Apple Watch Overview Updated March 23, 2021

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2,538 'Apple Watch' stories

November 2013 - January 2022

How to see all Apple Watch apps

History

The original Apple Watch (later called Series 0) was released on April 24, 2015, after years of rumors. While there was a lot of initial hype around it, the third-party watchOS apps were slow to launch due to API limitations. Native apps were available in watchOS 2. The original watch came in 38mm and 42mm sizes.

The Series 2 Watch was released on September 16th, 2016 along with a Series 1 Watch. The Series 2 included the S2 chip, built-in GPS, and water-proof construction. The Series 1 included the S2, but lacked GPS and waterproofing.

The Series 3 Watch was released on September 22, 2017, and it included an LTE option and the S3 chip. The Series 4 Watch was released on September 21, 2018. New hardware included the S4 Chip, Electrical heart sensor w/ ECG app, and larger display (40mm and 44mm sizes).

Apple Watch Series 5 was announced during Apple’s fall event on September 10, 2019. Customers were able to purchase the device later that day, and it was released on September 20. The headline feature for this model was the wearable’s always-on display. The new display always shows the time and complications and is also the first from the company to include a built-in compass.

Apple launched international emergency services to every cellular model. Series 5 also brought back ceramic white, and new natural brush and space black titanium models.

Apple Watch Series 6 was unveiled on September 15, 2020 at the “Time Flies” event alongside the more affordable SE and new iPad Air. New features of the Series 6 include blood oxygen monitoring, new watch colors, faster S6 chip, new watch faces, and more.

Apple Watch features

Apple Watch is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. The newest versions are Series 6 and SE while Apple still sells Series 3 as the most affordable option.

Features include:

  • Heart rate monitoring (all models)
    • Including high, low, and irregular heart rate notifications
  • ECG readings (Series 4 and later)
  • Blood oxygen monitoring (Series 6)
  • Workout tracking, Activity Rings, competitions, and awards
  • Works with Apple Fitness+
  • Sleep tracking (with watchOS 7)
  • GPS and GPS + Cellular models
  • Always-on display (Series 5 & 6)
  • Water-resistant to 50 meters
  • Emergency SOS and fall detection
  • Phone calls and Messages
  • Music, Podcasts, and more
  • Third-party apps available through App Store built into watchOS

watchOS

watchOS is the dedicated software that runs on Apple Watch. The current version is watchOS 7 that was released in fall 2020 and is compatible with Series 3 and later.

watchOS 7 brought new features like native sleep tracking, Family Setup, watch face sharing, new workout tracking types, cycling directions in maps, and automatic handwashing reminders.

Apple Fitness+ support and new cardio fitness notifications came with watchOS 7.2 And watchOS 7.4 is coming with the exciting new Apple Watch unlock for iPhone feature.

Current Apple Watch lineup

For all the latest deals on Apple Watch, bands, and accessories, check out 9to5Toys.com.

Subscribe to 9to5Mac Watch Time to get a bi-weekly discussion around Apple Watch and the future of the product.

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Apple Watch Stories January 26

Apple just announced a new Black Unity collection for the Apple Watch as part of Black History Month in February. With that, the company released a new watch face called Unity Lights. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

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Apple Watch Stories January 25

Apple has set its next two Apple Watch Activity Challenges for next month, including one for Lunar New Year as well as Black History Month. Head below for the details on how to partake in these challenges, which can unlock special badges and achievements in the Fitness app.

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Apple Watch Stories January 24

How was your sleep last night? Sleep++ for Apple Watch is a great way to quantify your rest, and today the app is adding a new way to interpret your sleep quality. The new feature explains how last night’s sleep affects your day ahead.

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Apple Watch Stories January 17

One of the valuable, and lesser-known health features on Apple Watch is Cardio Fitness. The measurement is based on your VO2 max which Apple Watch can estimate when recording certain workouts. Follow along for a look at how to use Cardio Fitness on Apple Watch and iPhone including why it’s important, how to set it up, and how to measure/view Cardio Fitness levels.

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Apple Watch Stories January 14

Apple Watch: How to see your detailed heart rate history

Apple Watch can be an amazing tool for health and fitness, but are you taking advantage of the useful data it records? Read along for how to see your Apple Watch heart rate history across a variety of categories like resting, walking, workouts, and variability across days, months, and years.

Apple Watch Stories January 13

Health experts have been discussing the pros & cons of Apple Watch, Fitbit, and similar devices. While the consensus is that they do more good than harm, they caution that the increasing amount of health data presented to consumers can cause confusion and even anxiety.

In extreme cases, this can lead to people compulsively taking multiple ECG readings per day …

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Apple Watch Stories January 11

We noted yesterday that the abandonment of Apple Watch apps continues.

We can officially add Uber to the long list of major brands that have abandoned their Apple Watch apps. The ride-sharing company has quietly discontinued its watchOS app, displaying a brief message to users who try to launch it. Uber joins Twitter, Instagram, Target, Trello, Slack, Hulu, Evernote, and many other companies that have sunset their Apple Watch apps.

It’s a trend that doesn’t surprise me, because I think too many companies based their apps on an unrealistic idea of how most people use their Watch …

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Apple Watch Stories January 10

There was huge anticipation for the Apple Watch Series 7 last year. Rumors suggested that Apple was working on a new flat design and features like blood pressure monitoring. While none of that happened (and probably won’t for the next Apple Watch), Apple should work on something that matters to all users: improving the battery life.

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We can officially add Uber to the long list of major brands that have abandoned their Apple Watch apps. The ride-sharing company has quietly discontinued its watchOS app, displaying a brief message to users who try to launch it. Uber joins Twitter, Instagram, Target, Trello, Slack, Hulu, Evernote, and many other companies that have sunset their Apple Watch apps.

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Apple has quietly stopped selling its Beddit Sleep Monitor in the United States and other countries, nearly five years after it first announced its acquisition of the Beddit sleep tracking company.

Since that acquisition, Apple launched a new Beddit Sleep Monitor 3.5 towards the end of 2018, making a handful of minor changes to the product. Other than that, however, Apple hasn’t given much attention at all to the Beddit brand — both in terms of hardware and software.

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Apple Fitness+ Time to Run is now available, here’s how to find it

After starting its guided audio efforts with Time to Walk, the new Apple Fitness+ series Time to Run has officially arrived as the next evolution. Follow along for how to get Time to Run on Apple Watch, including if you’ve previously turned off or removed Time to Walk workouts.

Apple Watch Stories January 9

If the Apple Watch Series 7 disappointed many for its lack of new sensors, don’t expect things to improve anytime soon. A new report indicates that Apple is still several years away from bringing major new health sensors to the Apple Watch.

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Apple Watch Stories January 7

Remember the big Apple Watch redesign rumors leading up to the Series 7? Multiple sources with solid track records for hardware rumors expected a flat-sided Apple Watch. Instead, the Series 7 looked more like a Series 6 than an iPhone 12 or 13. So were those reports a year too early or should we expect no design changes for Apple Watch Series 8? We have thoughts…

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As people around the world continue their New Year’s resolutions, Apple has announced a notable update for its Apple Fitness+ subscription service. The company is introducing a new Collections feature as well as a Time to Run feature in January.

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Apple Watch Stories January 5

LINE, the company behind the MacBook Pro battery/storage/I/O companion LINEDOCK (full review) is revealing some unique new products at CES today. LINESTAND is a fresh take on a multidevice MagSafe charger that offers a floating experience via VESA mount and LINECLOUD is looking to shake up the NAS market.

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Apple Watch Stories January 3

The “new year, new you” adage might be a cliche at this point, but for better or worse, it’s many people’s mindset when we start a new year. We’ve already rounded up some of the best applications to help you stick to your new year’s resolutions, but what about hardware?

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Apple Watch Stories December 29, 2021

One of the key aspects of the Apple Watch is the Digital Crown, which lets users navigate the watchOS interface without having to touch the screen all the time. However, it seems that Apple is working on ways to replace it as a new patent shows an Apple Watch with optical sensors where the Digital Crown is currently located.

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Apple Watch Stories December 28, 2021

If you just unwrapped a new Apple Watch this holiday season, there are a variety of tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your new wearable. Read on for some guidance on our favorite Apple Watch features for health, activity, customization, and more.

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Peloton is struggling to compete with Apple, says analyst, and it will only get worse

An analyst argues that high-tech exercise bike and treadmill company Peloton is struggling to compete with Apple today, and things are only going to get tougher in the future…

Apple Watch Stories December 14, 2021

As Apple typically introduces Activity Challenges for Apple Watch users on commemorative dates, the company will soon be promoting a “Ring in the New Year Challenge.” The challenge will offer special achievements during January 2022.

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Apple Watch Stories December 13, 2021

The Apple Watch includes a variety of ways to motivate you for working out, including streaks, achievements, challenges, and awards. But if you want to transform your digital Apple Watch awards into physical awards, Activity Awards is a company that does exactly that. Head below for our hands-on.

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Apple Watch Stories December 10, 2021

Apple is facing a new class action lawsuit over an alleged design flaw in the Apple Watch Series 6. As reported by Bloomberg, the proposed class action lawsuit alleges that the Apple Watch Series 6 suffers from a design flaw that makes the screen “prone to breaking or detaching” and exposing “razor-sharp edges.”

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Apple Watch Stories December 9, 2021

One Apple app that’s been missing from the Apple Watch is Safari. It shouldn’t be too surprising that Apple has chosen to omit it from such a small device, but now that the displays are significantly larger, it’s time for them to reconsider. A few years ago, Apple added the ability for apps to show web views if a link was tapped. But there’s been little to no movement on expanding that functionality. µBrowser is a new app that attempts to change that.

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Apple Watch: How to see calories burned – active, passive, and total

Apple Watch is a great device for tracking health and fitness goals, and one important aspect of that is how much energy you’re burning. Follow along for how to see your calories burned on Apple Watch for active and passive metrics plus your daily total.

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