Apple releases Apple Watch update with Watch OS 1.0.1

Zac Hall for 9to5Mac:

Apple has released the first software update for Apple Watch today with the release of Watch OS 1.0.1. The update is available through the Apple Watch app on iPhone.

The update measures in at 51.6 MB and includes “performance improvements and bug fixes” as Apple notes. In addition to adding support for the 300+ new Emoji characters added in iOS 8.3 and OS X 10.10.3,  Apple lists these as improvements areas:

Siri

Measuring stand activity

Calculating calories for indoor cycling and rowing workouts

Distance and pace during outdoor walk and run workouts

Accessibility

Third party apps

Apple has also added language support Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Thai, and Turkish.

Apple Releases Official Dock for the iPhone

 

The last time Apple made an official dock for the iPhone was when they released the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c. Since then, folks have had to rely on 3rd party docks – some have been good and some have been very bad!

It is extremely convenient to be able to pop your iPhone straight on to a dock and it starts charging straight away – the amount of times you put your device on charge every day and every week, accessories like a good charging dock are a Godsend. What is also great about this dock from Apple is that it will fit any iPhone with a lightning connection so you won’t have to buy a new dock every time you upgrade your iPhone which is kinda of what tended to happen. Also you should be able to charge your iPhone with this dock without first having to remove a case that you may or may not be using with it.

You can order one here.

Marco Arment on Redesigning Overcast’s Apple Watch app

Marco Arment:

I had also initially underestimated glances, which are very important in practice. Going out to the honeycomb app screen to launch apps is cumbersome — it’s much more compelling to keep a small number of glances, using them (and complications, which I really want third-party access to) as status updates and quick app-launching shortcuts.

Fantastic and fast rethinking from Marco on how apps should be optimised for the Apple Watch. Hopefully, Apple will allow developers access to the complications at the upcoming WWDC.

M.G. Siegler on Apple Watch Complementing the iPhone

M.G. Siegler:

I had a rough first 24 hours with the Apple Watch. It was seemingly one frustration after another. Then I realized I was trying to use the thing as I would my iPhone. And that’s simply not what this device is. It’s not an iPhone replacement, it’s 100 percent a complement. Which is why some of the initial backlash that you wouldn’t be able to use the device without your iPhone was not only misguided — it was completely backwards.

Calibrate Apple Watch to Improve Accuracy of Excercise Data

Jordan Khan for 9to5Mac:

By initiating the calibration process, you can get more accurate readings for calorie, distance, Move, and Exercise estimations in the Watch’s Activity app, and also improved calculations in the Workout app.

By following the steps below, you’ll start calibrating the device’s accelerometer and improve Apple Watch’s accuracy by allowing it to learn your personal stride patterns at various speeds:

  1. Bring your iPhone and your Apple Watch.
  2. Find an open, flat area outside that offers good GPS reception and clear skies.
  3. Make sure that Location Services is on. To check the setting on your iPhone, tap Settings > Privacy > Location Services.

  4. Make sure that Motion Calibration & Distance is on. To check the setting on your iPhone, tap Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services.

  5. Hold your iPhone in your hand, or attach it to your body with an armband (preferably) or waistband.

I’ve also heard that the first time you wanna go running or work out, take the iPhone with you for the first couple of times so it can calibrate and learn your step pattern. After the first couple of times of taking both devices with you whilst exercising you can then leave your iPhone at home, knowing that the Apple Watch will correctly record your workout data and sync the data back to the iPhone when you have finished.

Jason Snell on the Modular Watch Face

Jason Snell for Six Colors:

I don’t want to be too harsh on Modular. Apple needs to add more faces like it, with digital time and room for some decent-sized complications. Right now Modular is the only face of its kind on the Apple Watch, and because of that I find it wanting. Still, if one of Apple’s offered complications is more important to you than the time—and if you prefer text to graphics—Modular will work for you.

I really like Modular as a watch face – you can tweak the complications to show temperature, sunset, next calendar appointment etc. I like being able to glance at the watch and see a slew of information at a glance. One awesome feature I didn’t know was that the complications are actionable – if you tap/hold down on a complication it will open the application – this is a better and faster way than selecting the app from the app launch screen or even a glance for that matter. Hopefully, Apple will allow 3rd party developers to utilise the complications with their apps because launching apps from a complication is my ideal way and definitely the fastest way of opening an app on the Apple Watch.

Apple admits the Watch doesn’t work well with tattoos

Luke Dormehl for Cult of Mac:

On the Apple site, the company now notes how, “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance.” In terms of an explanation it claims that, “the ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.”

This isn’t unique to Apple. Other devices with similar technology, such as Fitbit’s Charge HR, are affected by the same issue.

“Tattoogate” unbelievable.

Jason Snell’s MacBook Review

Review: The new 12-inch MacBook is a laptop without an ecosystem | Macworld:

But if your workflow includes lots of USB flash drives and external hard drives, if you’ve invested in Thunderbolt hard drives or displays, or if your work really does require 16GB of RAM and the very fastest processors around, the MacBook won’t be a good fit. Fortunately, Apple’s isn’t ceasing production of the MacBook Pro—and it offers all of that and more.

As a longtime user of the MacBook Air line, I look at the MacBook with a mix of excitement and trepidation. This is the future of Apple’s thin and light laptop line, as well as a warning that we’re about to enter a transition period for devices as Apple begins to embrace USB-C. And ultimately that’s the trade-off here: To get the cutting edge technology, you’ve got to deal with the incompatibilities and limitations that go with it.

As Jason says, this laptop is not for USB and external connection users – the aim is to use it similar to how an iPad is used – you charge it, leave the house and use it truly mobile by not having it plugged in like a traditional use case with laptops. It is designed for light use – ideal for students taking it to class etc. The removal of MagSafe reaffirms the view of Apple’s aim to only charge this MacBook whilst not in use but with the early reports of 6–7 hours battery life, getting closer to 10 in future models would be the aim to fully justify this vision.

Farhad Manjoo’s Week With The Apple Watch

Farhad Manjoo writing for NYTimes.com:

This idea is nice, but to get it to work, you’ve got to decide which notifications you want to get on your watch, and which you don’t. When you first set it up, the watch generally mirrors the notifications you’ve set for your phone: If you now get an iPhone alert when a friend changes her Facebook profile photo, you’ll get one on your Apple Watch. (The system is smart enough to alert you in just one place — it doesn’t buzz your watch if you’re looking at your phone.) But because the phone and the watch are such different devices, mirroring notifications between them often makes little sense.

For instance, since there’s isn’t (yet) a Facebook app for the Apple Watch, notifications for Facebook on the watch are essentially useless — your wrist buzzes with a note that your friend has changed her profile photo, but when you tap the Facebook notification, nothing happens.

So unless 3rd party developers enable Watch support for their apps, then receiving notifications is glanceable only – I did wonder about that. Also, it will be a good idea to tweak which notifications you currently receive for all apps on your iPhone currently – in preparation for the Watch you may or may not be ordering.

There is something magical about having a computer that no one notices right there on your wrist. I first experienced this magic while at lunch with a colleague. I’m usually a wreck at such meetings, because while I try to refrain from looking at my phone, my mind is constantly jonesing for the next digital hit.

Lunch today is different. My iPhone remains hidden deep in my pocket, and to all the world I am the picture of the predigital man. It is the middle of the workday, the busiest time for digital communication. Yet with the Apple Watch on my wrist, my mind remains calm, my compulsion to check the phone suddenly at bay. After spending the last few days customizing my notification settings, my watch is a hornet’s nest of activity. It buzzes every few minutes to indicate incoming email and texts, tweets or Slack messages.

The buzzes aren’t annoying. They go completely unnoticed by my colleague, while to an addict like me they’re little hits of methadone — just enough contact with the digital world to whet my appetite, but not nearly as immersive, and socially disruptive, as reaching for my phone and eyeing its screen. I not only register the watch’s buzzes, but several times while we’re chatting, I surreptitiously check its screen. I scan some incoming messages and tweets, and even flag a couple of emails for later.

At the end of the meal, I ask my colleague if she’s noticed me checking my watch. She is surprised; she hasn’t seen it.

I love, not only the concept of glancing at your wrist instead of pulling the iPhone out of your pocket but notifications only you can see, hear and feel.