Apple has sent out invitations to selected press for a special event that it's calling "Spring Forward" that takes place on Monday, March 8, 2015 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California at 10:00am. While the company hasn't stated any sort of agenda or product focus for the event, it's obvious to anyone paying attention that this will be the place where the company will detail the Apple Watch in full, ahead of the April release of the timepiece. We expect that we will finally get a solid release date, possible pre-order date, and the information that everyone is waiting for--the price of all of the various Apple Watch lines (Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition) and the models within.
Of course, Apple can also use this platform to reveal any number of other things, including that new 12-inch Retina MacBook Air that's been running the rumor mill for the better part of 6 months now, but we won't be holding our breath for that one. We'll have all the news right here as it happens from Apple's Spring Forward event, which is just 10 days away.
Apple has released the second developer preview of OS X Yosemite 10.10.3, and with it comes a more diverse group of emoji, featuring multiple skin tones. Rather than offering one hue, as has been standard practice for years, Apple will now offer a total of six different skin tones to choose from. You'll also find same sex couples, and families with and without children, all with skin tone modifier options. Other new emoji characters include new country flags being added to the mix.
Also found in the latest OS X developer preview is an update to the Mac version of the beta Photos app.
If you're a dev, you can download OS X 10.10.3 build 14D87h now from the Mac Dev Center, or by using the Software Update feature in the Mac App Store if you're already running beta software.
We're ready to hit you with our next giveaway, this time focusing on the HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini PC. This thing is small in stature, but big on performance with plenty of expansion options. This is marketed by HP as a business PC, but that doesn't mean you can't roll with this at home or school. HP has provided us with a unit to give away to one lucky Gear Live fan It takes up barely any room, and is super portable as well.
Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
The contest is open to those residing in North America, as this is a North American SKU from HP. Winner is responsible for any applicable taxes and fees. Contest ends on February 22 - good luck!
If you're looking to start running that fresh Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview on your Mac, Parallels has you covered. The company has announced experimental support in Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac that will now allow you to install and run the early look at the Windows 10 operating system, alongside the Office Preview for Windows 10. Microsoft is doing some impressive things with Windows 10, and with Parallels you can get a look at things like Cortana, Windows Store beta, the reimagined Start menu, and more. You just need to be running Parallels 10.1.4 build 28883 or later and you're good to go!
As we mentioned, Apple has released its new Photos app for Mac as part of the OS X 10.10.3 beta release earlier today. For those wondering about features and functionality, here's the rundown straight from Apple:
All new for OS X, Photos automatically organizes your photo library and helps you perfect your photos with comprehensive editing tools. You can also store your photos and videos in the cloud using iCloud Photo Library, and access them on all your devices.
Photos lets you:
- Browse your photos by time and location in Moments, Collections, and Years views
- Navigate your library using convenient Photos, Shared, Albums, and Projects tabs
- Store all of your photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library in their original format and in full resolution
- Access your photos and videos stored in iCloud Photo Library from your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iCloud.com with any web browser
- Perfect your photos with powerful and easy-to-use editing tools that optimize with a single click or slider, or allow precise adjustments with detailed controls
- Create professional-quality photo books with simplified bookmarking tools, new Apple-designed themes, and new square book formats
- Purchase prints in new square and panoramtic sizes
Apple has released the first OS X 10.10.3 (build 14D72i) of Yosemite to developers for testing today, and as part of this release Apple has included a beta version of the new Photos app that was originally revealed back at WWDC 2014. The Photos app will replace both iPhoto and Aperture and become Apple’s single photo library management app. Photos will also support the iCloud Photo Library feature, which allows users to store their entire library of photos and videos on iCloud, having them accessible from any Mac, as well as supported versions of the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and web browsers. You can download the new software through the Mac App Store if you're already running a dev version of OS X, or if not, you can find it in the Mac Dev Center.
Sonos has announced a new, limited edition model of its Play:1 speaker in the Blue Note edition. Produced in collaboration with Blue Note Records, this Play:1 sports a gradient blue hue that strays from the typical white and black shades that Sonos has stuck to over the years. It's a way to commemorate the 75 years that the iconic jazz label has been in business. According to Sonos, painting the Play:1 this unique solor of light blue to navy was no simple task, requiring the use of robots and hand-painting to get the right look. The end result is what you see above. It'll cost you $249, which is a $50 premium over the standard Play:1, but with that you also get access to the exclusive Blue Note on Sonos radio station, with customized playlists from some of the best names in the jazz game. If you want one of the Blue Note Sonos Play:1 units, you'll likely have to act fairly quickly--the company is making only 4,100 of them. They'll be on sale on the Sonos Web site sometimes in the next few weeks.
Read More | Sonos
Apple has released iOS 8.1.3, a maintenance and bug fix release for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The company says that one major feature is that 8.1.3 reduces the amount of free storage required in order to perform the iOS 8 upgrade, which should help some who were "stuck" on iOS 7 and wanted to update, but didn't have enough storage to continue. For me, the update has finally fixed an issue on my 128 GB iPhone 6 Plus that would cause it to crash and reboot when using the multitasking app switcher that's plagued me since release day. Hit the jump for the full changelog that Apple has provided.
The sun will set on 2014 in just a few hours, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, with the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The launch of the WWE Network was also groundbreaking, and our walkthrough proved to be the second most popular video of the year. Other items, like a tutorial on upgrading Xbox One controllers, a look at the Fitbit Force, and a how-to on installing the Nest Protect also proved popular as well.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you, our readers and viewers, for making 2014 another great year here at Gear Live.
Gear Live isn't just a job for me--it's not just a means to earn a living. This is my place where I have the privilege of sharing my thoughts on the world of technology, give my opinion, answer your questions, and most importantly, be a part of the community that has grown around the content I produce, both in written word and in video. As such, Gear Live means a lot to me, and it's an honor that it means enough to you that you take some time out of your week to spend it here on this website, over on our YouTube channel, and/or in your social media feeds.
If you are a Gear Live Patron, paying $1 per month or more, I want to thank you a little more. It may seem like a trivial amount of money, but I mean it whole-heartedly when I say that it helps keep the servers running, and the content flowing. You help make what I do here possible.
If you've been a sponsor of Gear Live during 2014, just know that your help is important and highly appreciated as well.
Over the last year, I've had some help here from friends and family who pitch in to co-host videos, edit videos, and post content. Kathleen Kane, our longtime editor took care of most of the entertainment section. Gear Live is bigger than just me, and the help could not have done it without you year this year.
Thanks everyone. I hope you had a great Christmas, are enjoying the holiday season, and have a very happy New Year!
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