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Posts tagged with "apple watch"

Apple Releases Two Pride Watch Bands, New Dynamic Pride Watch Faces, and Special Shot on iPhone Campaign

Apple has released two Pride Edition Apple Watch bands and new dynamic Pride watch faces that coordinate with the colors of the new Pride Edition Sports Loop and Nike Sports Loop bands. The company also announced a new Shot on iPhone Pride campaign.

Apple’s press release explains the design of the Pride Edition Sports Loop:

Members and allies of the LGBTQ+ creative community at Apple were inspired to deliver a new expression of pride through this unique design. Utilizing the comfortable, durable, and adjustable Sport Loop design, Apple used a new technique to remove several of the double-layer nylon-woven textile loops on the band to reveal the word “pride” in a cursive style inspired by the original “hello” greeting — displayed on the first Macintosh in 1984 — giving the word a novel, three-dimensional look and feel.

Regarding the new Nike Pride Sports Loop, the company says:

A new Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop celebrates the full spectrum of the rainbow and features a matching rainbow-colored Nike Bounce face that accompanies the new band. Along with Nike’s Be True collection, the Sport Loop honors individuals who are expanding sport for future generations and inspiring others to feel the joy of being authentically themselves. Be True is part of Nike’s broader commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, which focuses on recognition, advocacy, inspiration, and education.

New this year is a Shot on iPhone campaign that Apple says will honor “present-day queer pioneers in places of historic significance to the LGBTQ+ movement.” The campaign will be featured on the company’s Instagram account and feature:

works from photographers Ryan McGinley at Stonewall Inn in New York; Evan Benally Atwood at Window Rock in Arizona; Meinke Klein at The Homomonument in Amsterdam; Caia Ramalho at Paulista Avenue in São Paulo; Lydia Metral at Plaza de Chueca in Madrid; and Collier Schorr at Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco, featuring Baobei.

The Pride Edition Sports Loop and Nike Pride Sports Loop are available now on apple.com and in the Apple Store app for $49, which is less than last year’s models, which cost $99. The new bands will also be available beginning May 26th in Apple retail stores. The new watch faces are available today on the Apple Watch Series 4 and later, running watchOS 8.6 paired with an iPhone 6s and later running iOS 15.5.


Apple Marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day by Announcing Upcoming Accessibility Features

Thursday is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. To mark the occasion, Apple has announced a long list of accessibility features coming to its products later this year and shared other ways it is celebrating the day through its apps and services.

Apple’s press release sums up the features coming to the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch as follows:

Using advancements across hardware, software, and machine learning, people who are blind or low vision can use their iPhone and iPad to navigate the last few feet to their destination with Door Detection; users with physical and motor disabilities who may rely on assistive features like Voice Control and Switch Control can fully control Apple Watch from their iPhone with Apple Watch Mirroring; and the Deaf and hard of hearing community can follow Live Captions on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple is also expanding support for its industry-leading screen reader VoiceOver with over 20 new languages and locales. These features will be available later this year with software updates across Apple platforms.

Door Detection will be part of the Magnifier app later this year. The feature helps blind and low vision users find and navigate doors when they arrive somewhere. The feature will judge the distance to the door using LiDAR, describe the door’s attributes, like whether it opens by pushing or using a doorknob, and read signs and symbols next to doors.

Apple Watch Mirroring.

Apple Watch Mirroring.

The Apple Watch will add several Physical and Motor accessibility features too. Apple Watch Mirroring, which is built on AirPlay in part, will allow users with physical and motor disabilities to control their Watches from an iPhone using Voice Control, Switch Control, voice commands, sound actions, head tracking, and Made for iPhone switches. The Apple Watch will also add a new double pinch gesture for controlling, like answering and ending phone calls and taking photos.

Apple Watch will add a new double pinch gesture.

Apple Watch will add a new double pinch gesture.

For Deaf and hard of hearing users, Apple will add Live Captions on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple says captioning will work with video calling apps like FaceTime, streaming video services, video conferencing apps, and in-person conversations. Live Captions occur on-device to preserve privacy, and on the Mac, users will be able to type a response that will be spoken aloud.

VoiceOver will get an update, too, adding the following languages:

  • Arabic (World)
  • Basque
  • Bengali (India)
  • Bhojpuri (India)
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • Croatian
  • Farsi
  • French (Belgium)
  • Galician
  • Kannada
  • Malay
  • Mandarin (Liaoning, Shaanxi, Sichuan)
  • Marathi
  • Shanghainese (China)
  • Spanish (Chile)
  • Slovenian
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Ukrainian
  • Valencian
  • Vietnamese

VoiceOver on the Mac will also gain Text Checker that will discover formatting issues.

Additional upcoming accessibility features.

Additional upcoming accessibility features.

Apple previewed several other upcoming accessibility features across its products, including:

  • Buddy Controller, the ability for someone to use a second game controller to assist with playing a game as though the two controllers were one
  • Siri Pause Time, which will allow users to customize the period Siri waits before responding to a user
  • Voice Control Spelling Mode, for dictating words letter-by-letter
  • Customizable sound recognition of the sounds in your environment
  • New themes and text adjustments in the Books app for a more accessible reading experience
Apple apps and services are celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day, too.

Apple apps and services are celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day, too.

Also, Apple has announced that Global Accessibility Awareness Day is being celebrated with Apple Store sessions, an Accessibility Assistant shortcut in the Shortcuts app, special Fitness+ sessions and Time to Walk or Push episodes, an accessibility-oriented Maps guide, and highlighted content on the App Store and in Apple Books Apple Podcasts, Apple Music and Apple TV.

We’ve seen Apple announce accessibility features coming to future versions of its OSes before, but today’s announcement is unique given the number of features revealed. I’m eager to try these features out. Based on what Apple has said, there seems to be a lot here that will make meaningful impacts on a lot of users’ everyday lives.


Apple Announces Time to Run, Fitness+ Collections, Season 3 of Time to Walk, and an Artist Spotlight Workout Series

Apple has announced several new expansions of its Fitness+ content available starting Monday, January 10th.

The first is the addition of Time to Run, which Apple describes as:

a new audio running experience designed to help users become more consistent and better runners, with each episode focused on a popular running route in some of the most notable and iconic locations.

Time to Run joins the Time to Walk, which will debut its third season on Monday too. Time to Run sessions will be led by Fitness+ trainers and feature coaching tips and high-energy music. Three episodes will be available at launch featuring runs in London, Brooklyn, and Miami Beach.

The Fitness app is adding Collections on Monday, too, with six available initially:

  • 30-Day Core Challenge
  • Improve Your Posture with Pilates
  • Perfect Your Yoga Balance Poses
  • Run Your First 5K
  • Strengthen Your Back, Stretch Your Hips
  • Wind Down for a Better Bedtime

Collections are designed as a new entry point into Apple’s catalog of over 2,000 workout sessions, which the company says ‘will include a suggested plan to help users make intentional training choices over the next several days or weeks.’

Finally, Apple is introducing Artist Spotlight, a series of workouts featuring music from Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, Shakira, and the Beatles. A variety of workout types will be available as part of each series that focuses on the work of just that artist.

As someone who enjoys running, I’m glad to see Time to Run. The temperatures are in the single digits in Chicago this weekend, so it may be a while before I get out to try Time to Run, but I’m eager to give it a go when it gets a little warmer. I like the idea of Collections too. I’ve been dipping into the Fitness+ catalog more often since moving my workouts indoors for the winter, and themed collections of workouts with specific goals should add variety to the service.


David Smith Tests the Apple Watch Series 7’s Battery Life in the Scottish Highlands

David Smith recently spent three days hiking in the Scottish Highlands. He took his Apple Watch Series 7 along to see how its battery life fared on long hikes.

Smith, who recently wrote about the battery sipping Coros Apex Pro, a dedicated ‘adventure watch,’ put the Series 7 in Theater and Airplane modes to conserve battery life and hit the trail. The Apple Watch performed better than expected:

The result was surprisingly solid. For a day where I tracked a 16mi hike over the course of 5½ hours, the watch only used around 27% of its battery. This was using the built-in workout app with route recording active. So it uses around 1.7%/mile. On my second day I put it in ‘Power Saving Workout’ mode, which doesn’t record heart rate data as quickly. This used 23% for a 14mi hike, or around 1.6%/mi…which was actually less of a difference that I’d have guessed. So I just left it in regular workout mode from then on.

For comparison the Coros watch I was wearing on my other wrist did the entire 3 days/45miles of the trip using only 20% of its battery (around 0.4%/mile) so still dramatically better.

As Smith concludes, Apple’s investment in improving the brightness of the Series 7’s always-on display has had the nice side effect of making multiple-hour workouts possible without immediately needing to recharge the watch. Also, even if you don’t have an all-day hike planned, Theater and Airplane modes are good to keep in mind when you want to extend the battery life of your Apple Watch.

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Apple Watch Series 7 Orders Begin October 8th and Will Be Available Beginning October 15th

When Apple announced the Apple Watch Series 7 last month, it didn’t give a date when orders and availability would begin. Today, the company issued a press release announcing that orders will begin this Friday, October 8th, with deliveries and in-store availability beginning the following Friday, October 15th.

As we covered after last month’s keynote event, the Apple Watch Series 7 has a bigger display than prior models. The Series 7’s UI has been updated to take advantage of the added space, and it will feature two new watch faces, the Contour and Modular Duo, as well as a QWERTY keyboard for text input. Apple also says that the Series 7’s front crystal is stronger and more crack-resistant than prior models.

The aluminum model of the new Watch comes in five colors too: midnight, starlight, green, a new blue, and (PRODUCT)RED, the steel version comes in silver, graphite, and gold, and there are titanium and space black titanium models available too.

As with last year’s Series 6, pricing for the aluminum model of the Series 7 starts at $399. Pre-orders begin at 5:00 AM Pacific time, Friday, October 8th.


Apple’s September 14, 2021 Keynote: By the Numbers

As usual, Apple sprinkled facts, figures, and statistics throughout the keynote today. Here are highlights of some of those metrics from the event, which was held online from Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

iPhone 13 Lineup

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini

  • 28% brighter display
  • 800 nits outdoors
  • 1200 nits peak brightness for HDR content
  • The A15 Bionic has 15 billion transistors and 6 cores, 2 high-performance and 4 efficiency cores, making it 50% faster (than the competition)
  • 4-core GPU that’s 30% faster
  • 16-core Neural Engine that handles 15.8 trillion operations per second
  • The Wide camera has a 12MP sensor, 1.7 µm pixels that gather 47% more light, a ƒ/1.6 aperture, a 7-element lens, and a 26mm focal length.
  • The Ultra Wide lens has a 12MP, a ƒ/2.4 aperture, 13 mm focal length, 5-element lens, and 120-degree field of view
  • The iPhone 13 mini gets 1.5 and the iPhone 13 gets 2.5 more hours of battery life than the iPhone 12 models they replace.
  • Storage is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

  • 50% faster graphics
  • 1000 nits peak outdoor brightness and 1200 nits peak brightness for HDR content
  • 10 - 120 Hz screen refresh rate
  • Telephoto camera has a 77mm focal length and 3x optical zoom
  • Ultra Wide camera has ƒ/1.8 aperture, 6-element lens, and 92% better performance in low light
  • Wide camera has ƒ/1.5 aperture, 1.9 µm pixels, and up to 2.2x improvement in low light
  • The iPhone 13 Pro gets 1.5 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max gets 2.5 more hours of battery life than the iPhone 12 models they replace
  • Storage is available in 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB
  • .25 mm thicker than the iPhone 12 Pro models and slightly heavier

iPads

iPad mini

  • 40% faster CPU
  • 80% faster GPU
  • 8.3” display
  • 500 nits of screen brightness
  • 2x faster machine learning
  • 10x faster data transfers with USB-C
  • 5G delivers up to 3.5 Gbps download speeds under ideal conditions
  • 12MP camera with ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • 20W power adapter
  • .31” shorter than the mini it replaces and very slightly lighter

10.2” iPad

  • 20% faster
  • 3x faster than the top-selling Chromebook
  • 6x faster than the leading Android tablet
  • 12MP camera with 122-degree field of view

Apple Watch

  • 40% thinner borders
  • Up to 70% brighter in low power mode
  • WR50 water resistance
  • 33% faster charging than Series 6

You can follow all of our September Apple event coverage through our September 2021 event hub, or subscribe to the dedicated RSS feed.


Apple Watch Series 7: The MacStories Overview

At this morning’s virtual keynote event, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams announced the Apple Watch Series 7. Packing a brand-new display, a more rounded case design, faster charging, and greater resistance to cracking and dust, the Series 7 is a very nice iterative update.

Display and Durability

By far the biggest feature of the Series 7 is its gorgeous new display. Apple has reduced the bezels on all sides of the device by 40%, resulting in just 1.7mm borders around the screen. The screen itself has been stretched to fill this new area, and is 20% bigger than the screen on last year’s Series 6. To fit the new screen, case sizes have been increased to 41mm and 45mm — a fairly subtle change from the 40mm and 44mm sizes of the Series 5 and 6 Apple Watches. Thankfully, compatibility has been maintained with existing Apple Watch bands.

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Apple Watch International Collection Introduced, Featuring 22 Sports Loop Bands and Coordinated Watch Faces

Apple has announced the Apple Watch International Collection comprised of 22 Sports Loop bands and downloadable Stripes watch faces that feature the colors of countries around the world.

According to the company’s press release:

The soft, breathable, and lightweight International Collection Sport Loop bands are available representing the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the US.

The US Sports Loop band from Apple's International Collection modeled by Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken.

The US Sports Loop band from Apple’s International Collection modeled by Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken.

Apple’s press release also features photos of Amy Van Dyken, a six-time Olympic swimming gold medalist and activist for the disabled community, showing off the US-themed band and watch face.

With the Olympics having been delayed until this summer, I suspect Apple has been sitting on these Watch band and face designs for a while. There are a lot of terrific color options available, so be sure to check out Apple’s press release or apple.com, to see all 22.


watchOS 8: The MacStories Overview

At yesterday’s WWDC keynote event, Apple’s VP of Technology Kevin Lynch announced watchOS 8. The latest iteration of the Apple Watch operating system includes advancements in health features, a refreshed take on photos, improved text input, and more. Apple didn’t spend much time on watchOS during the event, but there are many quiet, new features sneaking into this release. Let’s take a look at everything Apple has in store for Apple Watch users this fall.

Health and Fitness

No watchOS update is complete without health and fitness changes. This year, Apple has revamped the Breathe app (and renamed it to Mindfulness), added more sleep tracking features, and provided new workout types.

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