The Apple Watch Just Saved ClockworkWXVII’s Life →

April 6, 2019 · 10:59

ClockworkWXVII, on Reddit:

I was laying in bed, enjoying some TV and homemade brisket, when my Apple Watch told me that my heart rate was weird af, and then, told me my heart rate was stupid fast (thank you heart rate alerts)

Called ER, when they arrived, they found me in serious trouble. Body went into shock, got rushed to the hospital in a stretcher, and got taken into trauma.

I felt totally fine before everything happened, and then notifications, and then BAM, everything goes nuts.

100% thank you apple for making an amazing accessory and tool that helps people stay not dead.

via @maciejbuchert


Apple Plans Sleep Tracking Feature for Future Watch →

February 27, 2019 · 12:38

Mark Gurman, reporting for that site that hasn’t retracted The Big Hack story:

Apple Inc. is said to be testing a sleep monitor for a future version of its smartwatch, a feature that would bolster the company in the health- and fitness-tracking market.

The company has been using the sleep-tracking feature for several months with testers at secret sites around its Cupertino, California, headquarters, according to people familiar with the work. If the functionality is successful in the testing stages, the company plans to add it to the Apple Watch by 2020, according to one of the people.

I’m curious how they’ll go about this. My Series 4 Apple Watch can easily go for two full days without needing a charge. Will they drastically increase battery life? Will they add be some sort of low power sleep mode? Anyway, this is one feature that I am waiting for.


A Trip to the ER With Tom’s Apple Watch →

January 22, 2019 · 10:20

Tom Bridge, on Cannonball:

This afternoon, I was helping a client move offices, mostly just deconstructing a simple network rack and moving access points into new space. I was doing some physical work, but nothing anyone would mistake for exercise. But, then I felt it. My heart was pounding. I got dizzy. Tunnel vision. I had to sit down.

I took my heart rate on the watch and it was over 200. I spent five years as a competitive swimmer, and to my knowledge I never got above 195. Even riding up Box Hill on Zwift didn’t get me over 170 this winter. 200 is scary territory. I remembered the ECG functionality, and googled how it worked. I took a reading.

I didn’t know how to read it, and I knew I was in a bit of trouble, so I had a coworker take me up to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a mile or two away. Triage saw me rapidly, and I unlocked my phone to show the nurse. She was setting up a more complicated EKG, but because my heart rate had dropped back toward normal, it might not have any clear result they could read beyond just normal operation.

As soon as the tele-doc came on screen, the nurse rotated my phone and put it up to the camera to show the doctor the rapid rhythm from half an hour earlier.

“Oh, that’s an SVT,” he said immediately.

I didn’t see what it had to do with Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, but he clarified that he meant Supraventricular Tachycardia. They wanted to make sure labs were taken, and that nothing abnormal in my blood work showed a more troubling cause. But the diagnosis was there in an instant, thanks to my wrist watch.

At the intersection of technology, liberal arts, and saving lives.

via Six Colours


Apple Watch ECG Will Be Limited by System Region Settings and Can Be Changed to Enable Use Outside US →

October 29, 2018 · 13:20

Guilherme Rambo, on 9to5Mac:

This limitation is not enforced by hardware, and if you buy an Apple Watch Series 4 in any country, it includes the new sensors. Looking at code within iOS related to the ECG feature, we’ve been able to confirm that its limitation to the US will be based on the software region of the user’s devices (iPhone and Apple Watch).

I wish Apple just required users, in areas of the world without regulatory approval, to understand that the ECG function is for their own personal use and that they shouldn’t bother sharing the information with doctors — a clearly worded pop-up or instructional screen should be sufficient. I don’t plan on switching my region to anything else because this is a hassle in a number of areas (which I don’t recall now but I remember doing it once and a number of things frustrated me).


Why It’s Hard to Read the Time on the Infograph Apple Watch Face →

October 10, 2018 · 15:42

Marco Arment:

The Apple Watch is an amazing feat of technology. It’s a computer. It can display anything. With no mechanical or physical limitations to hold us back, any watch-face design from anyone could plausibly be built, enabling a range of creativity, style, and usefulness that no single company could ever design on its own.

But they won’t let us. In a time when personal expression and innovation in watch fashion should be booming, they’re instead being eroded, as everyone in the room is increasingly wearing the same watch with the same two faces.

Open this door, Apple.

Apple could hand pick a few designers and developers for all I care. The current selection of Watch faces is stale and long in the tooth too. They need to address this sooner rather than later.


The New Heart-Monitoring Capabilities on the Apple Watch Aren’t All That Impressive →

September 17, 2018 · 11:34

Katherine Ellen Foley:

The new Apple Watch, however, has the equivalent of one lead on your wrist, the company’s website says. “The tech that Apple is working with is very rudimentary compared to what we’d do for someone in a hospital or health care setting,” Moore said. Although the watch can detect changes in the patterns of a person’s heart rate, these changes really only show a user if she has a heart rate that is too fast, too slow, or beating irregularly—signifying AFib. The watch won’t necessarily give the full picture a doctor would need to diagnose a medical issue […]

Apple got two FDA clearances through a “de novo” pathway, meaning it had to use data to show that its device worked, and that it was safe. For the ECG clearance, the FDA reviewed a study conducted by Apple and Stanford University in California. This study, called the Apple Heart Study included 588 individuals, half of whom had AFib and the other half of whom were healthy. The app was able to identify over 98% of the patients who had AFib, and over 99% of patients that had healthy heart rates. Cardiologists were able to read 90% of the total readings, although about 10% of them were unreadable.

I’m no doctor but those results look pretty impressive.


How Apple Watch Saved Jason Perlow’s Life →

September 12, 2018 · 12:08

Jason Perlow:

Ultimately, though, I owe my life to my Apple Watch. Because it started this whole machine rolling. And I was very lucky to have my Afib caught during the last three months of public enrollment in the Heart Study, which ended in early August.

I’ve decided that I will be an Apple Watch customer as long as that product exists. That means I’m also going to be an iPhone customer for life as well. So heck yeah, I’m getting a new iPhone XS when the upgrade program kicks in. And a new iPad Pro.

But most importantly, I’m also upgrading to an Apple Watch Series 4 as soon as it becomes available.

I guess you can say I am now an Apple fanboy of circumstance — and of necessity. But I am incredibly thankful this product exists and we now have the technology to detect and correct these kinds of conditions in people. Apple’s leadership in early diagnosis is commendable and is a shining example to the rest of the health wearables industry.

Thank you, Apple. I owe you my life. And I guess we are going to be friends for a very, very long time.

This is probably the only mainstream tech product which saves people’s lives on the side.


iOS 12 Beta 2 Includes References to New Apple Watch Models →

June 21, 2018 · 11:02

Guilherme Rambo, for 9to5Mac:

The new Apple Watch identifiers found are Watch4,1, Watch4,2, Watch4,3 and Watch4,4. Those numbers match the existing variants of the Apple Watch Series 3, which are Watch3,1 through 3,4. There are also references to the model numbers corresponding to the new devices, which include MTUD2, MTUK2, MTX92 and many others.

It’s the Apple Watch that I’m mostly looking forward to this year — it’s time to replace my Space Black Series 0 with something new. The Series 1, 2, and 3 are basically identical design-wise, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a redesign this year. I hope it’s more than just a bigger screen in the same case, but at the same time, I want my existing watch bands to still be compatible.


watchOS 5 Compatibility →

June 5, 2018 · 00:50

From Apple’s watchOS 5 preview:

watchOS 5 requires iPhone 5s or later with iOS 12 or later, and one of the following Apple Watch models:

  • Apple Watch Series 1
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 3

watchOS 5 is not compatible with the first-generation Apple Watch.

I hope the Series 4 will be a worthy upgrade over my Space Black steel Series 0.


Jony Ive — How Bad Can He Be? →

May 10, 2018 · 01:15

Benjamin Clymer, for Hodinkee Magazine:

Sir Jonathan Ive, Chief Design Officer of Apple, Inc., is sitting across from me at a seamless white oak table. We’ve met a few times before, and I know he cares about watches. He must, right? But I’ve never actually asked him. So I do. And thank God, he does – he recounts a tale of buying an Omega Speedmaster Professional in the early ’90s. I exhale, because the hypothesis of this interview, at least in my mind (likely not in Apple’s), is that the watch industry and its all-too-vocal supporters have got it all wrong. Jony, the creator of what is, by at least one definition, the number one watch on Earth, is a friend, not a foe. But, like any great question of power and influence, it’s not so simple.

This is one interview worth reading, especially for those of you into horology or Apple Watch. Or both! And that ending — it’s perfect.


March 31, 2018 · 15:38

I took my Series 0 Apple Watch off of the charger at 8:00 this morning. It is now almost 8 hours later and it still has 83% battery left. It’s three and a half years old or so.

What sort of witchcraft is this?!?


March 30, 2018 · 15:20

I forced a restart on my Series 0, because it appeared to be non-responsive. It spent a minute or three on the Apple logo, then asked me for my password, and is now displaying the Apple logo again.

I don’t mind that the Watch is slow — it still works fine for gathering Health data — but the update process is extremely frustrating.

Update

It took another 5 minutes or so, but finally restarted.


March 30, 2018 · 15:08

My HomePod needed 5 minutes to update to iOS 11.3. My Series 0 Apple Watch is at over 5 hours now, and the end is nowhere in sight.

At this point, I’m tempted to try to force it to restart — it appears to be doing nothing.


It’s Fossil That Apple Is Threatening →

September 23, 2017 · 07:33

Joe Thompson:

“I haven’t met with anybody [in Switzerland] yet who sees this [downturn] as anything other than a slump,” he told me in March. “They don’t see the threat from the smartwatch.” Apple will continue to perfect the smartwatch, he says. “By version 3 or 4, everyone will be thinking this is a good thing to have. Forty to 80 million people will want this.”

I got used to having my most important notifications on my wrist rather quickly, so much so, that when I take off my Apple Watch to wear my mechanical one, I forget to check my phone.

The problem with the Apple Watch is that it’s not special — visually or otherwise — which is the exact opposite of wearing a mechanical watch that you love. That doesn’t mean the latter has to be expensive either — I’m currently wearing a €400 Xicorr FSO M20 which I simple adore and love to pause throughout the day just to look at. Despite having a Space Black Series 0, those feelings passed very quickly.

And that’s the problem with the Apple Watch for people such as me — I love its functionality, but it still competes for my left wrist with a classical piece of precise machinery. But I also wear a Fitbit Alta on my right wrist. If Apple chose to fight for that with a sport-band-type device, which offered Siri, Messages, and LTE, it could easily win the fray.


Removing “Send to Watch” from Overcast →

August 12, 2017 · 14:48

Marco Arment:

I’ve spent many months of development on Overcast’s Apple Watch app, especially implementing standalone “Send to Watch” playback. Unfortunately, I now need to remove the “Send to Watch” feature.

I tried it once, soon after it debuted in Overcast. The transfer of a single podcast episode was so slow, that I never bothered again. Apple needs to fix the Watch’s biggest bottleneck.


Apple Has Temporarily Pulled the watchOS 3.1.1 Update Due to Reports of It Bricking Devices →

December 14, 2016 · 14:28

Chance Miller:

Yesterday afternoon, Apple released watchOS 3.1.1 to Apple Watch users, offering support for Unicode 9.0 emoji, bug fixes and performance improvements, and more. Shortly after the update was released, however, early adopters started reporting that the update process had effectively bricked their device.

Now, following those reports, Apple has pulled the update…

Why is this still happening?


Is the Apple Watch Killing the Swiss Watch Industry After All? →

October 3, 2016 · 22:08

Chris Hall for SalonQP:

But forgetting personal objections, it’s staggering – even by Apple’s standards – how quickly Apple Watch has moved the smartwatch story on. Since Apple Watch’s launch, the real watch industry (sorry Apple, no matter where or how Vontobel ranks you, you aren’t a watch brand) has started falling apart. Global exports of Swiss watches have dropped off a cliff. The numbers are horrible – we’re looking at annual decline of around 10 per cent this year. Oof.

I treat my mechanical watches and my Apple Watch differently — the latter is a small computer, while the former are small, precise works of art. But since I only use one wrist, they do compete for the same space.

Now, if you’re like me and you get a kick out of looking at why this is, you’ll recognise the slowdown of the Chinese economy, Xi Jingping’s anti-corruption campaign, falling oil prices, wild currency fluctuations, a super-strong franc, terrorism, sanctions on Russia and even Brexit as factors for this. And you’d be right to think that way.

But I can’t help thinking that smartwatches, still largely dismissed by the Swiss watch industry, are a big part of the story, too. And perhaps a bigger part than anyone’s yet cared to admit. Yes, of course, comparing an Apple Watch with a Patek is like comparing oranges with apples. And yes, no one seems to be buying a Samsung Gear instead of a Rolex.

I’m curious as to how smartwatches1 will evolve in the following years, and if they’ll truly take off.

  1. Truth be told, they’re not very smart at the moment.

Technical Details on Ceramics and the New Apple Watch Edition →

September 10, 2016 · 17:39

Liz Stinson:

Watchmakers use a ceramic material with very fine pores. It’s called zirconia (zirconium oxide, for the chemists reading), and it’s simultaneously hard and resistant to cracking. It also resists changes in temperature and moisture, which is why surgeons often use it in hip-replacement prosthetics. To bolster its strength (and achieve that bright, white color) Apple added alumina, another ceramic. The result is a material that’s pretty much un-scratchable, and, under most circumstances, unbreakable.

Is it impossible to break? No. “But you’ll probably never experience forces that are high enough to cause fracture,” Greer says. That may be true, but at $1,250 it’s best to not test that theory.

I want a white ceramic iPhone, which a white front — Stormtrooper White, if you will.


42 mm Apple Watch 2 May Have 35% Larger Battery →

August 29, 2016 · 08:20

Joe Rossignol writing for Macrumors:

A purported photo of a larger 334 mAh lithium-ion battery destined for the Apple Watch 2 has surfaced on Chinese microblogging service Weibo, foreshadowing expected battery life improvements coming to the wrist-worn device.

The battery is allegedly for the 42mm model, which currently has a 246 mAh battery, suggesting the next-generation 42mm model could have a 35.7% larger battery. The photo does not provide any clues about potential battery life improvements coming to the smaller 38mm model, which is currently equipped with a 205 mAh battery.

I’m most curious about any design changes. Obviously the screen will remain more or less squarish, but will the addition of GPS and various other new sensors allow for it to be thinner? I just hope the bands will be interchangeable with the original Apple Watch.


‘Apple Watch 2’ to Get GPS, Barometer, and Better Waterproofing in 2016 →

August 8, 2016 · 07:08

Mikey Campbell:

Kuo believes Apple is planning to launch two new Apple Watch versions in the second half of 2016, both of which offer moderate improvements over their predecessor. The first unit will be an iterative upgrade on the original Apple Watch and is expected to sport the same aesthetics, but with improved intervals like a TSMC processor built on the 16nm process. Waterproofing should also be slightly improved.

I wonder how they will differentiate the two. They could upgrade the Sport model slightly, while offering the bigger upgrades for the steel Apple Watch, or decide to run two different lines with a total of twelve models (assuming the gold Watch will stick around), or stick to only one size.

Whatever happens, this first upgrade cycle will be interesting to watch (pun not intended).


Three Sources Claim Apple Event on March 15 →

February 3, 2016 · 09:42

Mark Gurman:

Apple is currently aiming to unveil the new 4-inch the iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, and new Apple Watch band options at an event on Tuesday, March 15th, according to sources.

John Paczkowski posted his own take a few hours later, confirming the event, and so did Matthew Panzarino.

The new band lines will include multiple new colors for the rubberized Sport bands, new Hermès bands, a ‘space black’ version of the Milanese Loop, and an entirely new band line made of a new material. Supply chain sources indicate that Apple has been testing a series of “high-quality” NATO-style nylon bands for the Apple Watch, but we have not confirmed that this is indeed the new line launching in March.

Mark was the only one of the trio who commented specifically on the new Apple Watch things we can expect. I’m quite interested in the NATO-style bands, as well as a Space Black Milanese Loop for more formal occasions.


Updated Apple Watch in March; New Apple Watch and OS in September →

January 24, 2016 · 13:12

Mark Gurman:

Apple plans to announce new Apple Watch models in March. The new lineup will be similar to the September 2015 Apple Watch revision, bringing a series of new band color options to the Apple Watch lineup. We are also told that entirely new bands made out of new materials are in development in addition to partnerships with firms beyond Hermes.

Quite frankly, I’m surprised that partnerships with other accessory makers are so slow to come to market. I was expecting more than just Hermes to be available by now.

Mark also reports that a second generation Apple Watch will ship in September instead of March. This would indicate a longer period between updates than the typical yearly cycle, which I’m all for. The Apple Watch is not an iPhone — it doesn’t need yearly updates. What it needs are substantial updates which will make a bigger difference to regular consumers.

In the meantime, I can’t wait for new the bands and perhaps even that black Milanese Loop to complement my Space Black Steel Watch.


Apple Watch Hermes Available to Purchase Online This Friday →

January 20, 2016 · 12:11

Maria Bobila:

Mark your calendars for this Friday, Jan. 22. Instead of having to visit a select boutique in a major city like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Miami for an Apple Watch Hermès, you’ll be able to easily shop for one online at both Hermes.com and Apple.com. The entire collection will be available for purchase, which includes three styles of handmade leather straps: the “Single Tour” or loop (starting at $1,100), the “Double Tour” ($1,250) and the “Cuff” ($1,500). Each style comes with a brand-exclusive, customizable watch face.

I tried the ‘Cuff’ on in Paris and I instantly loved the leather band, even though it’s not my style — it just oozed of luxury. If you know where to look, you’ll be able to get the band itself for a fraction of the price, but please note that the quality of the leather scales comparably.


Pedometer++ 2.3 Can Replace the Workout.app on Apple Watch →

December 3, 2015 · 20:44

David Smith:

Lastly, the Watch App now includes a step count oriented workout mode designed to replace the built-in Apple Workout app. I’ve always found the process of starting a workout from the Apple Workout app a bit fiddly. You have to press the crown, find the Workout app, launch it, find the type of activity you are doing, choose a duration, then start your walk. With Pedometer++ you instead simply tap the complication then tap Start Walk.

For walking, this is a great replacement for the standard Workout.app. I wonder when David will figure out how to start the workout with one click, instead of two.

You can download Pedometer++ here.


Apple Watch — a Stalled Platform →

December 1, 2015 · 15:02

Dan Frommer:

Here’s what’s working: I’ve learned to rely on the watch, without thinking, for a handful of functions. These are as basic as quickly telling time to as futuristic-seeming as watching my Uber approach on a tiny map before it swings around the corner.

Notifications, one of the early big-idea purposes of a smartwatch, are pretty reliable and, with some attention to their frequency, very useful. One night at a restaurant, when a handful of things I’d put up for sale on eBay were closing around the same time, the sensation of an arm buzz every few seconds as a new bid rolled in was an amusing delight. (Another round, garçon!)

I reply to a large portion of text messages from the watch, using customized quick responses. Tracking my exercise has helped me lose 10 pounds.

But that’s about it. And they are pretty much the same ways I used the watch when I first got it.

That’s more or less what I use mine for, with the fitness functions still being most important. And quite frankly, I’m not looking for more distractions.