Tuesday Morning News
A new support article from Apple tells us how the heart rate monitoring works on the Apple Watch. For starters, there’s actually two sets of heart rate sensors on the rear of the Apple Watch: an infrared set that measures your heart rate once every ten minutes, and a more accurate set of green LEDs that flash rapidly to determine your heart rate. If you’re not getting accurate heart rate measurements from your Apple Watch, the support article also mentions tightening that strap for a better fit.
Which brings us to the question: how does the Apple Watch stack up as a health and fitness tracker? Now that we know it won’t be used for sleep tracking like a Fitbit or any normal activity tracker, can the Apple Watch still help you out if you’re trying to get fit? Re/code says yeah — as long as you’re not “a hardcore runner, a water-sport enthusiast or you’re really sold on the idea of sleep tracking”.
You can turn on accessibility on the Apple Watch demo units by talking to Siri, which is fun for if you’re trying to mess with someone. But Apple World Today notes that the right thing to do is turn it off when you’re doing playing.
Apple’s latest Environmental Responsibility Report says the company is attempting to do three major things. It will limit climate change through renewable energy and power efficiency. It will conserve resources. And it will pioneer the application of greener materials in products and processes. The 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report is available here as a PDF.
The same chip that provides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support in your iPhone also supports FM radio, although it’s not a feature Apple officially supports. But all it would take is a software update to enable that functionality, and the National Association of Broadcasters wants it turned on — even if we’ve somewhat moved away from the era of analog radio.
Over at Macworld, Glenn Fleishman reports the single USB-C port on the 12-inch MacBook can be used in target disk mode, if you have the right cable. The support page for USB-based Target Disk Mode even says you can’t buy the right cables from Apple, but they’re out there.
In the battle of web browser battery life, Safari kills Chrome when it comes to web-browsing longevity. But is that because Safari is better optimised for the Mac platform, or because Chrome is inherently a battery-life hog? A bit of both, from what The Verge says.
MacStories tells us about TextBar, a little Mac app that puts informational text snippets into your menu bar. I’d love to see something like this as part of iStat Menus.
MacRumors banged on the keys of Belkin’s Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2, and came back with a review that had mostly positive things to say.
All aboard the Apple Watch train! The app updates adding Apple Watch compatibility are coming thick and , with Shazam, OneDrive, ESPN, Epicurious, and Carrot all updating their apps for the Apple Watch.