Apple Inc. will debut major software updates for the iPhone and iPad at its developers’ conference on June 07,2021 to an audience that has grown increasingly critical of the company’s App Store policies.
The virtual event beginning June 07,2021 will also include software updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV as well as tools developers can use to build apps. The company plans to discuss new privacy protections for limiting data collection as well as health-tracking, notifications and messaging features. Executives also will promote significant improvements to iPad software, making the device more capable and appealing to more advanced users.
This year’s conference arrives while Apple is facing criticism from some developers over its App Store policies. The controversy was highlighted by a three-week trial last month of a lawsuit filed by Epic Games Inc., which argued that the iPhone maker’s policies and revenue share of as much as 30% are anticompetitive. Unhappy developers have grown more willing publicly to express discontent, Apple executives have been grilled by U.S. lawmakers and companies such as Microsoft Corp. and Spotify Technology SA have chided Apple.
What to Expect From Apple’s WWDC
The Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker will now try to convince developers that Apple’s platform remains the best place for them to sell software and that it has new features to keep consumers glued to the company’s products. Apple, however, isn’t expected to announce wholesale App Store policy changes next week. The company generated about $22 billion from App Store commission in 2020 alone, according to Sensor Tower estimates.
As part of its continued privacy push, Apple is planning new features to counter overly invasive apps. One major new addition will be a control panel that provides in-depth detail on what data are being collected by each third-party app installed on a user’s device. Earlier this year, Apple rolled out a feature to limit the ability of developers to track users across apps and the web for advertising purposes, irking developers like Facebook Inc.
On the iPhone and iPad software updates, users will now be able to set a status — such as whether you are driving, sleeping, working or don’t want to be disturbed — and have that dictate how incoming notifications are handled. The update will also include a larger focus on auto-replying to messages and a new design for incoming notification banners at the top of the screen.
For the iPad, Apple plans to revamp the home screen and support the placement of widgets — snippets of dynamic information like calendar, weather and stocks — anywhere on the screen. This is a commonly requested feature that will bring the iPad in line with Android rivals. The company also plans an improved multitasking system to make it easier to operate multiple apps at the same time.
The Messages app will receive enhancements on the way toward Apple’s eventual goal to turn it into a more direct competitor to messaging services on social networks like Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger, Bloomberg News has previously reported. Apple has also been working on a revamped lock screen for the iPhone and iPad, though some of those changes have been pushed back to a future release and won’t appear this year.
Apple’s planned update to macOS is expected to be somewhat minor after the operating system received an overhaul in 2020, while the Apple Watch is expected to gain some health-tracking and interface improvements. The Apple TV will also get enhanced software after the company released a faster model last month.
WWDC kicks off on Monday June 07,2021 or June 08,2021 3am some part of the world.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is part of Apple’s latest generation of smartwatches, featuring an always-on display, the S6 chip, an always-on altimeter, and blood oxygen monitoring, at a price of $399.
Announced in September 2020, the Apple Watch Series 6 is one of the newest Apple Watches in Apple’s lineup, but it is approaching the middle of its product cycle. Apple tends to release new Apple Watch models every September, and there is no reason to suggest that a new Apple Watch Series 7 will not be launching as normal this fall.
There are early signs of an Apple Watch Series 7 arriving later this year with a number of upgrades and improvements, but the launch of this device is half a year away. This means that it is still a good time to buy the Apple Watch Series 6 for the vast majority of people, but some customers may now prefer to wait until a new model arrives in the fall.
While the Apple Watch Series 6 is Apple’s most full-featured, high-end smartwatch for those who want features like blood oxygen monitoring, ECG, an always-on display, and more premium finishes, users who are looking for a more affordable option should consider the Apple Watch SE. Starting at $279, the Apple Watch SE offers many key Apple Watch features, such as an optical heart rate sensor and fall detection, but at a lower price that balances functionality and affordability.
On the other hand, if price is your main concern and you don’t need advanced health functions, the Apple Watch Series 3 may be more appropriate than the $399 Apple Watch Series 6 as it offers many of the Apple Watch’s core features for just $199. There are some tradeoffs with the Apple Watch Series 3 because it is a much older model, such as a smaller display, an older chipset, and the lack of a compass, fall detection, ECG, and blood oxygen monitoring.
The Apple Watch Series 6, released in September 2020, is the current iteration of the Apple Watch that originally launched in 2015. The Apple Watch Series 6 is identical in design to the Series 5, but there are some notable health-related features along with a faster chip for better performance.
There’s a new sensor in the Apple Watch Series 6 that enables Blood Oxygen monitoring that measures oxygen saturation in the blood for better understanding of fitness and wellness. When oxygen saturation (also known as SpO2) levels drop, it can be a sign of a serious illness.
Blood oxygen monitoring is enabled through four clusters of red, green, and infrared LEDs along with four photodiodes on the back of the Apple Watch, all of which measure light reflected back from blood. A custom algorithm included in the new Blood Oxygen app measures blood oxygen between 70 and 100 percent. On-demand testing is available through the app, and the watch also occasionally takes background measurements when a person is inactive, including during sleep. Data is available in the Health app.
The Apple Watch Series 6 continues to be available in 40 and 44mm size options, and it has the same thinner, smaller case introduced in the Series 4 along with the low power (LTPO) OLED Always-On display introduced in the Series 5. In the Series 6, the Always-On display is 2.5 times brighter than Apple Watch Series 5 when outdoors, so it’s easier to see in bright sunlight.
Apple Watch owners can access Notification Center and Control Center, tap on complications, and swipe to change faces when their wrists are down with the Always-On display in the Series 6. Apple has also added an always-on altimeter that’s more power-efficient, which can be seen on the watch face at all times and provides information on elevation changes as small as one foot.
Apple Watch Series 6 is water resistant and supports Apple Pay purchases like prior models, plus it has all the same health-related features in addition to blood oxygen monitoring. Apple Watch Series 6 is able to do things like monitor steps taken, calories burned, stairs climbed, and heart rate, plus it can take ECG readings, track sleep, look out for falls with fall detection, make emergency calls with SOS, and watch out for overly loud sounds.
Like the Apple Watch Series 5 models, Series 6 models feature a black ceramic and sapphire crystal backing and a Digital Crown with haptic feedback. The Digital Crown has built-in sensors for ECG readings.
There’s an updated S6 System-in-Package chip in the Apple Watch Series 6, which is based on the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11. It is up to 20 percent faster, allowing apps to launch 20 percent faster, and it offers the same all-day 18-hour battery life. Apple Watch Series 6 offers faster charging and can be charged to full in 1.5 hours. Battery life has been improved for tracking workouts like indoor and outdoor runs, too.
New to the Apple Watch Series 6 is the same U1 chip and Ultra Wideband antennas introduced in the iPhone 11 models, which Apple says enables short-range wireless location to support new experiences like digital Car Keys. Apple offers the Series 6 with both GPS and GPS + LTE functionality. LTE Apple Watch models can operate over LTE without an iPhone nearby.
This year’s Apple Watch models come in aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium, with Apple introducing new blue and (PRODUCT)RED color options for the aluminum models. Stainless steel Apple Watch models come in silver and a dark gray graphite shade, while titanium models come in silver and space black.
Apple is continuing to sell Apple Watch Nike and Apple Watch Hermès models, with both featuring new band options. Nike models are available only in aluminum, while Hermès models come in stainless steel.
Alongside the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced the lower-cost Apple Watch SE, which is priced starting at $279. The Apple Watch SE is identical in design to the Apple Watch Series 6, but it is lacking several key features to keep costs down. It has an S5 chip that was in the Series 5, but it lacks an always-on display, comes only in aluminum, has no blood oxygen sensor, doesn’t do ECG readings, has no U1 chip, and doesn’t support 5GHz WiFi.
Other than that, it supports all basic Apple Watch functionality such as heart rate monitoring, fall detection, activity monitoring, emergency SOS, Apple Pay support, sleep tracking, water resistance, and more. It comes in cellular and GPS options much like the Series 6.
There are three new Apple Watch band options this year, two of which eliminate closures and straps. The Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop are available in soft silicone and braided yarn, respectively. Each one slips over the hand and onto the wrist, with Apple offering nine sizing options. There’s also a new Leather Link band that’s a redesigned version of the Leather Loop.
With the new Apple Watch models and watchOS 7, Apple introduced a Family Setup feature that lets kids use Apple Watches without owning an iPhone. Parents can pair multiple Apple Watches to their iPhones for management purposes, so children can use the connectivity, safety, and fitness features of the Apple Watch. There’s a special Activity rings experience for children, along with a new parent-controlled Do Not Disturb mode called Schooltime to help kids stay focused and attentive while learning.
Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE models are available for purchase from the online Apple Store. Pricing on the Series 6 starts at $399, while pricing on the Apple Watch SE starts at $279. Apple is also continuing to sell the Apple Watch Series 3 at pricing starting at $199.
How to Buy
Apple Watch Series 6 can be purchased from the online Apple Store and Apple retail stores as of September 18. Pricing on the Apple Watch Series 6 starts at $399 for non-LTE models and $499 for LTE models.
Pricing varies based on case material, band, and collection, with entry-level pricing for each case material and size available below.
40mm Aluminum Non-LTE – $399
40mm Aluminum LTE – $499
44mm Aluminum Non-LTE – $429
44mm Aluminum LTE – $529
40mm Stainless Steel (LTE only) – $699
44mm Stainless Steel (LTE only) – $749
40mm Titanium (LTE only) – $799
44mm Titanium (LTE only) – $849
40mm Nike Non-LTE – $399
40mm Nike LTE – $499
44mm Nike Non-LTE – $429
44mm Nike LTE – $529
40mm Hermès (LTE only) – $1249
44mm Hermès (LTE only) – $1299
Apple Watch Series 6 models are available in many countries around the world, with pricing that varies based on location.
At a Glance
The Apple Watch Series 6 features a faster S6 chip and blood oxygen level tracking.
Apple Watch SE doesn’t manage to address the flaws that remain in Apple’s smartwatch line, despite some notable advantages and a starting price of just $279 / £269 / AU$429. It offers the best of what you’d expect without offering anything new, so you’ll be waiting on the fabled Apple Watch SE 2 for any big changes.
The design of the Apple Watch SE is as familiar as you can get – the same curved edges, rounded aluminum chassis and Digital Crown on the side. If you’ve had an Apple Watch before, or just admired the devices and aspired to owning one, there’s nothing new here.
Along with the Apple Watch 6 it’s also a ‘larger’ Apple Watch, coming with a wider display and offered in 40mm and 44mm sizes, compared to the still-on-sale-from-2017 Apple Watch 3, which is 38mm and 42mm, and packs a smaller screen..
The display is also familiar, in terms of sharpness and resolution. Thanks to OLED technology it’s clear, bright and easy to read in any situation – this is Apple at its best.
However, some may be turned off by the lack of an always-on display – Apple has dropped it here to keep the price down, so as on older Watches you’ll need to raise your wrist to see the time, how your workout is going, follow a map you’re using… basically anything.
While that’s helpful in making it cheaper and saving battery, it’s not ideal for a watch.
Where the Apple Watch excels is that it’s probably the best extension of a phone onto a wrist of any smartwatch out there. Alarms sync across flawlessly. Your data is shared between apps instantly. The integration into Apple’s ecosystem is immense.
But while many of the Watch SE features are smaller versions of those on the iPhone, when it comes to fitness the Apple Watch steps up well. The list of exercises that can be tracked in the default Workout app is growing all the time, and third-party apps like Strava work well – if a little simplistically – on the Watch too.
Add in an Apple Music subscription and a pair of AirPods, and you can head out of the house without your phone and go running with a wealth of music – these seamless experiences are what will entice Apple Watch users, and while this can be done on any of the Apple Watch range, the combination of the SE’s larger screen on which to track your workout and the lower-than-Watch-6 price make the Watch SE a compelling fitness companion.
However, when it comes to battery life Apple still has some hard yards to make up. Having a smartwatch that only lasts a day and a half isn’t good enough in 2020, especially now that Apple has deployed sleep tracking on the Watch SE.
When are you supposed to charge this thing? There’s no point in the day where charging is a natural option, as charging overnight is, so you end up just doing little top ups here and there, or just forgetting to pick the Watch back up again and not having it on the wrist for hours on end.
While the battery life is good in terms of the Apple Watch range (and thanks to the lack of an always-on display and an efficient chip at the heart, the best we’ve seen from Apple) compared to the rest of the market, it’s sorely lacking
If sleep tracking wasn’t so basic, this would present you with more of a conundrum – you’d have to decide whether to change your charging routine in order to take advantage of the feature, or just not use it very much. But all sleep tracking will do is tell you when you’ve been asleep, and several longer-lasting and cheaper smartwatches on the market can give you much more data.
If you’re after a cutting-edge Apple Watch, but don’t want to spend a huge amount of money, the Watch SE dispenses with ‘luxury’ features and just offers the things you need. It’s somewhere between the Apple Watch 4 and Apple Watch 5 in terms of power and features, and if you can get the older Watch 4 on a deal, it’s probably worth checking out.
But if you want a new Apple Watch, we absolutely recommend this model – as long as you can live without the always-on display.
Apple Watch SE price on the date of release :
The price of the Apple Watch SE will depend on whether you opt for the GPS-only version or the cellular edition, and whether you prefer the simple Solo Loop / Sport band, or the more elegant Braided Solo Loop.
We were sent samples of the Solo Loop, but unfortunately they were a little too large for our wrists. However, there was something much more pleasing about just slipping them on, rather than having to fiddle with a buckle instead.
The Apple Watch SE is available now from the Apple Store or online, having gone on sale September 18, 2020, in key territories worldwide.
Apple Watch SE prices – Solo Loop / Sport Band
Apple Watch SE prices – Braided Solo Loop
A basic ‘upgrade’
The first question you might be asking is: what does the Apple Watch SE actually replace? It doesn’t have the always-on display of the Watch 5, but it has more power than the Watch 4, so if those two devices were still on sale we might well be calling it the Apple Watch 4.5.
With that in mind, what upgrades, if you can call them that, does the SE bring over the Watch 4 (which as mentioned is no longer on sale)?
The main change is to the chipset inside – we found that the battery life of the Apple Watch 5 improved markedly when the always-on display was turned off, and given that’s not an issue with the Watch SE, we’re expecting good battery life from this device – and that’s what we’re seeing in the first couple of days of having it strapped it to our wrist.
There are still reams of useful features on the Apple Watch SE that those upgrading from the Apple Watch 3 would enjoy, and a lot of them are great for health tracking too – which is fast becoming the primary reason to buy this Watch.
The decibel meter on board the Watch SE does a good job of alerting you when the sound around you is too high. The sleep tracking – which admittedly is available on any Watch capable of running the new WatchOS 7 these days – is useful, even if it’s not as fully-featured as dedicated sleep monitors, with things like time spent in deep, restorative sleep not specified.
The constantly-running altimeter is useful to let you know the true reflection of your elevation on a run – to the nearest foot according to Apple, although in side-by-side tests with the Apple Watch 6 on a workout we found that the height climbed and descended varied by 10-15 meters on a two-mile run.
Not massive, but we wouldn’t use the Watch SE to calculate our exact elevation stats on any workout.
At the other end of the fitness scale, the Apple Watch SE does feel like a great option for an elderly relative whose health you might want to keep an eye on – being able to get fall detection alerts, or warnings of issues with heart rate, will really bring peace of mind to those worried.
Combine that with the larger display on both the 40mm / 44mm size, courtesy of less bezel, and this is going to be a genuinely helpful device for the elderly.
With the new Family Setup feature for the Watch range, which enables you to set up an Apple wearable for someone else from your iPhone, buying the Watch SE for someone who doesn’t use an iPhone becomes a relatively straightforward proposition.
Should you buy the Apple Watch SE?
Buy it if…
You want an Apple Watch for less money.
The Watch SE has a lower price, but you still get a lot of the high-end features of the Watch 6 – it largely depends on how much you want an always-on display.
You don’t care about blood oxygen.
The ability to check how well your respiratory system is working is a key feature of the Watch 6, but it’s more of a peace-of-mind feature, rather than a must-have, and many people will be able to live without it.
You want good battery life
While the Apple Watch is far from market-leading here, the battery life on offer with the Watch SE is the best we’ve seen, thanks to a more modern chipset and the omission of the always-on display.
Don’t buy it if…
You want the latest and best
The Watch SE is effectively a hybrid of the Watch 4 and Watch 5, which effectively makes it 1.5 generations old. If you love having every cutting-edge feature, this isn’t for you.
You want the cheapest Apple Watch
That’s the Apple Watch 3, and it’s still on sale. It also lacks the always-on display, but it also has a smaller display, although many of the most useful Watch Features are present.
You love a cheeky glance
While the always-on display is battery-hogging, it does make it easier to quickly see the time – and that’s a good thing on a watch, we think.
If you know you want a new Apple Watch, the Watch SE is the one to go for: it’s got all the useful features of the Watch 6, but it’s much cheaper, and thus one of the best smartwatches around. The always-on display is sorely missing, but the fitness tracking – including motivating nudges to keep you active – is as good as ever, and will improve when Fitness Plus lands. However, the Watch SE comes with the same issues as the rest of the Apple Watch line: some features and apps are too lightweight, and the battery life is just too short to get the best out of the watch.
Since the introduction of Apple Watch Pride Edition in 2016, Apple’s unique Pride bands have been a visible illustration of the ways in which the company stands with, supports, and is proudly made up of members of the LGBTQ+ community. Today, on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), Apple debuts a new Apple Watch Pride Edition band and dynamic watch face, both of which incorporate a broader set of colors inspired by multiple Pride flags that have represented the diverse LGBTQ+ community throughout its rich history. Recognizing that inclusion and equity are core goals of the LGBTQ+ movement, and that diverse and multiracial activists have been at the heart of this community from the start, this year’s offering honors that history as well as the work still ahead.
“Even before the events at the Stonewall Inn brought the LGBTQ+ movement to new prominence, Black, Brown, and transgender activists were key leaders in the march toward equality,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “On many fronts, Apple supports the ongoing and unfinished work of equality for diverse and intersectional communities, and we want to provide every opportunity to celebrate and honor this history during Pride season.”
With this latest introduction, Apple is proud to build on its long-running financial support for LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations working to bring about positive change, including Encircle, Equality North Carolina, Equality Texas, Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, PFLAG National, SMYAL, and The Trevor Project in the US, as well as ILGA World internationally.
Apple’s unique Pride bands have been a visible illustration of the ways in which the company stands with, supports, and is proudly made up of members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop artfully weaves together the original rainbow colors with those drawn from various Pride flags to represent the breadth of diversity among LGBTQ+ experiences and the history of a movement that has spanned generations. Black and brown symbolize Black and Latinx communities, in addition to those who have passed away from or are living with HIV/AIDS, while light blue, pink, and white represent transgender and nonbinary individuals. The unique band features stretchable recycled yarn interwoven with silicon threads, designed for ultracomfort without buckles or clasps. To ensure the best fit, customers can choose from 12 available lengths of the Braided Solo Loop. New Braided Solo Loop represents the breadth of LGBTQ+ communities and experiences.
Pride Watch Face
This year’s special Pride watch face beautifully mirrors the new colors of the band to represent the combined strength and mutual support of the LGBTQ+ movement. With the rotation of the Digital Crown, the threads on the watch face infinitely scroll and animate with a raise of the wrist. For the first time, Apple is also including new App Clip functionality within the band packaging to deliver a simple and convenient way for customers to immediately access the new matching watch face.
The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop artfully weaves together the original rainbow colors with those drawn from various Pride flags to represent the breadth of diversity among LGBTQ+ experiences and the history of the movement.
This year’s special Pride watch face beautifully mirrors the new colors of the band to represent the combined strength and mutual support of the movement.
Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop
A new Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop showcases six colors of the original rainbow, and utilizes reflective yarn to aid those engaging in outdoor workouts at night like running, cycling, and walking. The comfortable design is durable, infinitely adjustable for the perfect fit, and pairs nicely with a corresponding Nike watch face.
The Nike Sport Loop updates with a Pride Edition that showcases the traditional rainbow colors and utilizes reflective yarn to aid those engaging in outdoor workouts.
The Nike Sport Loop Pride Edition pairs with a corresponding Nike Pride watch face.
Pricing and Availability
The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is $99 (US) and the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is $49 (US).
The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today from apple.com and the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations beginning May 25. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to nike.com.
The Pride Edition Braided Solo Loop is compatible with Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 or later, while the Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 or later.
The 2021 Pride watch face is coming soon as part of a software update.
watchOS 8 will be shown off for Apple Watch in just one month, and we’re hoping for a feature-packed update this year. While there’s still time to dream about what could come in the next Apple Watch software update, we’re sharing four short feature requests that would be welcome in watchOS 8 or any future version of the Apple Watch software.
Apple Watch Series 5 introduced the always-on display for select instances, and Apple Watch Series 6 improved the brightness for always-on display in outdoor settings. In terms of hardware, Series 5 and 6 are already mature for this feature, but the software experience hasn’t changed in two years.
Always-on display works great with watch faces and Apple’s Workout app, but it’s just a digital clock with a blurry background in every other instance.
Some basic expansions for always-on display support include Apple’s Now Playing view, navigation in Maps, and active countdowns in the Timer app. Now Playing and Maps actively take over the watch face by default, yet neither of these features support always-on display. I would argue that the Timer app should also take over the watch face when actively counting down, but I would settle for proper always-on display support to start.
every Apple app in watchOS should have some level of always-on display support and not just the blurry overlay with the digital clock presented. And speaking of digital time, having a proper always-on display version of an analog clock would be highly welcome. It’s as jarring to see your analog watch face turn into a digital clock if always-on display mode kicks in when you’re in an app, using navigation, or playing audio.
Bringing a scaled-back version of Apple Notes to the Apple Watch has long felt like a no-brainer idea for two reasons.
Bringing the ability to capture quick ideas through dictation, voice recording, or drawing characters through Scribble could be the modern day version of jotting down something on the back of your hand.
The third-party app Drafts is the best example of how this could work for Apple Notes users. And like with Voice Memos, notes created from the Apple Watch could be timestamped and geotagged. There could also be an Apple Watch spin to Apple Notes on watchOS: the ability to save heart rate and blood oxygen levels to notes created on the Apple Watch.
Referencing notes created on other devices is also long overdue. For example, you can already view your shopping list on your Apple Watch if you use Reminders, but it’s common for people to create grocery lists in Notes too. You could also subtly reference bits of information at a glance instead of pulling out your iPhone in discreet situations.
I’m admittedly not a frequent user of the built-in Breathe app on Apple Watch, but I never regret taking the time to focus myself when I do use the app. This is partly because I’m not a huge fan of how the Breathe reminders are currently handled in watchOS.
You can be alerted to use the Breathe app for a specific number of times if you haven’t yet in a day, but you can’t schedule when these alerts should come in. That’s probably intentional to promote pausing and meditating at different times each day, but I think I would be more likely to regularly use the app if I could schedule alerts.
The simplest method would be choosing specific times of the day for being reminded to use the Breathe app. You could go deeper and add Breathe alerts to part of your wake-up routine or wind-down routine for added encouragement. Finally, Breathe alerts could work sort of like the hand-washing reminders in watchOS. Rather than based on intervals of a certain number of hours, Breathe alerts could be triggered when you change locations.
You know how Apple Music can show live lyrics for many songs with a focus on the current part of the track? I want that, but for Apple Watch. Visually, it’s a challenge to bring the feature from medium-sized rectangles to much smaller squares. What I have in mind is filling the screen with what would currently be in focus on the iPhone. This could make for instant, hands-free karaoke sessions or just make keeping up with current lyrics in solo listening sessions easier.
Scrolling through the lyrics with the Digital Crown to jump to a specific part of the song is a natural fit for Apple Watch. You could even bring the new lyric-based song-sharing feature from iPhone to Apple Watch with a long press.
While details are light so far on what we’ll actually see in watchOS 8 at WWDC, 9to5Mac has some other ideas for future watchOS versions that we’ve recently shared.
In my piece on toning down the Apple Watch, I recommended a new default for managing mirrored iPhone alerts. Currently, you have to manually turn off mirrored iPhone alerts per app. You also have to remember to turn off iPhone alert mirroring each time you install a new app on your iPhone. In practice, you’re probably unlikely to remember this step until you actually get an alert from some app you installed recently. Adding an option to make iPhone alert mirroring opt-in instead of opt-out by default would be terrific.
More recently, Parker Ortolani forecasted a useful addition to the newly launched AirTag experience. You can locate lost items from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and you can find people with location sharing on the Apple Watch. What you can’t yet do is find or trigger AirTags from the Apple Watch. Here’s hoping watchOS 8 remedies this.
Want more ideas for what watchOS 8 and upcoming versions of the Apple Watch software could bring in the future? Parker published a two-part concept in January that goes even further, and other creative minds have dreamed up revamps to watchOS as well.
Apple kicks off its virtual Worldwide Developer Conference on June 7 this year. This is where we can expect to see iOS and iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, tvOS 15, and macOS 12 for the first time.
Apple Fitness+ is gaining new workouts today, adding specific sessions for pregnancy and that target older adults and beginners. It’s part of a workout boost for the Apple Watch-centered subscription fitness system, and will also include a new Time to Walk session with Jane Fonda.
Announced last year, Fitness+ opened up its guided sessions in December 2020. It relies on exercise tracking through the Apple Watch, with tutorials and classes delivered via a variety of the company’s screens, such as Apple TV, iPad, and iPhone.
One of the challenges early-adopters have found, particularly those just getting into fitness, is trying to get up to speed. That’s something Apple is addressing today, with new workouts for beginners. Offered across the Yoga, Strength, and HIIT workout types, they consist of low-impact exercises and spend more time on how to perfect form to build good habits.
Much in the same way, the new workouts for older adults focus on the specific needs of older people trying to get – or stay – fit. They center on strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and mobility, Apple says, with a series of eight sessions led by trainer Molly Fox, with guest appearances by Gregg Cook for Strength, Dustin Brown for Yoga, Bakari Williams for HIIT, and Jhon Gonzalez for Dance.
Each workout is 10 minutes long, and many can be completed with either bodyweight or a light dumbbell, Apple says. Alternatively, they may use a chair or involve leaning against the wall. They can also be combined with other Fitness+ workouts, carrying those modifications over.
Finally, there’s a new workouts for pregnancy series. 10 sessions – covering Strength, Core, and Mindful Cooldown – will be led by Betina Gozo alongside trainers Emily Fayette and Anja Garcia, each 10 minutes in length. They’re designed, Apple says, to suit any stage of pregnancy along with any fitness level. Again, as with the older fitness sessions, they also include suggestions on how to modify the more general Fitness+ workouts in ways to accommodate those who are pregnant.
Beyond the three specific categories, there are now two new trainers: one in the Yoga section, and the other in HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). From April 19, meanwhile, Jane Fonda’s Time to Walk session will be added. That takes the form of an audio interview with paired walking instructions.
Apple Fitness+ is currently available in the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK. Three months access is bundled with a new Apple Watch Series 3 or later, while existing owners can try it free for a month. After that, it’s $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year – for up to six family members to share – or bundle as part of the $29.95 Apple One Premiere plan.
New Apple Watch models debut each fall like clockwork, and the countdown to Apple Watch Series 7 has already started. In this roundup, we’re tracking everything we know so far about the next-generation Apple Watch.
Lack of support for Family Setup and other features on the Series 3 makes it less compelling than the Apple Watch SE, but the $80 price difference is hard to overcome for buyers on a budget. It seems entirely possible that Apple Watch Series 3 could be discontinued in the next lineup while Apple Watch SE takes a price cut and sticks around.
That’s speculation for now, but Apple Watch Series 7 replacing Series 6 this fall is almost certain. (Series 5 replaced Series 4, and Series 6 replaced Series 5.) That’s where the most interesting changes occur.
Will the Apple Watch Series 7 look different? We’re not ruling it out yet. Apple Watch Series 6 introduced new red and blue aluminum colors and a graphite variant of the classic space black stainless steel casing. Apple Watch Series 7 could debut the first design tweak since the shift to a full-screen design with Apple Watch Series 4.
In September 2020, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared the ultimate teaser by predicting a new Apple Watch design could be ready as early as Series 7. Kuo warned that the Series 6 would retain the Series 4 design while adding that a “significant form factor design change would come with new Apple Watch models in 2H21 at the earliest.”
Unfortunately, that’s as specific as the rumor has gotten, but a “significant form factor design change” certainly leaves a lot to the imagination — if it happens this year.
Apple’s design lab currently has an affinity for flat sides from the iPad Pro to the iPhone 12. Concepts have already imagined what an iPhone 12-inspired look could mean for the Apple Watch Series 7. Other ideas could include reductions in depth, changes in shape, or even more out-of-the-box design changes.
Apple Watch contributes much of its success to a healthy suite of features that monitor a person’s overall wellbeing. For that reason, it makes sense to continue accelerating what’s possible for health through the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch Series 4 introduced the ECG function, Apple Watch Series 5 brought the always-on display, including for the Workout app, and Apple Watch Series 6 was the first to offer blood oxygen level measurements.
If the rumors are to be believed, Apple Watch Series 7 could be a breakthrough in blood sugar level detection. ET News out of Korea reported in January 2021 that both Samsung and Apple are working on bringing blood sugar measurements to their watches this year:
Samsung Electronics will be equipped with a blood glucose measurement function in the new smart watch ‘Galaxy Watch 4’ (tentative name) to be introduced in the second half of this year. It is a no-blood sampling method that detects the level of glucose in the blood without blood collection using an optical sensor, and is expected to contribute to the health management of the general public as well as diabetics.
Not only Samsung Electronics, but also Apple is applying the blood glucose measurement function to the Apple Watch 7 to be introduced this year. With the related patent technology secured, it is focusing on ensuring reliability and stability prior to making the technology available.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has long been said to be curious about blood sugar monitoring through Apple Watch. In May 2017, it was reported that Cook was spotted around Apple’s campus testing a wearable blood sugar tracker that worked with the Apple Watch.
Later that year, the New York Times reported that Apple was researching continuous noninvasive glucose readers with technology that may be years off. Is three to four years the amount of time Apple needed? We should have a better idea the closer we get to Fall 2021.
Popular grill manufacturer Traeger is out with what it says is an industry first – an Apple Watch app to not just view your grill’s temperature but actually control it. The latest Traeger app for its WiFIRE connected grills also lets you set/change the probe temp, see your pellet level, timer, turn on “Keep Warm Mode,” and more right from your wrist.
Traeger shared the news today on full Apple Watch control arriving for its WiFIRE grills that brings almost all the same functionality of the iPhone app to Apple’s wearable.
While smart grill thermometers have been around for years now, they only let you check the temp of what you’re cooking/your grill, not change it, let alone change grill modes.
Grill Temp – Users can monitor and control their grill temperature in real time and make adjustments from anywhere, be it from the kitchen or the ski slopes.
Probe Temp – Cooks can set a desired internal temperature and monitor their progress without ever lifting the lid.
Keep Warm Mode– Once the recipe on the grill is complete, but the rest of the dishes in the kitchen needs some additional prep, users can set their grill to “Keep Warm Mode” to reduce the grill temperature to XX degrees and ensure the food is ready when you are.
Timer – Alerts notify the cook when its ready to sauce, check, or pull your food.
Pellet Level– The pellet sensor will display current pellet levels in real time, so users know when to re-load the hopper and keep the stoked fire burning.
Super Smoke Mode – This feature allows users to blast their food with 100% hardwood smoke between temperatures from 165 up to 225 degrees. Users can adjust the grill temperature between the mode ranges, and turn on or off.
One of the most attractive features of the popular password manager LastPass is that, if you choose to, you can use it pretty effectively without paying a dime. That comes to an end in March, as LastPass has just announced that its free tier will be restricted to only one device type starting next month.
LastPass works across nearly every platform, from Android to iOS to Windows to Mac, and that’s what makes it useful. For the most part, the services we use today are available on multiple platforms, so being able to use the service on both your mobile phone and your desktop/laptop computer is crucial to most users.
Starting on March 16, 2021, LastPass will start restricting its free service to only one device type, meaning those who sign up will be required to pick between accessing the service on their computer or their smartphone. The latter also includes LastPass access on tablets (iPads) and smartwatches. You’ll pick an “active device type” to decide on where you’ll use the service. For current free users, the first device type you log in to after March 16 will set your active type. You’ll have three chances to pick between device types before the choice is locked in. After that, you’ll need to sign up for LastPass Premium to access the service on two different platforms.
As a Free user, your first login on or after March 16 will set your active device type. You’ll have three opportunities to switch your active device type to explore what’s right for you. Please note, that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your vault or be locked out of your account, regardless of whether you use computer or mobile devices to access LastPass.
Further, LastPass will also restrict some support options starting on May 17. Email support, most notably, will be restricted only to Premium customers and those with a LastPass family account. Free users will then be limited only to the LastPass Support Center for self-help resources.
Changes to LastPass Free
You’re spending more time online than ever before. Work. School. Connecting with family and friends. Each week, millions of LastPass users add millions of new passwords, notes, files, payment cards and more to their encrypted vault. We love being a part of the security routines of more than 20 million users across the world. As our community of users continues to grow, we need to adapt our offerings to keep up with the constantly evolving digital world. With that, we have some changes to our LastPass Free offering.
Here’s What’s Changing
We’re making changes to how Free users access LastPass across device types. LastPass offers access across two device types – computers (including all browsers running on desktops and laptops) or mobiledevices (including mobile phones, smart watches, and tablets). Starting March 16th, 2021, LastPass Free will only include access on unlimited devices of one type.
To further clarify what we mean by active device type, we’ve included two examples below:
Sarah is a Free user with Computers as her active device type. She can use LastPass on her laptop, desktop and her dad’s laptop (anyone’s computer!), but she can’t use LastPass on her phone, tablet, or smart watchunless she upgrades to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
Steve is a Free user with MobileDevices as his active device type. He can use LastPass on his iPhone, Android work phone, tablet, and smart watch, but he can’t use LastPass on his desktop or laptop unless he upgrades to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
As a Free user, your first login on or after March 16th will set your active device type. You’ll have three opportunities to switch your active device type to explore what’s right for you. Please note, that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your vault or be locked out of your account, regardless of whether you use computer or mobile devices to access LastPass. Learn more about device types in our Support Center.
In addition to this change, as of May 17th, 2021, email support will only be available for Premium and Families customers. LastPass Free users will always have access to our Support Center which has a robust library of self-help resources available 24/7 plus access to our LastPass Community, which is actively monitored by LastPass specialists. Free users will continue to receive email support for technical issues until May 16th to assist through the transition of selecting an active device type. Learn more about our customer support offerings in ourSupport Center.
LastPass Premium is your single and secure one-stop shop to your digital life. It includes dark web monitoring, emergency access, unlimited device type access, a security score dashboard, dedicated personal support, advanced multi-factor authentication and more. At only $3 per month (billed annually), LastPass Premium enables you to not only store your passwords but also protect your digital life, which is more important than ever in this new era of working from anywhere. As a current Free user, you can upgrade to Premium now for an exclusive, limited time discount and receive Premium for $2.25 per month (billed annually). *
Next Steps for Free Users
We understand how much you rely on LastPass in your daily life, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this adjustment easier. Here’s what you need to know:
Whether you continue using LastPass Free on one device type, or across all your devices types with LastPass Premium, we’re committed to offering you a best-in-class password management experience. We sincerely thank you for continuing to be part of our LastPass community.
*Additional Terms and Conditions: Advertised price valid for new users on their first year of LastPass Premium. Price not valid for renewals or existing customers and cannot be used for other LastPass plans, products or services.
At first, it appeared the iOS 14.5 public beta arrived without the watchOS 7.4 this afternoon. However, the latest watchOS beta is now available, it’s just slightly hidden as it only shows up after first upgrading to iOS 14.5. watchOS 7.4 brings the handy Apple Watch Unlock feature for iPhone when wearing a mask.
watchOS 7.4 public beta 1 arrives after the developer beta was seeded this past Monday. Funny enough, while we didn’t see it as available alongside iOS 14.5 public beta 1 today, it appeared only after installing the update on iPhone.
watchOS 7.4 brings the highly anticipated new Apple Watch Unlock feature for iPhone that works when Face ID notices you’re wearing a face mask which allows you to skip having to use your passcode.
Be sure to upgrade your iPhone to the iOS 14.5 public beta first, then you should see the watchOS public beta for 7.4 appear on iPhone in the Watch app > General > Software Update.