If you put the latest Apple Watch and last year’s model side by side, you’d be hard pressed to spot the difference. With the new case a mere one millimeter taller – 41 and 45 mm. vs. 40 and 44 mm. – it takes an eagle eye to tell them apart. (The new one is on the right in the photo below.)
Aside from the new size, some new color options, and what Apple claims is a more robust device, there are few differences between the Series 6 and this year’s version, and this incremental upgrade isn’t for everyone.
Taking screenshots on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, is a great way to save things. Rather than save a URL of a web page, you can save a picture of it, so you can see it exactly as it was at the time you shot it. You may want to do this when you’ve bought something online, and want to keep a record of the purchase confirmation. You may also take screenshots just to remember items you’ve been shopping for on your iPhone or iPad, or to send to a friend to show them something you’ve seen. Or you may take a screenshot of some text to post on social media. Or, you may need to take screenshots to demonstrate a problem with your device.
On macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, it’s easy to take screenshots, crop them, and annotate them, and they save to the Photos app (on iOS and iPadOS) or to the Finder, so you can access them quickly. You can even take screenshots of your Apple Watch.
I’ve got an Apple Watch band jones. Over the past few years, I’ve found it enjoyable to have a range of bands in different colors and materials. Almost all my bands are original Apple products, because when I’ve tried third-party bands, they just aren’t as good.
Last year, I was quite excited about the Meyer Lemon Leather Loop Band, because I tend to like colors that stand out against my wrist and the watch. I’m not that interested in stodgy colors like black and brown, and my favorite bands are red, blue, and new yellow(ish), though I still like the original Milanese Loop that I bought early in the life of the Apple Watch.
So this year, I have two new bands: one leather, and one of the new solo loop claspless bands. Let’s start with the California Poppy Leather Link. If you look at my review of the Meyer Lemon Leather Loop Band, you’ll note that my initial appreciation of the band was tempered over time as it showed wear. While it’s very comfortable, and easy to adjust, it’s not a leather designed to last.
The new leather link band is different in a couple of ways. The leather itself is more finished; the previous model’s leather was more like suede, and the new leather has a smoother finish. This should wear better over time.
It’s also a lot easier to put on: with the previous model, you had to slip the end of the band through the loop, but now the band is in two parts, and one overlaps magnetically to the other. It’s easy to put on, and easy to adjust, and the magnets are very strong; perhaps they should have called this a MagSafe band.
The magnets are much wider than the previous model, which makes this band a bit stiff, though it should probably loosen up over time. It’s also quite heavy: at 44g, it’s almost as heavy as my stainless steel Apple Watch (47g). But it feels good, it has heft, and if you wear it a bit loose like I do, it doesn’t move around as much as a sport band.
And the color is nice: it’s not a bright yellow, but the color is sort of between that of a lemon and an orange; it goes well with my gold stainless steel watch.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Braided Solo Loop. This new type of band has no clasp, and you have to size it correctly. Given the current situation, many people won’t want to go to Apple Stores to try them on, so sizing is difficult. Some people find that after sizing it using Apple’s tool, the band they got was too large, others too small. I initially ordered one that was too tight and returned it, and since I had to go to an Apple Store to pick up my watch, I tried on various sizes, and settled on the right one. (For me, it’s the largest: size 12.)
Again, it depends on how you like to wear a watch band. Some like to wear bands fairly snug, others fairly loose. I’m generally in the latter camp, but with this band, I want it to fit just exactly right. For me, it should not be loose enough so the watch moves around, nor should it be tight enough to leave a mark on my wrist.
If you do get it right, you may find, as I have, that it the most comfortable Apple Watch band I’ve every worn. It’s very light – only 12g in my size – and it breathes, so it’s easy to forget. If you have an aluminum Apple Watch, which weighs 30.5g for the 40mm model and 36.5g for the 44mm model, you’ll barely feel the band and watch. With a heavier, stainless steel watch, this band will make it lighter than an aluminum watch with sport loop. (My M/L sport loops weigh 30g.)
At $99, these bands are both expensive, and one could certainly say that they are overpriced, but I find them nice additions to my collection of Apple bands.
I can’t help but think that I’ve been repeating myself over the years when reviewing the Apple Watch. In reviews for the Series 3, Series 4, and Series 5 Apple Watch models, I pointed out how not much had changed in the device, and that if you had the previous year’s model, then you probably shouldn’t consider upgrading. The marquee features in these models was the addition of cellular access in the Series 3; the increased size of the Series 4; and the always-on display added to the Series 5. All of these were small, incremental upgrades to the device, making it hard to justify getting a new one if yours was recent.
The same is true for the Series 6 Apple Watch: the changes are limited, and my advice remains that, if you bought last year’s model, you probably won’t need the new one. But if your Apple Watch is two or three years old, then it’s worth considering the upgrade.
Sometimes the new Apple Watch Series 6 reports my lungs and heart are the picture of health, pumping blood that’s 100 percent saturated with oxygen.
At other times, it reports my blood oxygen is so low I might be suffering from emphysema. (I am not.)
The watch can’t decide. This much is clear: Don’t buy one of these $400 devices in the hopes of monitoring your lung health.
I’m very skeptical about including a pulse oximeter in a consumer device like this. I don’t know who would need to use this, or when, and the fact that it is not very accurate can make people worry needlessly. As the article points out, this device is not approved by the FDA, and, according to Apple, is “only designed for general fitness and wellness purposes.”
There are important differences in the blood oxygen data that Apple and Fitbit report. But in my experience, neither company’s measurement serves much purpose at all. You should know what you’re buying, because it might do more harm than good.
It should not be acceptable for giant tech companies to market devices that take readings of our bodies without disclosing how those devices were tested and what their error ranges might be.
I was intrigued by Apple’s new Solo Loop band for the Apple Watch. It’s a nice idea: a band with no clasp. It comes in two versions, one similar to the Sport Band, and a Braided Solo Loop, which is “16,000 polyester yarn filaments in each band are interwoven with thin silicone threads using advanced braiding machinery then laser cut to an exact length.”
I got the band this morning, tried it on, and immediately initiated a return. It’s at least two sizes too small; it’s tight, not just snug. It’s uncomfortable.
To be fair, I had estimated that I had a 50/50 chance of getting the right fit. In normal times, any band I have with holes (ie, not a Milanese or leather loop) fits correctly in either one of two holes depending on the day.
But this is clearly not a band that you should buy online. The only way to be sure of the fit is to try it in a store. And you really don’t want to go to an Apple Store these days. It’s a shame; it does feel comfortable, but given the number of reports I have seen in forums and on Twitter, it looks like at least half of the people ordering this band have sizing issues. For some people it’s one or two sizes too tight; for others it’s too loose. Several people say that they used Apple’s sizing tool, then went into an Apple store to try the bands, and there was a difference of one or two sizes. (See this MacRumors forum thread, for example.)
Note that if you ordered an Apple Watch with a Solo Loop and it doesn’t fit, you have to return the watch and the band. So even if you have another band, you’ll be without the watch for at least a month, as delivery times are pretty far away for now.
Have you ordered a Solo Loop? Does it fit? Drop a comment below.
Since the earliest Apple Watch, you have been able to change your move goal (the red ring), but there was no way to change the exercise goal (the green ring) or the stand goal (the blue ring). Now, in watchOS 7, this is possible.
Open the Activity app on your watch, then scroll to the bottom with the digital crown. Tap Change Goals.
The first screen lets you change your move goal, counted in calories. Tap + or – to change it, then tap Next.
Next, you can change your exercise goal, in 5-minute increments, from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. Tap Next.
Finally, you can change your stand goal, from 6 to 12 hours. Tap OK.
It’s about time that Apple allows people to make these changes. There are many people who simply can’t do 30 minutes of exercise a day, and others who are frustrated that the watch only counts 30 minutes. So set your own goals, and close your rings more easily.
It’s a strange year. Instead of the annual iPhone-fest that we’ve become familiar with in September, Apple’s flagship product is delayed until next month. So the company has presented some new items: the latest Apple Watch, an updated iPad Air, and a bundle of services and subscriptions called AppleOne. In another pre-recorded event from Apple’s spaceship campus, Apple showed off these new products and services, and, to the surprise of many, announced the released of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 for today.
Last year, when I got the new Meyer Lemon Leather Loop Band for my Apple Watch, I posted a review here on this website. I liked the band, and I still do. However, today I posted an update to that article, with this photo, saying:
I’ve had this band now for about nine months, and I don’t wear it all the time. It’s a bit problematic when you’re doing activities around water, such as cooking, where I wash my hands a lot, or even any form of exercise where you sweat. I’d say that I’ve worn it about 25% of the time in this period, because I have other bands and I like to switch, so the current condition is the equivalent of wearing it for a few months full time.
For $100 / £100, the wear this band shows after this amount of time is quite unacceptable. They way the yellow has worn off on the edges especially around the fold is disturbing, and, while other colors might not show the wear in the same way, on this band it looks unsightly. To be fair, the worn parts are on the underside of my wrist, but every time I put it on, I’m disappointed by the quality. I’ll contact Apple and see what they say.
I tweeted about this, mentioning @AppleSupport, and was a bit surprised by their reply:
Hey there, Kirk! The Meyer Lemon band is rather stunning. After reviewing the image, this would be considered normal wear. Check out the special notes for cleaning the leather: https://t.co/A8uSXGLhfn Connect with us in DM if you have any further questions. https://t.co/GDrqU22YpT
I don’t know, it seems to me that this much wear after what was no more than a few months use is a bit excessive, even surprising, but I guess they don’t feel the same way. I wouldn’t buy a leather Apple Watch band again from Apple. If the company doesn’t think they’re supposed to last, then you’re just throwing money away.
If you have an Apple Watch, you certainly know about its marquee features. It can track your activity and prod you to exercise more, using its three rings. You can use it to make and receive phone calls and text messages. And you can get notifications for calendar events, reminders, and updates from your favorite apps. You can use it for Apple Pay to quickly buy a cup of coffee or a book. You can use Siri to have your watch react to your voice commands and provide you with information. And you can check the time, with one of dozens of customizable watch faces, where you can add complications to provide data and quick access to apps and features.
But the Apple Watch – which is more a wrist computer than a timepiece – has lots of great features you may not know about. In this article, I’m going to highlight eight things you probably didn’t know you could do with your Apple Watch. Some use built-in apps and features, and some use third-party apps. Read on to find out how to make your Apple Watch do a lot more.