Are smartwatches doomed?

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swimmer wearing apple watch
Is fitness really all that Apple Watch is fit for?
Photo: Apple

The writing has been on the wall for smartwatches ever since Cupertino chose to focus on sports and fitness features for Apple Watch Series 2. Smartwatch sales are plummeting, and fitness seems to be the only profitable area remaining in the wearables sector.

More evidence of this trend emerged this week, with smartwatch trailblazer Pebble reportedly being acquired by fitness wearables specialist Fitbit. We might very well be witnessing the demise of the smartwatch as we know it.

So how did we get here? Is Apple Watch really only fit for fitness, or could it still one day fulfill its destiny and become a true wrist-based computing platform?

The ultimate runner’s review of Apple Watch Series 2

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Is Apple Watch Series 2 the perfect running partner?
Is Apple Watch Series 2 the perfect running partner?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

With the launch of a GPS watch, and a renewed Nike partnership, Apple is getting serious about targeting runners. So is Apple Watch Series 2 the perfect running partner that Cupertino promises?

As an avid runner myself, I was keen to find out. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been training for the TCS New York City Marathon, and I took my Apple Watch Series 2 with me every step of the way — right up to the finish line in Central Park last week. Here’s how it measured up.

Why freemium apps suck for everyone (and how Apple is killing paid apps)

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Only one of the top 200 grossing apps is a paid app
Paid apps are an endangered species: Only one of the 200 top-grossing apps on the App Store is a paid download.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I work on an iPhone app called Reps & Sets as a hobby project in my spare time. This week, my partner and I came to the conclusion that there is no future for our app as a paid download, so we have reluctantly decided to make it free.

This was an incredibly tough call, because we have invested literally thousands of hours in developing our app over the years. Giving all that hard work away for free is heartbreaking. But we didn’t feel we had much choice.

A swimmer’s view of Apple Watch Series 2 [Reviews]

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Does Apple Watch Series 2 sink or swim?
Does Apple Watch Series 2 sink or swim?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Workout app in Apple Watch Series 2 includes two new swimming options to show off its waterproofing. This is a key differentiator over the cheaper Series 1 model, and yet very few reviewers actually took their test units for a swim. One even claimed that all the pools and beaches in New York were closed, so they couldn’t test this feature.

So I decided to take the plunge with Series 2 and find out for myself if it sinks or swims.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve tested my Apple Watch in a variety of swimming conditions, including various public pools — and even the Mediterranean sea.

Can Apple Watch get you in shape? Here’s what the science says.

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Does the Apple Watch activity app have all the answers?
Does the Apple Watch activity app have all the answers?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you’ve considering buying a shiny new Apple Watch Series 2, you might be wondering if it can really help you to get in shape. Especially if you’ve seen the recent headlines claiming that fitness trackers don’t work.

So what does science really have to say about wearables? I decided to investigate the science behind Apple Watch fitness assumptions.