Trending February 2024 # Opinion: It’s Time To Rethink Early Apple Watch Apps, Not Abandon Them # Suggested March 2024 # Top 2 Popular

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Despite having its own App Store on the iPhone, Apple Watch has had a mixed experience with third-party apps during its first two years on the market. The first round of apps heavily relied on the iPhone to work, then Apple later allowed developers to run apps natively on the Apple Watch. Some high-profile iPhone apps still have outdated Apple Watch versions or no version at all. Now a few big name companies are quietly pulling their existing Apple Watch apps altogether.

I briefly mentioned this situation in my watchOS 4 wishlist last month:

I would also love to see Apple push developers to revisit their Apple Watch apps now that watchOS has matured and improved greatly since day one. A lot of Apple Watch apps from big name companies like Twitter and Instagram haven’t changed since launch but could benefit from using new watchOS features. More evangelizing or incentivizing developers could be a benefit for consumers.

Both the Twitter and Instagram apps I mentioned are examples of the first round of Apple Watch apps that heavily rely on the iPhone. These apps run slower because of it and don’t work at all when the iPhone isn’t connected. Native Apple Watch apps that run faster are more independent and can still work on Wi-Fi when an iPhone is not nearby.

Potential performance improvements aside, Instagram could also benefit from updating the Apple Watch app with features that weren’t possible when the original version was created like video playback support. It may be that usage just doesn’t justify the work, but it’s also possible that usage just isn’t there because the app hasn’t been maintained.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook launched a modern Apple Watch app for its Messenger platform, but there’s never been a Facebook Apple Watch app. In theory, Facebook could create an Apple Watch app that’s centered around notifications, check-ins, and even photos and videos.

High profile app makers ignoring Apple Watch apps is one thing, but Apple Insider points to at least three big name companies completely removing Apple Watch apps through recent iOS app updates.

Amazon, eBay, and now Google Maps have each released new versions of their iPhone app that also remove the Apple Watch versions.

eBay’s Apple Watch app focused more on actionable notifications for new activity when auctioning items or bidding on an auction. eBay’s Apple Watch app was even featured in an Apple Watch ad as a demonstration of how actionable alerts are convenient and useful.

Google Maps is the latest app to remove Apple Watch support without offering an explanation. You can guess that lack of engagement is to blame, and in Google’s defense it is understandably difficult to make a decent Apple Watch app for something as complex as a map. Google Maps for Apple Watch instead focused on quick access to certain places like home and work that Apple Maps later adopted.

Three examples of apps disappearing from the Apple Watch is concerning (especially if automatic updates are enabled and release notes don’t mention app removals), but it doesn’t mean there’s no place for apps to be successful on the Apple Watch.  You can browse the Apple Watch App Store and see that the catalog alone has quantity, but some of the apps I mentioned before are featured (and likely not because of their quality). Overcast and Pokémon Go are a couple of my favorite new Apple Watch apps (although Niantic has a lot of work to do to make Pokémon Go work well).

As someone who is enthusiastic about the Apple Watch, it’s disappointing to see apps disappear from the platform without much mention. There are tools to make better apps for Apple Watch that some high-profile app makers haven’t used yet, and there are possibilities for new apps to exist that haven’t been created yet.

As I suggested in my piece last month, I hope there are even more tools on the way for watch app developers coming at WWDC in a few weeks and a behind-the-scenes effort taking place to encourage developers to use those tools when possible.

[UPDATE: Responses from Google and Amazon.]

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Opinion: It’s Time For Apple To Discontinue The Apple Watch Series 3

Apple Watch Series 3 was announced in September 2023 alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and while it didn’t come with a new design, Series 3 brought important enhancements, like a faster processor and the cellular version. Nearly four years later, Series 3 is still available in stores — but perhaps it’s time for Apple to discontinue it for good.

When Apple Watch Series 3 was introduced, it brought a long-awaited feature, which is the ability to receive and make phone calls without an iPhone nearby. Series 3 also features the S3 chip, which is 70% faster than the S2 chip found in the Apple Watch Series 2. While these were great improvements at the time, it doesn’t seem that the Apple Watch Series 3 has aged all that well.

Even after the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE in September last year, Apple still sells the Apple Watch Series 3 as a cheaper option of its smartwatch — which starts at $199 in the US. However, the decision to keep Series 3 for another year may not have been a good idea.

Why Apple Watch Series 3 is bad in 2023

Despite Apple’s efforts to keep the Apple Watch Series 3 updated with the latest and greatest software, the hardware simply can no longer handle new versions of watchOS. An article from The Verge published on Tuesday highlights exactly what I’m talking about. “Updating an Apple Watch Series 3 is a nightmare in 2023,” says the publication.

Honestly, I couldn’t agree more. As the report points out, it has become nearly impossible to install watchOS updates on Series 3 without having to restore the entire device first. This is because the GPS version of the Series 3 only has 8GB of internal storage, which is not enough to run watchOS 7 with apps, music, and other user content.

I constantly hear from friends who own an Apple Watch Series 3 that they always get the same error when trying to install system updates. watchOS tells them that there isn’t enough storage space, even when they don’t have any third-party apps installed or music stored. According to Apple, the not-so-user-friendly solution is to completely restore all Apple Watch data and settings to install the latest version of watchOS.

This only hurts the user experience

Well, it’s hard to say because only Apple has the answer to that, but most likely, the company wanted something to say that you can buy an Apple Watch for just $199. It’s definitely amazing to hear that there’s an Apple Watch that costs this cheap, but you shouldn’t buy a Series 3 in 2023, even with the lower price.

So what should Apple do now? If the company really cares about the user experience, it should discontinue the Apple Watch Series 3 while it can. And by that, I mean before it announces watchOS 8 at WWDC 2023. It makes no sense to keep forcing users into a bad experience just to brag about the $199 price tag or to say that older Apple Watch models can still get software updates.

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Pebble Time Versus Apple Watch – Which One Is Better?

There has been a great deal of buzz surrounding the release of Apple Watch, the technology titan’s latest smart device. It is not, however, the first smartwatch on the market. Pebble has developed a new version of its wearable smart device, the Time Steel, slated to arrive in July. In order to know which smartwatch is best suited for your technology needs, we’ve reviewed both in terms of price, design and display, battery life, and functionality.

Price

Apple’s sport version of its Watch will be available to consumers for $349, while Pebble’s updated Time Steel will start at $299. Pebble’s current smartwatch, Pebble Time, is comparable to the sport version from Apple and starts at a much lower $199. Pebble clearly provides more flexibility in pricing for wearables users.

Design and Display

Both Apple and Pebble smartwatch options have similar square displays, but they differ in terms of thickness and size. Apple Watch is .41 inches thick compared to Pebble’s Time Steel that is .37 inches thick. However, the Apple Watch will come in two sizes – 1.5 by 1.3 inches and 1.7 by 1.4 inches. In addition to its screen design, each will come in various colors with complementing bands.

The Time Steel will be available in silver, gunmetal black and red, and comes with a metal band and leather strap. The Apple Watch will be available in stainless steel, black, anodized aluminum and gold, and users can choose from six strap options ranging from leather to stainless steel. The latest version of Pebble’s smartwatch will have a color e-paper display and be protected by glass, while the Apple Watch has a color touch screen that is anticipated to be much more vibrant.

Battery Life

The greatest draw to the Pebble Time Steel is its long battery life. Creators have wowed consumers with a minimum three day life on a single charge, touting its ability to keep its juice for seven days. Apple Watch creators have given a less than impressive 18 hour battery life to their smartwatch, but only if used in moderation. The Pebble Time Steel champions the Apple Watch when it comes to sustainable battery life.

Functionality: Apps, Interface and Features

Pebble has been a clear winner among a large group of consumers because of its ability to work with both iOS and Android apps and synched devices, while the Apple Watch only works with its own software and smartphones. In addition, the Time Steel boasts it will have more than 6,500 apps available for its July launch, including numerous fitness, news and GPS players. Although the Apple Watch will not have as many available apps, it will provide users access to the staples like Instagram, OpenTable and Twitter.

The apps on the Apple Watch radiate from the center of its screen, displayed in circles. A touch of the finger or the digital crown can be used to navigate and zoom. The Time Steel allows users to see events for each day and apps using its three buttons on the side of the watch.

Conclusion

Photo Credit: Wikimedia, Wikimedia

Sarah Li Cain

Sarah is a professional blogger and writer who specializes in all things tech, education and entrepreneurship. When she isn’t writing awesome things for her clients or teaching cute kids how to write, you can find her meditating, doing yoga, and making illustrations for her children’s books.

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An Overview Of Apple Watch Apps And Software

We’re still trying to sift through all of the information Apple dropped on us this morning regarding its new smartwatch, and I have to admit, it’s been tough. There is just so much to this device, and so much it can do, it’s tough to figure out where to begin picking out points of interest to pass along to our readers.

But we knew for sure that we wanted to highlight some of the software features and apps Apple showed off for its Watch today, such as Phone, Messaging, Siri and more. So we put together a brief overview, if you will, highlighting what we thought were some of the Watch applications and features worth noting.

Messaging

Receiving a message on Apple Watch is as easy as you’d expect. Once you’ve been notified (more on that in a minute), you can choose to read it, delete it or respond to it. Sending messages is also fairly easy, thanks to dictation and smart replies. The Watch can actually suggest responses to you based on the incoming message and the things you write most. Or, you can skip text altogether by sharing an animated emoji, which you can customize yourself.

Email works the same way. You can read the message, flag it, mark it as read or unread, or move it to the Trash. Or you can elect to open the message on your iPhone, where you can type a lengthier response.

Phone

Fitness

Fitness software on the Apple Watch is broken up into 2 apps: Activity and Workout. Activity provides a simple graphical overview of your daily activity, with three rings telling you everything you need to know. The Move ring shows how many calories you’ve burned, the Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve done, and the Stand ring shows how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting.

The workout app takes things a little bit further, showing real-time stats for cardio workouts such as time, distance, calories, and pace. It allows you to set goals for each workout, and encourages you to meet or beat those goals along the way. Your workout is included in your Activity app measurements for the day, and the data is funneled into the Health app on your iOS 8 device.

Payments

Siri

Yes, Apple Watch features Siri integration as well. The Watch version of the digital assistant allows you to accomplish many of your favorite voice command tasks without pulling your iPhone out, including dictating a message, asking to view your next event, finding the nearest coffee shop or restaurant, and much more.

Alerts & Notifications

Apple Watch uses new Taptic technology (essentially haptic feedback) to ‘tap’ you for alerts and notifications. There are subtle audio cues too, and each notification has its own unique character.

You can also choose to have notifications show up on your Apple Watch for apps (both stock and third-party), and notifications built with WatchKit will allow you to take action or respond right from your wrist.

WatchKit

WatchKit is Apple’s developer platform for Apple Watch, which will allow devs to create and submit third-party apps for the device. WatchKit apps can incorporate Glances—a gesture that involves swiping up from your watch face to expose at-a-glance information, as well as actionable notifications, and other unique-to-Apple-Watch features.

Other

Over two million combinations of customizable watch faces

Friends – shortcut icons to those you communicate with most

Sketch – draw in real time with friends

Walkie-Talkie – use the built-in speaker and microphone to trade sound bites with friends.

Tap – let friends or loved ones know you’re thinking of them with a silent, gentle tap they’ll feel on the wrist

Heartbeat – when you press two fingers on the screen, the built-in heart rate sensor records and sends your heartbeat

Calendar app – see what’s next in your day or upcoming week. Apple Watch sends you meeting reminders, as well as calendar invitations you can accept or decline directly from your wrist

Maps app – see your current location and get directions, highlighting the best route with turn-by-turn navigation

Music app – control the music on your iPhone without taking it out of your pocket, or listen to music directly on Apple Watch

Remote app – control iTunes and Apple TV using Apple Watch

Remote Camera – Apple Watch doubles as a remote for the iSight camera on your iPhone and doubles as a live display

Stopwatch, Timer, World Clock, Alarms

View Stocks and Weather information

Watered down versions of Photos and Settings apps

Continuity support – start something on Apple Watch—writing a message, reading news headlines—and finish it on iPhone

It’s Never Too Early To Start Protecting Your Hearing

The world is a noisy place. Traffic, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, music, industrial machines, jet planes, hairdryers—all are normal parts of life and all make an absolute racket. Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at levels as low as 85 decibels (dB), which is a little quieter than a lawnmower.

But normal doesn’t mean healthy. Exposure to higher sound levels increases your risk of hearing damage if your ears are unprotected. Being near a gunshot or a jet plane taking off can immediately damage your hearing and may even rupture an ear drum. A rock concert or emergency vehicle siren can cause problems in less than eight seconds. At 90 dB, the maximum safe exposure for unprotected ears is about four hours, according to a graphic from the Sight and Hearing Association.

The problem is, you may not be aware you have lost some of your hearing, even though the loss would show up on a hearing test, explains Si Chen, assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology. The negative effect of noise may not be obvious until five to 20 years after exposure. Hearing damage is cumulative, so repeated exposure to loud sounds will continue to degrade your hearing.

[Related: Hidden hearing loss is hitting people of all ages]

“Generally speaking, rock concerts are too loud,” Chen says. “Many people come out of these concerts with their ears ringing, a sign the concert was too loud and damaging to the hearing. The main problem is most people don’t measure the loudness level and they may experience the consequences of hearing loss many years later.” Trust your instincts: If you feel tempted to put your fingers in your ears in any noisy place, like a football stadium, the noise level is probably too high to be safe.

You can also lose some hearing from listening to music through earbuds or headphones at too high a volume. If you’re hooked up to a smartphone, Chen says there are apps that will monitor the sound levels you are being exposed to. Apple, for example, has the Apple Watch Noise app, which syncs with the iOS Health app and can track environmental noise. Even if you don’t have a smartwatch, Apple’s built-in Health app will track headphone decibel output (find this data in the app, under Hearing). Other apps, like Sound Meter for Android, measure noise through your phone’s microphone. They can pick up environmental sounds, as well as headphone levels if you put your earbuds up to the mic.

For other devices, like portable radios, take cues from your environment. If you are walking outdoors, and you cannot hear the traffic or birds around you, the sound is likely too loud. You can also buy volume-limiting headphones that will do the job for you.

The risks you take by ignoring your ears

Even if the possibility of losing your hearing doesn’t seem like a big deal, you really should start thinking about it. “Hearing damage or hearing loss is not reversible in most people,” Chen says. “Subtle hearing loss can accumulate over time, so most people don’t realize they have significant hearing loss until it is too late.” Once hearing is impaired, there is no way to restore it to its original sharpness because the inner ear cells required for hearing cannot be regenerated or repaired. Using a hearing aid is the primary option for regaining hearing.

It’s not just older adults who have to worry about damaged ears, either. Hearing loss from noise exposure is becoming more common in children, with about 12 percent of kids having noise-induced hearing loss, Chen says. This can contribute to delays in speech and language development as well as learning difficulties.

The effects on older patients are similarly detrimental, Chen says. Those with significant hearing loss often begin to withdraw from social situations that require hearing for conversation and end up having less social interaction, she says, adding that research is underway to evaluate the impact of hearing loss on depression and dementia.

Easy ways to protect your hearing

There are two types of equipment that will protect your ears from loud sounds: ear plugs and earmuffs. Ear plugs fit inside the ear while earmuffs cover the entire outer ear. Chen says both provide good ear protection, so choose the one you prefer. Just know that plugs won’t work as well if they’re not inserted properly, so earmuffs might be easier to use. In a very loud environment, like a gun range, Chen recommends wearing both at the same time.

Another simple way to protect your hearing is to leave noisy places and go somewhere quieter. At nightclubs, sit far away from the band or the loudspeakers. If your car’s muffler is noisy, get it repaired. Yes, the world is noisy. You can enjoy living in it and hearing everything you desire if you take the right precautions.

How To Fix Apple Watch Not Pinging Your Iphone

If your Apple Watch is not pinging your iPhone, here are a few solutions to fix this issue. Once that’s done, your misplaced iPhone will play a sound when you command it from your Apple Watch, and you can find it easily.

What is the “ping” feature on Apple Watch?

Suppose you kept your iPhone somewhere in the house and forgot about it. Sure, one way to find it is by calling your iPhone using a family member’s phone. However, what if no one is home or your iPhone is in silent mode or Do Not Disturb mode?

In these situations, you can use your Apple Watch to ping your iPhone. For this, swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to open watchOS Control Center. Now, tap the iPhone icon with tiny rings, and it will ping your iPhone; that is, your iPhone will play a sound, and you can easily locate it.

This sound plays even if your iPhone is in silent mode or Do Not Disturb Mode.

Pro tip: If you press and hold (not just tap) the ping button in Apple Watch Control Center, it will not only play a sound on your iPhone but also flash its back LED flashlight, thus helping you locate your iPhone at night.

However, if your Apple Watch is not pinging your iPhone, here’s more about it.

Your iPhone and Apple Watch must be somehow connected

You can ping your iPhone from your Apple Watch if:

Both devices are near, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on both.

Both devices are near, and Bluetooth is enabled on both.

Both devices aren’t near, but they are connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or cellular. It’s ok if Bluetooth is turned off on both or one of the devices.

If you satisfy any of the first two requirements, pinging the iPhone is easy, as mentioned above.

Note: While you’re in the Apple Watch Control Center, make sure it isn’t in Airplane Mode. When it is, the Airplane Mode icon is yellow instead of gray and white.

Ping iPhone if Bluetooth is turned off

If you only satisfy the third point, that is, devices are far, out of Bluetooth range, or with Bluetooth turned off, tapping the ping icon may not play a sound on the iPhone. But you can use the Find Devices app on your Apple Watch, as long as your Apple Watch is connected to Wi-Fi (or cellular on cellular models). When it’s connected only to Wi-Fi, you’ll see the tiny Wi-Fi icon in watchOS Control Center.

Press the Digital Crown to see all your apps and open the Find Devices app.

Tap your iPhone from the list of devices.

Scroll down and tap Play Sound.

Now your Apple Watch will communicate with the iPhone via the internet and play a sound on it, helping you find the nearby iPhone.

In other words:

If you see a green iPhone icon in the watchOS Control Center, it means it’s connected to the iPhone and can ping it.

If you see just the Wi-Fi icon in the Apple Watch Control Center, you should be able to ping the iPhone using the Find Devices app (assuming your iPhone is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi or cellular data).

If you see a red iPhone icon in the Apple Watch Control Center, that means it’s disconnected from the iPhone and the internet. You can’t ping your iPhone unless you go near it to connect via Bluetooth or connect your watch to Wi-Fi (or cellular on supported models).

Must see: How to know whether your Apple Watch is connected to the internet or not

Try moving around

If you somewhat remember the last position where you kept your iPhone, like the garage, kitchen table, lawn, kids’ room, go near it to ensure your iPhone and Apple Watch are in Bluetooth range (about 30 feet or 10 meters). Now, if you see the tiny green iPhone icon in the Apple Watch Control Center, that means it’s connected to your nearby iPhone. Tap the ping icon to play a sound on the iPhone to locate it.

If you still can’t find your iPhone, use the Find My app on your other devices like your iPad or Mac. If you don’t have that, you can use chúng tôi on a Windows PC. And if you have no other device of your own and your Apple Watch is unable to ping, you can use your friend or family member’s iPhone to find your misplaced iPhone!

Related posts to keep you informed:

Shout “Hey Siri” to find the missing iPhone

If you can’t ping your iPhone using Apple Watch but had enabled “Hey Siri,” go to the probable location where you think your iPhone might be and loudly say “Hey Siri.” If your nearby iPhone recognizes it, it will light up its screen or reply something like “I’m listening. Yes, etc.” In case it does nothing, just ask it a question like “Hey Siri, how is the weather” and it should speak the answer.

Related: How to use “Hey Siri” when iPhone is face down or covered

Besides the above options, there is nothing else you can do to find your missing iPhone except for searching it manually everywhere around you.

How to ensure Apple Watch pings your iPhone in the future

You saw above the conditions necessary to ping your iPhone using the Apple Watch. We didn’t include some of the fixes like restarting and updating the iPhone as it requires you to have access to the iPhone – which is impossible if you’re trying to find that very missing iPhone.

But, once you find your iPhone, make sure to follow the below recommendations to ensure your Apple Watch pings your iPhone all the time in the future.

Never turn off Find My feature

Related: How to check Activation Lock before buying a used Apple device

Keep Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled

For squeezing the most use time on your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But doing so also takes them offline. So, if you frequently misplace things, please never turn these off. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ensure you can ping your devices or use the Find My service appropriately.

Restart your devices regularly

I restart my iPhone and Apple Watch almost once every couple of days. I would recommend that you turn off your iPhone and Apple Watch and turn it back on at least once every three to seven days. Restarting is a quick and effective solution to keep several petty issues away from your electronics.

Don’t put them in Airplane Mode and forget about it

Airplane Mode cuts off the radio signals like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular. Make sure you don’t enable it and then forget about it.

Update your Apple Watch and iPhone

For the near-perfect experience, keep your Apple Watch and your iPhone updated.

Reset iPhone network settings or all settings

If you face connection issues or similar problems between your iPhone and your Apple Watch, try resetting the network settings. And if that doesn’t help, go with a full settings reset. Here’s how to do all types of resets on an iPhone.

Unpair and re-pair the Apple Watch

Finally, let’s say your iPhone and Apple Watch are with you, and you tap the ping icon to try or test the feature, but your iPhone stays silent! This can mean a bigger problem between your iPhone and the wearable, but it can be fixed by unpairing the Apple Watch and pairing it again with your iPhone.

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