Tim Cook says terrorism should not scare people into giving up their privacy.

Tim Cook White House Summit on Cybersecurity

In the second half of The Telegraph’s interview with Tim Cook, Apple CEO Tim Cook has reaffirmed his position on privacy. Cook says that whilst currently consumers do not understand the ramifications of sharing their data with third-parties, “one day they will”.

Moreover, Cook openly objects to governments that say data sharing is required to combat crime and terrorism. There has been pressure for tech companies to offer back-doors into encryption mechanisms, but a clear implication of this interview is that Apple will strongly oppose this view. Cook describes privacy as a ‘basic human right’.

Cook disagrees fundamentally. “None of us should accept that the government or a company or anybody should have access to all of our private information. This is a basic human right. We all have a right to privacy. We shouldn’t give it up. We shouldn’t give in to scare-mongering or to people who fundamentally don’t understand the details.”

Although Cook believes that terrorism is bad (“these people shouldn’t exist”), he rejects the idea that privacy policies needs to be weakened to support counter-terrorism efforts. Cook says that removing layers of encryption will mean that the public’s private information will “inevitably be taken” and that terrorist effort will encrypt their own communications regardless of company oversight.

“Terrorists will encrypt. They know what to do. If we don’t encrypt, the people we affect [by cracking down on privacy] are the good people. They are the 99.999pc of people who are good.”

The interview concludes with Cook reiterating what Apple’s stance is in this area. “You are not our product”, in regard to health data, purchase history (referring to Apple Pay) and even ‘relatively minor pieces of information’ which can be built up into a ‘trove of data’, according to Cook.

“We don’t make money selling your information to somebody else. We don’t think you want that. We don’t want to do that. It’s not in our values system to do that. Could we make a lot of money doing that? Of course. But life isn’t about money, life is about doing the right thing. This has been a core value of our company for a long time.”

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Apple Watch will eventually replace your car keys.

A Tesla Watch app concept. Photo: Eleks Labs

During his whirlwind tour of the Middle East and Europe, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been leaving little breadcrumbs of Apple Watch revelations.

There was the confirmation that the Watch will be showerproof in Germany, and now Cook has said it will eventually replace your car keys.

Cook was greeted with a very warm welcome from employees at London’s Covent Garden Apple store on Friday. “The staff gasped, and then burst into spontaneous, loud applause as soon as they spotted Cook, who walked in behind them,” reports The Telegraph.

One of the first questions Cook was asked related to Apple Watch. He showed the retail team his white Sport model.

“This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons,” said Cook.

One of those reasons will apparently be unlocking your car. Cook said that Watch is designed to “replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used by many vehicles,” according to The Telegraph.

Apple has a patent for unlocking a car via an iPhone app, so the idea doesn’t come from complete left field. There are also the rumors that Apple is working on its own car, codenamed project “Titan.”

“We’ve never sold anything as a company that people could try on before”, Cook said, adding that Apple is “tweaking the experience in the store” for the upcoming Watch. The New Yorker’s recent profile of Jony Ive revealed that Ive is helping design a new store layout.

Apple is expected to announce more details about the Watch, including pricing, at its upcoming March 9 event. Cook has already said that the product will ship in April.

Some other tidbits from The Telegraph’s interview:

  • The Apple Watch “will make it much easier to prioritise, spot and react to urgent messages, such as a family emergency.”
  • “The watch’s battery life will last the whole day, Cook says, in another revelation that will please potential users, and it won’t take as long to charge as an iPhone.”
  • Cook is proud of Apple staying “true to our North Star.” That includes three pillars: pro-privacy, pro-environment and pro-human rights.
  • Putting the Apple Watch on his wrist is the first thing he does when he gets up at 3:45 AM every morning. Why? “I want to make sure I measure all my activity.”
  • He goes to the gym around 5 AM and to work at 6:30 AM. A downside of being such an early bird is that, “I miss the late night shows.”

Brikk Announces Diamond-Studded Apple Watches Costing Up to $75,000.

While the Apple Watch is not expected to be released until April, luxury and couture product design company Brikk today announced a line of 30 luxury models for the upcoming smartwatch that they claim, “will afford unmatched opulence to an exclusive clientele worldwide.”

Similar to the Apple Watch in terms of sizes, the line of Lux Watches will be available in 38mm and 42mm, with color options of 24-karat yellow gold, 18-karat pink gold, and 950 platinum alongside varying band options. There are also three editions to the line: Standard, Deluxe, and Omni. All versions of the Lux Watch are prepared through disassembling Apple Watches that the company then repurposes with their luxury materials in a “state-of-the-art laboratory.”

The basic Standard edition offers a single row of diamonds (.50 carats) and a leather strap, while the mid-tier Deluxe has multiple rows of diamonds (2.3 carats), diamond encrusted buttons, and a diamond studded clasp on its leather strap.

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“For the ultimate in exclusivity,” Brikk offers the Lux Watch Omni edition with a fully diamond-emblazoned case resulting in over 12 carats of jewels on the device. The company promises only the highest end of luxury and satisfaction in purchasing one of their new line of high-end devices, which they’ve done before with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

The Lux Watch line stands out thanks to its meticulous production processes. Each piece is disassembled inside Brikk’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Los Angeles by a team of skilled engineers. They are hand polished, then plated with five layers of diverse metals before their final plating in either two layers of gold or platinum. High quality diamonds (color D, clarity VVS1) are set with a microscope in a custom-machined bezel. Each piece is then reassembled and tested before shipping to clients.

The line will set those interested back $7,495 for the Standard, $11,995 for the Deluxe, and $69,995 for the Omni, and all prices fluctuate slightly higher for larger sizes. Brikk promises that each comes in a “Zero Halliburton aluminum case with carbon fiber interior”, with a user manual, the expected accessories, a 1-year warranty, and a diamond-studded certificate of authenticity.

While Apple has taken a decidedly fashion-skewed angle in beginning to market the Apple Watch, Brikk’s new diamond-encrusted offerings appear to be a more straightforward answer to those looking for more of a statement with the new wearable.

Pricing guesses have jumped between $10,000 and $20,000 for the high-end Apple Watch Edition, so while the Lux line’s lower-end models could fall in line with Apple’s own mid-to-upper tier models, the Omni edition offered by Brikk may in fact be the most expensive version of the Watch on the market when the device launches this Spring.

Those interested in the Lux Watch line can visit Brikk’s official website to place a pre-order, which requires a deposit and is expected to ship between 4-6 weeks following the official Apple Watch launch in April.

Apple Maps adds animated landmarks like rotating London Eye and time-telling Big Ben.

london-eye-apple-mapsApple has added new, 3D animated imagery to its Maps application starting with some of the most famous British landmarks. Apple Maps now features a rotating London Eye and Big Ben’s clock* now shows the correct time when using the app’s Flyover feature.

These are neat new touches in the Apple Maps app follow the company adding a number of new international Flyover destinations in the app including Ediburgh, Linz, Venice, Cáceres, Rennes, Guadalajara and Ponce, all available to view in three-dimensions plus several new US cities.

* Yes, I am fully aware that Big Ben is the name for the bell and the clock tower is called Elizabeth Tower.

Apple Sends Invites for ‘Spring Forward’ Apple Watch Media Event on March 9.

Apple today sent out invites for a media event that will be held on Monday, March 9 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. As with most Apple media events, it will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

The event’s “Spring Forward” tagline is decidedly time related and March 9 falls one day after the start of Daylight Saving Time in the United States, suggesting the Apple Watch may be the focal point.

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There are still many details on the Apple Watch that Apple has kept under wraps, including full information on pricing, battery life, and accessory options, all of which may be revealed at the event ahead of the Apple Watch’s April launch. The event could also see the launch of other products, such as the rumored 12-inch Retina MacBook Air or refreshed 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs, which are due for an update.

Apple Watch is ready for its closeup in fashion bible Vogue.

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Apple Watch still isn’t available for the masses, but Apple is ramping up its marketing efforts among fashionistas with a multipage spread in the March issue of Vogue.

Multiple versions of the Apple Watch are shown across the seven-page ad, which includes closeups of the watch bands as well as full-size pictures of the entire device to give readers a better idea about whether Jony Ive’s timepiece will fit in with their wardrobes.

Vogue also has a preview of the gold Apple Watch Edition on its French website. The print ads feature images of the Milanese loop, the navy leather Loop and the green Apple Watch sport band.

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Apple Watch also made an appearance on the cover of SELF Magazine this month, with model Candice Swanepoel rocking the Sport model. Pricing for the Apple Watch still hasn’t been announced other than the $350 price tag for the Sport. Full details, as well as the release date, are expected to be revealed at an event in March.

Yes, you can wear your Apple Watch in the shower.

This is why the Apple Watch will be your most personal device yet. Photo: Apple

The Apple Watch reveal back in September was big on excitement, but short on details. Among those things that Apple failed to mention was whether or not Cupertino’s new smartwatch will be able to withstand liquids — making it suitable for, say, swimming or washing the dishes.

While we still don’t have a final, definitive answer on what is and is not advisable with the Apple Watch, Tim Cook shed a bit of light on the mystery during a Q&A session with staff at the Kurfürstendamm Apple Store in Berlin, Germany, where he is currently visiting. Cook said that that he wears his Apple Watch “even in the shower.”

This is in contrast with what we had previously heard, courtesy of tech journalist David Pogue, who after a private briefing with Apple advised readers that, “Sweating [while wearing the Apple Watch], wearing it in the rain, washing your hands, or cooking with it is fine. Take it off before the swim or get in the shower, though.”

As much as we respect Pogue, you’d have to say that — when it comes to Apple advice — Cook trumps Pogue!

The Apple CEO also answered a few other questions in what sounds like an interesting session. Among them was a bit more clarification on the Apple Watch’s battery life, with Cook saying he removes the device to recharge overnight — something we’ve suspected based on previous reports.

Cook talked about some of the possible applications of the Apple Watch, including monitoring auctions on eBay — or else accessing hotel rooms in a way similar to existing apps for the iPhone.

Answering a question from a visually impaired employee, he said that the Apple Watch will have more accessibility features added over time, although it sounds like these features will be limited at first.

No price tariff was given for the device, but Cook confirmed that Apple will begin marketing the device in April. In what sounds like an amusing moment, Cook sidestepped the question of whether retail staff could have all have an Apple Watch to more easily show customers, by saying that it is a “good idea” and that he would “consider it.”

Cook also spoke about his efforts to improve working conditions in China, and lamented the fact that the media often choose to paint Apple in a bad light in this regard. Cook said that Apple is trying to ensure that there is no abuse of employees on the supply chain, and that they work fairer numbers of hours.

Finally, he addressed the reports that Apple Pay could be available in Europe soon by saying that Apple aimed for this to be the case “before the end of the year.”