It’s time for Apple Watch to get serious about fitness

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Here's how Apple could improve watchOS 4 for fitness buffs.
Here's how watchOS 4 could improve Apple Watch for fitness buffs.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple puts fitness front and center in its advertising for Apple Watch Series 2, even going so far as to claim the device is a “superior sports watch.” But in reality, it is not a sports watch at all. It’s a smartwatch. And that’s a massively important distinction.

Sports watches, like the TomTom Runner or Garmin Forerunner, are cheaper and more reliable at logging workouts, while smartwatches are jacks of all trades, which usually means they are masters of none. Or at least, not masters of fitness.

The sad fact is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, it’s mostly the software that is letting Apple Watch down. That’s why I’m hoping that with its next major software update, Apple will finally get its smartwatch into shape for fitness fans. Here’s what I want to see in watchOS 4, which Apple will likely unveil at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Nike+ Run Club is borking my runs, and I blame Apple Watch

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Nike Run Club on Apple Watch Nike+
Does the Nike Run Club app for Apple Watch Nike+ go the distance?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At the most essential level, a running app should provide a reliable way to log your workouts: when, where, how fast and how far you run. Fancy features are all very well and good, but let’s be honest — if an app doesn’t get the basics right, it sucks.

Nike has been busy adding new bells and whistles to its Nike+ Run Club app recently. Which is great if you want stuff like photo sharing and news feeds. But all I want is to log my runs, and thanks to my Apple Watch Nike+, that critical function has become pretty unreliable.

Skip the gym: Get in shape with the complete CultFit Home Workout

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Complete CultFit Home Workout
Devote 10 minutes a day to the CultFIt Home Workout, and you'll be in shape in no time.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout You don’t need a pricey gym membership to get in shape. With the CultFit Home Workout routine, you’ll use simple exercises, common household items and your iPhone (and Apple Watch if you’ve got one) to build muscle and increase flexibility.

It’s free, it’s easy and it takes only about 10 minutes a day. So what are you waiting for? Get started with the complete CultFit Home Workout using the four lessons below.

Anyone can get in shape in 2017 with the CultFit Home Workout

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Get fit in the privacy of your own home using everyday objects
Get fit in the privacy of your own home using everyday objects
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape in 2017, but you spend all your waking hours in front of your MacBook, we’ve got the answer: our new CultFit Home Workout.

All you need is your iPhone, plus your Apple Watch if you have one, and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office. No gym membership required. It’s a great way to get started on your fitness journey, and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Stay strong in 2017 with CultFit Home Workout, Week 2

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Kill it with a skillet in Week 2 of our CultFit Home Workout.
Kill it with a skillet in Week 2 of our CultFit Home Workout.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout If you got started on your 2017 New Year’s resolution last week with our CultFit Home Workout, we’re here to help you keep up the good work with Week 2. (If you missed it, it’s still not to late to start with Week 1).

All you need is your iPhone, plus your Apple Watch if you have one, and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office. No gym membership required. It’s a great way to get started with your fitness journey, and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Add new exercises to your fitness routine with CultFit Home Workout

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Give your fitness a lift in 2017 with our CultFit Home Workout
Give your fitness a lift in 2017 with our CultFit Home Workout.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout With New Year’s Eve a distant memory, your resolutions for 2017 should now be well underway. To help keep up your good work, here’s Week 3 of our CultFit Home Workout. (If you missed it, it’s still not to late to start with Week 1).

All you need is your iPhone, plus your Apple Watch if you have one, and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office. No gym membership is required. It’s a great way to get started with your fitness journey — and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Supersets will take your fitness to the next level with CultFit Home Workout

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It's crunch time for your fitness resolutions.
It's crunch time for your fitness resolutions.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

CultFit Home Workout It’s the fourth and final week of our CultFit Home Workout. Congratulations if you have made it this far. (If you missed it, it’s still not to late to start with Week 1).

For this easy home workout, all you need is your iPhone and some everyday objects you’ll find around your home or office (plus your Apple Watch if you have one). No gym membership is required. It’s a great way to get started with your fitness journey — and it only takes 10 minutes a day.

Pokémon GO finally gets an Apple Watch app

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News of an Apple partnership with Nintendo and Pokémon Go for the Apple Watch seemed to draw the most excitement from Apple fans on Twitter.
We got a glimpse of Pokémon GO for the Apple Watch during the iPhone 7 event.
Photo: Apple

Pokémon GO is finally ready for Apple Watch. The iOS game, one of 2016’s biggest breakout hits, got an update today that includes the long-awaited Apple Watch app.

According to the game’s maker, Pokémon GO is a perfect match for Apple’s wearable.

As fitness trackers converge, everyone’s sprinting toward confusion

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Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker GG
Is it an activity tracker, a sport watch, a smartwatch or all three?
Photo: Fitbit

2016 has been a tough year for fitness trackers, with scientists questioning their effectiveness and headlines boldly proclaiming that “fitness trackers don’t work.”

And yet, sales of fitness trackers are healthier than ever, while struggling smartwatch makers are desperately trying to reposition their gadgets to muscle into the fitness market. So what is going on? If fitness trackers really don’t work, why are consumers still buying them?

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.