Posts tagged with "apple watch"

Twelve South Introduces ActionSleeve for Apple Watch

Having an Apple Watch on your wrist is not ideal for some activities. Twelve South introduced an interesting solution at CES today. The ActionSleeve is an armband for the Apple Watch. Slide your Apple Watch out of its band, pop it into the ActionSleeve, and you’re ready to go.

The ActionSleeve is already available to order on TwelveSouth’s website for $29.99. For anyone who participates in an activity where having something on your wrist is an issue, the ActionSleeve could enable fitness tracking that wasn’t possible before. For others, the fact that the ActionSleeve makes it hard (if not impossible) to glance at real-time statistics while you are exercising may be a nonstarter.

Personally, I’m intrigued. I like collecting fitness data while out on a run or walk, but I sometimes find the availability of glanceable information a distraction. Putting my Apple Watch in an armband has the appeal of enabling me to collect data that I can review later without the distraction of real-time statistics.

We’ll have more on the ActionSleeve soon. In the meantime, here is TwelveSouth’s promo video for the product:

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Apple Watch Nike+ Ads Starring Kevin Hart Debut

The Apple Watch Nike+, with its special band, watch faces, and fitness features was released on October 28, 2016. Today, Nike released a series of ads titled The Man Who Kept Running starring actor-comedian Kevin Hart to show off the new watch.

The ads follow Hart as he leaves to try his new Apple Watch Nike+. The premise is that Hart disappears, but is found months later by a film crew as he runs through the desert 700 miles from home.

Each of the seven ads plays off of the question posed by the scheduling feature of the Nike+ Run Club watch app: ‘Are we running today?’ For Hart, the answer is always ‘yes.’ Each spot also highlights a unique feature of the Nike+ version of the Apple Watch that sets it apart from the regular Series 2 version.

Here is the ad that sets up the storyline for the series. The other videos can be viewed after the break.

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New Year’s Activity Challenge Coming for Apple Watch Users

Last month Apple encouraged Apple Watch owners in the U.S. to get out on Thanksgiving in exchange for an activity achievement and iMessage sticker. This morning Apple notified Watch users that a second activity challenge will be taking place at the start of the new year.

This new activity challenge, unlike its Thanksgiving counterpart, will take place worldwide, and completing it will take longer than just a single day. From the Activity app:

Earn this special achievement when you close all three Activity rings each day for any full week, Monday through Sunday, in January. You'll also earn special stickers in the Messages app.

Since the challenge keeps track of your Activity progress from Monday to Sunday, the official start of the challenge will be January 2nd, and the earliest it's possible to earn the achievement will be the 8th. But if you're unable to complete all three rings each day of that first week, you'll have three more chances: the weeks of January 9th, 16th, and 23rd.

Personally, I appreciate Apple's efforts to encourage greater health and fitness in life. watchOS 3's addition of activity sharing fostered healthy competition between my wife and I, and last month's Thanksgiving challenge led us both to get out and complete a 5K on the holiday, which we otherwise wouldn't have done. We're both already eager to score this new achievement trophy together.


Pokémon Go Apple Watch App Released

Niantic, maker of Pokémon Go, released an Apple Watch companion app for its popular iOS game today. According to Niantic the Apple Watch app lets players:

• Log each play session as a workout, with gameplay counting toward personal Activity rings
• Receive notifications about nearby Pokémon
• Count distance toward hatching Pokémon Eggs and receiving Candy with your Buddy Pokémon
• Receive notifications about PokéStops nearby and collect items from them
• Receive notifications when Eggs hatch and medals are awarded

The Pokémon Go watchOS app, which is available as part of a free update to the game, was first announced at Apple’s September iPhone event by Niantic CEO, John Hanke.

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HealthFace Puts Health App Data on Your Wrist

HealthFace, by Australia-based Crunchy Bagel, maker of the 2016 Apple Design Award-winning app Streaks, is an iOS and watchOS app that uses Apple Watch complications to display data stored in Apple’s Health app. The Health app got a much-needed makeover with iOS 10, but it can still take a lot of tapping to find what you want. HealthFace cuts through the clutter by letting you pick and customize the data that’s important to you and displaying it where it’s readily available – on your Apple Watch.

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AutoSleep Turns the Apple Watch Into an Automatic Sleep Tracker

I'm terrible at keeping a decent sleep schedule. I love my job and I often stay up late working on my latest story. Sometimes, I decide to relax with a videogame, I lose track of time, and suddenly it's 4 AM. I know, however, that getting enough quality sleep every night is key to a healthy lifestyle, which is why, over the past month, I've tried to wake up earlier and work out in the morning.

With these personal changes, motivation only goes so far for me. I want to be able to visualize my progress and current streak. Since getting an Apple Watch Series 2 a couple of weeks ago, I've started looking into the idea of using it as a sleep tracker again. There are some solid options on watchOS, but all of them require pressing a button in an app right before you're about to sleep. And because I normally drift off to sleep, I forget to activate sleep tracking mode and no sleep gets tracked at all.

In my limited tests with a Fitbit this month (before getting a new Apple Watch), I came away thinking that automatic sleep detection was my favorite feature of the product. You don't have to press anything and the Fitbit figures out when you started sleeping and when you woke up. Combined with a dashboard like Gyroscope, it's a great way to build an automatic sleep log that passively monitors your sleeping habits.

David Walsh, developer of MacStories favorite HeartWatch, wants to recreate the same experience with AutoSleep, an iPhone app that turns your Apple Watch into an automatic sleep tracker without installing a Watch app. I've been wearing my Watch to bed for the past week, and AutoSleep has worked surprisingly well.

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Twelve South HiRise Duet

Great-looking addition to the HiRise family by Twelve South: the HiRise Duet is an integrated iPhone charging stand and Apple Watch charging dock that combines a Lightning connector with a magnetic charging disc. The Apple Watch can recharge at night while in Nighstand mode (so you can easily hit the snooze button in the morning) while the iPhone stands upright. Because it's made of metal and weighs one pound, the HiRise Duet won't slide across surfaces (either because you're moving the cable or plugging in your devices). I like the Apple-inspired curved base, too.

The HiRise Duet is $119 with free shipping in the US. If I hadn't already bought a Belkin Valet Charge Dock last year (which doesn't support Nighstand mode), I'd get this one today.

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Earn a Special Workout Achievement with a 5K on Thanksgiving Day

If you woke up and put on your Apple Watch this morning, you may have received a notification about a new Activity Challenge. The notification explains that you will be awarded a special achievement if you complete a run, walk, or wheelchair workout of at least 5k on November 24th, Thanksgiving Day in the US. The workout can be recorded using the Apple Watch’s Workout app or any third-party app that records workouts to the Health app. According to 9to5Mac.com, the new Activity Challenge appears to be US-only.

In addition to receiving a special 3D achievement badge, the Activity app on iOS adds that if you complete the challenge, you will get an iMessage sticker that you can share with others. This is the first time that Apple has created a special activity challenge around a holiday or other event. I’m excited to see Apple introduce new workout challenges and try new perks like iMessage stickers for completing challenges. By mixing it up and keeping the achievements fresh, it should encourage Apple Watch users to use the Workout app more frequently.


Nike-Branded Apple Watch Coming October 28

On September 7, 2016, Apple and Nike announced a Nike-branded version of the Apple Watch called the Apple Watch Nike+. Nike’s version of the Apple Watch did not debut with the Apple Watch Series 2, which became available on September 16th. Instead, Apple Watch Nike+ will go on sale October 28. 2016.

The Apple Watch Nike+ features a custom watch face and four distinct bands. As we reported after the September 7th event:

The new Nike-branded Apple Watch consists of a custom watch face available only to buyers of the watch, and a custom band. The band is basically a standard Sport band in construction, but includes distinctive holes throughout the surface, the interiors of which are a different color than the surrounding area. The result stands out, and I actually quite like it.

The band is available in four different colors, which vary the scheme between light and dark gray and a neon yellow-green (Nike calls the color "Volt"). The watch face mirrors these colors, and is available in several different styles, all which incorporate Nike's distinctive font and logo. The Apple Watch Nike+ also includes a permanent complication along the bottom of the display for the Nike+ Run Club app, which I assume comes preinstalled on the devices since the Complication can't be removed.

Earlier this month, Apple updated its website with a teaser that said the Apple Watch Nike+ would debut on October 28, 2016. That was confirmed by Apple today with a press release. According to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer:

Running is one of the world’s most popular activities for staying in shape and being healthy, and with Apple Watch Nike+, runners will be even more motivated to achieve their performance goals…. The response so far has been incredible and we’re thrilled to get Apple Watch Nike+ onto customers’ wrists starting Friday.

The Apple Watch Nike+ comes in an aluminum finish and is priced the same as the Apple Watch Series 2. The watch will be available on Friday in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UK, and the US, with other countries being added shortly thereafter.

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