Friday Morning News

heart_sensor_large_2xArs Technica’s review of the Apple Watch Series 2 says that although people may be unsure about the kind of value in a smartwatch, there is at least some value in a connected fitness device on your wrist. The GPS-equipped, waterproof Series 2 running watchOS 3 is Apple’s best attempt at making a fitness wearable that pulls double duty as one of the most connected fashion accessories around.

But for all the stuff that the Apple Watch does well, there’s still features that hold it back from being the best fitness wearable. The Verge breaks it down, telling us about the stuff that the Apple Watch Series 2 doesn’t do. It doesn’t do elevation tracking, there’s no sleep tracking, and activity sharing with others for third-party apps is all dependent on how the app shares data to Apple Health.

Apple’s latest acquisition is Triplejump, a machine learning company focused on simplifying data management technologies that allowing people to ask hard questions on huge datasets.

Some users are complaining about poor audio quality on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with users saying callers sound “distant”. It may simply be an issue with the version of iOS 10 that runs on the iPhone 7, as there are a number of other issues that don’t affect iPhone 6/6s units.

The hands-down best feature on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the system haptics, which provide feedback for a number of user actions. While it’s a bit of a shame the taptic engine in the iPhone 6s was killed off so quickly, the haptic feedback that tells you you’ve activated 3D Touch’s peek or pop action, or the little staccato vibrations you get when spinning a date or time picker are really, really cool.

If you have HomeKit compatible accessories, the new Home app in iOS 10 makes it easy to set the scene or control individual appliances or lights. But with iOS 10, Apple also removed the ability for the third-gen Apple TV to act as a HomeKit hub — while your third-gen Apple TV can do the remote access part, automation requires an iPad running iOS or a fourth-gen Apple TV running tvOS 10, as outlined in this Apple support document.

For those wanting to jump on the open beta train, Apple has released the first betas of iOS 10.1 (with Portrait mode feature for 7 Plus owners) and macOS Sierra 10.12.1 to members of its public beta testing program.

A walkthrough of the iOS 10 lock screen from The Mac Observer points out all the new features, plus some you may have missed.

AppAdvice has a collection of apps that come with Siri integration. The website is a little obtuse, but once you click on an app, you can see the available Siri commands at the bottom of the page.

For those still waiting on Mac updates, when we’ll see Mac updates mostly depends on Intel’s roadmap for mobile CPUs. Unfortunately, news on that front is… not good, with MacBook Pro-class mobile CPUs not due for an update in October, and then nothing until late 2018. That should be plenty of time for Apple to release its own desktop-class A-series chips in its Macs, right?

Notable Replies

  1. kyte says:

    Its the lack of sleep tracking thats kept me from buying but I think I may have found a way round that… by using my Fitbit Flex when sleeping or napping, and Apple Watch the rest of the time. The only decision I need to make now is whether to go Series 1 or Series 2. I have no need of waterproofing or GPS, but a brighter screen may be an attraction.

    Anything else one ought to consider?

  2. Erwin says:

    I use Seep Cycle and my iPhone to track my sleep and wake me up.

    I hope that still means new MBPs are due in October.

  3. Erwin says:

    My only issue with using the Apple Watch to track sleep is the battery needing to be charged which I do overnight.

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