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Posts tagged with "apple watch"

Apple Celebrates Black History Month with a New Black Unity Collection and More

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

To celebrate Black History Month, Apple has released a new Black Unity Collection. The collection includes an iPhone wallpaper, an Apple Watch face, and a Sports Loop band.

According to Apple, the special-edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop “features the word “Unity” woven abstractly into the band using red, green, and black yarns that pay homage to the Pan-African flag, while a unique layering of yarns lends a sense of three-dimensionality to the letters.” Both the iPhone wallpaper and watch face combine geometric shapes in green, black, red, and yellow. On the watch face, the numbers on the face change as the minutes pass, using parts of other numbers.

Apple is also marking Black History Month across many of its services, including the App Store, Apple Music, the TV app, Fitness+, News, Podcasts, Books, and Maps. Among the offerings will be Apple Maps Guides by the Smithsonian, curated TV and film collections by Dr. Jelani Cobb, apps and games, special playlists on Apple Music, and podcast spotlights.

Apple also announced that it:

is supporting Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney), Ghetto Film School (New York, Los Angeles, London), Music Forward (Los Angeles), Shout Mouse Press (Washington, D.C.), and The National Museum of African American Music (Nashville, Tennessee). Apple’s support for these organizations is a continuation of REJI grants over the past two years that helped organizations committed to providing economic, educational, and creative opportunities in communities of color.

The Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop is available to order online today and will be in stores on January 24th for $49. The Unity 2023 watch face and iPhone will be available next week, presumably alongside OS updates.

Apple Executives Explain How Crash Detection Works

In an interview with TechCrunch’s Brian Heater, Apple’s vice president of Sensing & Connectivity, Ron Huang, and vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, Kaiann Drance explain how the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro and Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra detect car crashes. A big part of the equation is the new gyroscopes and accelerometers the devices use. The accelerometers measure G Force, while the gyroscopes detect speed changes. Other sensors come into play, too, including the barometer, GPS, and microphone, as well as Bluetooth and CarPlay.

Not every sensor needs to be triggered to detect a crash, although multiple data points are necessary. As Huang explained:

There’s no silver bullet, in terms of activating crash detection. It’s hard to say how many of these things have to trigger, because it’s not a straight equation. Depending how fast the traveling speed was earlier, determines what signals we have to see later on, as well. Your speed change, combined with the impact force, combined with the pressure change, combined with the sound level, it’s all a pretty dynamic algorithm.

The system will also try to make calls to emergency services first using your mobile provider and will fall back to any other networks as necessary. The crash detection feature will be connected to Apple’s upcoming satellite service when it becomes available to handle the situation where no mobile network is available too.

For more details on how crashes are detected and the testing that went into developing the feature, be sure to read Brian Heater’s story. Also, it’s worth noting that TechCrunch’s interviews appear to have been done before recent reports emerged of roller coasters setting off the crash detection feature.


David Smith Tests the Apple Watch Ultra on a Three-Day Hike in Scotland

David Smith, the developer of Widgetsmith, Watchsmith, Pedometer++, and many other apps, put the new Apple Watch Ultra through its paces on a three-day hike through the Scottish Highlands. Dave confirmed what I’ve suspected all along. The Apple Watch isn’t so much an extreme sports watch as it is an Apple Watch with expanded capabilities that make it work better for strenuous activities like a three-day hike but also make it the best Apple Watch for the things an Apple Watch already does. As he puts it:

While I was putting together this review I kept coming back to the analogy that the Ultra is like a pick-up truck. Useful in regular, daily life but capable of heading offroad or carrying gravel from the garden store. It still drives like a regular car, but can do more.

Dave’s post is accompanied by a video journal of his trip shot on an iPhone 14 Pro. The video is full of great insights into the Ultra’s hardware, a couple of criticisms of its software, and loads of beautiful footage of the Scottish Highlands.


Victoria Song of The Verge Answers the Question: Who Is the Apple Watch Ultra For?

The Apple Watch Ultra reviews are out and instead of a roundup of all of them, I’m just going to link to Victoria Song’s review on The Verge, which comprehensively covers the watch’s new features, answers all of the questions I’ve had since the Ultra’s announcement, and explains better than anyone who it’s for and who it’s not:

After a week of testing, I don’t think it’s going to bump Garmin, Polar, or Coros watches for the Ironman, thru-hiker, or deep-sea diving crowds, at least not yet. But it’s legitimately good for weekend warriors and intermediate athletes — and very tempting for folks who aspire to that status and a whole lot of people who just want the biggest, baddest Apple Watch they can get.

The size of the Ultra is an area of intense interest, and while it’s big and chunky, Song explains that in practice, it feels smaller to wear:

I don’t normally love big smartwatches. I have petite wrists, and anything over 45mm is generally too uncomfortable for all-day wear, looks ridiculous on my arm, and leads to activity tracking inaccuracies. But I’ve found that some watches “wear small” — the Polar Grit X ProSamsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, and Suunto 7 all feel smaller than they look. To my surprise, the 49mm Apple Watch Ultra is one of them.

This is one of those things that’s hard to convey through pictures alone. In photos, the Watch Ultra dwarfs my wrist. In person, it feels smaller than some of the 45mm to 47mm round watches I’ve tested.

Song and The Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel both got better than rated battery life too:

The Ultra’s 36-hour battery estimate is also a bit conservative; if you’re not partaking in a triathlon, you’re likely going to get closer to 48 hours. And that’s without low-power mode enabled.

Although there’s room for improvement and Song doesn’t think Apple is going to take the sports watch category by storm just yet, she concludes that:

All in all, the Ultra is one of the best debuts in a new product category that I’ve seen in a while. A lot of thought was put into the Ultra, and it shows. It’s not enough to make Garmin shake in its boots just yet, but it’s more than enough to pique interest and spark competition. Apple’s officially a viable contender in the rugged watch category — and I can’t wait to see what comes next.

The review is full of real-life, hands-on scenarios that make the case for the Apple Watch Ultra as a device that fits the profile of a fitness enthusiast better than the fitness pro but also someone who wants the most Apple Watch available. It’s an interesting mix that will be interesting to watch develop as the Ultra is delivered to customers and evolves in the future.


Apple’s September 2022 Event: All The Small Things

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

As usual, Apple covered a lot of ground quickly today, and since the event concluded, more details have emerged about everything announced. We’ve been combing Apple’s product pages, Twitter, and other sources to learn more about its services, iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods Pro, which we’ve collected below:


Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Apple Watch

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

  • Not technically from today’s event, but yesterday, 9to5Mac reported that Apple is distributing a GymKit Certification Assistant app in the App Store to help gym equipment manufacturers integrate with Apple’s health and fitness products and services.
  • Hardware frames are also available for the Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra.
  • MacRumors reports that the Apple Watch Ultra ships with a charger that includes a braided cable, an Apple Watch first.
  • Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac that the Nike Analogue, Bounce, Compact, Digital and Hybrid watch faces will no longer be tied to Nike versions of the Apple Watch and will be available for everyone when watchOS 9 is released September 12th.
  • I’m not sure there will be too many people pouring one out for the Apple Watch Series 3, which has worn out its welcome in Apple’s lineup, but as Juli Clover reports for MacRumors, it was officially discontinued yesterday.

Third-generation AirPods

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

  • Apple quietly released version of the third-generation AirPods that charges using a Lightning cable only, according to MacRumors.


Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

You can follow all of our September 2022 Apple event coverage through our September 2022 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated September 2022 Apple event RSS feed.

Apple Watch Series 8, Ultra, and SE: The MacStories Overview

At today’s Apple event, Director of Apple Watch product marketing Deidre Caldbeck took the stage to introduce the Apple Watch Series 8 and the Apple Watch Ultra. The Series 8 is another solid year-over-year upgrade to the standard Apple Watch line, but the Ultra is an all-new category of watch aimed at high-end sports and rugged outdoor activities.

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Apple’s September 2022 Event: By the Numbers

Apple sprinkled facts, figures, and statistics throughout its presentation today. Here are highlights of some of those metrics from the event that was held online at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.


Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

iPhone 14

  • 6.1 and 6.7” displays with 1200 nits peak brightness and 2 million:1 contrast ratio
  • A15 Bionic 6-core processor
  • 12MP TrueDepth camera with a 𝑓/1.9 aperture
  • 12MP Main camera with a 𝑓/1.5 aperture
  • 49% low-light performance improvement with the Main camera and 38% better low-light performance with the front-facing camera
  • Cinematic Mode can shoot video at 4K at 30 fps and 4K at 24 fps (also available on Pro models)
  • Crash detection (also on Pros) with the ability to detect 256 g of force

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Apple’s September 2022 Event: Apple Announces iPhones, Apple Watch, and AirPods Pro Availability

Apple announced the following pre-order and availability dates for the products announced today:

iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max

Pre-Order: September 9th
Availability: Friday, September 16th, except for the iPhone 14 Plus which is coming October 7, 2022

Apple Watch Series 8 and SE

Pre-Order: Today
Availability: Friday, September 16th

Apple Watch Ultra

Pre-Order: Today
Availability: Friday, September 23rd

AirPods Pro

Pre-Order: Friday, September 9th
Availability: Friday, September 23rd

You can follow all of our September 2022 Apple event coverage through our September 2022 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated September 2022 Apple event RSS feed.

HiRise 3: Twelve South’s Space-Saving, Three-in-One Charging Solution

Source: Twelve South.

Source: Twelve South.

Not long ago, Twelve South introduced a new 3-in-1 charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods Pro called the HiRise 3. I’ve used a Belkin 3-in-1 charger on my desk for a few years and love it, but it takes up quite a bit of space. So, when Twelve South recently offered to send me the HiRise 3 to test, I jumped at the chance to check out its more compact design. After using the HiRise 3 for the past few weeks, I’m happy with it overall and think it’s a great choice for most users, but it comes with a couple of limitations that you’ll want to consider before buying one yourself.

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