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Posts tagged ‘Apple Watch’

23
Dec

Pokémon GO for Apple Watch Now Available on App Store


Niantic has announced Pokémon GO is now available for Apple Watch as expected, enabling players to discover nearby Pokémon and collect items from PokéStops directly from their wrists. The companion app is bundled with the latest update to Pokémon GO for iPhone [Direct Link], version 1.21.2, rolling out on the App Store now.

Pokémon GO for Apple Watch enables players to log each play session as a Workout, with gameplay counting toward personal Activity rings, receive notifications about nearby Pokémon, view distances toward hatching Pokémon Eggs, receive notifications when Eggs hatch and medals are awarded, and more at a glance.

Pokémon GO cannot be fully played on Apple Watch, as once you encounter a Pokémon, you must catch it from your iPhone. Nevertheless, it should allow players to stare less at their smartphone screens and focus on the real world around them while playing the game, which should dually make catching Pokémon safer.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: Pokémon GO
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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22
Dec

Haptic Feedback WristBand Could Make for Thinner Apple Watch


Apple is looking at ways to offload the Apple Watch’s haptic feedback mechanism from the device’s chassis to the wrist strap, according to a new patent application.

Published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by AppleInsider, the patent application for a “Band attachment mechanism with haptic response” describes a band capable of alerting the wearer to incoming alerts and other notifications.

Applied to Apple’s timepiece, the proposed design would serve to reduce the thickness of the chassis by transferring the linear actuator assembly to the bottom or the side of the wearer’s wrist.

The document describes a hardware component outside the main casing that is able to move laterally and side to side relative to the watch chassis, with other embodiments able to move up and down or rotate around the axis, in contrast to existing embodiments which are limited to back-and-forth movements.

This would allow the outside mechanisms to reproduce the various movements of Apple’s Taptic Engine, such as taps and shakes, with further variations possible depending on the integrated haptic subsystem.

band actuator Apple Watch patent
The patent goes on to describe ways in which haptic devices could be embedded in the smartwatch band, such as within the strap buckle or spring bars, presumably receiving motion instructions via a hardwired connection.

Perhaps in contrast to some of Apple’s other products, making the next-generation Apple Watch thinner would likely be welcomed by users. Locating the actuator outside the casing would also likely make haptic feedback more noticeable to the wearer.

The patent application was filed relatively recently, in June of this year, suggesting such a feature could still be included in the next iteration.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: patent
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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21
Dec

Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 3.1.3 to Developers


Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 3.1.3 update to developers for testing purposes, more than a week after watchOS 3.1.1 was released and three months after the launch of watchOS 3.

watchOS 3.1.3 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. watchOS 3.1.3 requires an iPhone running iOS 10 to install.

We don’t know yet what new features or bug fixes might be included in the watchOS 3.1.3 update, but we’ll update this post with any new discoveries. watchOS betas are often rather minor in scale, focusing on small bug fixes and performance improvements rather than major interface changes.

The watchOS 3.1.3 beta comes shortly after Apple pulled the watchOS 3.1.1 release after it was found to be bricking some Apple Watch Series 2 devices. Apple has not re-released an updated version of watchOS 3.1.1 that fixes the bug, so many users are still running watchOS 3.1.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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21
Dec

Apple Offering Refurbished Series 1 and Series 2 Apple Watch Models


Apple today updated its online store for refurbished products, introducing refurbished Apple Watch models for the first time since the Apple Watch was released in the spring of 2015.

The Apple Watch refurbished section includes both Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 models at 14 to 16 percent off depending on configuration. No original Apple Watch models are included.

Both aluminum and stainless steel Apple Watch models are included, in 38 and 42mm size options. All Apple Watches listed in the store feature Sport bands in a variety of colors.

Aluminum Apple Watch models start at $229 for the 38mm version ($40 off), while 38mm stainless steel Apple Watch models start at $469 ($80 off).

Refurbished stock varies on a day-by-day basis according to the models that Apple has on hand, and supplies can potentially go quickly. Refurbished stock is refreshed on a regular basis, however.

All of Apple’s refurbished Apple Watch models include magnetic charging cables and a full one-year warranty, just like non-refurbished products. Series 2 models ship with a power adapter, while Series 1 models do not.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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18
Dec

Niantic Says Pokémon GO for Apple Watch is ‘Coming Soon’ Following Cancellation Hoax


Over the weekend, a Reddit user shared an image of a fake email which appeared to claim Pokémon GO for Apple Watch had been abandoned. A subsequent report, citing “a source with knowledge of the plans,” said development of the companion Apple Watch app had indeed been shelved.

Pokémon GO developer Niantic confirmed the image in the Reddit post “is not real” in a statement sent to TechCrunch and Recode, and debunked the subsequent report in the process by noting development of the companion Apple Watch app continues, as it has since before the app was announced in September.

Pokémon GO also confirmed on Twitter that the Apple Watch app is “coming soon.”

Pokémon Go for Apple Watch is coming soon. Stay tuned.

— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) December 17, 2016

Rene Ritchie at iMore, citing “a couple sources,” believes Pokémon Go for Apple Watch is “still on track for a 2016 launch.”

#pokemongo for Apple Watch is still on track for release. Looking forward to it! (Checked with a couple sources. They’re all excited.)

— Rene Ritchie 🖇 (@reneritchie) December 17, 2016

Ritchie believes Apple and Niantic are likely taking the time to ensure Pokémon GO’s integration with the Apple Watch is done right.

So where is it? There’s a certain amount of complexity involved in making Pokémon Go for Apple Watch. It ties into both the Apple Watch Workout system, which means you’ll get credit towards your activity goals while out catching Pokémon, and HealthKit, which syncs all the information. The latter especially has some of the most involved privacy systems Apple has ever deployed, and my guess is Niantic and Apple are taking the time to make sure all that integration is done right.

Pokémon GO for Apple Watch was unveiled at an Apple media event in September. Skip to the 25:20 mark in the video below.


The app will provide Pokémon GO players with at-a-glance information, such as how far they need to walk to hatch a particular egg. The main screen shows the player’s current level and XP remaining to get to the next. Pokémon GO walks are recorded in Workouts, helping players achieve their Activity goals.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: Pokémon GO
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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15
Dec

Weight Watchers Offering Apple Watch Series 2 With Membership


Weight Watchers today introduced a variation of its OnlinePlus subscription plan that includes a new 38mm model Apple Watch Series 2 with an annual membership.

The subscription plan has an initial installment fee of $99.95 in the first month, followed by a monthly fee of $34.95 for the next 12 months, for a total price of nearly $520.

Apple Watch Series 2 models start at $369, while a standalone OnlinePlus membership currently costs $242 for 13 months, so the combo would cost $611 if purchased separately.

In other words, if you were already planning to join Weight Watchers and purchase a new Apple Watch Series 2, this promotion will save you around $109.

“Weight Watchers and Apple share the belief that moving more each day has a powerful impact on people’s lives,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are thrilled that Weight Watchers will be helping their members live a healthier day with the addition of Apple Watch to their OnlinePlus program.”

At the end of the 13-month period, the plan automatically renews for a standard monthly fee of $19.95 until you cancel.

The announcement makes no mention of having to return the Apple Watch at the end of the membership period, but there is a $304 early cancellation fee to pay for the device if you cancel in the first month. The cancellation fee will be reduced by $25.33 per month thereafter until the 13-month installment plan expires.

With an OnlinePlus subscription, the official Weight Watchers app [Direct Link] for iOS and Apple Watch enables members to track their food intake and physical activity with a personalized dashboard. Users can set tailored and adaptive activity goals, access a community exclusive to Weight Watchers, and more.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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14
Dec

Apple Pulls watchOS 3.1.1 Update After Bricking Complaints


Following complaints that the new watchOS 3.1.1 update is bricking some Series 2 Apple Watch models, Apple has temporarily pulled the update.

watchOS 3.1.1 is no longer available for download from the Watch app on the iPhone, with watchOS 3.1 listed as the most recent update for those who had not already downloaded and installed 3.1.1.

After installing watchOS 3.1.1, some Apple Watch Series 2 owners had their devices bricked. Affected Apple Watches are displaying a red exclamation mark on the screen that instructs them to visit http://www.apple.com/help/watch.

The site directs Apple Watch owners to perform a force restart of the Apple Watch by holding down the side button and the Digital Crown, and says that if a restart does not work to restore the device, it will need to be taken in for service.

Resetting the Apple Watch has not worked for customers who have had their watches bricked by watchOS 3.1.1, and replacement Apple Watches will be required. Apple retail locations cannot service Apple Watches in store, because access to the diagnostic port (something not done in-store) is required.

Most users who are affected by the problem own an Apple Watch Series 2, and it is not yet clear why the update failed on some devices and not on others. watchOS 3.1.1 will likely be made available again once the bug is cleared up. Customers with an Apple Watch bricked by watchOS 3.1.1 should visit an Apple retail store or contact Apple support.

(Thanks, Manolo!)

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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13
Dec

watchOS 3.1.1 Bricking Some Apple Watch Series 2 Models


Following the release of watchOS 3.1.1 yesterday afternoon, a few early-installers of the latest operating system for the Apple Watch have found that their devices become bricked during the update process. Users in the MacRumors forums, email tipsters, and quite a few Redditors have begun reporting a red exclamation mark on their Apple Watch’s screen that guides them to http://www.apple.com/help/watch.

Most have discovered they now need to send the device back to Apple so it can be replaced because Apple retail locations can’t service the problem in-store. To fix the issue, the Apple Watch has to be restored through the device’s small diagnostic port, which Apple Stores don’t cover.

Image via Redditor Moust4ki
The majority of users appear to be using an Apple Watch Series 2, and issues first began with reports of the watchOS 3.1.1 update getting stuck on the circular progress bar. A few bricking cases appear to be because some users were force-restarting the Apple Watch during the update process because of the progress bar being stuck in one place for upwards of a few hours. However, most cases appear to lack a specific reason as to why the Apple Watch bricked during the update, with those users reporting not having touched or interacted with the device while it was charging and updating.

Now, users affected by bricked Apple Watches can either visit an Apple Store so the location can ship off the device to be replaced by a new Apple Watch, or they can visit Apple’s support site to begin the exchange process and ship it off themselves. The Series 0 and Series 1 Apple Watches appear to have gotten through the watchOS 3.1.1 update with less of a hassle, although some admitted the update did “take a long time” and needed to be installed twice in one case.

Apple has yet to address the watchOS 3.1.1 bricking issue, but it should be noted that there are also plenty of Series 2 owners who have made it out the other side of the update without any problems. Still, if you’re concerned about a potential bricked Apple Watch, it appears that the best course of action is to stay on a version of watchOS of 3.1 or below for the time being. Yesterday, Apple also released iOS 10.2 and tvOS 10.1, both introducing the all-new TV app to users.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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12
Dec

Apple Releases watchOS 3.1.1 With Bug Fixes, Performance Improvements and New Emoji


Apple today released a new software update for the Apple Watch, upgrading watchOS 3.1 to watchOS 3.1.1. The watchOS 3.1.1 update comes more than two months after thewatchOS 3 was provided to the public in September and marks the second update to the operating system. watchOS 3.1.1 has been in testing since October 31.

watchOS 3.1.1 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General -> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. An iPhone running iOS 10 or later is required to download the new software, but it is available for all Apple Watch models.

No major outward-facing changes were discovered in watchOS 3.1.1 during the beta testing period, suggesting it focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements. watchOS 3.1.1 does support the new Unicode 9 emoji that have been introduced in iOS 10.2 and it includes a new feature for changing the skin tone of emoji. A full list of bug fixes is below:

– Fixes an issue that could prevent contact names from appearing in the Messages app and notifications
– Fixes an issue that could impact ability to respond to notifications
– Resolves an issue where the Stocks complication may not update on the watch face
– Fixes an issue that may prevent the Activity rings from displaying on the Activity watch faces
– Fixes an issue that prevented the dials on an analog watch face from appearing after changing the temperature unit in the Weather app
– Resolves an issue that could cause the Maps app to stay launched after navigation has ended
– Resolves an issue where the incorrect date could be displayed in the Calendar app month view

watchOS 3 completely overhauls the interface on the Apple Watch, introducing a dedicated app dock, instant launch apps, new watch faces, and new complication options. There are new Activity sharing features, a “Breathe” app guides users through deep breathing sessions, and an SOS feature can automatically call emergency service.

For more details on what’s new in watchOS 3, make sure to check out our watchOS 3 roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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6
Dec

Tim Cook Says Apple Watch Set New Sales Record in First Holiday Shopping Week


Earlier today data from market research firm IDC said that Apple Watch’s share of the wearables market fell to 5% as fitness trackers “reigned supreme.” In an email responding to a Reuters inquiry about the report, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch’s sell-through rate hit a new high recently.

“Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,” he said.

Cook added that Apple’s data shows that the Watch “looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year.” The IDC report estimated that Apple shipped 1.1 million Apple Watch units in the third quarter, down from 3.9 million shipments last year during the same quarter.

IDC attributed the decline to an “aging lineup” and an “unintuitive user interface.” Apple addressed those concerns with the Apple Watch Series 2, but the model’s launch date in mid-September hampered its impact in the third quarter.

While Cook told Reuters that Apple’s sell-through rate was high, he has not yet responded to Reuters’ request for specific sales figures. Apple doesn’t disclose Apple Watch sales figures, instead grouping it into its “other products” category, which also includes iPod and Apple TV, in earnings results.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Tag: Tim Cook
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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