Tag - Fitness
Smartwatch producer Pebble has revealed three new devices it is adding to its range, with all three having a greater focus on tracking the user's fitness than the previously-released timepieces. The Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 are updates to the existing models that introduce built-in heart rate monitoring for the first time, while the Pebble Core is a compact device that offers fitness tracking but leaves out the smartwatch element entirely out of the equation.
Since time began and chocolate was first invented, it has been a universal rule: everything that is bad for you tastes or looks or feels good. Now, though, there appears to be an exception with scam ads masquerading as magical cures to our girths and our BMI. The ads aren't new, though they do seem to be increasing, but what's come out this week is that we are worse than gullible.
Flurry Analytics has compiled a new "App Loyalty Matrix," putting a spotlight on the various categories of apps, and those most -- and least -- likely to engage user interest. In recent months, iOS users have started to show an increasing loyalty to health and fitness apps, with those among the most likely to engage and retain user interest over a sustained period of time. According to the study, around 35 percent of iPhone users who download a fitness or health tracking app are likely to use that app an average of three times a week, for at least 30 days.
Nokia is attempting to get back into producing consumer-grade devices and jumpstarting its wearables product catalog, by acquiring health company Withings. The French wearable device and fitness tracker producer is being bought by the former smartphone producer for €170 million ($191 million), subject to regulatory approval, with the cash deal expected to close early in the third quarter of this year.
Garmin has expanded its wearable device range aimed at sports enthusiasts, with an item designed for use on golf courses. The Approach X40 is a GPS-equipped golf band that can help a golfer track how well they are playing a round, and provide assistance when making shot choices, with it also providing a number of standard tracking functions more typically associated with other similar-looking fitness bands.
On Monday, Apple unveiled a set of eight short ads -- about 15 seconds each -- that offer examples of features found on the Apple Watch. Continuing the company's emphasis on fitness, half of the spots highlight the Watch's use for (respectively) stair climbers, rowers, runners, and golfers. The four fitness ads show users competing with friends to achieve the best time, or tracking the progress of a workout, monitoring one's heartbeat, or achieving fitness goals. The other four spots focus on other features, such as weather notifications letting users know when it is going to rain, or the Watch's ability to locate the iPhone. One ad, called "Swap," highlights the fashionable band options that are available.
A new study that compared the security of user data as transmitted by the short-range Bluetooth used by the leading fitness and health wearables has found, as one headline writer summed it up, that "every fitness tracker but [the Apple Watch] is a privacy nightmare." The report, done by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab and Canadian privacy-rights group Open Effect, tested eight wearables and found that all -- apart from the Apple Watch -- leaked Bluetooth data that could be read nearby.
A new report from industry analyst Canalys reports that the Apple Watch has established itself as the industry leader in smartwatches, shipping around 12 million units since its debut last April and accounting for two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments. In part the confirmation of what many analysts already suspected came about because of a strong holiday quarter, with Apple selling around five million Apple Watch units during that period. Separate from full-blown smartwatches, basic fitness bands exceeded 37 million units for calendar 2015.
Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches, and after spending too much over the holiday. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff you can make use of this weekend and afterwards, including a fitness app to help keep to your New Year's resolution to get fitter, an app to keep your Mac fighting fit as well, an extremely difficult iOS game, and a Jeff Buckley album.
Withings has introduced another wristwatch with activity tracking capabilities, in time for holiday shopping. The Activité Steel fits in between the Activité Pop and the original Activité in the tracker roster, using the same nondescript watchface with an added percentage sub-dial for monitoring progress, with the timepiece housed inside a stainless steel case with chrome hands and smooth silicone straps.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE