Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 5.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the second watchOS 5.1 beta and three weeks after releasing the new watchOS 5 operating system.

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.

watchOS 5.1 includes support for Group FaceTime, with Group FaceTime calls able to be answered in an audio-only capacity on the Apple Watch. Group FaceTime allows you to chat with up to 32 people at one time.

The watchOS 5.1 update brings a full-screen new “Color” watch face option for the Apple Watch Series 4, with users able to choose between multiple shades. There’s also a filled-in circular color option for older Apple Watch models that joins the standard Color clock face.



Alongside macOS 10.14.1 and iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1 introduces support for more than 70 new emoji characters like face with hearts, red hair, gray hair, curly hair, super heroes, kangaroo, peacock, parrot, lobster, cupcake, mango, and more.

No other new features were discovered in the first two betas of watchOS 5.1, but should we find something new in the third beta, we’ll update this post.

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Some Apple Watch Series 4 Models Caught in Reboot Loop Due to Daylight Saving Time Bug

Some Apple Watch Series 4 owners in Australia experienced crashes and reboots on Saturday due to a bug that surfaced because of the daylight saving time change (via 9to5Mac).



According to Reddit users hit by the Apple Watch bug, the root of the problem appears to be the Infograph Modular face’s Activity complication, which displays a timeline graph with hourly data for the user’s Move calories, Exercise minutes, and Stand hours.

When daylight saving time (DST) lops an hour off the typical 24-hour day, the Activity complication is apparently unable to compute the change and draw the timeline graph with only 23 hours, which throws the Apple Watch into an endless reboot loop until the battery runs out.

According to reports, the bug corrected itself when the date rolled over to Sunday and the normal 24-hour day was reinstated, but some users were able to restore normal function to their watch before then by removing the Infograph Modular watch face via the iOS Watch app.

This isn’t the first time Apple has been caught out by daylight saving time changes, but the company has a few weeks yet to fix this latest DST bug before it happens again when Europe and the U.S. change their clocks on October 28 and November 4, respectively.

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Hands-On With the New Nike+ Apple Watch Series 4

Today is the official launch date of the new Nike+ Apple Watch Series 4 models, which were available for pre-order on September 14 alongside other Apple Watch Series 4 models, but had a later release timeline.

We got our hands on one of the new Nike+ Apple Watches this morning to show off the custom watch faces and the new reflective bands that Apple has designed.

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Design wise, the Nike+ Apple Watches are identical to Apple’s standard aluminum Apple Watch Series 4 models, with aluminum casings and Ion-X glass covering the display.

Nike+ Apple Watches are also priced the same and come in 40 and 44mm size options, but colors are limited to silver and space gray aluminum.

There are two perforated Sport Bands and two new Sport Loops made with a reflective fabric, which is a new option this year. The Nike+ model in our video is the 44mm Space Gray version with a Black Nike Sport Loop.

According to Apple, the new Nike Sport Loops are woven with a reflective thread that’s meant to shimmer when the light strikes it for more peace of mind when running at night, but in our testing, it was pretty muted.

These reflective bands are exclusive to the Nike+ Apple Watch right now and can’t be purchased separately.

In addition to the unique bands, Apple Watch Nike+ models also feature exclusive Nike+ watch faces that are not available on other Apple Watch models. There’s a digital watch face and an analog watch face, both of which can be customized with different colors.

The new Nike+ Apple Watch models can be purchased from Apple at prices starting at $399 for the 40mm GPS version and $429 for the 44mm GPS version. LTE models cost $100 more.

Orders placed today from the Apple online store in the U.S. will not ship out until early November, but some retail locations do have stock for immediate pickup.

Nike+ Apple Watches are available in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K., and the U.S.

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Apple Watch Nike+ Series 4 Launches With Limited Quantities Available in Store

The new Apple Watch Nike+ officially launches today and early pre-orders are being delivered to customers, with pick-ups available in stores in limited quantities.

The new Apple Watch Nike+ devices come with all the features new to the Series 4 models, including a larger screen, thinner body, a (currently U.S-only) ECG reader, fall detection, and more.



In addition, the Nike+ collection features redesigned Nike watch faces that match to the new band colors, including a Pure Platinum/Black Sport Band and a Summit White Sport Loop with reflective yarn.

Apple Watch Nike+ comes in four styles in both 40mm and 44mm sizes, with both cellular and Wi-Fi + GPS only models to choose from:

Apple Watch Nike+ models are priced between $399 and $499 in the United States. Additional Nike+ bands are $49 each.

Launch countries include Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guam, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macau, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the U.K., and the U.S.

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Apple Seeds Second Beta of watchOS 5.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.1 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the first watchOS 5.1 beta and a little over two weeks after releasing the new watchOS 5 operating system.

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.

watchOS 5.1 includes support for Group FaceTime, with Group FaceTime calls able to be answered in an audio-only capacity on the Apple Watch. Group FaceTime allows you to chat with up to 32 people at one time.

The watchOS 5.1 update also brings a full-screen new “Color” watch face option for the Apple Watch Series 4, with users able to choose between multiple shades. There’s also a filled-in circular color option for older Apple Watch models that joins the standard Color clock face.



Should additional new features be found in the second beta of watchOS 5.1, we’ll update this post.

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Take a Closer Look at the Apple Watch Series 4 Infograph Watch Face, Which Supports 8 Complications

The Apple Watch Series 4 introduces two new watch faces that are exclusive to the new wrist-worn device, Infograph and Infograph Modular. Both of these watch faces take advantage of the larger display on the Series 4 to offer up access to eight complications from Apple and third-party apps.

We took a closer look at the Infograph watch face and the multiple ways that it can be customized in our latest YouTube video, which is worth checking out for anyone who wants to get more out of the Infograph face or who is considering an Apple Watch Series 4 purchase.

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With the standard Infograph face, there’s an analog clock face with four customizable complications under the watch hands and another four available at the sides of the device.

The Infograph Modular face supports six complications — one in the upper right, one next to the digital time readout, a larger complication with more info in the center, and three small complications at the bottom.

Built-in complication options available include Activity, Alarm, AQI, Battery, Breathe, Calendar, Date, Digital Time, Earth, Heart Rate, Moon, Monogram, Music, Reminders, Solar, Solar System, Stocks, Stopwatch, Sunrise/Sunset, Timer, UV Index, Walkie-Talkie, Weather, Weather Conditions, Wind, Workout, and World Clocks.

For the dial complications, you can choose to set your favorite contacts to one of the complications so you can contact a person with a tap on the watch face. You can also customize the color of the analog face on the Infograph face.

There are a number of third-party complications available as well, and these will vary based on which third-party apps you have installed on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

There are limitations on which of the available complications can be used in each spot, but most spaces have multiple options available. On the Modular face, for example, you can choose from Activity, Calendar, Heart Rate, Stocks, or Weather Conditions for the large middle spot, while a greater range of complications are available for the smaller spots.

The best way to customize the Infograph and Infograph Modular faces is through the Face Gallery section of the Apple Watch app on the iPhone, which gives easy access to all of the options. It can be done right on the Apple Watch as well, but it’s simpler and quicker on the iPhone.

What do you think of the new Apple Watch Series 4 watch faces? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple Offering T-Shirt Reward in New Mindfulness Monthly Challenge for Employees

Apple has a new employee challenge kicking off this month, this one focused on mindfulness and meditation. Apple is said to have partnered with the app 10% Happier [Direct Link] for the challenge, tasking employees to meditate for a specific amount of time per day for 25 days (via MacGeneration).

While the challenge is focused on 10% Happier, employees can also use any mindfulness app that ties into Apple’s Health app on iOS. One of the areas that Health measures is mindfulness, showing you how many “Mindful Minutes” you’ve accumulated over the past day, week, month, and year. This information can be filled by mindfulness apps like Headspace, Aura, Calm, 10% Happier, and Apple’s own Breathe app for Apple Watch.

Image via MacGeneration


Employees who complete the challenge will be awarded with a T-shirt that displays the Breathe app’s blue and green logo. Apple has held similar internal challenges for its employees in the past, although they have mostly focused on physical exercise of some kind.

In April 2017, employees who completed the stand, movement, and exercise rings on the Apple Watch each day for a month received an Activity rings pin in gold, silver, or bronze, based on how many days in the month they achieved 100% ring completion. Another competition like this was held earlier this year, but the prize was an exclusive Apple Watch band.

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Watch the Apple Watch Series 4 Smoke Older Apple Watches in Speed Comparison

The Apple Watch Series 4, launched last week, features a new dual-core S4 chip that’s significantly faster than the S3 chip in the Series 3, and, of course, the chips used in older Apple Watch models.

We did a side-by-side comparison of the Apple Watch Series 4 to the original Apple Watch, the Series 1 models, the Series 2 models, and the Apple Watch Series 3 to see how far the Apple Watch has come since it was first introduced in 2015.

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According to Apple, the fourth-generation dual-core 64-bit Silicon-in-Package or SIP chip in the Apple Watch is twice as fast as the previous-generation S3 chip. Its improved efficiency and speed allow for better battery conservation and new health-related features like ECG readings.

In our testing, we compared Apple Watch tasks like booting up, opening apps, and activating Siri to demonstrate the speed differences between each generation.

Unsurprisingly, the Series 4 was the fastest, but for a lot of tasks, there weren’t huge speed differences between the Series 4 and the Series 3.

When comparing the Series 4 to the Series 2 and older, though, you can see the impressive improvements Apple has made to the processor over the course of the last three years. While it took the Apple Watch Series 4 40 seconds to boot up, it took the Series 2 almost four minutes, the Series 1 three minutes, and the Series 0 five minutes.

When opening up apps, we didn’t see a huge difference between the Series 3 and Series 4 for most tests, but the Series 4 was always just a little bit faster. On Series 2 and older, apps took a good deal longer to open, and in some cases, like with the original Apple Watch, apps took so long we gave up.

So, what can we learn from this? You may not see major speed changes when upgrading to Series 4 from Series 3, though everything will feel snappier.

You will, however, notice an incredible difference upgrading from an original Apple Watch, Series 1 model, or Series 2 model, which makes upgrading from one of these older devices worthwhile.

In our opinion, if you’re considering upgrading from a Series 2 or earlier to the Series 4, do it. The speed changes are so drastic that using the Apple Watch Series 4 is an entirely different experience than using an older Apple Watch.

Have you upgraded to a Series 4 from an older Apple Watch model? Let us know what you think about the new device in the comments below.

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