Aetna to offer Apple Watch free to employees, discounted to customers and launch new health-oriented apps

Insurance provider Aetna is planning to use the Apple Watch as part of a major health push later this year.

Beginning later this fall, Aetna will provide free Apple Watches to select large employers and individual customers during open enrollment season and plans to subsidize what it calls a “significant” portion of the cost and offering monthly payroll deductions to help cover the remaining costs.

It did not announce how much of the cost of the watch it would cover. The Apple Watch starts at $269 and runs to well over $1,000 for standard models.

The company will also offer free watches to its 50,000 employees who participate in a wellness program.

“We are incredibly excited to use iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to create simple, intuitive and personalized technology solutions that will transform the health and wellness experience for our members,” said Mark Bertolini, Aetna Chairman and CEO. “This is only the beginning – we look forward to using these tools to improve health outcomes and help more people achieve more healthy days.”

To go along with its hardware push, Aetna plans to introduce several new health initiatives that will be exclusive to Apple’s iOS software for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. The software should debut in early 2017 and will include:

 

  • Care management and wellness, to help guide consumers through health events like a new diagnosis or prescription medication with user-driven support from nurses and people with similar conditions.
  • Medication adherence, to help consumers remember to take their medications, easily order refills and connect with their doctor if they need a different treatment through their Apple Watch or iPhone.
  • Integration with Apple Wallet, allowing consumers to check their deductible and pay a bill.
  • Personalized health plan on-boarding, information, messaging and decision support to help Aetna members understand and make the most of their benefits.

“We are thrilled that Aetna will be helping their members and employees take greater control of their health using Apple Watch,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Aetna’s new initiatives will be a powerful force toward creating better customer experiences in health care, and we look forward to working with Aetna to make them successful.”

 

 

Want a jet black iPhone 7 or any iPhone 7 Plus? Better order online; Apple Store supplies will be low

According to TechCrunch, Apple has released a statement saying that customers can expect limited quantities of iPhone 7 in Apple Stores when the phones go on sale Friday morning. And the iPhone 7 in the new jet black color is completely sold out, as are all colors of iPhone 7 Plus.

With news that Sprint and T-Mobile have seen records during the pre-sale period, it seems that customers are buying up the multiple improvements in iPhone 7 in droves and are not as concerned as some of us media folks were that Apple did not deliver the complete redesign that many of us wanted.

Incidentally, ordering a standard black iPhone 7 (32 gb Verizon version) on Apple’s website Thursday morning yielded a home delivery between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4. Ordering the same color in the Plus yielded a 2-3 week delivery zone.

Below is Apple’s statement.

 

We couldn’t be happier with the initial response to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and we are looking forward to beginning sales through our retail stores and partners around the world.
Beginning Friday, limited quantities of iPhone 7 in silver, gold, rose gold, and black will be available for walk-in customers at Apple retail stores. During the online pre-order period, initial quantities of iPhone 7 Plus in all finishes and iPhone 7 in jet black sold out and will not be available for walk-in customers. Availability at partner locations for all finishes may vary and we recommend checking directly with them.
Customers can continue to order all models in all colors on apple.com. We sincerely appreciate our customers’ patience as we work hard to get the new iPhone into the hands of everyone who wants one as quickly as possible.

Special effects in Apple’s new iOS 10 not working? Here’s how to fix them

Yesterday, Apple released its much anticipated iOS 10 software for its users. The software will come standard in the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which will hit stores Friday. But users of some older iPhones and iPads can take advantage of a series of software-based improvements that will make their older devices more useful.

Of course, some users had issues with the software causing their hardware to crash Tuesday, though by Tuesday evening Apple seemed to have that under control.

But one other problem some users appear to be having is that they are unable to use the new special effects suite in iMessage that allows users to send flying balloons, use “invisible ink” and other fun little tricks.

Good news? It’s a simple fix.

The problem is the iPhone’s “Reduce Motion” setting is togged on. Because these are, well, motion effects, you need to turn it off to get them work.

How to do that? Go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility and then Reduce Motion. Slide it off and you can send all manner of special effect texts to all of your iMessage friends.

Enjoy.

 

Like Trump, Bernie Sanders thinks Apple should make iPhones in US

In a recent  interview with the New York Daily News, U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says he wishes Apple would make its products in the United States.

He also said Apple is not paying its fair share of taxes here.

“No, Apple is not destroying the fabric of America,” Sanders is quoted as saying. “But I do wish they’d be manufacturing some of their devices, here, in the United States rather than in China. And I do wish that they would not be trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

Donald Trump said in January, that if he wins the election, he wanted to get Apple to start making its products in the U.S., creating jobs here.

Apple currently is making its new Mac Pro computers in Austin, TX, and some components used in Apple products, like the glass used for screens on phones and tablets, is made in Kentucky.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple pays all of the taxes if owes and also addressed the issue of stateside manufacturing in an interview with CBS in December. Cook said the U.S. doesn’t have enough workers with “vocational kind of skills.”

“I mean,” Cook said, “you can take every tool and die maker in the United States and probably put them in a room that we’re currently sitting in. In China, you would have to have multiple football fields.”

This could represent an opportunity for Apple, however, to maybe create, say, an Apple University to train workers for these type jobs and bring some of those jobs back, or for politicians like Trump and Sanders to bring vocational training back to U.S. schools and created a new-gen skilled labor force to bring old-gen jobs back home.

 

An iPhone with no home button?

Could we be seeing a new iPhone one day that has no Home button?iphone 6 and 6 plus, alldaytech.comAccording to a report today from DigiTimes, Apple is working on some technology that would allow users to do everything they do now on via the Home button on the touchscreen, including using Touch ID.

Theoretically, this could allow Apple to narrow or eliminate the bezels at the top and bottom of the phone and drastically reduce the size of iPhones and iPhone Pluses while keeping screen sizes as they are today — or even increase screen size a bit.

Under such a scenario, users would use gestures to replicate functions now that are handled by the Home button, and our guess is the volume buttons might replace the reset function that the Home button currently plays a part in.

Be interesting, but don’t expect it before iPhone 7 in September 2016.

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Blu Vivo Air apes Apple style, offers Android performance

IMG_0049Apple, Samsung and a few other manufacturers seem to have the cell phone game locked down. Yet, there are a handful of companies that have challenged all of the high-priced, must-have phones with low-cost phones which do the same for less.
Ok, maybe not exactly the same, but close. Isn’t the main function of a phone to make a call? Yes, but more people are relying on their phones to replace laptops and tablets. Some are as large as tablets.
If you don’t care about the best specs or being tied to a specific network. There are some options. There are bunches of unlocked phones to be had with good to excellent performance and darn near cut rate prices.
One option is Blu, a Miami-based company that started in 2009. That year, the company sold some 70,000 units. Four years later it was up to 4.1 million in 2012. The company’s sales have continued to rise offering Android phones for nearly half what the big guns sell phone. Now it’s gotten into Windows, seemingly dying platform but Microsoft is selling Blu Phones in its stores.
Blu doesn’t do Apple’s operating system, but it sure can copy an iPhone. It’s new Vivo Air is a could pass for an iPhone 6, better so than the Samsung Galaxy S6 clone.
Blu bests both the S6 and iPhone 6 by making it thinner. Yep, the Vivo Air is 5mm thick, making it the thinnest phone currently sold in the US (according to Blu). Will it bend? Sure, if you put it in a machine to do so or carry it without a case.
I’m not so sure I’m with this “i’m thinner than you” war, however. These are phones, not supermodels.
Anyway, the Air has a 4.8 Super HD ambled screen. It has an eight core, 1.7 GHz processor as well.
The phone will run on 4G HSPA+ networks. It has 1 gig of Ram and uses the 4.4 Kit Kat operating system.
The camera is 8.0 megapixels on the back and 5.0 mp up front. Lots of selfies to be had. You can also record video in 1080p @ 30 frames per second.
The phone comes boxed with a wall charger, usb cable ,earphones, screen protector, gel case and another cable (don’t know what it’s for nor could I find it in the manual).
I didn’t spend a lot of time with the Blu Air but the time I did was well spent. The phone feels good to the touch, forged from a single piece of aluminum. The white and gold color scheme used is very Apple’ish. So is the fact the phone is sealed, so no SD card use. Currently, the phone is only available with16 gigs of memory.
I made a few phone calls, hooked up to Wi-fi and snapped a couple of pictures. Everything was great. Pictures looked as good as my iPhone 5. The screen was much better. I watched the Arrow/Flash Fight Club video on YouTube and that 4.8-inch screen came to life. The depth and width of the colors was wonderful. Didn’t notice any lag, either.
I’m still gunning for an iPhone 6 or 6 plus (yes, I’ve succumbed to the large phone thing), but my carrier wants everyone to pay full price for phones these days. The Vivo Air almost convinced me to go Android, if for nothing more than its excellent price of $299. You can find even cheaper on line.
Notice I said almost. I’m still an Apple head but I can give credit. The Android system has become more uniform on each phone – you get the same experience regardless of phone used. That wasn’t a few years back. If I buy my phone on price next time and I can’t get my Apple, I’d consider Blu.

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New Apple operating system has a bluetooth bug

Apple has released an update to its computer operating system, called Yosemite. The update, OS X 10.10.3, brings many updates, including a new Photos app that is very similar to Photos on the iPad and iMacBookPro_Yosemite_Hero_HEROPhone. It’s also got some security updates.

Many readers of ADT and throughout the Internet have complained about a bluetooth issue. Bluetooth devices were not being recognized and users were unable to turn on bluetooth.

A fix, sent to us by several readers, involves resetting your computer while holding down Command, Option and the P and R keys, something called “resetting your PRam.” When you hear the normal Apple re-boot sound, hold down the buttons until your hear it again. Then let go.

For us, and for several readers, resetting PRam solved the bluetooth issues. And for the record, we kind of like the new Photos app, too. It can send all your photos — and any edits you make — to all your devices.регистратор и антирадар в одномBinary Option live Signals

Apple cashes in on latest craze with Beats

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Beats Pro wireless

Now that Apple has announced it will buy Beats Audio for $3 billion what’s next? Will every iPod and iPhone come with Beats headphones? Will Beats put the Apple logo on its products? Will Forbes finally say that, yes, Dr. Dre. will be a billionaire? Well, we don’t know. We do know that straw polls, surveys and whatnots have confirmed that young folks think Apple is cool again because it has acquired Beats. How much of a good thing that is, or if at all, for Apple we also don’t know. Most of the people asked did not own Beats but would buy them, depending on which survey you read. For certain, someone is buying these headphones. The company either makes a billion dollars a year selling them or sells a billion dollars worth yearly. That’s way less than what Apple makes a month off its products but a new stream of yearly income of a billion or more never hurt anyone or any company. What I want to know is when did headphones become the cash cow of the almost non existent audio industry? Go into any big box retailer and you will find displays, kiosks, shelves and end caps dedicated to headphones, portable speakers and anything else that will keep you from buying a decent audio system that’s not dedicated to rattling your walls with the latest Blu-ray. Headphones are everywhere – Bose, Beats, Sol Republic, B&O, Bowers&Wilkins – you name the company, it has a dedicated space if not just shelf space. I’m an Apple fan. I’ve used its products since working at a weekly African American newspaper. I like the ease of use, the near bulletproof reliability and the longevity. I’m not so convinced about Beats. Yes, they offer much boom for the bucks, but there’s music out there that’s more subtle and has greater dynamic range than boom. Beats are often accused of being to pricey for what you get. They are not by any stretch of the imagination the most expensive units you can buy. Shure, maker of fine phono cartridges (don’t ask) and microphones, sells a pair of earbuds (SE846) for $999. Yes, a thousand bucks for earbuds. AKG sells over the ear headphones for more than $1,400 a pair. Are any of these items worth the money. Shure and AKG certainly think so. As for Beats, it depends on the model. I hate the Solos, the entry level Beats, which are by far the most popular. There is so much better available in that price range (about $200). I’ve yet to hear the Solo II model. It can only be better than the original and Beats claims such. The wireless Studio headphones are a different story. I recently spent an afternoon at an Apple store listening to a few high end headphones that included the Studios and I was impressed. I started with a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5s attached to a iPod Touch that was playing Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim.” I don’t do much Country, but this woman’s arresting vocals made me listen. Her voice seemed to float in the middle of band – right where it should have been. I moved on to Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay H6 and liked them even better. The sound was a bit sweeter and for a hundred bucks more ($399) as well it should. Next was Parrot’s Zik. These were wonderful. Wireless and buttonless, they were. To turn up the volume, change tracks or turn them on you pushed, swiped or touched the right earphone. The Ziks felt a little heavier but still comfortable than their corded counterparts. Lambert’s voice was clear, crisp and powerful. Me likey. The Beats Studio Pro wireless were as impressive. Like the wired Studio Pro’s, these uses DSP software to achieve it’s robust sound. The model also uses noise canceling technology. As with all Beats, the bass was the most prevalent, but the notes were more round than mushy. I could live with these, but at $379.99, it will be awhile. Apple could have bought anything with all that cash yet it chose Beats. Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine come with the package and that’s a good thing. Still, it will be a while before we see if all cash was well spent. Heck, Apple still has about $150 billion to spend so this will hardly make it cash poor. Will Beats make Apple richer? We will see.

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In a world of super-big Android phones, Motorola Droid Razr M finds a niche

The beautiful thing about the Android smartphone market is that customers have a choice. If you want a 5.5-inch Samsung behemoth or a 4.8-inch Samsung behemoth, well, there’s an Android for you.

Want a phone that feels — and let’s just say it — iPhone 5 sized? Well the Motorola Droid Razr M is for you. It’s 4.3 inches long, a little longer than the new Apple phone. It feels light enough and durable enough and features an edge-to-edge screen. It’s also running the super strong — at least for us — Verizon LTE network.

Is that a winning combination?

Mostly, yes.

We’ve never been big fans of the Super big phones, so the size here feels familiar, from back when you could easily hold a phone in one hand and touch all portions of the screen. And this is one of the best-looking phones out there. It’s 8.3 millimeters thick. It’s thicker than the new iPhone 5 but not by much, and the rounded edges make it a little more comfortable to hold.

People get about as fussy about their phone’s operating system as they do the hardware. We like Android and this rocks Android 4.0. It’s smooth, polished and does about everything you could possibly want to do. The learning curve is steeper than on Apple’s iOS or on Windows but Motorola smartly didn’t overlay the software here with a heavy dose of its own MotoBlur software. And one thing we liked is that if you swipe from left to right on the home screen, you get a “Quick Settings” screen where you adjust ringtones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.

You don’t have to press the home button and go into the Menu.

Stuff like that make this phone easy to use.

The screen isn’t as good as the Samsung or the Apple and it displays white as a tad yellow but it’s more than sharp enough to get the job done. Unless you’re holding the phones with the better screens beside it and constantly going back and forth to notice the difference — and who does that? — this screen is going to be fine.

We’d seen some reviews that took the camera to task, but for our uses, the camera was fine. Again, there are better cameras on smartphones, but the photos you take with this aren’t going to make you frown.

All in all, this is a very nice package if what you want is a smart-sized Android phone that fits comfortably in your hand. Good news, again, in Android land, is that you have choices.

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Life with my iPhone 5 is going just fine

It’s been a couple of weeks since I switched from the dark side of Android to my Apple iPhone 5 and I must say life is going just fine.

It was no secret I was eventually going to the iPhone. I’ve owned three iPods, a Mac desktop and two laptops. I would have owned more but that’s all I’ve needed. I kept the first two an average of seven years. I’m happily into my third year of my current Mac Book and I’m not pining for an upgrade yet (although the iPad mini is looking really, really good).

iPhone 5

That’s why I wanted an iPhone – to complete my Apple ecosystem. OK, I really wanted this thing because I don’t have to buy a new iPod. My Nano was a third generation and it was dying a slow death. I’ve got all the music from my computer on the iPhone 5 and still have room. The new headphone design fits better in my ear and the sound quality has improved greatly. I never put any music on any of my other smartphones. iTunes was not compatible. Problem solved. Love the Apple ecosystem.

Sooooo, how is the iPhone as, well a, phone? So far so great. Everyone tells me I sound much clearer  when I’m using Bluetooth in the car or speaking into the phone.

This is also the smoothest operating phone I’ve ever used. It’s light and thin (enough) and feels expensive to the touch. It should.

That’s my biggest gripe about Samsung product. It looks great but feels flimsy.

I’m loving the retina display. I’ve watched some video and think it looks spectacular.

The new iOS6 has been rock solid, also. I’m living in the App store. I’ve not downloaded a lot but each visit shows me  something that I may use later. I’m glad Youtube didn’t get all mad when Apple didn’t make it part of the iPhone’s standard offerings. Yes, I’m now addicted. There’s way too much stupid stuff I’d miss without that app.

Siri and I are developing a relationship. Yeah, her voice is a little annoying but she usually has the right answers to my questions. She not going to let me get close, though. When I thank her, she tells me that’s not necessary. That’s a tad cold, but this is artificial intelligence.

I also really like the hands free texting. My fat, stubby fingers don’t like any phone’s keyboard so being able to dictate a text is better for me. It takes a couple of tries to get it right, but it make take several times for me to hit an O when I really need a P.

The iPhone’s biggest criticism (other than the fact its made by Apple) is the screen size. I think it could be a bit wider but I’m totally satisfied with the height. I’m not understanding the desire to carry a flat screen in your pocket or in a case on your waist. I have a friend who wants a phablet (phone-tablet) like the Samsung Galaxy Note II. Umm, no. That’s to big. Apple makes something like that but they call it an iPad mini. It just doesn’t make phone calls.

I didn’t try the map feature which was jacked up on release. I have GPS most of the time or I just use Map quest. I’m told the map thing is fixed so I’ll take Apple’s word until I try the app.

I’ve taken many pictures and haven’t experienced any problems with the camera. It has a quick focus and the picture quality is unreal. Nothing replaces a good DSLR camera but this is close.

Complaints. Not really, but the affair is still young. I still have a lot to try. So far, I’m happy to be an iPhone convert. Not missing the buggy Android system or flakey touch screen of the T-Mobile My Touch or the awful – and I do mean awful Motorola Clique.

iPhone, where have you been all my life?

cross@alldaytech.com

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