The trouble with Apple Watch’s fitness tracker

Your "other" workout had better be cardio. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Your "other" workout had better be cardio. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s approach to fitness is all about cardio and burning calories.

That’s great if you’re into running or cycling. But for other kinds of exercise, like bodybuilding or yoga, it’s not relevant at all. And if you want to lose weight, cutting the calories you eat is usually more important than burning calories through exercise.

So why does Apple Watch focus exclusively on cardio, and what does this means for people using one to get in shape?

Top L.A. hospital using HealthKit to monitor 80,000 patients

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Apple's reputation as a mobile health company is growing. Photo: Apple
Apple's reputation as a mobile health company is growing. Photo: Apple

Apple’s ambitions as a mobile health company took a giant leap forward over the weekend, as HealthKit was connected to more than 80,000 patient files at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

This means that Cedars-Sinai doctors now have the ability to take iOS Health data into account when making clinical and medical judgments — allowing physicians to easily access patients’  weight, blood pressure, steps taken, glucose levels, and oxygen saturation levels as gathered from their iOS devices.

Top U.S. hospitals are already putting Apple HealthKit to work

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Apple's reputation as a mobile health company is growing. Photo: Apple
Apple's got big aims for its digital health program. Photo: Apple

While most of us focus on the consumer, education or enterprise applications of Apple’s devices, there’s another huge market where Cupertino’s products are making waves: the medical profession.

According to a new report from Reuters, 14 out of the United States’ top 23 hospitals have already rolled out a pilot program for Apple’s HealthKit service, which acts as a one-stop shop for compiling everything from blood pressure information to heart rates.

ICYMI: With HomeKit on horizon, home automation is about to get real

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The home of the future, today. Cover design: Stephen Smith
The home of the future, today. Cover design: Stephen Smith

Fresh off his deep dive into CES, Alex takes on home automation and how HomeKit may just change everything, making the dream of an easy, ubiquitous home future a reality. Rob takes a look at a new game that turns your Apple TV into a motion-controlled gaming console, Buster shows us how the Apple Watch has already won the war for your wrist, Luke builds his own fun with a shoebox full of maker-kit for kid-friendly iPad gadgets, and Lewis spends a little time in Microsoft’s holographic future.

We’ve got all this and more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, so make sure to subscribe and download your copy today.

Apple Watch wins the wrist war before it starts

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Apple Watch did some monster pre-orders in its first day on sale. Photo: Leander Kahney
The closer we get to Apple Watch, the more advanced it looks in comparison to its competition. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Ever since Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch last September, it’s been one disappointment after another as far as I’m concerned. Apple’s first wearable won’t come in the minimalist form factor of the fitness bracelets I love. Worse yet, the launch version of the fashion-forward device will lack GPS, suffer from underwhelming battery life and fail to offer truly native third-party apps.

For the first time, I realized I would not be buying an Apple product when it first hit the market. “It’s not worth lining up for,” I told my dad when he asked what I thought after the Apple Watch’s big reveal.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Apple Watch’s launch day, which is coming sometime this spring. And I’m not talking about the previously unthinkable — an Apple fan calling the Microsoft Band the best smartwatch on the planet. No, I’m talking about wading through an ungodly sea of really bad smartwatches at International CES earlier this month and seeing indisputable proof of just how innovative and disruptive Apple Watch actually will be.