Just like the Apple Watch, this Mac app reminds you to stand up

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Your Mac can help you get healthier with a free app called Stand.
Your Mac can help you get healthier with a free app called Stand.
Photo: Stand

Your Apple Watch tells you to stand up periodically to maintain your health. It’s a small feature, but it’s actually one of the Apple Watch’s killer apps.

If you don’t have an Apple Watch, though, you’re in luck. There’s a new app in town that does the same thing.

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.

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?

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.

Quitbit smart lighter helps you kick cigarettes’ butts

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The Quitbit smart lighter can help you quit smoking by tracking your habits. Photo: Quitbit

LAS VEGAS — Ata Ghofrani cut down on smoking and finally quit during the holidays. The only glitch was a New Year’s Eve party, which triggered a “huge spike” in his otherwise fairly smooth reduction schedule.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Ghofrani used his own invention — Quitbit, the world’s first “smart” lighter — to monitor his smoking and set a daily “budget” of cancer sticks that decreased every day.

“The key for me was to know how many cigarettes I budgeted to smoke a day and how many I had left,” he wrote in a blog post detailing his progress.

The Quitbit uses the same psychology as fitness trackers. If you can monitor it, you can manage it.