Apple Byte: The hottest iWatch rumors
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Apple Byte: The hottest iWatch rumors

5:26 /

How will the iWatch charge? The best-looking iWatch concept you'll see, and are fitness and health the next focus for Apple?

What's up? Brian Tong here, and welcome to the Apple Byte for all the good and bad inside the world of Apple. Now things have been pretty calm without any major product releases right now. That's why you haven't seen me throw many bad apples lately. But there's plenty of iWatch talks starting with report from the New York Times that says Apple is exploring a variety of different charging methods for the iWatch including induction charging-- that's wireless-- and other options includes solar charging and movement based charging as well. Now the iWatch is still expected to have a curved glass screen like many have reported and the solar charging layer in the screen could be similar to the laptop patent that we talked about last week. But that concept could be years away. Now battery life continues to be the sticking point according to the report and Apple already has a patent application for a flexible battery shape, but the goal is still to have a watch that lasts several days between charges. Now, we've seen a lot of different iWatch concepts, but these guys could really be the best one yet. And really, the only one that I'd be willing to wear right now, check this iWatch mockup from Todd Hamilton that looks like a hybrid between Nike's FuelBand design and an iPhone. He created an animated video that really made me wet my pants, and there are plenty of still images to show how some of these apps could be designed. Now this looks amazing and now all they have to do is work on making one out of platinum or gold and bling it out. This is called the iBangle and yes, I know what a bangle is without having to look it up, and I think I'll just revoke my man card right now. All right, in more iWatch news and rumors, Apple has also hired a sleep expert from Philips Research. It's another indication that biometrics will be a main focus for the big A after several recent hires in the medical and fitness fields. The Fitbit, Jawbone UP, and third party apps are already designed to measure and track your sleep, but it makes sense to integrate that feature onto their own wearable, but that was the biggest issue to me. I don't wanna wear anything when I sleep. Now with health, we're gonna focus for the Cupertino fruit company, 9to5Mac reports that Apple plans to release the next version of iOS with health and fitness tracking integration as its headline feature. Their sources say the iWatch is well into development, but Apple plans for iOS 8 to include an app codename Health Book that will monitor and sort fitness stats such as steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked, thanks to the dedicated M7 chip. The app is also said to manage and track weight loss even though you can't stand on your phone yet, vital signs like blood pressure, hydration levels and heart rate, and other related data points like glucose levels are expected to be a part of it as well. Now, some of this data points pretty much depend on some sort of wearable to track them like an iWatch and unless you can feel your heartbeat in your pants. So, we'll just have to wait and see how this all comes together in this year. Now Apple is also pushing hard to launch its new sapphire plant in Mesa, Arizona by February for a critical new subcomponent for use in Apple's consumer electronics according to documents obtained by 9to5Mac. Apple currently uses sapphire to protect the iPhone's camera lens as well as the Touch ID home button. But documents make it clear it's for a new part and that's why Apple has an aggressive go live timeline for the plan. Now earlier in the week, Taiwan's Apple Daily reported that Foxconn had started a 100 unit run of an iPhone with a sapphire glass display, and the new patent application for an Apple device with the sapphire display was revealed just a few weeks ago. So, how sturdy is the sapphire display? Well, it's not invincible, but this AeroGear test tries to show how durable it is when a concrete brick is dragged over the top and yes, this isn't a drop or shatter, but it's an example that it's going to be able to take some of the general punishment pretty well. But really without a close shot of the damage, the evidence still isn't very concrete. And in your iPhone 6 rumors of the week, Chinese website, IT168, a site that I know all of you go to, says there are sources claim the next iPhone will have at least a 10-megapixel camera with an aperture of F1.8 and improving over the current iPhone 5S. It contradicts an early report from the China post that says they'll be using the same camera, but that's why we call these rumors. All right, let's check out the quick bites. iOS 7.1 beta 5 has been released to developers with a few new tweaks. One feature changes the keyboard to show if the shift key and cap locks were active. iTunes Radio now includes a Buy album button next to the individual song purchase, Calendar brings a bolder event list view button, and Apple continues to issue patches for all you Evasion jail breakers. Also, a BGR report says we can expect to see iOS 7.1 to the general consumer in the next few weeks. And Apple releases new renderings, this time it's their new massive proposed San Francisco Union Square store that will feature two 44-foot high sliding glass panel doors allowing the building to be opened up to the street. Now Apple hasn't announced when they plan to open the store that depends on a full review and approval by the city. The store will also have regular glass doors when the big doors are closed, so think of them as doggy doors for humans. All right, guys, that's gonna do it for this week's show. Email us at the applebyte@cnet.com or tweet me @briantong and I'll get to as many as I can. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching and we'll catch you guys next week for another byte of the Apple.

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