Apple Launches New Spring Colors for iPhone Cases and Apple Watch Bands

Alongside the second generation of AirPods, Apple today refreshed its iPhone case and Apple Watch band lineup for spring. In Silicone cases for iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max you can now choose from Spearmint, Papaya, and Delft Blue.



The iPhone XS Smart Battery Case is now available in a Pink Sand color option, after first launching in just White and Black.



iPhone XS Leather Cases are gaining Cornflower, Sunset, and Lilac. The same colors can be found for iPhone XS Max Leather Cases, iPhone XS Leather Folio, and iPhone XS Max Leather Folio.



Apple Watch Sport Bands are also matching the new iPhone case colors in Spearmint, Delft Blue, and Papaya. You can get these in 40mm or 44mm to fit all previous generations of Apple Watch and Apple Watch Series 4.



In Sport Loop there is Papaya, Cerulean, Spearmint, and Lilac as well. Just like Sport Bands, these are available in both 40mm and 44mm sizes.



The Nike Sport Band lineup also updated with Black/Hyper Grape, Spruce Fog/Vintage Lichen, and Teal Tint/Tropical Twist. These bands are made with the same fluoroelastomer as Apple’s Sport Bands.



There are also new Nike Sport Loop bands, in Spruce Fog, Teal Tint, Hyper Grape, Summer White, and Black.



New Modern Buckle colors include Cornflower, Lilac, and Sunset. These join new Leather Loop colors in Cornflower and Sunset as well.



Lastly, new Hermès options include Rose Sakura/Craie/Argile Swift Leather Double Tour, Bleu Lin/Craie/Bleu du Nord Swift Leather Double Tour, and Etoupe Swift Leather Double Tour. Single Tour bands get the same new colorways.



Head to Apple.com to purchase the cases and bands, and check out our post on the second generation of AirPods for more information on Apple’s latest wireless headphones.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, iPhone XS

This article, "Apple Launches New Spring Colors for iPhone Cases and Apple Watch Bands" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of watchOS 5.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the fifth watchOS 5.2 beta and two months after releasing watchOS 5.1.3.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software update.



To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

The watchOS 5.2 update introduces a set of new Hermès watch faces. The watch faces are available in pink and blue, and feature a gradient-style design that changes much like other Hermès watch faces. There are customizable numbers and an option for a single complication.



There could be changes coming to the way the ECG feature works in other countries. In iOS 12.2 and watchOS 5.2, when setting up a new Apple Watch, Apple is using location to make sure the ECG feature is available in a particular region, suggesting the company may be planning to geofence ECG functionality and limit it to the United States.

This would potentially prevent customers who purchased a U.S. Apple Watch but live in another country from using the ECG feature. Location is verified via SIM card and can’t be bypassed during Apple Watch setup.

We haven’t seen any other major changes in watchOS during the beta testing period, but we’ll get a better look at what’s included when Apple releases watchOS 5.2 to the public complete with release notes. We’re expecting Apple to release watchOS 5.2 alongside iOS 12.2, tvOS 12.2, and macOS 10.14.4 following the company’s March 25 event.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of watchOS 5.2 to Developers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Watch accurately spotted heart condition 34% of the time in study

In a large Apple-sponsored study assessing whether the pulse sensor on older versions of the Apple Watch (Series 1, 2, and 3) can pick up heart rhythm irregularities, researchers found that only 34 percent of participants who received an alert of an irregular pulse on their watch went on to have a confirmed case of atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heart rhythm.

The study was led by researchers at Stanford, who presented the results Saturday in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. The results have not been published in a scientific journal and have not been peer-reviewed.

The study, dubbed the Apple Heart Study, began in November 2017, before the release of the Apple Watch Series 4, which includes an electrocardiograph (ECG) feature for monitoring heart activity. Though the study didn’t keep pace with that of wearable device development, it was rather speedy relative to clinical trials. In fact, some cardiologists were impressed simply by the short period of time in which the study was able to recruit such a large number of participants—nearly 420,000—plus follow up with them using telemedicine and get results.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Over 2,000 Participants Received Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification in Apple Watch Study

Stanford Medicine researchers presented their findings of the Apple Heart Study at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session and Expo in New Orleans today, as noted by Apple in a press release.



Apple and Stanford created the study to evaluate the Apple Watch‘s irregular heart rhythm notification feature, which occasionally checks the wearer’s heart rhythm in the background and sends a notification if an irregular heart rhythm appears to be suggestive of atrial fibrillation.

419,093 people across the United States participated in the study. As part of the study, if an irregular heart rhythm was identified, participants received a notification on their Apple Watch and iPhone, a phone consultation with a doctor, and an ECG patch for additional monitoring.

Study results showed 0.5 percent of participants – approximately 2,095 people – received an irregular heart rhythm notification. Apple says “many participants sought medical advice following their irregular rhythm notification.”

Apple COO Jeff Williams:

We are proud to work with Stanford Medicine as they conduct this important research and look forward to learning more about the impact of Apple Watch alongside the medical community. We hope consumers will continue to gain useful and actionable information about their heart health through Apple Watch.

Apple announced the Heart Study in collaboration with Stanford back in November 2017 and stopped accepting new participants in August 2018.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Over 2,000 Participants Received Irregular Heart Rhythm Notification in Apple Watch Study" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Fitbit Inspire HR review: A worthy $99 investment in your health

Fitbit Inspire HR review: A worthy $99 investment in your health

Apple may be dominating the wearable space, but Fitbit isn’t far behind. Long before Apple even made smartwatches, Fitbit made fitness trackers for all types of people who were looking to become healthier or advance their training to the next level. And as of late, Fitbit’s $129 Alta HR surpassed others as our favorite simple-yet-powerful fitness band that could work for almost anyone.

But now, Fitbit is retiring the Alta HR and replacing it with the new $69 Inspire and $99 Inspire HR fitness trackers. These devices are meant to not only fix some of the shortcomings of the Alta HR but to also attract users who have never worn a wearable before. There are plenty of those people, and Fitbit is betting that a good portion of them don’t want a smartwatch and would jump at the chance to spend less on something that’s just as capable when it comes to fitness.

We recently spent about a week with the Inspire HR to see for ourselves if Fitbit had taken what Ars saw as the best tracker out there and in fact made it better. And perhaps more importantly to this fitness brand, how compelling is this new wearable for newbies?

Read 25 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth watchOS 5.2 beta and over a month after releasing watchOS 5.1.3.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software update.



To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

The watchOS 5.2 update introduces a set of new Hermès watch faces. The watch faces are available in pink and blue, and feature a gradient-style design that changes much like other Hermès watch faces. There are customizable numbers and an option for a single complication.



There were no other major changes discovered in watchOS with the release of the first four, but we’ll update this post should we find new features or major tweaks worth noting in the fifth. We may not know the full extent of the changes in watchOS 5.2 until we get a public release with Apple’s release notes.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.2 to Developers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Watch Bands Begin Selling Out Ahead of Probable Spring 2019 Refresh

Apple Watch bands have been refreshed on a seasonal basis for the past few years, and it looks like that trend will continue in spring 2019, as many of the current fall 2018 bands are now out of stock on Apple’s online store.



Fall 2018 bands now listed as sold out:

  • 40mm and 44mm Sport Bands in Hibiscus, Mellow Yellow, and Pacific Green, plus 40mm in Blue Horizon

  • 40mm and 44mm Nike Sport Bands in Olive Flak/Black and Smokey Mauve/Particle Beige

  • 40mm Sport Loops in Cape Cod Blue and Nectarine

  • 40mm Nike Sport Loop in Smokey Mauve

  • 44mm Leather Loops in Forest Green

  • 40mm Modern Buckles in Cape Cod Blue, Forest Green, and Peony Pink

  • 40mm Hermès Double Tours in Indigo/Craie/Orange and Bordeaux/Rose Extrême/Rose Azalée

Apple could unveil its spring 2019 bands in a press release on March 21, the first day of spring, as it did last year. Apple is also expected to host a March 25 event, but little to no hardware is expected. Either way, we’re likely a few weeks away from new bands if another refresh is planned.

Apple likes to brighten up its Apple Watch bands in the spring, although not quite as much as its vibrant summer bands. Spring 2018 colors included Lemonade, Red Raspberry, Denim Blue, Soft Pink, Spring Yellow, and others. Most bands range between $49 and $149 in price, with Hermès bands costing up to $539.

All bands released to date have been compatible with every Apple Watch generation.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Watch Bands Begin Selling Out Ahead of Probable Spring 2019 Refresh" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Fitbit goes after new wrists with less expensive $159 Versa Lite smartwatch

Instead of doubling down and trying to make the next best Apple Watch killer, Fitbit is focusing on potential users and prices. Today, the company launched the new $159 Versa Lite smartwatch, a pared-down version of the $199 wearable it came out with last year. It will also bring the newly announced Inspire and Inspire HR fitness trackers, priced from $69 to $99, to all consumers.

The Versa Lite doesn’t look very different from the original $199 Versa, but Fitbit removed a few features to keep the device’s price down. The Lite doesn’t have the ability to track floors climbed, count swim laps from your wrist (although it can track swimming workouts), play music, or show on-screen guided workouts.

The Versa Lite also doesn’t have onboard Wi-Fi, but it can still receive smartphone alerts when your smartphone is nearby. It also has a new updates feature that will initiate a small update download every time the user syncs the device to the Fitbit mobile app. The Lite won’t be the device that keeps you in the loop at all times like the Apple Watch or even the original Versa does—but it still keeps the digital world on your wrist. As far as battery life goes, Fitbit estimates at least four days of all day and night use on a single charge.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments