Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 4.2.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 4.2.2 update to developers, a little over one week after releasing the watchOS 4.2 update, which introduced Apple Pay Cash on the Apple Watch.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta 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 needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

It's not yet clear what new features or improvements the watchOS 4.2.2 update might introduce, but we'll update this post once we've installed the update and have had time to dig into the new features.

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Workouts++ 2.0 Brings Apple Watch Podcast Playback, Siri Integration, Location Tracking, and More

Free third-party fitness app Workouts++ got its 2.0 release on Tuesday, bringing a wealth of new features and improvements to the software, almost a year after its debut on iOS and Apple Watch.

Users looking for an alternative to the native watchOS Workout app should find plenty to pique their interest in this update, which makes the most of new APIs available since the release of watchOS 4 and features a redesigned workout configuration system.


Highlights include the ability to download podcasts to Apple Watch for playback during workouts, support for LTE streaming, GPS tracking and mapping, as well as Siri integration and a plethora of watch display customization options.

The app also gains support for swimming and the display of VO2 Max values, additional stopwatch, elevation, average pace/speed and activity ring metrics for display during workouts, distance and duration alerts, plus a workout recovery feature in the event that the device's battery runs out during exercise.

Workouts++ is a free download for iPhone from the App Store.

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watchOS 4.1 GymKit Feature Rolls Out to First U.S. Gym

GymKit, the watchOS 4.1 feature that allows the Apple Watch to interface with gym equipment like treadmills, has started rolling out in the United States in a very limited capacity.

According to CNET, GymKit is available at the Life Time Athletic location at Sky in New York City. This is the sole location where GymKit is available, but it is coming to Equinox locations and additional Life Time Athletic locations in 2018.


GymKit is also available at select locations in the United Kingdom and Australia.

CNET was able to test the GymKit functionality, and found it to work well. Setup was a one-tap affair, with a tap on the equipment and then a confirmation on the Apple Watch. Once paired, health data from both gym equipment and the Apple Watch syncs up for a more accurate reading.

GymKit is compatible with fitness machines from TechnoGym, Life Fitness, Matrix, Star Trac, Schwinnn, Cybex, and Stairmaster, with Apple eventually planning to cover 80 percent of the fitness equipment market. At the gym where CNET tested GymKit, the feature works with ellipticals, treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair-climbers.

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Apple Releases watchOS 4.2 With Support for Apple Pay Cash

Apple today released watchOS 4.2, the second major update to the watchOS 4 operating system that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 4.2 comes a little over one month after the release of watchOS 4.1, the first major update to watchOS 4 that brought Apple Music streaming over LTE.

watchOS 4.2 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the iPhone.


The watchOS 4.2 update introduces support for Apple Pay Cash, Apple's new peer-to-peer payments service designed to let users transfer money to one another. Apple Pay Cash, which is also available in iOS 11.2, can be used to send and receive money through the Messages app on the Apple Watch. Apple Pay Cash started rolling out yesterday and is officially available for everyone as of today.

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Payments are sent using a linked credit or debit card (or an existing Apple Pay Cash balance), while money received is stored within a new Apple Pay Cash card that's available in the Wallet app. For more on Apple Pay Cash, make sure to check out our how to.

Along with support for Apple Pay Cash, the watchOS 4.2 update also adds support for HomeKit sprinklers and faucets, plus it introduces a new workout type that allows third-party apps to track distance, average speed, number of runs, and elevation descended for downhill snow sports with Apple Watch Series 3.

The update addresses a bug that could cause the Apple Watch to sometimes restart when asking Siri about the weather, it fixes an issue that could cause scrolling to be disabled in Heart Rate for some users, and it resolves an issue that prevented simultaneous timers or alarms from being dismissed independently.

For more on the watchOS 4 operating system, make sure to check out our dedicated watchOS 4 roundup.

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Apple Releases Apple Watch Sport Bands and iPhone Cases in Three New Colors

Apple today quietly added three new Apple Watch Sport bands to its online store, introducing three unique colors. The new bands are available in Spicy Orange, Dark Teal, and Flash, a bright shade of yellow.

Flash and Spicy Orange match previously available Sport Loop and Woven Nylon bands. The Flash color is available for the Sport Loop, and Spicy Orange is available for both the Sport Loop and the Woven Nylon.


The Spicy Orange shade is similar to the exclusive orange Apple Watch Sport band Apple offers with its Herm├Ęs Apple Watch models, which has never been available on a standalone basis.

The new Apple Watch Sport bands, like all Sport Bands, are available for both the 38 and 42mm Apple Watch models and are priced at $49. Sport Bands fit wrists from 130 to 200mm and come in S&M and M&L sizes with both size options included in the purchase price.

Apple's Silicone Cases for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus are also available in three new colors, including Flash and Spicy Orange to match the new Sport Bands and Cosmos Blue, which is similar to the Dark Teal and a color previously available for the iPhone lineup in leather.


The new iPhone cases are priced at $39 for the X, $35 for the 8, and $39 for the 8 Plus. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus cases also fit the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

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Apple Introduces New Apple Watch Recycling Program Offering Gift Cards Up To $175

Apple today updated its Renew and Recycling program for the Apple Watch, offering Apple Store gift cards for older Apple Watch devices that are in good working condition through a partnership with Brightstar.

Apple previously allowed customers to recycle the Apple Watch through its recycling program, but there were no gift cards offered. Gift cards received from recycling products can be put towards new devices purchased from the Apple Store, either at retail locations or online.


Gift cards are available for original Apple Watch models, Apple Watch Series 1 models, and Apple Watch Series 2 models, with Apple offering between $50 and $175 depending on device. For a 42mm stainless steel Apple Watch Series 2 in full working condition, for example, Apple is offering $175, which is the highest payout available.

For an original 42mm Apple Watch Sport model in good working condition, Apple is offering $50, the lowest payout. These prices are lower than what you might get attempting to sell a device on your own, but higher in some cases than the prices available through other trade-in programs.

Working condition means the device powers on, the enclosure is in good condition, there are no obvious signs of liquid damage, the display is in good condition, and the buttons are operational. Apple does allow for normal wear and tear when it comes to the display and the enclosure, however.


Apple is only offering money for Apple Watch devices that meet all of the above restrictions. For devices that are damaged in some way, Apple offers free recycling through Brightstar, but no gift card.

When recycling an Apple Watch through Brightstar, the company will allow you to use your own shipping or it will send a free shipping box. Customers must make sure the Apple Watch is free of all faults, all data has been wiped, and that the battery is fully charged. It does not appear that charging cables nor Apple Watch bands need to be sent with the Apple Watch.

Apple, in partnership with Brightstar, also offers gift cards when recycling a range of older iPhones, iPads, Macs, PCs, and smartphones from third-party manufacturers.

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Apple Shares New Short Holiday Ads Promoting Apple Watch Series 3

Apple is promoting the Apple Watch Series 3 as a holiday gift idea in a new series of ads shared this afternoon on its YouTube channel. Entitled "The Gift of Go," each of the four videos focuses on the Apple Watch Series 3 being used during a specific activity.

The ads focus on snowboarding, soccer, working out, and swimming, with each one showing off a different Apple Watch Series 3 feature. Soccer and snowboarding, for example, demonstrate phone calls over cellular and text messaging.




Workout highlights Apple Music, and Swim focuses on the Workout app. All of the ads share the same general style - a quick look at a feature that shifts to a multi-object view that then transforms into wrapping paper over an Apple Watch Series 3 box.




These videos are just about 15 seconds in length, which is the video length that Apple uses for social media ads on sites like Instagram.

All of the videos focus on the aluminum Apple Watch Series 3 models that have LTE capabilities, with the red Digital Crown clearly visible in each one.

While these are the first short videos featuring the Apple Watch Series 3 that Apple has shared, the company has been running several Apple Watch ads that debuted when the device was first announced in September.

Apple Watch Series 3 models are likely to be a popular holiday gift. Pricing on the Series 3 models with LTE begins at $399, while non-LTE models are priced at $329.

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Apple Watch Market Share Declined Over Summer as Rumors Swirled About Series 3 Models With LTE

Apple Watch was the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin last quarter, but its market share declined over the summer, according to data shared with MacRumors by research firm IDC.


Whereas the Apple Watch represented just under half of all smartwatches shipped in the second quarter with 49.6 percent market share, the device had an estimated 41 percent market share in the third quarter. In other words, four out of every 10 smartwatches shipped last quarter were Apple Watches.

Apple Watch shipments totaled an estimated 2.7 million units in the July-September period, down from 3.4 million units in the prior quarter.

Worldwide smartwatch shipments in Q3 2017 via IDC. Units reflected in millions.

Apple Watch shipments were likely affected by seasonality, as the summer is traditionally a slower sales period for Apple. Also, some customers may have delayed their purchase given consistent rumors about Apple Watch Series 3 models with cellular capabilities launching in September, as did happen.

Samsung finished runner-up to the Apple Watch with an estimated 700,000 shipments, also down slightly from the prior quarter.

Garmin took third place with 600,000 shipments, unchanged from the prior quarter. Fossil and Continental Wireless, which makes kids smartwatches in China, tied for fourth place with shipments of 500,000 smartwatches respectively. All other smartwatch makers shipped 1.7 million units combined in the quarter.

IDC's data shared with MacRumors is based exclusively on smartwatches, which it defines as watches that can run third-party apps on the device itself.

In the broader wearables market, which includes many low-priced fitness trackers, IDC estimates the Apple Watch captured 10.3 percent market share last quarter. Fitbit and Chinese vendor Xiaomi tied for the lead in that category last quarter with an estimated 13.7 percent market share each.

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wearable under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPods, and other accessories.

On a conference call early this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook did reveal that Apple Watch sales were up 50 percent in the quarter year over year. Apple reported revenue of $3.2 billion from its "Other Products" category, up 36 percent year over year.
Moving on now to Apple Watch, with unit growth of over 50 percent for the third consecutive quarter, it continues to be the best selling and most loved smartwatch in the world. We began shipping Apple Watch Series 3 just six weeks ago, and customers love the new freedom of cellular. The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch, or go for a quick errand without your phone, while staying connected, is a game changer. Now more than ever, Apple Watch is the ultimate device for healthy life, and is already making a big difference in our customers' lives.
Apple today announced that Apple Watch users in the United States can participate in a heart study aimed at identifying irregular heart rhythms.

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AliveCor ‘Kardia Band’ Medical Grade EKG Analyzer for Apple Watch Receives FDA Approval

Medical smartphone accessory company AliveCor this week received FDA-approval for its EKG Kardia Band, the first medical-grade accessory for Apple Watch. The band has been available in Europe for some months, but the product's clearance by the FDA means it can now be sold in the United States.

The Kardia Band for Apple Watch has an integrated metallic sensor in the strap that enables it to communicate with the company's app to take EKG readings, where it can detect abnormal heart rhythm and atrial fibrillation (AF), much like AliveCor's existing KardiaMobile device.


However, the latter device attaches to the back of an iPhone and requires users to hold their phone with both hands for 30 seconds to register a reading, whereas the Kardia Band lets wearers take readings discreetly wherever they are and in real time.

Users need only navigate to the Apple Watch-compatible Kardia app, start a reading, place their thumb on the sensor, and wait for the 30-second analysis to finish. During this time, they can also speak into the Apple Watch's microphone to note the presence of palpitations or shortness of breath, or any dietary habits that could be linked to heart-rate fluctuations.

Recordings are stored and viewed in the Kardia iPhone app, and can also be sent to the user's doctor. The app also connects to Apple's stock Health app, so users can integrate their EKG readings into other fitness data for a more comprehensive picture of their overall health.


According to TechCrunch, AliveCor is also introducing a new feature called SmartRhythm that utilizes a neural network for better insights into heart rate data. The company says SmartRhythm can potentially detect an abnormal heart beat using the Kardiaband or KardiaMobile EKG reader.

The AliveCor Kardia Band costs $199 and can be ordered directly from the company's website or from Amazon. Readers should also note that a subscription to AliveCor's premium service ($99 a year) is required to access all of the available features once the 30-day trial period ends.

(Thanks, Anna!)

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Macy’s Launches Apple Watch Series 1 Black Friday Discount: 38mm for $180 and 42mm for $210

The latest Black Friday deal has gone live today, and this time it's for the Apple Watch Series 1, which debuted alongside the Series 2 in September 2016. The Series 1 models lack the advancements of 2017's Series 3 -- like LTE and a faster processor -- but the older Apple Watch is still a reliable device, and now with a cheaper entry price over at Macy's, it makes for a great holiday gift.

The retailer has the Apple Watch Series 1 discounted by $70 beginning today, with 38mm models running for $179.00 and 42mm models priced at $209.00. In terms of overall Black Friday deals, we know that Target will match this $70 off Series 1 deal beginning tomorrow when sales there go live. So if you're looking to get some shopping done a little early, Macy's offer is the first notable Apple Watch Series 1 deal happening this holiday season.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with LivingSocial. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Here's every Apple Watch Series 1 device available in Macy's sale:

As a point of comparison, the new non-LTE Apple Watch Series 3 models are priced at $329 (38mm) and $359 (42mm). Sales on Series 2 models have been appearing frequently throughout the fall, with the most recent dropping 38mm cases to $229 and 42mmm cases to $259. Until Black Friday sales, no notable deals had yet to arrive for the Series 1 devices following the launch of Series 3 in September.

If you purchase the Series 1, be aware that in comparison to higher-cost versions it has a slower S1P processor, lower water resistance (so it is not suitable for swimming), a display that doesn't get as bright, slightly lower battery life, and no LTE or GPS support. Otherwise, you'll be able to access all of the expected Apple Watch features like activity tracking, notification and phone call support with a connected iPhone, and more.

Also of note is an Apple Music deal going on at LivingSocial, where you can get a four month subscription to Apple's streaming music service for free. This deal essentially adds one extra month (priced at $9.99/month) onto Apple Music's existing three month free trial, and is only available to new subscribers signing up for an individual membership plan.

As always, you can visit our Black Friday Roundup to keep track of the latest deals going on heading into Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Some sales will begin going online a bit early today, but the bulk will see activation when retailers first open their doors tomorrow night between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. local time.

Tag: Macy's
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