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.

Get the Cult of Mac Fitness Handbook, an exclusive free ebook

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Check out our free ebook
Check out our free ebook
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

After undergoing successful chemotherapy treatment for cancer, Apple’s fitness gadgets helped me turn my life around and get fit in middle age. So I know from personal experience just how important they can be. That’s why I focus on fitness for Cult of Mac, and it’s why I’ve written The Cult of Mac Fitness Handbook: Get in Shape With iPhone and Apple Watch.

Today, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I rely on my iPhone and Apple Watch to help keep me that way.

They are powerful tools for getting fit and losing weight — if you know how to use them.

Set up your new Apple Watch to max out your fitness gains

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Get in shape with your new Apple Watch
Get in shape with your new Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you’ve just bought a shiny new Apple Watch Series 2, hoping it will help you get in shape, then here’s some advice: Invest a little time setting it up so your wearable is tailored to your personal fitness level and goals.

These quick and easy setup tips will help you get the most out of your Apple Watch fitness routine.

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the new Cult of Mac Fitness Handbook. It’s coming soon, loaded with iPhone and Apple Watch fitness tips — and it will be exclusively free for Cult of Mac readers.

Is Apple Watch Series 2 a good option for runners?

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Apple Watch Nike+
There's more to a great running watch than GPS, but it's a good place to start.
Photo: Apple

With the addition of GPS, you might imagine Apple Watch is now a credible runner’s watch. Not so fast.

It may have made a big splash with swimmers, but to appeal to runners, there are more issues that Apple needs to address. Like a screen that stays on while you are running, and controls that still work when you get really sweaty.

Why did Nike ruin its beautiful running app?

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Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

All hell broke loose last week when Nike relaunched its much loved Nike+ Running app with a new offering called “Nike+ Run Club.” Plagued with bugs, sluggish performance and missing features, this update has infuriated some of Nike’s most loyal users, including me. Nike+ Running used to have an impressive 4.5 star rating on the App Store. Since the update, this has plummeted to just 1.5 stars. And Nike’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are now flooded with gripes.

So what happened? How could a single update turn one of the best iPhone running apps into one of the worst?

Which calorie-tracking app should you count on?

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Diet Apps - Social
A 10-mile run or a tasty bun — track your calories in and out.
Table: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Calorie-tracking apps like MyFitnessPal and MyNetDiary are no fun to use. Logging all your meals is a tedious chore, and unlike fitness apps that praise you for your hard work, diet apps tend to just tell you off for eating too much.

But when you are trying to lose or gain weight, these apps provide indispensable insights into where your calories are coming from and how you can optimize your diet to get the best results. So I’ve compared the leading calorie trackers to find out which one you should count on.

How to get fit with Pokémon Go

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Catching them call could help get you in shape
Catching them all can help get you in shape
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

Unless you’ve been snoozing like a Snorlax, you can’t have escaped the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. The smash hit instantly revolutionized mobile gaming (and rejuvenated Nintendo’s fortunes), and it’s also helping Pokéfans around the world get in shape.

You see, Pokémon Go is more than just a game: It is actually a fitness app in disguise. And with the help of these top tips from a Pokémon Master, you can ensure you are maximizing your fitness gains while you pocket the best Pokémon at the same time.

This ‘dark mode’ iPhone 7 might make Darth Vader squee

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iPhone 7 concept with black aluminum case and OLED dark mode screen
iPhone 7 concept with black aluminum case and OLED dark mode screen.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

With so many iPhone 7 leaks and rumors on the interwebs right now, there may not be many surprises left by the time Apple unveils the device. But what if everything we think we know is wrong? Could all the iPhone 7 rumors be pointing toward something more interesting than the current crop of leaked photos?

Creating these iPhone 7 mockups based on recent rumors made me realize that the next iPhone could be a real black beauty.

Fitness apps obsess over running, but is it really good for you?

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To run, or not to run? That is the question.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Millions of people go running with their iPhone or Apple Watch every day. Logging runs is one of the main features of just about every fitness gadget on the market.

So should you join the sweaty masses and start using a running app? Not so fast. Not everyone is suited to running, and it won’t develop all aspects of your fitness. Plus, there are loads of other kinds of exercise you could be doing instead. What makes running so special?