This week's sponsor

Textastic

The Code Editor for Your iPad and iPhone


Posts tagged with "apple watch"

Apple Watch Series 5 Review Roundup: All About the Always-on Display

The Apple Watch Series 5 will go on sale this Friday, and the first reviews for the product are now being published. This year’s Watch update comes with a far shorter feature list than usual: it includes an always-on display, built-in compass, and expanded LTE bands that enable Emergency SOS even when traveling internationally. The prime focus of early reviews is, as expected, the Watch’s always-on display.

Read more


Apple Watch Series 5: The MacStories Overview

This morning at Apple’s special event at the Steve Jobs theater in Cupertino, Stan Ng took the stage to announce the Apple Watch Series 5. The new device features an always-on display for the first time ever, the same 18-hour battery life that every Apple Watch has had, and a built-in compass. The Series 5 is also the first Apple Watch to be available in titanium (alongside the standard aluminum, stainless steel, and ceramic).

Read more


Watch Dependence

Joe Cieplinski, writing on his blog:

I have reached the unfortunate conclusion that RECaf’s watch app will not be able to go fully independent this fall with the release of watchOS 6. While you have always been able to log from your wrist using the app or Siri shortcuts, I was hoping folks who didn’t want to keep RECaf installed on their phones would be able to continue using RECaf on their wrist.

There are simply too many things that can’t be done on watchOS alone at this point, however. So for now, you’ll have to keep that phone app installed.

Cieplinski outlines three main areas that independent Watch apps are currently lacking in their capabilities, two of which involve HealthKit limitations, while the third is that you can’t perform any kind of In-App Purchase on an independent Watch app, so unlocking pro features or a subscription plan is impossible without an iPhone companion.

These are significant drawbacks, not the type of edge cases that would be more understandable and expected for watchOS’ first take on stand-alone apps. App independence was the primary story Apple told for watchOS 6 at WWDC, but I suspect not many apps will be able to go independent until greater feature parity is achieved between independent apps and those still tethered to the iPhone.

Permalink

Apple Disables Walkie-Talkie App Due to Security Vulnerability

Matthew Panzarino, writing for TechCrunch:

Apple has disabled the Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app due to an unspecified vulnerability that could allow a person to listen to another customer’s iPhone without consent, the company told TechCrunch this evening.

Apple shared an official statement with TechCrunch:

We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. We concluded that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent. We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.

Panzarino rightfully points out the parallels of this issue with the highly-publicized FaceTime bug from earlier this year. The one key difference: whereas with the FaceTime bug, when it was reported by a user, Apple didn’t respond or take action until the problem received widespread media attention; with this Walkie-Talkie bug, Apple followed up on a customer’s report and addressed the issue seemingly before anyone else knew about it. Hopefully this is the sign of improved processes inside the company for handling serious bugs and vulnerabilities.

Permalink

watchOS 6: The MacStories Overview

Today at Apple’s annual WWDC keynote address in San Jose, California, Tim Cook took the stage to announce the latest update to Apple’s smartwatch operating system. watchOS 6 is coming this fall, and boasts a number of big changes. Most significantly, watchOS 6 makes progress on the independence of the Apple Watch from the iPhone, adds a number of new APIs and health features, and includes an all-new native UI framework for developers.

Read more



HomeRun Launches Advanced Daily Routine Feature for Complications and Siri Face

HomeRun 1.2 was released today from developer Aaron Pearce, the latest evolution of the Apple Watch app for controlling HomeKit scenes from your wrist. Its last big update introduced the ability to create custom complications on the Watch, which was a fantastic addition because it enabled users to implement the complications that work best for them personally. Today’s update extends the theme of user customization and programmability, but takes it to a whole new level – exceeding anything I’ve seen from another Watch app before now.

Version 1.2 of HomeRun revolves around one main feature – daily routines – which takes a couple different forms. In each manifestation, however, daily routines equip users to program which actions the app surfaces on their wrist during the course of a normal day.

Read more


Apple Watch’s ECG App and Irregular Rhythm Notification Expand Across the Globe

Yesterday Apple released watchOS 5.2, lagging just a couple days behind iOS 12.2. For users in the United States, there isn’t much worth noting about this latest Watch update, but it’s a different story around the world. Apple’s press release highlights the health-related features it brings support for:

The ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4, a direct-to-consumer product that enables customers to take an electrocardiogram right from their wrist, is available in Hong Kong and 19 European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. In addition to receiving De Novo clearance in the US from the FDA, the ECG app and irregular rhythm notification are now CE marked and cleared in the European Economic Area.

The ECG app is limited to Apple Watch Series 4, while users of the Series 1 or later will benefit from the irregular rhythm notification, a feature that requires first opening the iPhone’s Health app to enable it.

Countries that now support the ECG app: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, US and US Virgin Islands.

Apple can often launch a feature or service in the US, then be extremely slow to roll it out elsewhere (see: Apple News). For health features like these though, I think it’s particularly important for Apple to prioritize global expansion, despite the huge amount of red tape that must be worked through. Access to a new media service like Apple News or TV is nice, but the work being done with Apple Watch has the potential to be life-changing. I hope we continue to see these features spread as far and wide as possible.

Permalink

Apple Introduces New Lineup of Watch Band and iPhone Case Colors

Alongside the release of the new AirPods, Apple has released a new lineup of spring Apple Watch bands and iPhone cases that span several different band models and case types.

For the Watch, Apple has introduced new versions of its Sport Band, Sport Loop, and Leather band. There are also new versions of the Nike Sport Band, Nike Sport Loop, and Hermès Leather bands.

Read more