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The Verge 22 September, 2021 - 08:01am 19 views

Is Watchos 8 out?

watchOS 8 brings powerful features to Apple Watch users to help them stay connected, be more active, and better understand their overall health and wellness. The redesigned Photos app, new watch faces, and tools in Messages provide customers with more ways to connect with loved ones. ... Apple NewsroomwatchOS 8 is available today

The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399 and is coming later in the fall. It was announced at Apple's event last week. But the changes don't seem that dramatic. It has a larger display with thinner bezels, a faster-charging battery that promises 8 hours of use after 8 minutes of charging and a more crack-resistant front crystal. But the battery life -- 18 hours -- is the same as last year's watch. 

There are also new colors for the aluminum case: blue, green, midnight (black), starlight (a gold-silver blend) and Product Red. You can add still more expensive upgrades to steel and titanium-cased versions, too.

Read more: WatchOS 8: New features coming to your Apple Watch

This year, the updates seem sparse, too, and it doesn't look that different from a casual distance. The promises of better durability and faster charging do seem useful, although probably not enough for most to consider an upgrade from a recent model.

The larger screen should allow more readable and detailed watch faces, notifications and apps, much like the Series 4's size increase a few years ago. Apple says it's 20% larger than the Series 6, and 50% larger than the Series 3. Buttons are larger on the displays, and Apple says 50% more text can be fit on-screen, while the display is 70% brighter indoors in always-on mode. (A new on-screen full keyboard will pop up now for entering text, in addition to scribble and dictation options.) 

The display is curved at the corners now, wrapping around the case a bit. I didn't see this in person yet, but I looked at a 3D model in AR and it shows the subtle effect from the side.

There are new watch faces, too: a revamped Modular watch face and a number-warping watch face with its digits around the curved edge. But there's still no way to get new watch faces in a watch face store, although Apple's watch faces have a lot of customization options.

Apple Watch 7 up close! (in AR) pic.twitter.com/OHgRHNpWX3

The Watch 7 has an IP6X rating, which is new and promises better dust resistance. The curved crystal is also 50% thicker, according to Apple, which could lead to less cracking. But we haven't tested that yet, and don't know how durable it actually is yet (and won't know until later this fall, whenever the watch arrives). The watch has the same 50-meter water resistance for freshwater, pool, or ocean swimming as recent previous models. 

Apple's touting the fast-charging features on the Watch 7, which promise 8 hours of battery life on 8 minutes of charging. That is helpful, especially when maybe you've forgotten to charge the watch the night before (or for people wearing the Apple Watch to bed for sleep tracking), but the overall battery life for the watch remains the same. Expect about a day and a half of use, based on my previous experience.

Missing, however, are any new health features or sensors. Samsung's recent Galaxy Watch 4 and last year's Fitbit Sense started introducing new health sensors like body analysis and electrodermal activity, but Apple hasn't introduced anything new on the Series 7 health-wise compared to last year. Also absent is any improvement in battery life or a watch face store.

The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $399 in the US, but we don't know prices for the different sizes, LTE-ready models, or for different materials. Expect prices to ramp up like previous Apple Watches, though. Prices for other countries are also yet to be announced.

Apple's newest version of WatchOS arrived Sept. 20, adding new cycling features, a redesigned Mindfulness app, and Wallet app upgrades. Maybe those updates will be enough for existing Apple Watch owners, and they won't see a need to upgrade their watches at all.

Apple's watch lineup has been getting steadily more successful, especially as wearable competitors have consolidated. Apple's Fitness Plus subscription service, launched at the end of last year, requires the Watch to take advantage of its video workouts. Apple announced a new group workout feature at today's event, too. 

Last year's Apple Watch SE sought to become a more affordable Apple Watch, but its $279 starting price was still well above budget fitness trackers from companies such as Fitbit. This year, the Watch SE and Series 3 remain on sale, with the SE still at $279 (£269, AU$429) and the Series 3 at $199 (£199, AU$299). International prices for the Series 7 were not announced.

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watchOS 8 is out now - here's how it changes your Apple Watch

Techradar 22 September, 2021 - 02:02pm

It’s a year that focuses on refining what’s already there, while showcasing some new watch faces which look to take advantage of your portrait mode shots taken on your iPhone.

However, if you’re passionate about fitness, there’s plenty of improvements here to delve into that could benefit you.

If you have a bunch of smart lights around your home, the Home app has been redesigned to take more control of what your accessories offer, alongside being able to see who’s knocking on your door with a live video feed.

If you wear your Apple Watch while you sleep, watchOS 8 now measures your heart rate, giving you more information on how many breaths you take per minute, which is stored in the Health app.

A new watchOS release always brings new watch faces, and the same applies here. A new Portrait Face showcases the photos you’ve taken on your iPhone with the Portrait Mode setting, which gives you a bokeh effect. This is where the subject is focused on, and the surroundings are blurred out. For this watch face, the subject is given the main attention, while the time is in the background.

Focus is another new feature taken from iOS 15, where you can create certain profiles that decide on how notifications are delivered, and when. This syncs up with watchOS 8, to only notify you when needed.

While there’s fewer features in watchOS this year when compared to iOS 15, it doesn’t mean it’s an update to hold off from. The Apple Watch has always been a device focused on your wellbeing, physically and mentally, and watchOS 8 is no different.

Since the launch of Apple Watch in 2015, Apple is constantly working towards making sure that the Watch helps you across your day without being a hindrance. It’s the companion on your wrist to help you and not annoy.

watchOS 8 is only refining this aim, and the features it brings, however small, are still going to make a big impact on your daily routine.

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Apple Watch 8 early rumors and what we want to see

Tom's Guide 22 September, 2021 - 02:02pm

Everything we know about the Apple Watch 8, plus the top features we're hoping to see

Apple has announced a new version of the best smartwatch every year since the launch of the original. So there's a good chance the company is already working on a follow up to the Apple Watch 7. We haven't seen any major leaks like we have for the iPhone 14, but rumors that didn't materialize with the latest model could be destined for Apple Watch 8.

For all we know, Apple is still planning the flat-edged redesign many people anticipated. It could also bring a new health sensor to the Apple Watch 8, since the Apple Watch 7's hardware isn't introducing much in terms of wellness. In the meantime, watchOS 8 welcomes more workout types, plus a Mindfulness app for reflecting on an everyday basis. 

Still, we're curious about what's ahead. The Apple Watch sets the standards for wearable computing, making early Apple Watch 8 rumors (and watchOS 9 rumors) worth putting on your radar. Be sure to bookmark this page for the latest updates on the possible Apple Watch 8 price and release date, expected features and more. 

Similarly, there's no information available about the Apple Watch 8 price right now. But Apple has maintained the same price structure for several years, so we expect next year's Apple Watch will match the price of the Apple Watch 7. The Apple Watch 7 starts at $399 for the 41mm model, with premiums for the larger 45mm model and cellular connectivity.

There's a chance the Apple Watch 8 comes alongside a less expensive Apple Watch SE follow up, which would be two years old by next September. We could see an Apple Watch SE 2 starting at $279 with updated specs compared to the current best Apple Watch for those on a budget.

The Apple Watch's appearance has remained virtually unchanged since the first model debuted in 2016, but the iconic squircle was tweaked with the Apple Watch 7 to accommodate larger displays in a ever-so-curvier chassis.

But the Apple Watch 8 could follow the design language of newer, flat-edged iPhones, if it gets the upgrades that were previously rumored for the Series 7. Expectations of a flat-sided Apple Watch grew when leaker Jon Prosser shared a series of renders earlier this year. Prosser hedged the timeline of the major design change, saying his sources could've passed along intel for a different future Apple Watch — not necessarily the Apple Watch 7. 

Another set of renders published ahead of the Apple Watch 7 announcement revealed plans for a flat-edged redesign. The reportedly leaked CAD renders, shared by 91Mobiles tease an all-flat design, display included.

Could Apple jump from its curviest Apple Watch yet to its sharpest?

Better battery life: The Apple Watch's battery life has been rated for 18 hours for several years now. And while the company has added more taxing features like an always-on display, you still can't bypass a daily charge. Maybe with a larger battery capacity and a more efficient processor, the Apple Watch 8's stamina will improve compared to previous-generation models. We hope for this every year, though. Even the Apple Watch 7 was tipped for a huge battery life boost, but it didn't happen.

Skin temperature reader: According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is working on on a skin-temperature sensor, as found in the Fitbit Sense. A Wall Street Journal report targets 2022 as the possible arrival for this capability, which would require new hardware in the Apple Watch to monitor temperature. It's possible the watch's temperature-taking ability would be pitched as a fertility-planning feature.

Blood glucose reader: Blood glucose reading for Apple Watch has been rumored for some time. The Wall Street Journal report mentioning skin temperature reading also confirms that Apple wants its smartwatch to be able to detect or help monitor diabetes. There are already third-party apps that work with an invasive pump, but Apple is reportedly studying noninvasive ways to take blood glucose readings. 

Blood pressure monitor: Like blood glucose reading, rumors of blood pressure monitoring for Apple Watch began a while back. For a moment ahead of the Apple Watch 7 launch, Apple seemed poised to announce the health sensor, but it didn't materialize. As we've seen, Samsung is still struggling to earn FDA approval for the blood pressuring monitor in the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. The Apple Watch won't get blood pressure monitoring until it earns the necessary certificates for U.S. application. 

MicroLED display: Rumors have considered that the Apple Watch could make a switch from an OLED display to a microLED screen. It could enable a slimmer and more power-efficient Apple Watch. MicroLED displays offer better brightness and don't suffer from the luminance decay problems of traditional OLED panels. In other words, using micro-LED screen tech could help boost the Apple Watch's lifespan, which stands at just 18 hours with an always-on display. 

Touch ID: The Apple Watch's current biometric system is pretty simple. If you use a passcode, you'll need to type it in anytime you put your Apple Watch on your wrist. Considering the amount of information your smartwatch may hold, we'd welcome more security. Until the Apple Watch gets a native selfie camera for FaceID, TouchID seems like the solution. Perhaps a fingerprint reader could be added to the side button, or even under the Apple Watch display.

Even larger sizes: Though the Apple Watch 7 grew from 40mm and 44mm to 41mm and 45mm (as confirmed by Apple Watch bands listed on Apple's website), we'd like the Apple Watch to come in even larger sizes. The current sizes allow for a miniaturized user experience that’s excellent in snippets but impractical for productivity. Adding a couple of millimeters to the Apple Watch might not sound like a major change, but it could give the company room to add things like stronger microphones and speakers or a bigger processor.

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Ted Lasso won a pile of Emmys. So WTF actually is Apple TV Plus?

CNET 22 September, 2021 - 02:02pm

The latest in street and contemporary art

Shop the latest drops for Men's and Women's

iOS 15 offers several key new features to enhance the iPhone user experience and widen communications capabilities across Apple devices:

FaceTime received a boost with the introduction of SharePlay, which allows parties to watch TV shows and movies, listen to music or share their screen while chatting over FaceTime. Notably, the function offers synced playback controls so that both parties can react to shared moments at the same time.

Apple also rolled out spatial audio for FaceTime calls, which allows individual voices to sound like they’re coming from the direction in which they’re positioned on the screen, helping conversations to flow more naturally. In addition, FaceTime links can now be shared with anyone via a weblink, allowing both Windows and Android users to use the service.

The latest update also offers new tools to minimize distractions. The Focus feature allows users to choose what tasks to prioritize while minimizing the number of notifications received from other apps. Users can also signal to others that they are in Focus mode to avoid disruption.

Notifications have been redesigned with larger icons for easy skimming and can now be sent out as a streamlined daily summary, while the Maps app now offers greater detail, better walking directions and 3D landmarks. The Safari web browser can now support extensions and has been revamped to include a bottom tab bar for easier page swiping. In addition, the Wallet app will soon support driver’s licenses and digital keys.

One standout feature is the introduction of Live Text in photos, which uses on-device AI to pinpoint useful information in images, like phone numbers and email addresses. Live Text also supports translation in seven different languages, including English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Users can utilize the Visual Look Up feature to learn more about objects in photos, while the Spotlight function now shows more information at a glance.

The Photos app also received a boost to its Memories feature, while the Health app now offers greater ways to share important data with designated contacts to better track health changes.

Lastly, iOS 15 bumps up the privacy and security on Apple portable devices, providing increased visibility into how apps access user data and introducing an iCloud+ subscription feature with enhanced privacy options.

See the entire list of iOS 15 features here.

In case you haven’t, check out the biggest announcements from Apple’s September Keynote event.

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Apple Watch Series 7 vs Apple Watch Series 6

PhoneArena 22 September, 2021 - 02:02pm

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Apple Watch Series 7 leaked document suggests not much has changed since last year

The Indian Express 22 September, 2021 - 02:02pm

Apple is known to not provide the exact specifications of its products on launch, instead choosing to focus on more experiential aspects that would make more sense to Apple fans and potential buyers. The new Apple Watch Series 7 got the same treatment during the brand’s September 14 launch earlier this month and while new features were highlighted, a lot of the specifications were not made available.

However, a new leak on Twitter, which is reportedly an internal document straight out of the Cupertino-based company reveals a detailed look into the specifications of the Apple Watch Series 7. Specifications mention the new S7 SiP (system in package) and the weight figures of the various Series 7 models.

The document suggests that the aluminium version of the Apple Watch Series 7 weighs 32 grams and 38.8 grams for its 41mm and 45mm variants. The titanium editions weigh 42.3 grams and 51.5 grams respectively for the two sizes.

here’s a specs document from Apple showing Series 7 details https://t.co/1BSZb7PwKN

— Alireza (@alixrezax) September 15, 2021

Coming to the storage, the document suggests that the Apple Watch Series 7 packs 32GB internal storage, the same as the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Watch SE. The new S7 dual-core 64bit chip is also claimed to be 20 percent faster than the Apple Watch Series 6’s S6 chip.

Something observed across the document is that a direct comparison to the Apple Watch Series 6 is avoided very conveniently in key areas. For instance, the document mentions that the Apple Watch Series 7 has 20 per cent more screen area than the Series 6, but the new processor in the Series 7 is claimed to be 20 percent faster than the Apple Watch SE. If you’re considering upgrading from the Series 6 to the Series 7, you might want to read our take on it first here.

The storage capacity (32GB), the max audio volume, and the roughly 18-hour battery life are aspects that remain constant between Series 6 and Series 7. The entire list of sensors for fitness tracking is the same between the devices.

This leaves, as per the document, only a handful of upgrades between the two generations of smartwatches that display noticeable improvements  – the bigger display, slightly faster charging, USB-C, and IP6X dust resistance.

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Apple Watch with flat-edge design may debut among three new models next year

India Today 22 September, 2021 - 02:02pm

In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has stated that the Apple Watch will eventually get the flat-edge design. Gurman has mentioned that Apple will come out with three new Apple Watch models in 2022. One of these will be the much-sought flat-edge Apple Watch which has confused analysts for months now.

Gurman was one of the analysts who predicted the redesign to make its way to the Apple Watch Series 7. Apple shocked everyone involved with the speculation by shaping the new Apple Watch just as the prior model, only a bit bigger and more profound. Theories about what went wrong with the tips have since been circulated online, as tipsters still swear by seeing the redesign themselves.

Some say that Apple had to make last-minute changes to the Apple Watch due to some production issues with the new design. This, however, is unlikely as Apple had come up with a full-scale commercial video for the new Apple Watch at the time of launch. This means the product had been shot in a well-planned video, likely weeks before the official announcement.

Other theories say that Apple deliberately led the tipsters astray by setting up a false narrative around the flat-edge redesign. The company has been in a cold war against such leaks and has taken several steps to ensure the secrecy of its projects are maintained. Spreading a false rumour in the industry, however, seems a bit too big of a step to take for Apple.

Whatever the reason may be, Gurman seems to stand with his previous prediction, if not for this then the next iteration of the Apple Watch. He now suggests that the design can be seen in next year's Apple Watch model and going by the strong indication towards such a design, it is likely that we will see it in the near future, even if not this year.

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