This heart-healthy smart scale delivers what your fitness apps are missing

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Withings Body Cardio smart scale
The Withings Body Cardio smart scale adds crucial cardiovascular insights to your health data mix.
Photo: Withings
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Aetna is going all-in on Apple for help with health care

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
Your insurance company might subsidize your Apple Watch.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Aetna, one of the largest U.S. health insurance providers, revealed today that it will subsidize a major portion of Apple Watch costs for customers as part of a new initiative.

The company will combine its own wellness and care-management programs with the power of iPhone and Apple Watch to create new iOS apps that it says should significantly improve customers’ ability to manage their own health.

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How to get ripped with Apple Watch weightlifting apps

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Gymaholic plugs the gaps in Apple Watch's fitness offering
Gymaholic plugs the gaps in Apple Watch's fitness offering

Fitness is not just about walking, running and cycling, despite what your Apple Watch may have you believe. Strength training is also important. Without it, your fitness routine is like a one-hand clap. Whether you are aiming for a ripped beach body or just to improve your overall health, you need to lift some weights.

Apple Watch and iPhone do not offer built-in support for strength training, but the good news is there are plenty of third-party apps that can plug the gap. Apple Watch weightlifting apps can help in three ways: by telling you what to do; showing you how to do it; and keeping a log of what you’ve done.

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How to track your water intake with your iPhone and Apple Watch

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Water intake is vitally important to your overall health. Here's the best way to track it right from your iPhone, or your Apple Watch.
Water intake is vitally important to your overall health. Here's the best way to track it right from your iPhone, or your Apple Watch.
Photo: Ally Kazmucha/The App Factor
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ResearchKit is taking aim at hepatitis C

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ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped.
ResearchKit is just as revolutionary as researchers hoped.
Photo: Apple

ResearchKit is already helping medical researchers make groundbreaking discoveries in areas like Parkinsons disease, autism, and cardiovascular disease. Now the open source software is being put to use to study hepatitis C, a virus we know little about, even though over 3 million Americas suffer from it.

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Upgrading Apple fitness apps: What’s missing and what are the alternatives?

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How could Apple improve their fitness offering?
How could Apple improve their fitness offering?
Image: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

Apple’s fitness apps are surprisingly limited given that is a core selling point of Apple Watch. Even basic features like mapping runs and challenging friends are currently missing. And from what we’ve seen so far, watchOS 2 won’t address these shortcomings.

Here’s my wish list of 10 things I’d like to see Apple do to get its fitness apps in shape.

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Is Nike and Apple’s relationship on the rocks?

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Where to next for Nike+ runners? Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac
Where to next for Nike+ runners? Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac
Photo: Graham Bower

Apple’s new Activity and Fitness apps for Apple Watch might signal the end of the company’s long partnership with Nike.

So what does this mean for the millions of us who were introduced to Nike+ by Apple in 2006 and have been logging our runs this way ever since? Are we about to get caught in a Kramer vs. Kramer-style tug of love?

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FDA is taking a ‘hands-off approach’ to Apple Watch

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Apple Watch isn't being too closely, err, watched. Photo: Apple
Apple Watch isn't being too closely, err, watched. Photo: Apple

The Food and Drug Administration is in a tough spot when it comes to health-tracking wearables. As the U.S. government agency in charge of regulating medical devices, it can’t promote health-oriented technology that doesn’t do what it claims, but it also doesn’t want to stifle innovation at a time when Silicon Valley is finally turning its attention to the field.

That’s why, according to a new report, the FDA is giving the tech industry, and particularly tech giants like Apple, leeway to develop new products without aggressive regulation.

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