Update to Apple Watch OS 1.0.1 leading to less frequent heart rate monitoring

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Apple’s update to Watch OS 1.0.1 was intended to improve the performance of several fitness-related functions, but also appears to have introduced a bug. Instead of the Apple Watch recording your heart rate every ten minutes, many users – including myself – are seeing large gaps in the data.

My readings for yesterday afternoon and evening, shown above, contain four gaps of more than an hour. Two of these gaps span times when I was cycling, when the data would have been most relevant. Users in an Apple Support Communities thread (via EverythingCafe) are reporting the same thing …  Read more

What to know before you buy the Apple Watch w/ Milanese Loop band

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I decided on the Apple Watch with stainless steel Milanese Loop band for a few reasons, but not before considering the benefits and drawbacks of Apple’s entire collection of straps and bands for Apple Watch. Budget will in many cases guide your decision, but going for the Milanese Loop was a no-brainer for me. There are a few downsides of the band compared to others, however.

Here are a few observations I’ve made after wearing it for the last couple weeks, including little talked about pros and cons you’ll want to consider before purchasing the Milanese Loop for yourself. Read more

Poll: Will the Apple Watch and gamification lead to a leaner, fitter you?

gamification

Social sharing of exercise data, using services like Strava and RunKeeper, has been one of the bigger trends in recent years. Thanks to fitness bands, smartwatches and GPS-based cycle computers, it’s easy to capture your exercise data and have it automatically uploaded, allowing friends and strangers alike to take part in virtual competitions. It’s effectively gamification of our bodies.

While some take it extremely seriously – so much so that Strava has had to allow users to mark stretches of road or path as dangerous, to stop overly-competitive cyclists mowing down pedestrians in their quest to gain a coveted King of the Mountain award – for most it’s just a fun way to get a bit more exercise and tease their friends.

Any fitness band enables you to compare things like total steps and total calories expended, of course, but the Apple Watch makes it particularly easy to create informal competitions, with yourself or others, to maximize the exercise you get in your everyday life …  Read more

How to calibrate Apple Watch to improve accuracy of calorie, distance, & other fitness data

Apple takes user submitted data for age, height, gender and weight to help it calculate the different data points it provides for workouts and activities, but there is also a way to calibrate Apple Watch to improve the accuracy of the data.

By initiating the calibration process, you can get more accurate readings for calorie, distance, Move, and Exercise estimations in the Watch’s Activity app, and also improved calculations in the Workout app.

By following the steps below, you’ll start calibrating the device’s accelerometer and improve Apple Watch’s accuracy by allowing it to learn your personal stride patterns at various speeds: Read more

Apple confirms tattoo issue with Apple Watch in updated support document

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Apple has confirmed reports of problems using the Apple Watch on tattooed wrists. The company has quietly updated a support page on the heart-rate functionality.

Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.

Apple Watch owners on Reddit and Twitter have been posting conflicting reports and video, some showing that the heart-rate functionality works fine with their tattoos, others showing either no reading at all or erratic readings …  Read more

Apple Watch teardown reveals pulse oximeter, suggesting future measurement of blood oxygen

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iFixit’s teardown of the Apple Watch has revealed that the sophisticated heart-rate monitor used is actually capable of acting as a pulse oximeter, allowing it to calculate the oxygen content of your blood by measuring how much infrared light is absorbed. This data would be useful for health and fitness monitoring, but the functionality is not currently enabled in the watch.

As iFixit notes, there are a couple of possible reasons Apple is not currently allowing to watch to display this data …  Read more

Apple airs three new Apple Watch ads: ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’

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In coordination with the Watch’s worldwide release, Apple has ramped its marketing campaign further with three new ads that are airing starting today. The ads titled ‘Rise’, ‘Up’ and ‘Us’ focus on everyday activities being enhanced by the Watch. Unlike some of Apple’s product-focused marketing, this is more in the style of iPad commercials.

The ‘Rise’ ad focuses on morning activities, such as using the Watch to wake you up or answer text messages in the breakfast queue. ‘Up’ is focused on the Workout and Activity apps, highlighting the ‘Stand’ notifications and related fitness features. ‘Us’ focuses on communication highlighting Digital Touch sketch, tap and heartbeat sharing features as well as the controversial animated emoji.

All three videos are embedded after the break …

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Misfit Minute for Apple Watch offers unique 1, 4, & 7 minute workouts

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Misfit, creators of fitness tracking devices and most recently sleep tracking-integrated smart light bulbs, is out today with their new workout app for the Apple Watch ahead of the new device’s release tomorrow. Misfit Minute has a slick look and feel and offers Apple Watch wearers the choice between 1, 4, or 7 minute workout sessions. Read more

Apple Watch gains pill reminders, doctor consultations & more from a dozen new healthcare apps

As Apple continues to approve more Apple Watch apps following the device going up for pre-order late last week, a long list of healthcare companies are showing off apps for the Apple Watch at the HIMSS 2015 conference this week in Chicago.

Inlcuded are apps from HCSC, WebMD, Kaiser Permanente, Dexcom, HealthTap, Vocera and many others, enabling everything from health records for patients to medication reminders and continuous glucose monitoring on the Apple Watch. Head below for a full list of healthcare apps for Apple Watch on show: Read more

Apple Watch review roundup: the best smartwatch yet, but not an essential purchase

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Apple has just lifted the embargo on the Apple Watch for reviewers, allowing the technology press the to give their verdict on the device ahead of Watch preorders on the 10th. The device will actually be available to the public on the 24th. The Apple Watch is a huge release for Apple, its first new product category under Tim Cook. The anticipation for Apple Watch has been simply immense. The pricing model alone is a huge step for the company, entering ‘high-end’ luxury for the first time with the Apple Watch Edition … and a price tag in the $10,000 range. These reviews are our first glance at whether Apple succeeded in making the next hit product.

Reviewers got a demo of the entire Apple Watch buying process, from the initial Apple Store try-on experience right through to handling the device for a few days. Reviewers got to choose their watch-band combination, although the Edition was not available for reviewers (although you can see what Pharell thinks about it of course)

Read below for our roundup of the reviews from a handful of publications:

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New interview with Kevin Lynch reveals more Watch details, early prototypes used timeline UI

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WIRED has posted a new story on the Apple Watch, which revolves around interviews with Apple human interface designer Alan Dye and Apple’s VP Technology Kevin Lynch, who heads Apple Watch software. The piece shines new light on the foundation of the smartwatch project at Apple as well as some new details about the product — which ships later this month.

Amusingly, Lynch did not know what he would be working on when he accepted the Apple job. He walked into the role with the project already underway; early ‘experiments’ from the iPod team with click-wheels and such. Dye says that the idea for a watch blossomed during design meetings for iOS 7, Apple’s major software overhaul.

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