Apple has sent out media invitations to their Spring Forward event which takes place on March 9th at 10 am Pacific time at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center.  Of course the obvious purpose of this event is going to provide media and consumers additional information on the Apple Watch, which Tim Cook recently said was on track to ship in April during a recent earnings conference call.   With any luck, a more specific launch date & price guide will be available because the vague starting point of $349 doesn't really say much.

There's also been plenty of other things floating around in the Apple rumor mill lately so what's an Apple event without at least 'one more thing'?

Apple Pay in Canada
I'm curious if we'll see Apple Pay make its way North (well, South if you're in Alaska).  As someone who's recently had their debit card skimmed I am very interested in any possible way to keep my transactions digitally and securely.  I hate carrying cash - in fact I find that cash has a habit of burning a hole in my pocket.  There's been lots of talk about China and the UK getting Apple Pay, but nothing here in Canada that can be taken as concrete other than the sketchy belief that RBC was doing some internal testing.

MacBook Air with Retina Display
A few friends of mine have been waiting for a year now to buy a new MacBook in hopes that Apple would release the rumored 12" MacBook Air with retina display.  Earlier this year there was speculation that the Super-Ultra-Slim-Thin MacBook Air would only have one port for everything - but it seems those ideas have calmed down for awhile.   I've said this prior to the last two or three events but it could finally be time for a new MacBook Air, after all the Air was last refreshed in April of last year.

iPad Plus (or Pro)
Another rumor that has been around for several months is a Larger version of the iPad. Names floating around include iPad Pro or iPad Plus - and it seems everywhere you go there is news about protective third party cases being made for them, and fuzzy, unclear, leaked manufacturing plant photos of the exterior casing to go along with it.  I am still reserving judgment on this one because an iPad Air with 128GB of storage is just a little cheaper than an 11" MacBook Air, why create a 12" iPad and, a more likely 12" MacBook Air?

Apple TV
I'd love for Apple to give a little bit more attention to the Apple TV.  It's not a hobby anymore, or at least it shouldn't be treated as one.  We have 5 in our house - every TV is equipped and it's one of the primary sources of entertainment we use.  Streaming Music, Movies, TV Shows, Home Videos, YouTube, Netflix and more.  I don't expect Apple to return to something closer to the 1st generation Apple TV that had it's own storage, but I really want to see some additional features.  Maybe as a second gaming screen when using an iPhone or iPod as a controller. Anything.

Apple Car / iCar
Don't hold your breath.  Rumors since Apple was seen driving around a bunch of Dodge Grand Caravans with some equipment on top have fueled (get it?) lots of speculation about Apple's intentions around a Smart Car or autonomous / self driving contraption.  These rumours suggest that Apple wants to have something ready for 2020, a lofty goal but still nothing more than a rumour.  It could simply be that Apple has decided to enhance their Map options with something like google street view, or perhaps a backend enhancement to improve the accuracy of existing maps.  So Shut up about the map app goof a few years ago - they're doing something.

In closing....
There are so many articles and posts that the Apple Watch has already failed.  I disagree.  Apple tends to run with the idea that People don't know what they want until you give it to them.  I know lots of people who thought the iPad was a riduclous concept because the iPod Touch existed, years later those same people can't go a day without their iPads and are calling time of death on the iPod touch - so keep that in mind.

I intend on getting my hands on an Apple watch as quickly as possible.  Despite people thinking the demand wont be there on launch, the retail stores will still be mad houses.  I could avoid the lineups and just order a watch but then there is the issue of sizing them up.  38mm or 42mm

Keep "Watching" (see what I did there too?  ... I kill myself)


If it's not quite obvious yet - I like to sketch, draw, scribble - whatever you want to call it.  I don't think I am very good at it, but I figure that I'd start sharing some of my work again perhaps in an effort to gain some encouragement from people to keep working at it and improve.  Besides, what's the point of doing something if you can't share it?

I quit drawing about 15 years ago because there were, in my mind at the time, more important things to do.  Work, school, Move out, etc. Once those were all taken care of life continued to happen.  I gained a wife, had some kids and all of my attention shifted to them.  I am certainly not complaining though.  I am proud that it was the family life that has interfered with hobbies.   I wouldn't have it any other way, and now as the kids are getting older, I've got an opportunity to dust off my rusty skills and get back on the horse.

I've been using a number of different methods to draw again.  Old fashioned pencil and paper work, but it seems all the stuff I do disappears.  I've drooled over the Wacom Cintiq.  I'd love to have one, but it's way out of my budget right now, so instead I've been trying out a few different apps on iPad and Mac.


Since I'm kind of an OCD case when it comes to my Apple devices, My iPad is encased in an Otterbox defender complete with a plastic screen protector.  This presents one serious issue - Styluses don't work, so I've been using my finger tip as a brush.

Here's a quick video I did using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro on my iPad of a Disney Character, Baloo, from the Jungle Book animated film and TV series Tale Spin.


I tested out a brand new app called Astropad today so I'll write about it soon.  To give you a quick preview.  My initial impression is that Astropad is a fantastic app, and I'd like to write about in the next day or two once I've had an opportunity to test drive it - it might even be the one to convince me to take the iPad out of it's shell and use a stylus on it.


For more of my sketches, click here to see the Sketch Page

It's Tuesday which mean's it's time for new early releases on the iTunes store. This week's most exciting addition is the Hit Disney animated film, based on the Marvel super hero team, Big Hero 6.  Check out the trailer:


Big Hero 6 is now available on iTunes in Canada for $24.99 (and other digital content providers if you're not interest in iTunes) - It's expected on Blu-Ray in 3 weeks.



Another addition is the sequel to 1993 comedy Dumb and Dumber.  Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their particularly stupid roles as Harry and Lloyd - two bumbling idiots who go off on an adventure to find Harry's adult daughter.  Anyway, I haven't actually seen the movie yet but check out the trailer here:


 



One of the best things about the digital format is new release films are available earlier on services like iTunes and Cinema Now several weeks before they're released to a wider audience in more tangible formats such as Blu-Ray discs or DVDs.  Here are some new releases and deals you can take advantage as of September 16th




This week the only new early release film is Transformers: Age of Extinction.  But with the fall TV season just around the corner, you can also catch up on some amazing TV Series too.

      




The September 2014 event that introduced the world to Apple Watch and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has come and gone so it's time to start looking forward to Apple's next event which I anticipate will happen in the later half of October with the focus switching to Yosemite and Mac (and hopefully Apple TV).  Even though nothing has been scheduled, I'm predicting the next Apple Event to take place on October 21, 2014. Whether or not we get live streaming of this event is still yet to be seen.  If we do it better be better than last.


Why an October Event?

  • Tim Cook has said several times that 2014 is going to be a huge year for Apple.  So far this year they quietly updated the MacBook Air, added an entry level iMac and introduced the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch.  There's still plenty to cover.

  • OS X Yosemite.  We need a final send off from Apple before it hits the masses.  Mavericks got that honour last year on October 22nd at the end of the Apple event.

  • iMac / MacBook Air / MacBook Pro. The last few updates for each of these products have been done quietly.  It's time for Apple to toot their horn on some major updates like the rumoured MacBook Air with retina display (despite me starting to believe this wont happen).

  • What about iPad?  The last time the iPad lineup got any attention was November 12th 2013 with the quiet release of the iPad Mini retina display.  The iPad Air will be a year old on October 22nd.  There's also rumors of what I call iPad Plus (most are calling it iPad Pro).

  • Apple TV hasn't gotten love since March 2012 when the 3rd generation came out.  It looks identical to the 2nd generation but it added support for 1080p.  Lots of rumors around a new Television set, or another set top box.  I wonder if Apple is waiting to introduce a 4K Apple TV.

  • October 4, 2011; October 23, 2012; October 22, 2013...  Clearly Apple likes to show stuff off in October as well.

There's a few other things that Apple could address, such as the recent discontinuation of the iPod Classic, the future of the Mac mini, and as unlikely as it seems, perhaps the next move for Mac Pro.   

Yesterday was a huge day for Apple.  Introducing the long awaited wearable which we now know as Apple Watch, and the unveiling of the next generation of iPhone -  iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.  Although there was plenty shown off in the 2 hour window that they scheduled for the event, and in all honesty you can only do so much without downplaying something  I still find myself wishing that Apple would have taken some more time to show off more.


Here's just a few things I would have loved to see

  • OS X Yosemite was first shown off in June at WWDC and while the demonstration was fairly in-depth it was clear there was a lot more coming.  It would have been great to see how Yosemite would interact with Apple Watch and iPhone 6 especially with Continuity or hand-off features. Looks like we have to wait until Mid-October when Yosemite is expected to be released, perhaps along side the next item;

  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display.  It's another long standing rumor and as much as I'd love to see a 12 inch Retina Display on a MacBook Air, I am starting to think that this is less likely than we hope.  Think about it, the Retina display is one of the defining features of the MacBook Pro lineup and the iMac doesn't have it either.  Not to mention that type of device could potentially blur the lines or interfere even more with the possibility of the next rumored item;

  • iPad Plus. Most people have been calling this rumored device with a 11 inch display, the iPad Pro, but based on the naming conventions used for the iPhone 6 it seems appropriate that a larger iPad will follow suit and add Plus to it's name and I've called it here first!  I think we'll learn more about the iPad lineup's future in Somewhere between October & November 2014

  • Apple TV seems to be something that Apple feels content referring to as a Hobby is anything but that.  The set top box is becoming wildly popular among people I know and those who don't already have one are currently on the fence either waiting to see if Apple will refresh the Apple TV given that there are rumors of a fully featured television set with integrated Apple TV software, expanded support for Apps that people are using and even suggestions that an Apple TV is coming that may compete with video game consoles.


On a final note, I was not impressed with the technology aspect of the event broadcast.  It was plagued with problems for the first 30 minutes of the event and was a complete disruption during the introduction of the iPhone 6.  I don't know who handles the Live broadcasting, but it certainly should be something that Apple reviews in time for the next event.  Was it just an overload of people trying to watch? Who knows.  On a related note, I think I may have learned part of a foreign language thanks to the Translator lady that we all heard for a few minutes.



Catch up on a few recent related posts: