Apple Watch Overview Updated March 23, 2021

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2,515 'Apple Watch' stories

November 2013 - December 2021

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History

The original Apple Watch (later called Series 0) was released on April 24, 2015, after years of rumors. While there was a lot of initial hype around it, the third-party watchOS apps were slow to launch due to API limitations. Native apps were available in watchOS 2. The original watch came in 38mm and 42mm sizes.

The Series 2 Watch was released on September 16th, 2016 along with a Series 1 Watch. The Series 2 included the S2 chip, built-in GPS, and water-proof construction. The Series 1 included the S2, but lacked GPS and waterproofing.

The Series 3 Watch was released on September 22, 2017, and it included an LTE option and the S3 chip. The Series 4 Watch was released on September 21, 2018. New hardware included the S4 Chip, Electrical heart sensor w/ ECG app, and larger display (40mm and 44mm sizes).

Apple Watch Series 5 was announced during Apple’s fall event on September 10, 2019. Customers were able to purchase the device later that day, and it was released on September 20. The headline feature for this model was the wearable’s always-on display. The new display always shows the time and complications and is also the first from the company to include a built-in compass.

Apple launched international emergency services to every cellular model. Series 5 also brought back ceramic white, and new natural brush and space black titanium models.

Apple Watch Series 6 was unveiled on September 15, 2020 at the “Time Flies” event alongside the more affordable SE and new iPad Air. New features of the Series 6 include blood oxygen monitoring, new watch colors, faster S6 chip, new watch faces, and more.

Apple Watch features

Apple Watch is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. The newest versions are Series 6 and SE while Apple still sells Series 3 as the most affordable option.

Features include:

  • Heart rate monitoring (all models)
    • Including high, low, and irregular heart rate notifications
  • ECG readings (Series 4 and later)
  • Blood oxygen monitoring (Series 6)
  • Workout tracking, Activity Rings, competitions, and awards
  • Works with Apple Fitness+
  • Sleep tracking (with watchOS 7)
  • GPS and GPS + Cellular models
  • Always-on display (Series 5 & 6)
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters
  • Emergency SOS and fall detection
  • Phone calls and Messages
  • Music, Podcasts, and more
  • Third-party apps available through App Store built into watchOS

watchOS

watchOS is the dedicated software that runs on Apple Watch. The current version is watchOS 7 that was released in fall 2020 and is compatible with Series 3 and later.

watchOS 7 brought new features like native sleep tracking, Family Setup, watch face sharing, new workout tracking types, cycling directions in maps, and automatic handwashing reminders.

Apple Fitness+ support and new cardio fitness notifications came with watchOS 7.2 And watchOS 7.4 is coming with the exciting new Apple Watch unlock for iPhone feature.

Current Apple Watch lineup

For all the latest deals on Apple Watch, bands, and accessories, check out 9to5Toys.com.

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Apple Watch Stories December 2

Apple is requesting the reinstatement of exclusions from tariffs on the Apple Watch and several Mac Pro components that are imported from China. Apple currently pays a 7.5% tariff on Apple Watches imported from China, and seven key Mac Pro components face a 25% tariff. The policy was originally initiated under the Trump administration.

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Apple Watch Stories December 1

There are plenty of ways to manage notifications on the iPhone and Apple Watch – methods range from simple permission boxes when you first open an iPhone app to more configurable features like Focus modes. However, there’s one workflow that Apple doesn’t offer yet which would greatly improve the Apple Watch experience.

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Apple Watch Stories November 25

Apple Watch can help you stay motivated to exercise and improve your health, and smart scales that sync data to the iPhone can be a fun and useful way to track your progress. If you want to easily collect your weight and other measurement data in the Health app on iPhone, the trick is to find a scale that works with HealthKit. Here are some of the current options on the market:

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Apple Watch Stories November 22

Apple Watch Series 7 may seem like it offers minimal updates at first glance, but depending on what version you’re upgrading from, it can offer some big improvements. Read on for Apple Watch 7 vs Apple Watch 6 and earlier.

Update 11/22: Be sure to check out our roundup of all the top Apple deals for the holidays.

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‘First Apple Watch’ from 1988 up for auction, the Seiko WristMac

A Seiko WristMac – what an auction house is referring to as the “first Apple Watch” – is up for auction. The device was sold in 1988 as an early Macintosh accessory …

Samsung’s new smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch 4, saw the company dramatically boost its market share in Q3, according to a new report. Most of that was at the expense of Huawei and Apple, the Cupertino company’s share of the market dropping by 10%.

However, that’s largely a matter of timing, which favored Samsung in two ways …

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Apple Watch Stories November 19

Some people are finding that an Apple Watch $100 rebate program announced by Apple is not being honored by carriers.

Bloomberg Apple correspondent Mark Gurman has gone as far as to say that the deal is “designed to not pay out” …

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Apple Watch Stories November 18

Apple has released a new update for Apple Watch today that patches a bug with Series 7 watches that aren’t charging “as expected.”

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A retired nurse practitioner in Missouri says her Apple Watch is responsible for clueing her in on a heart condition that ultimately required a pacemaker to regulate her heartbeat.

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Jony Ive has long talked about the idea of an all-glass iPhone, dubbed “a single slab of glass” – and the company has now been granted a patent for a potential design, along with a glass Apple Watch and Mac Pro tower.

The illustration of the all-glass iPhone is the most detailed, showing displays on both sides, as well as functional touchscreen buttons on the edges …

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Apple Watch Stories November 17

Update: The same team has now discovered that the Apple Watch doesn’t use iCloud Private Relay either.

If you open links sent to you via iMessage on the Apple Watch, your real IP address will be exposed.

A developer and security researcher has discovered that the official Apple Watch Mail app fails to use the company’s own Mail Privacy Protection feature …

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Apple Watch Stories November 11

Update: As of November 11, Apple Watch users that complete any workout for 11 minutes or more will unlock stickers to honor Veterans Day.

Apple has set its next Apple Watch Activity Challenge for Veterans Day, which takes place in two weeks on November 11. This challenge requires users to complete any workout for 11 minutes or more to unlock stickers that can be used in the Messages app, FaceTime, and more. 

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Apple Watch Stories November 3

The Apple Watch Series 7 features a new industrial design with a focus on larger 41mm and 45mm sizes. In a new interview with the Independent, Apple’s Alan Dye and Stan Ng talked more about this new design, how watchOS is optimized to take advantage of the larger displays, and more.

Alan Dye serves as Apple’s vice president of interface design, while Stan Ng is the company’s vice president of product marketing. Ng explained in the interview that the key for Apple was making the Apple Watch Series 7 display bigger, while also not compromising other aspects of the wearable:

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Apple Watch Stories November 1

Apple is set to add a new “crash detection” feature to the iPhone and Apple Watch as soon as next year, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. The report explains that the feature would auto-dial 911 when a car accident is detected using an iPhone or Apple Watch and that Apple devices have already detected more than 10 million suspected vehicle impacts…

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Apple Watch Stories October 29

The Apple Watch continues to play a crucial role in medical research studies around the world. This week, the University of Michigan Health has published early results from what it calls a “landmark, three-year observational study” that it first started in 2018 in collaboration with Apple.

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Apple Watch Stories October 25

The Twitter account @AppleDemoYT has revealed a hidden file in an Apple Watch retail store demo unit. The file in question is an “Apple Watch Pro” logo that never saw the light of day. The demo unit that this file was discovered on was the original design that had a built-in iPad mini for walking a customer through watchOS.

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Apple Watch Stories October 21

Apple Watch Series 7 was announced in September but only became available in stores earlier this month. Now iFixit has finally shared its traditional teardown to show what the new Apple Watch looks like inside. This time, the repair company has invited former Apple engineers to help them in the process.

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Apple Watch Stories October 15

Apple Watch Series 7 has officially arrived and the two sizes are ever so slightly larger with cases measuring 1mm greater than Series 6. There’s also no hidden diagnostic port on the latest wearables. Now we’ve got a look at Apple’s new diagnostic dock for Series 7.

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How to upgrade to your new Apple Watch Series 7 without losing data

Ready to switch from your Series 6 or earlier Apple Watch to the new Series 7? Or maybe you’re upgrading to the SE from an older model? Follow along for how to upgrade to your new Apple Watch Series 7 without losing data, including how to force Apple Watch backups.

Apple Watch Stories October 11

The first Apple Watch Series 7 deliveries are scheduled for Friday, and those lucky enough to be in line for day-one delivery are now starting to receive shipping notices. Earlier statuses showed them as “preparing to ship.”

Apple uses a two-stage delivery process to control when launch orders are received …

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Apple Watch Stories October 7

Update: watchOS 8.1 beta 3 is now available to public beta testers as well.

One week after releasing watchOS 8.1 beta 2, Apple is now seeding the third beta of watchOS 8.1 to developers. Here’s everything new with it.

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Apple Watch Stories October 5

Apple will start accepting pre-orders of its brand new Apple Watch Series 7 on October 8. As reports suggest, it will be limited in supply during pre-orders, are you planning to place an order this year?

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Apple Watch Stories October 4

Apple has finally confirmed that Apple Watch Series 7 will be available in stores on October 15, with pre-orders starting this Friday, October 8. However, if you’re planning to buy a new Apple Watch, be aware that availability may be really low due to limited supplies.

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Apple has announced that Apple Watch Series 7 orders will open this Friday, October 8. The first orders will deliver from a week later, on October 15.

Apple announced the new model during the iPhone 13 keynote, but didn’t say at the time when it would go on sale …

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