Take your fitness in hand with smartwatch SHIFT band

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Check your smart watch without breaking form with the EdgeGear SHIFT band.
Check your smart watch without breaking form with the EdgeGear SHIFT band.
Photo: EdgeGear

With the watch now reinvented, a pair of avid runners believe it’s time to reinvent the watch band.

They have created a band that moves the face of a smartwatch to the spot on the hand just below where the thumb and forefinger meet. The result for runners, cyclists or anyone using the Apple Watch’s health tracking features is the face of the watch remains in the line of site.

Apple Watch features showcased in 6 cool new ads

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Are Apple Watch expectations just too high?
This is why now is the perfect time to get an Apple Watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Thanks to its arrival at major retailers like Target and Best Buy, the Apple Watch is going (more) mainstream — and Apple wants potential customers to know exactly what they’ll be able to do with their new wearable devices.

In six cool new ads, Apple shows off nifty Watch features like Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, voice messaging, fitness tracking, and more.

Check them out below.

Training for a marathon? Apple Watch can help

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You Apple Watch can't assess the efficiency of your running style
Apple Watch can help improve your race time (but watch where you're going!)
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

With Autumn rapidly approaching, marathon season is almost upon us. So if you’re planning on running a race, now’s the time to ramp up your training.

Whether you are doing a full marathon, a half-marathon or a 10K race, here are my top 10 tips for using your Apple Watch to achieve a new personal best.

Apple’s savvy fitness plan: Build an indispensable platform

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The Activity app forms the hub of Apple’s fitness platform strategy.
The Activity app forms the hub of Apple’s fitness platform strategy.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you compare the Apple Watch to dedicated fitness tracking devices, it comes up short, and the forthcoming watchOS 2 will do little to address these limitations. Instead, with this update Apple is focusing on helping improve third-party fitness apps.

That’s because Apple sees its wearable as the main component of a fitness platform, with the Activity app as hub. While the built-in Workout app is mostly for beginners, third-party apps will provide the missing features for hardcore users.

Apple’s fitness guru on what makes the Watch revolutionary

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Apple Watch is the perfect companion for spin class.
Apple Watch is the perfect companion for spin class.
Photo: Apple

Jay Blahnik has been one of Apple’s key hires in getting the Apple Watch and now in one of his first extensive interviews since joining the company, Apple’s fitness guru has revealed how his teams of experts tried to differentiate the Apple Watch in the hugely competitive new wearables market.

When it came down to making Apple Watch, it wasn’t just about making something that looks good that also tracks your steps and calories. Blahnik tells Outside that Apple’s goal was to silence the noise by ignoring the fitness trends and focusing in on the three things that mattered the most.

Here are seven key things we learned from the interview:

Could Apple Watch soon track weightlifting as well as cardio?

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Stainless steel Apple Watch meets pumping iron.
Stainless steel Apple Watch meets pumping iron.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

As a fitness tracker, Apple Watch is currently little more than a fancy pedometer. It only tracks distance and calories — the quantity, not the quality, of your movement. That’s a problem because fitness is about more than burning calories.

However, an interesting patent from Apple — plus a new technology claimed to be “Siri for understanding human movement” — suggests that Apple Watch could soon be adding weightlifting to its repertoire. Which would be good news for gym-goers and CrossFitters everywhere.

Why you may run into trouble if you try to switch running apps

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It's not always easy to switch running apps.
It's not always easy to switch running apps.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Using a running app to log your workouts is a great way to track your progress and stay motivated. But have you considered who actually owns the workout data you are logging?

If you ever decide to switch apps, you might be in for a surprise. While some services, like Strava, make it easy to transfer your data, with others it can be difficult or even impossible.

Why it’s impossible to keep up with the Apple Watch Activity app

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Time to take the stairs, not the elevator.
Time to take the stairs, not the elevator.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Activity app on your Apple Watch suggests new “Move goals” each week, based on how many calories you burned the previous week. To test how this works in practice, I accepted every new goal my Watch suggested during the past 10 weeks.

The Move goals became progressively more challenging as the test went on. They nearly doubled, from 950 to 1,840 calories, and I could no longer keep up. I realized that Apple is following the Peter Principle, and that’s why I was always destined to fail.

Apple Watch’s new ads focus on travel and fitness

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Apple Watch is for setting goals and sticking with them.
Apple Watch is for setting goals and sticking with them.
Photo: Apple

Apple continued its marketing blitz for the Apple Watch today with four new TV ads that highlight how useful the new wearable is for fitness freaks as well as travel junkies.

Two of the clever new ads titled ‘Beijing’ and ‘Berlin’ show two sets of friends using Apple Watch and its many apps to explore the city, talk to locals in a different language, and communicate on the fly. The other two ads feature number fitness and goal setting apps, as well as how the watch brings people closer together.

You can watch all four ads below: