Apple Watch Series 2 review: A tick closer to perfection

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Apple Watch Series 2 looks great in rose gold.
Photo: Ste Smith/CultofMac

I finally have a reason to stop cheating on my Apple Watch.

For the past 16 months, Apple’s wearable and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship. The Apple Watch looks great. It helps me stay fit. It tells the time really well. But it hasn’t been the complete wrist solution I need.

With the Apple Watch Series 2, a lot of the compromises of Apple’s first-gen smartwatch have finally been fixed. You can get GPS without carrying your iPhone. The new Apple Watch is water-friendly. And it’s built for speed. But with the new, less-expensive Apple Watch Series 1 getting some of the same features, is the Series 2 seriously worth the upgrade?

While working on this Apple Watch Series 2 review, I’ve been wearing the new device everywhere I go ever since it came out Friday. The short answer is, “hell yes.”

Ruh-roh: Your smart food scale and fitness tracker are talking to each other

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The folks at The Orange Chef prepare lunch in their San Francisco offices with smart scale PrepPad.Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
The folks at The Orange Chef prepare lunch in their San Francisco offices with smart scale PrepPad. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

This may be the last time you feel good about walking half a mile to get a cronut: a calorie-counting food scale and fitness tracker are on to you.

Smart food scale Prep Pad now synchs with Jawbone Up, keeping track of what you’re eating and how many calories you are burning.

It’s latest buddy system in the quantified self movement, where, as we reported earlier, your car is already conversing with your fitness tracker about how much you should be hoofing it instead of driving. Sales of fitness gadgets like the Jawbone Up, Fitbit and Nike + are over the previous year, leaving us with 19 million trackers and trainers strapped to our wrists.

Fitlist fitness tracker adds progress graphs and workout-sharing options

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If the idea of using your iOS device to help track your fitness appeals to you, it’s worth checking out the newly-updated Fitlist app.

Since one of the best things about the new wave of fitness trackers is the ability to see how you progress over time, the most useful new feature of the popular workout log is the addition of new progress graphs. These allow you to view your cardio and strength exercise history in the form of attractive, easy-to-read charts. (This feature is available to premium users only.)

The Tao WellShell Measures Your Isometric Fitness Strength, With Your iPhone’s Help [Kickstarter]

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The sleek lines of the just-redesigned Tao WellShell.

The Tao WellShell is probably unlike any iOS-connected fitness device you’ve ever encountered. It doesn’t simply track steps, or heart rate, or weight, or any of the other standard metrics tracked in dozens of other connected fitness devices. Instead, this little guy actually acts as the fitness device itself, rather than simply a tracker (though it does indeed also track heart rate, steps and sleep patterns).

LG Takes On Nike’s FuelBand With Life Band Touch For Android & iOS [CES 2014]

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(Credit: LG Flickr)

LAS VEGAS, CES 2014 – LG clearly got the memo that 2014 is set to be the year of wearable electronics — since the South Korean manufacturer has taken advantage of CES 2014 to unveil its new Life Band Touch fitness wristband.

The device — which lets users track physical activity including steps taken, distance covered, and calories output — can be synced with both Android and iOS devices, using Bluetooth 4.0.

StepTracker M7 Fitness App Adds Stopwatch Mode For Runners

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I gave up on buying FitBits after my second $100 device dropped from my pocket and ended up who knows where. So I was interested in yesterday’s update to the iOS app which lets you track your steps using just the app and the iPhone 5S’s M7 MoCoPro.

But apparently this tracking doesn’t offer the full FitBit kit and caboodle, eliminating the useful functionality of recording individual activities. Thankfully, another app just added these features. It’s called StepTracker, and it’s free.

Fitbit Flex Fitness Tracker Wristband Goes On Sale For $100

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The Fitbit Flex has officially gone on sale for $100 online and in U.S. retail stores. We saw the “OG fitness-tracking dongle” at CES earlier this year, where it was clear that Fitbit was trying to steal the mojo from competitors like Nike’s Fuelband and the Jawbone Up. Now the Flex is out in the wild, and users can be the judge.

Bluetooth 4.0 is used to connect the silicon wristband to an Android device or iPhone. It does everything the typical fitness tracker accomplishes: counts calories and steps, monitors sleeping, and lets you share stats with friends to keep you motivated. The actual exercise is still on you, though.