Apple watchOS 5 ships on September 17

Apple today formally introduced the next generation of Apple Watch devices, the Series 4. Alongside the new devices, the company announced the updated watchOS 5 mobile operating system will ship on September 17. The new version of watchOS was first shown off at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, where flagship features like the Walkie-Talkie […]

Apple today formally introduced the next generation of Apple Watch devices, the Series 4. Alongside the new devices, the company announced the updated watchOS 5 mobile operating system will ship on September 17.

The new version of watchOS was first shown off at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, where flagship features like the Walkie-Talkie mode, smart Siri watch face, updated Podcast app, support for Siri shortcuts, and a “Raise to Speak to Siri” feature were highlighted.

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The company didn’t really spend time reviewing these features today, as the new devices themselves were the focus.

Series 4 Apple Watch devices will offer 30% more screen space thanks to an edge-to-edge display, as was previously leaked and today confirmed. To take better advantage of that extra room, watchOS 5 will debut a new watch face that lets you pack in a lot more complications.

Now, you can add all kinds of extra complications to your Series 4 watch face – up to 8 on the new device. Among these, you can add photos of loved ones to the screen which you can tap to connect with, or if you’re traveling, you can customize a watch face that tracks different time zones. You could also use the extra space to create the ultimate health and fitness watch face, Apple says.

The modular face will get an update, too, with more graphical information from apps like stocks, heart rate and activity, and even those from third party developers. Debut developers include MLB At Bat, Qantas, and Life Zone nutrition app.

Other new watch faces designed to take advantage of the Series 4 display include a Breathe face, where the animation is timed around a deep breath, as well as a suite of motion faces (similar to live wallpapers), including Vapor, Liquid Metal, Fire and Water. These react uniquely with the curved edges of the case, Apple says.

WatchOS 5 also becomes a better workout companion with features like automatic workout detection which provides an alert to start a workout while giving retroactive credit, plus new dedicated workout types Yoga and Hiking. Runners will get extended battery life — which is increased to six hours — plus cadence for indoor and outdoor runs, pace alerts for outdoor runs, and rolling mile pace, which shows pace for the immediately preceding mile.

WatchOS 5 offers a ton of features, many of which Apple didn’t highlight today due to time constraints. But lists of new features found in beta builds are readily available, as are videos. They’re also available on Apple’s official watchOS 5 website here.

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Apple Watch Series 4 can detect AFib and perform an ECG

Today at a special event at Apple’s headquarters, Apple’s COO Jeff Williams unveiled the next generation Apple Watch. It’s thinner, faster and has a larger screen than previous generations. But that’s to be expected. The Apple Watch Series 4 is packed with several features that use the built-in heart monitor for medical purposes. The Apple […]

Today at a special event at Apple’s headquarters, Apple’s COO Jeff Williams unveiled the next generation Apple Watch. It’s thinner, faster and has a larger screen than previous generations. But that’s to be expected. The Apple Watch Series 4 is packed with several features that use the built-in heart monitor for medical purposes.

The Apple Watch has always included a built-in heart rate monitor but it has been limited to basic, standard functions of tracking the wearer’s heart rate.

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The watch can now perform an ECG, detect atrial fibrillation, and detect when a person’s heart rate is too low. Apple even got the Watch certified by the FDA, a first, Williams said, among such a device as the Apple Watch.

It seems easy to use, too. According to Williams, who gave a demo on stage at the event, a person just needs to open the app, touch a finger to the digital crown, and the Watch performs the test using the electrodes built into the back of the watch. Because a person’s finger is touching the crown, the watch can detect electrical impulses from the heart and process the pulses with an algorithm built into the watch.

The entire process takes just 30 seconds.

Several companies and researchers have been using previous versions of the Apple Watch to detect AFib. The form factor and technical specs of the Apple Watch makes it a great device for such a test. But until now, the ability to detect AFib has been limited to these tests. Apple will soon make it available to all wearers of the Apple Watch 4.

All the health data is encrypted on the device and in the cloud, Williams said. AFib detection and ECG will be available later this year in the U.S. The company will then roll them out to other countries around the world.

The Series 4 starts at $399 for the aluminum version, and $499 for the aluminum version with cellular features. Pre-orders start on Friday and the device will be available on September 21st.

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Apple unveils the Apple Watch Series 4

Apple just unveiled an updated Apple Watch. And this year’s new Watch is all about the display. Thanks to thinner bezels and a slightly bigger casing, you’ll see more on your screen. “Apple Watch isn’t just the number one smart watch, it’s the number one watch in the world period,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said […]

Apple just unveiled an updated Apple Watch. And this year’s new Watch is all about the display. Thanks to thinner bezels and a slightly bigger casing, you’ll see more on your screen.

“Apple Watch isn’t just the number one smart watch, it’s the number one watch in the world period,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said before introducing Apple COO Jeff Williams.

Williams framed the Apple Watch as a communication device, a fitness device and a health monitoring tool. For instance, the Apple Watch can notify you if you have an unusual heart rate. It’s clear that Apple has put aside the idea that the Apple Watch is an app platform.

“Everything about it has been redesigned and reengineered,” Williams said. The design still looks very familiar, but it’s clear that the screen is bigger. You don’t necessarily see it when there’s a dark watch face. But it’s striking in the Breath app for instance.

The small version has a 32 percent larger display, and the bigger version has a 35 percent larger display. Thanks to a brand new watch face, you can put up to eight complications at once. It looks busy but it works.

In order to put a bigger display, the company had to make the Watch slightly larger. The 38mm model is now called the 40mm model, and the 42mm model is now 44mm large.

According to Williams, the total volume of the Series 4 model is still smaller than the volume of the Apple Watch Series 3 thanks to a thinner design. So there you go — a larger Watch in a thinner body.

The displays now has rounded edges just like on the iPhone X. The digital crown has been redesigned to give you haptic feedback. The speaker is 50 percent louder. I’m not sure who uses this speaker, but if you need to make a quick phone call or use the new walkie-talkie feature in watchOS 5, it’s now better.

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The back of the device is now made of black ceramic and sapphire crystal, which should help when it comes to cellular reception. The new system-on-a-chip (the S4) is supposed to be twice as fast as the one in the Series 3. Thanks to a new gyroscope, the Watch can detect a fall, which could be particularly useful for elderly. If the device senses a fall and you don’t move for a minute, the Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services.

In addition to traditional heart beat data, the device will now track heart rhythm and notify you if you have atrial fibrillation. But you can even take a full ECG from the Watch now. You just have to open the app and hold your finger on the crown for 30 seconds. All your data is then stored in the Health app on your iPhone. You can then share the PDF of your ECG with a doctor.

Apple had already written patents about ECG on the Watch, but the fact that it’s already available is a surprise. You generally can’t buy an ECG device over the counter. And the Apple Watch has received FDA clearance for the Apple Watch’s ECG feature.

AFib detection and ECG will be available later this year in the U.S. The company will then roll them out to other countries around the world.

Williams used this opportunity to remind everyone that the company won’t have access to your medical information. All your health and fitness data is encrypted on your device.

And that’s a wrap for the new Apple Watch. It features brand new heart rate features, a larger display with a refined design, a faster chipset and the same battery life. The Apple Watch Series 4 is available in the same aluminum and stainless steel versions. In addition to grey and black stainless steel, there’s a new gold stainless steel option.

All existing bands will be compatible with the new Watch. You’ll also be able to buy a new Nike band as well as new Hermès bands. The Series 3 is sticking around for $279. The Series 4 starts at $399 for the aluminum version, and $499 for the aluminum version with cellular features. Pre-orders start on Friday and the device will be available on September 21st.

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