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Apple Watch can be an excellent health monitor just by wearing it, but there are some opt-in features that you need to turn on to access. Even if you don’t plan on working out with Apple Watch, you may want to double check that these health-monitoring features are turned on so you can get the most out of the Apple Watch.Update watchOS
First, make sure you’re running the latest version of watchOS, the software that powers your Apple Watch. Some features require newer versions of watchOS to work, and all features work best when your Apple Watch is up-to-date. Our step-by-step guide can help you check what version of watchOS your Apple Watch is running and help you update to the latest version.
You’ll also want to know which Apple Watch model you have before going forward. Some features require newer Apple Watch hardware even if you have the latest software. Our guide can help you identify which Apple Watch model you have, and Apple explains which health features work with which watch in this useful chart:Heart Rate Alerts & ECG
The built-in heart rate sensor on Apple Watch powers a variety of useful heart monitoring features that passively work in the background. If you have Apple Watch Series 1 or later (sorry, the original Apple Watch is excluded), your Apple Watch can alert you when it detects three things.
High Heart Rate alerts are sent when Apple Watch detects a heart rate above 100-150 beats per minute during a 10 minute period of inactivity. You can set which threshold triggers the alert based on 10 bpm intervals.
Low Heart Rate alerts are triggered when Apple Watch notices a heart rate below 40-50 bpm for a 10 minute period. You can set the threshold based on 5 bpm intervals.
Irregular Rhythm alerts notify you when Apple Watch identifies multiple heart rhythms that could be atrial fibrillation, a condition that may lead to “stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Each of these features can be turned on and customized in the Watch app on iPhone under the Heart section on the My Watch tab.
If your Apple Watch notifies you that an irregular heart rhythm has been detected and you have Apple Watch Series 4, you can now take an electrocardiogram with the new ECG app right from your Apple Watch. You can use our guides to learn how to access the ECG app and capture the best results when taking an ECG before sharing results with your doctor.
If you have an Apple Watch Series 4, you can also use the upgraded heart rate sensors to capture your current heart rate with faster readings and higher fidelity using the Heart app and Digital Crown.Fall Detection
Apple Watch Series 4 also introduces fall detection thanks to its upgraded accelerometer and gyroscope, but it’s only on by default if the Health app knows you’re 65 or older. From my Series 4 review:
This feature intelligently detects when someone wearing Series 4 falls, presents an option to call emergency services or dismiss the alert, then automatically calls emergency services and notifies your emergency contact if you don’t respond within one minute of a detected fall.
Fall detection is turned off by default if you’re under 65. Apple says that’s because younger people often participate in activity that could be mistaken for a fall, like playing sports, but you can turn it on manually.
You can turn it on manually regardless of your age in the Emergency SOS section of the Watch app on the iPhone.
You may also want to take a moment and update your emergency contact information from your iPhone using our guide. Apple Watch uses this information when a fall is detected and you become unresponsive so it can automatically notify your emergency contact.
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When Apple previewed watchOS 8 at WWDC 2023, the Portraits watch face managed to catch my attention right away. As I have a penchant for trying out a variety of watch faces, I was curious to see how the new Portraits watch face works on my Apple Watch. Unfortunately, Apple didn’t introduce it in watchOS 8 beta 1. Now, with the release of watchOS 8 beta 2, the Cupertino giant has added this much-awaited feature that lets users set portrait photos as a watch face on Apple Watch. If you want to try out this exciting new feature, let me help you set a Portraits watch face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch.Set Up Portraits Watch Face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch
First off, let’s understand what makes Portraits watch face so exciting! And why is every Apple Watch user going gaga over this feature? Then, we will look at the steps to enable the Portraits watch face feature on Apple Watch.What is Portraits Watch Face and How It Works on Apple Watch?
The Portraits watch face is designed to let you view and engage with photos in an all-new way on Apple Watch. What makes it so fascinating is the ability to animate a portrait image with a multi-layered effect. Notably, it intelligently recognizes faces in photos and crops in to highlight the subject. Thus, the watch face appears pleasing to the eyes.
Once you have set up Portraits watch face on your Apple Watch, a new photo will show up whenever you raise your wrist or tap the display. Interestingly, there is also a way to zoom in/ out of the portrait for times when you may want to get into the details. It is a nice way to take a glance at memorable photos and also personalize your smartwatch.What Sort of Customization Does Portraits Watch Face Offer?
Unlike the Photos watch face, the Portraits doesn’t let you fine-tune the colors. Though it might not be a big deal for many, I would have certainly appreciated having the flexibility to tweak colors as well. Since watchOS 8 is still a work in progress, a lot could change by the time Apple rolls out the OS this fall.Use Portraits Watch Face in watchOS 8 on Apple Watch
Note: I tried out the Portraits watch face feature on Apple Watch SE running watchOS 8 beta 2, and it worked perfectly fine. The latest watchOS update is also supported by Apple Watch 3 and above.
Launch the Watch app on your iPhone, paired with the Apple Watch.
3. Next, scroll down and choose the Portraits watch face option.
4. Next up, tap on the “Choose Photos…” option from the Content section and then select up to 24 portrait images. The better way to go about it is to create an album of all of your portrait shots and then select the desired images from the album.
5. Up next, select the portrait images and then tap “Add” at the top right corner of the screen. You can then move around the image to adjust the crop and see how it would look on your Apple Watch’s screen.
6. Then, you can choose from three different clock styles:
Classic: Pick this to give a retro look to the clock.
Modern: Gives a more refined look to the clock.
Rounded: Select it if you prefer a rounded design.
7. Next, you can select complications. The date appears in the middle of the Portraits watch face. At the bottom, you can choose to show any other complications like moon phase, your schedule, activity, etc.
6. In the end, make sure to tap “Add” to finish setting up the Portraits watch face in watchOS 8.
Zoom In or Out Portraits Watch Face on Apple Watch
Probably the best part about the Portraits watch face is the ability to zoom in or out of the portrait image. You can use the Digital Crown to zoom in or out of the portrait shot. Take a look at the GIF below to find out how it works.Get the Most Out of Portraits Watch Face on Apple Watch
That’s pretty much it! So, that’s how you can enable and use Portraits watch face on your Apple Watch. Now that you know how this cool feature works, you can make the most of it to jazz up the watch face in watchOS 8. While watchOS 8 might not be a huge upgrade, it has some notable features, including the ability to measure respiratory rate, an improved Home app, and a smarter Breathe app. So, share your thoughts about the latest iteration of watchOS and whether or not the Portraits has won you over.
Expectations were huge with the event. The entire web was flooded with predictions based on the launch of Apple Watches, iPad Air, and iPhone 12. The major bet had been on Apple’s flagship phone, iPhone 12. Speculations about its features and technical aspects were doing the rounds. Bloggers and analysts left no stone unturned to represent Apple’s plannings. However, things changed soon after the clock touched 10:00 AM PT.
The dawn of 15th September closed all speculations, and Tim finally took the curtains off from the new generation of Apple Watches; Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE. While the former comes adorned with some remarkable features, the Special Edition is nowhere behind.
However, the noticeable price gap between the two undoubtedly raises the question – What’s the difference between Apple Watch 6 and Apple Watch SE?Comparison Between Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE
‘It already does that’ this is precisely the vision ‘Big Boys’ at Apple had while designing the new watches. There has been buzz about the two watches for quite some time. However, the exact information rolled out during the ‘Time Flies’ event, and the details indeed are intriguing. Both the versions are similar, with little differences and a lot in common between them.What’s in Common
What’s the first thing you notice when you look at a product? Is it the appearance? If the answer’s yes, you might be happy to know that both the versions come with the same screen size and resolution. The newly introduced solo loop bands, including soft silicone and braided yarn, will remain with both versions.
Talking about the specs and features, both the versions will come with features like fall detection, emergency calling SoS, noise monitoring, optical heart sensors, heartbeat fluctuation notifications, real-time altimeter, etc. Acknowledging that both the versions will mate with iOS 14, the newly introduced features with the new iOS will remain default.What’s Missing
Being tech-savvy, a significant difference I noticed between the two watches is the processor they use. While the 6 Series comes with S6 dual-core processor, the SE version has a Series 5 processor in it. However, looking from a user’s perspective, three significant features won’t be in the later version include the ECG app, Blood Oxygen app, and the always-on Retina Display. Not just this, the screen in series 6 watch gets a little brighter to make it easier for you to check notifications and specs even during the bright days.
Also, the new Red and Blue dials are only available for the Series 6 version. The remaining dials stay common for both the models.
Apple Watch 6 Apple Watch SE
Processor S6 with 64-bit Dual Core S5 with 64-bit Dual Core
OS Version watchOS 7 watchOS 7
Connectivity Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0
Wireless Chip W3 W3
Resolution 40mm: 324*394 40mm: 324*394
Battery Life Up to 18 Hours Up to 18 Hours
Heart Sensor The second generation, Optical heart sensor Optical heart sensor
Family setup support ✔ ✔
ECG ✔ —
Noise Monitoring ✔ ✔
Fall Detection ✔ ✔
Blood Oxygen app ✔ —
Emergency SOS ✔ ✔
Irregular heart notifications ✔ ✔
Always on Retina Display
Real-time altimeter ✔ ✔Which Apple Watch Should You Buy: Apple Watch SE or Apple Watch 6?
Closely looking at both the version, there isn’t much difference, and the Series 6 and SE models are relatively the same. If you are already a series 5 user and muddled on whether to upgrade or not to the 2023 tech marvel, you aren’t wrong. Despite including the Blood Oxygen level is inspired by the need raised during Covid time, there isn’t much that people can look into this series 6 model.
However, other inclusions like the powerful S6 processor, which makes the series 6 two times faster than series 5, and the intriguing new single loop bands, can make a good reason to lure you towards the series 6 watch.
Also if you own Apple Watch Series 3 or 4, buying this can be a wise choice considering the features and the future compatibility of various apps. Yes, you read that right. Looking at the direction in which Apple is moving, the future has a lot in the box. Taking a jump to Series 6 from 3 or 4 will undoubtedly be a wise decision.
Looking at the health perspective and its price, the watch undoubtedly has many potentials to gain a new section of the audience. If you are a first-timer, this undoubtedly can be your preference.
Talking about the SE version, there are only a handful of features where it lacks behind. However, with this little difference and pocket-friendly price, the Watch SE will undoubtedly make a groundbreaking presence. If you are planning to have a watch for your kids or you haven’t yet purchased due to budget issues, this can be the right buy.
Now that you are acquainted and can make a decision. Here’s how much they’ll cost you;
Price of Apple Watch Series 6: Starting $399
Price of Apple Watch SE: Starting $279
Mayank is a published author and a tech-blogger with over ten years of writing experience for various domains and industries. At iGeeks, he mostly writes about blogs that solve user-problems and guide them on unleashing the full potential of their Apple Device. He can often be found with his headphones on, typing to the rhythm of some country song.
If you forgot your Apple Watch passcode, the only way to regain access to your Apple Watch is by factory resetting the device before pairing it to your iPhone again. You can reset your Apple Watch with or without your iPhone on hand. However, you will need your iPhone to initiate the pairing process and to retrieve a backup of the data from your Apple Watch, once you have reactivated it. Here is everything you need to know the next time you get locked out of your Apple Watch.How to Reset Apple Watch Without iPhone
If you are out of range of your iPhone, you can reset your Apple Watch with a few simple taps. It is required that you place your Apple Watch on its charger while you complete the following steps:
Press and hold the side button (highlighted below on your Apple Watch) until you see the power button icon in the upper right corner of the display, then let go of the side button. If you have an Apple Watch Ultra, be sure not to press the Action Button by accident since doing so will override this workflow.
Tap the button labeled “Reset” twice to confirm that you would like to reset your Apple Watch. After your Apple Watch restarts, you can attempt to pair it to your iPhone again.
Good to know: When you erase your Apple Watch a backup of its data is automatically created and stored on your iPhone. If your Apple Watch is not connecting or pairing to your iPhone, we have a number of ways to help you troubleshoot the problem.How to Reset Apple Watch With iPhone
You can use your iPhone to remotely reset your Apple Watch to factory settings and unpair it from your iPhone as long as both devices are within range of each other. This is the method that you should use if you plan to pass your Apple Watch on to a different owner. Here is how to do it:
Note: If you have a GPS + Cellular Apple Watch, you will need to follow an extra step to retain your data plan once you set up your Apple Watch again. After you agree to erase all content and settings, select the button labeled “Remove Cellular Plan”.
With your Apple Watch placed close to or alongside your iPhone, open the Watch app on your iPhone.
Tap the “My Watch” tab highlighted below.
Tap on the menu item labeled “General”.
Scroll all of the way down to the bottom of the list of menu items and tap on the option titled “Reset”.
Tap on the “Erase Apple Watch Content and Settings” button.
Confirm this action by selecting “Erase All Content and Settings” from the bottom of the screen. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID password to confirm this action.
Tip: Looking to level-up your workflow by establishing seamless continuity among your Apple products? Discover how to easily unlock iPhone and Mac with an Apple Watch.How to Restore From a Backup on Apple Watch
After you erase and unpair your Apple Watch, you need to pair it to your iPhone again. Here is how to get paired up again without losing the data that you had on your Apple Watch before you erased it.
To pair, hold your iPhone close to your Apple Watch and then press “Continue” on your iPhone.
Image source: Apple
After you have finished pairing your Apple Watch to your iPhone, you will reach a screen that gives you the option to set up your Apple Watch as new, or restore all of your data from a previous backup. Select “Restore from Backup” to restore your data. On newer versions of iOS and watchOS, your Apple Watch will automatically restore from a backup.
Tip: Heading out into the unknown with your newly-restored Apple Watch? Discover 10 ways to maximize your Apple Watch Battery on long journeys including how to enable Low Power Mode.Frequently Asked Questions Are there any extra steps to take if I plan to sell, give away, or trade in my Apple Watch?
No. However, be sure to reset your Apple Watch to factory settings using your iPhone, since erasing your Apple Watch using watchOS will not unpair your Apple Watch from your iPhone. Erasing and unpairing your Apple Watch from your iPhone removes Activation Lock, a feature that prevents lost or stolen Apple devices from being paired to a new owner without the original owner’s Apple ID password.How do I backup my Apple Watch?
Your Apple Watch automatically backs up to your iPhone when both devices are near each other. If you choose to erase and unpair your Apple Watch, your data is automatically backed up to your iPhone before the actual restore process begins, in order to ensure that your backup includes the latest information.If I restore my Apple Watch from a backup, will I lose any data?
Yes. For security reasons credit or debit cards stored in the Wallet app, bluetooth pairing data, and of course your passcode, are not included in Apple Watch backups. Conversations from the Messages app are also unretrievable unless you use iCloud and have Messages in the Cloud enabled on your iPhone. All other data, including watch faces will be available after you restore from backup.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots taken by Brahm Shank.
Self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur and tech enthusiast Brahm Shank is captivated by the impact of consumer tech: “It’s profoundly moving when people discover that the phone in their pocket or the tiny computer on their wrist has the power to enrich their lives in ways they never imagined.” Apple, Inc. and its unique position at the intersection of technology and the creative arts, resonates deeply with Brahm and his passion for helping people unleash their potential using technology. Over the years, Brahm has held various podcasts – including famed technologist David Pogue of The New York Times on topics such as Big Tech and digital wellness.
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A new Apple TV could be supercharged Siri’s attack on Alexa
Apple’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google Home may come in the form of an updated Apple TV, insiders claim, packaging a supercharged Siri in the set-top box. The project to upgrade Siri and turn the virtual assistant into a helper for the whole home had previously been tipped to come in an all-new piece of hardware, but new rumors say Apple has discounted that idea.
Earlier this week, in fact, sources suggested that Siri would be given a new home in a dedicated device, complete with Echo-style microphones and speakers. Although currently accessible on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV through the latter’s Siri Remote, the standalone device – which has, it was said, been in development since before Amazon revealed Echo – would allow playlists to be loaded by voice, standalone music playback, and more.
Not quite so, according to VentureBeat’s source, however. Their unnamed insider claims that, while Apple did consider a new product, the idea was eventually discarded out of deference to the amount of investment already made into the company’s existing home product, the Apple TV.
“They want Apple TV to be just the hub of everything,” the source argues.
The current plan, as the report describes it, is to develop new hardware that would work with Apple TV, rather than independently from it. That would effectively amount to a microphone and speaker, moving them away from any background noise around the TV, as well as avoiding issues with recharging.
One point where the two reports coincide is the suggestion that Apple is working on building out its backend, in preparation for more Siri capabilities.
Siri was one of the first examples of a virtual assistant to make an impact on the mass market, but the AI’s abilities have paled in comparison to more recent rivals. Amazon’s Alexa, the voice control system that powers Echo, has been rapidly gaining third-party integration with a range of devices and services spanning the gamut from streaming music providers like Spotify, through smart home tech like Philips’ hue bulbs and Nest’s thermostats.
Meanwhile, Google Home made its debut at I/O earlier in the month, a standalone speaker and microphone array to embody Google’s assistant, the voice-controlled technology that promises contextual search and more.
Like Alexa, Google Home will embrace third-party partnerships, something earlier reports suggest Apple is finally looking to do with Siri. That’ll involve a new SDK and Siri being available through and for other services, it’s said.
NOW READ: Apple TV Review (4th-gen)
Apple had already positioned Apple TV as the hub for HomeKit, its smart home and Internet of Things platform, though that’s more about ensuring perpetual connectivity between devices than direct control.
With WWDC 2023, Apple’s annual developer event, just a few weeks out, we’re likely to hear some chatter of the direction HomeKit, Siri, and other platforms will take, though it’s unclear whether that will be where this new version of the assistant – and any accompanying Apple TV hardware – will be shown off first.
Although not quite new, we reported this morning that Apple Watch can’t connect to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network. It’s not a bug or anything. It’s just a limitation of the current hardware found in Apple Watch. For those users that are not aware of this limitation, it can cause problems when believing that because you are on a known Wi-Fi network, Apple Watch and iPhone should still be able to connect even if they’re out of Bluetooth range.
There is just no way to make your Apple Watch connect to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network, but there are ways to work around that limitation. I’ve actually been helping people with that specific issue for a few days now, and because I’ve seen misinformation going around, I thought it would be best to just get things cleared up and explain how you can have both your iPhone and Apple Watch play nice with each other, even if your iPhone is connected to a 5Ghz network.iPhone, Apple Watch, and 5Ghz Wi-Fi networks
Again, this is a workaround, as there is no way to connect an Apple Watch to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi network, but it does work.
Step 1: If not already done, set up two different networks on your router. The first network will be 2.4Ghz, and the second one will be a 5Ghz network.
Step 2: To prevent any kind of potential issue, forget all these Wi-Fi networks from your iPhone, if you previously connected to any of them.
Step 3: On your iPhone, connect first to the 2.4Ghz network. Technically, your Apple Watch should then remember that specific network. Although probably not necessary, I’d suggest performing a few task requiring an internet connection from your Apple Watch, just to make sure the connection between the device and iPhone is active. The transmission of data at that point will be via Bluetooth, as it is the preferred method for both devices to communicate between each other (for power efficiency purposes).
Step 4: As a test, and after performing the previous steps, I would suggest turning off Bluetooth on your iPhone. If everything went according to plan, your iPhone should still be connected to that 2.4Ghz network, and it should be using that same network to communicate with your Apple Watch, instead of relying on Bluetooth.
Note that you may see the red Disconnected icon on your Apple Watch for a brief moment. It may also say there is no connection with iPhone, but that’s just a temporary hiccup. I have experienced this myself but at every occasion, it switched to the Wi-Fi network a few seconds later.
At that point, it is safe to turn Bluetooth back on on your iPhone.
Step 5: From your iPhone, connect to the 5Ghz Wi-Fi network. If you choose so, you may even forget that 2.4Ghz network from your iPhone, because your Apple Watch will still remember it. From now on, even though your iPhone may be connected to the 5Ghz network, it will still be able to communicate with Apple Watch in case Bluetooth is unavailable. Apple Watch will be using the 2.4Ghz network it learned in step 3, and your iPhone will connect to the internet via the 5Ghz network.
At that point, you can even do a test by forgetting the 2.4Ghz network and disabling Bluetooth from your iPhone. Invoke Siri from your Apple Watch and tell her to make a call. This will be the real test to make sure it is indeed connecting to your iPhone.
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