Apple Watch Overview Updated March 23, 2021

Apple Watch

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2,382 'Apple Watch' stories

November 2013 - April 2021

How to see all Apple Watch apps

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 April 14

David Smith, the prolific developer behind apps like Watchsmith and Widgetsmith, is out with a new Apple Watch app today. “Ian’s Awesome Counter” is a new application for Apple Watch that Smith says is “designed to help you be more focused and aware of yourself.”

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Apple Watch: How to see your detailed heart rate history

Apple Watch can be an amazing tool for health and fitness, but are you taking advantage of the useful data it records? Read along for how to see your Apple Watch heart rate history across a variety of categories like resting, walking, workouts, and variability across days, months, and years.

Apple Watch Stories April 13

Apple Watch is at the top of its class, but it isn’t a perfect product. The hardware and design is space age compared to the competition, and the software experience meets Apple’s mark. It’s also very personal because you wear it. Apple has known this from the start, so it designs personalization into the product. From watch colors and materials to strap choices and watch faces, it’s easy to make the Apple Watch uniquely yours.

How you use the Apple Watch is even more personal. The tech enthusiast in me wants to find a use for every Apple Watch feature, but this can create an overwhelming experience if you’re not intentional about your approach. It’s possible to want to reduce your reliance on the iPhone through the Apple Watch, only to find yourself even more annoyed by interruptions on your wrist.

Identifying utility from the Apple Watch while toning it down when the watch becomes too much has been something I’ve been working through recently. I’ll share where I’ve landed as well as a few feature requests for managing the experience for the better.

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Apple Watch Stories April 6

Apple has a pair of new Apple Watch Activity Challenges coming this month. In addition to the annual Earth Day Challenge, Apple is also launching a new International Dance Day Challenge for the first time. This comes after the launch of Apple Fitness+, which includes an entire category of dancing workouts.

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Apple Watch Stories April 5

Update 4/15: The 44mm Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 with GPS + Cellular connection is back in stock. The GPS version is still sold out after almost two weeks.

Two months after launch, the 44mm Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 is currently sold out in the online US Apple Store. This comes after Apple branded the wearable as “limited edition” in honor of Black History Month.

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Apple Watch Stories March 31

The sixth developer beta version of the upcoming watchOS 7.4 software update for Apple Watch is now available. iPhone users will be able to use Apple Watch to replace Face ID and a passcode when wearing a facial covering once this update goes public.

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