Copyright © 2015
Tag - Fitness
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.
Google Keep, the search engine's note-taking app, has finally arrived in the App Store, two and a half years after it launched on Android and in the browser. Available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS 8.0 or later, the free app allows users to save notes and lists on cards, with individual notes able to be searched, assigned colors, and have time or location-based reminders assigned to them. Notes synchronize with Google's servers, so they can be accessed from multiple devices, and can even be shared with other users for collaborative purposes.
Fitness tracking is hip right now, which is probably one of the more beneficial things we've done as a species, as far as trends go. If you've not jumped on the bandwagon yet, you might be a little wary about dropping a significant amount of cash on something you're not sure you're going to utilize. But if you're interested in getting started, we'd like to introduce you to Misfit Flash, a budget-friendly, feature-packed fitness tracker.
What do we have to do? As we write this to you, we're collapsed on a couch having spent two days clearing a big living room of its installed book cases and heaving giant planks of wood around. We're panting after moving a thousand books that are all heavier than they look. Without looking at our Apple Watch heartrate monitor, we can tell you there's some serious pounding going on in our chest and we'd kill for a mug of tea. Yet open up the Watch's Activity app and it says zero minutes exercise. Zero.
Apple has now added three new TV spots to its collection of ads for the Apple Watch, each with an emphasis on showing what apps look like on the device, and each with a theme: music apps, travel apps, and fitness apps. The commercials showcase mostly third-party programs, and showcase the amount of clear, useful information that can be gleaned on the small screen. Shazam, Yelp, and Nike+ Running are among the apps featured.
Wearable company Polar has introduced the latest version of the Polar Loop activity tracker, the Polar Loop 2. Designed to be worn constantly, the Loop 2 tracks users' daily activity, workouts and sleep, and gently vibrates reminding the user to move if they have been sitting for too long. The latest activity tracker from Polar also displays and vibrates for incoming calls, messages, and calendar alerts.
Although Apple retail stores cleared out most fitness bands and similar health-related accessories in April in anticipation of the release of the Apple Watch, the company did continue to stock some basic bands such Jawbone's Up Move clip-on unit. On Thursday, a Jawbone senior executive revealed in Japan that the company's other models would be returning to the Apple Store in Japan and other regions, including the US, this summer.