Today we got up close and personal with Apple's newest bands for the Apple Watch. These are the Woven Nylon bands in a variety of colors - they'll have Gold/Red, Gold/Royal Blue, Royal Blue, Pink, Pearl, Scuba Blue, and Black available at Apple Stores soon. They've reduced the base price of the Apple Watch this week as well. What we're asking our readers here is - do these bits and pieces make you interested in having an Apple Watch again? Maybe even interested for the first time?
Since GDC is primarily a conference for developers, the show floor is different than say E3 or CES. There are less consumer products being shown off, and more development tools being showcased. However, one product that was on the show floor that I had to get my hands (well, feet) on was the Virtuix Omni.
It was only a matter of time before the 12-inch iPad Pro spawned a smaller sibling, and the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro is that tablet. Revealed this morning at Apple's Cupertino HQ, the new iPad Pro takes the boosted performance of the larger model but distills it into what the company says is still the most popular screen size.
This afternoon we're getting our hands on the iPhone SE, a device that looks like the iPhone 5s but acts like a newer device. This is the first time Apple has effectively skipped a generation with smartphone design, keeping the innards of a device that's more than two years old, packing in hardware that's brand new. As such, we're expecting this iPhone SE to run a lot quicker than its predecessor, the iPhone 5s, but to feel just as classic. Surprise! It does both of these things.
Something I've wanted to do since I was a little kid was grab a lightsaber and fight bad guys with it. So when I was told that I'd be seeing a demo from ILMxLAB during GDC, you can be that I was pretty excited. After strapping on an HTC Vive and getting my controller ready (after being told I'd only need the one controller, I was pretty certain of what I'd need it for) the familiar text popped up: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
The Portal games are among my favorites for a number of reasons. I'm a big fan of solving puzzles and condescending robots, and those games really satisfied both areas. The second game wrapped up the story of Chell pretty neatly, but there's still a lot more to explore at Aperture Laboratories. While at GDC, Valve gave me a peek into some of the various Pocket Universes that we'll be able to explore in The Lab.
With the launch titles being shown for each of the first major players in VR this week, it's quickly becoming clear: mundane is in. Simplicity, not insanity. Not the most visually spectacular. Instead - like it was with the first big games and apps for the smartphone back when it first gained steam - the games with the most recognizable mechanics are set to be the most important. Case in point: mini golf.
Yesterday, Sony finally took the wraps off of their highly-anticipated PlayStation VR headset. With an entry price of just $399, it's significantly less expensive than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. After the announcement I had a chance to test out the headset and see how it stacked up against the competition.
I've mentioned before that you need an open mind when going into any VR title. And when you hear that there's a game about climbing rocks in virtual reality, you really do need an open mind. The Climb lives up to its name, as you'll spend the whole game climbing. But your arms won't get too tired.
In the smartest Smart Home, everything plays nicely together, and IoT smartplug maker Zuli is further joining up its dots with the addition of Hue support. The Zuli smartplugs, which differentiate themselves by using Bluetooth to figure out when rooms are in use and adjust devices accordingly, can now command Philips' color-changing LED bulbs too.
E-ink iPhone case-maker popSlate is back, with a new, sleeker, more functional version of its customizable shell for Apple's smartphone. Just like the first-generation case launched a year ago, the premise for popSlate 2 is straightforward: we're addicted to checking our phones for notifications or simply what time it is, and so why not give the iPhone a second, low-power screen that can deliver that more frugally?