, but it comes with significant trade-offs. Nevertheless, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite takes on Apple’s new notebook.

Siri website gets prettier and more helpful

Apple on Wednesday launched a revamped Siri website with a slew of changes, including an all-new design and several other improvements. Atop the new page is a video of Siri in action, followed by a comprehensive page of information on the digital assistant’s features.

Users can now sort Siri’s abilities into categories, such as ‘Staying in Touch, Getting organized, Sports, and Entertainment. There are also dedicated sections for how to get directions and how to find answers to commonly-asked questions, all by talking to your device.

Facebook launches standalone web version of Messenger

Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a new standalone web version of its Messenger chat service, giving users a way to message their friends and family without dealing with News Feed and other interruptions. It can be accessed at Messenger.com, and can be used in a browser tab on your desktop the way you’d use the mobile app.

“Messenger.com is for users who want to message without the other distractions that Facebook can provide,” a spokesperson told Recode. “If you’re messaging through Facebook, that means News Feed and your friends’ user profiles are nearby. Messenger.com is about focus.” 

Some Apple Watch models may see delayed shipping times at launch

Customers who don’t opt to pre-order an Apple Watch this Friday could run into inventory problems when trying to order the Apple Watch at launch. German-based Apple blog Macerkopf.de has discovered what looks like shipping dates for the wearable, which appeared on Apple’s German and U.K web stores, and some models show up to 6 week lead times for select models.

New CNNgo channel launches on Apple TV, cable subscription required

CNN announced on Wednesday that its new CNNgo channel is now available on Apple TV. This marks the first Turner brand to launch on Apple’s set-top box, and it features the largest collection of CNN’s on-demand content to date.

In addition to on-demand programming, the channel also offers access to Live TV and shows, such as the popular Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and Anderson Cooper 360. Of course for these things you’ll need cable credentials.

Grocery chains Winn-Dixie and BI-LO now accepting Apple Pay

Winn-Dixie and BI-LO, two major grocery store chains in the southeastern region of the US, are now accepting Apple Pay. MacRumors reports that it was told the companies would begin processing AP payments next week, but the system seems to have already gone live in many stores.

This is a significant coup for Apple, who has been seeing pushback from high profile retailers in recent weeks regarding Apple Pay. Winn-Dixie and BI-LO have over 1,300 locations between them, which are spread throughout North and South Carolina, Georgia and surrounding states.

Apple retail chief tells employees Apple Watch launching in ‘spring’

Apple’s Angela Ahrendts has told staffers that the highly anticipated Apple Watch will be launching in the spring, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. The site says the company’s Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores recently sent out a video message to employees, where she noted the new timeframe.

More specifically, Ahrendts tells her employees that they are “sprinting a marathon,” hinting at the busy times the retail channel has ahead of them. From a transcript of her comments, she says “we’re going into the holidays, we’ll go into Chinese New Year, and then we’ve got a new watch launch coming in the spring.”