How to optimize your swimming stroke with Apple Watch

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Do you know how Apple Watch counts your swim strokes?
Do you know how Apple Watch counts your swim strokes?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is a great swimming companion, offering highly accurate length counts, pace measurements and stroke recognition. But the benefits to swimmers don’t stop there.

You’ll find plenty more useful swim stats in the Fitness app on your iPhone. Strokes Per 25/50/100 is especially valuable because it tracks your swim efficiency, which is key if you want to go faster, further or just look more cool in the pool.

But the way Apple Watch counts your strokes is not as simple as it seems. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert swimmer, it’s worth taking time out to understand exactly how it works.

Meet the super-fit team behind Apple Fitness+

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Can you keep up with Apple's new team of trainers?
Can you keep up with Apple's new team of trainers?
Photo: Apple

Over the past 12 months, Apple quietly assembled an elite team of fitness trainers from around the world. Bound to secrecy, they’ve been moving across the country to start new lives in Los Angeles, without even being able to tell their friends exactly what they’re up to.

These are the stars of Cupertino’s latest subscription service, Apple Fitness+. It’s the first Apple-branded product to focus so intensely on a handful of individuals. So, as you’d expect, they’re a pretty extraordinary bunch. Let’s meet them!

Survival of the fittest: Can Apple Fitness+ crush the competition?

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Can the competition keep up with Apple Fitness+?
Get ready for a serious workout with Apple Fitness+.
Photo: Apple

Apple Fitness+ will enter a crowded market when the service launches later this year. Established players like Peloton and Adidas already have a significant head start.

But Apple is in great shape to give them a run for their money. Fitness+ is a logical next step for Cupertino. The upcoming service plugs some significant gaps in Apple’s fitness offering while intelligently leveraging the power of its platform to gain an advantage.

After Apple Fitness+ sprints off the starting line, the competition might find itself struggling to keep up.

Apple takes on Peloton with new Fitness+ service

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With Apple Fitness+ you can workout in front of your TV Jane Fonda-style
With Apple Fitness+, you can work out in front of your TV, Jane Fonda-style.
Photo: Apple

Apple took its fitness offering to the next level Tuesday with a new addition to its stable of subscription services: Apple Fitness+.

Integrating with Apple Watch and featuring exclusive workout videos from a team of “world-class” trainers, this upcoming service is designed to provide a new way to log workouts and close your Activity rings.

Discover the secrets of the Apple Watch Workout app

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Have you found the right Workout app layout for you?
Have you found the right Workout app layout for you?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At first glance, the Apple Watch Workout app seems pretty simple. You just tap the start button and get all sweaty. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. A lot more.

You can customize its layout in hundreds of different ways, changing the text size, position, metrics and even adding a chart of your progress. Even if you use the app every day, chances are you still haven’t discovered all its secrets.

So check out our top 10 Workout app tips and get set for a more effective workout.

What do you add to the smartwatch that has everything? An Apple Watch Series 6 wish list.

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Will Apple Watch Series 6 get a svelte new look?
Will Apple Watch Series 6 get a svelte new look?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is almost due for its annual hardware update, which comes like clockwork every September. First came the addition of GPS, then cellular, a thinner case with a bigger screen, a compass, and even an ECG heart monitor.

With each new model, Cupertino’s wearable creeps closer to perfection, which presents a bit of a problem. What do you add to the smartwatch that has everything?

Here’s my top 10 wish list of features I’m hoping Apple has up its sleeve.

10 reasons why I’ll miss Phil Schiller

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As Phil Schiller steps down from his role as Apple's SVP of worldwide marketing, it's clear the company won't be the same without him.
It won't be the same without him.
Photo: Globovisión/Flickr CC

For long-time Apple fans like myself, Tuesday marked the end of an era. Phil Schiller stepped down from his role as VP of worldwide marketing.

Schiller was the last of the OG — a stalwart onstage companion to Steve Jobs, long before it was fashionable to watch Apple keynotes. Schiller was there at all the seminal moments in Apple history, including the launch of iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Back in the day, he and Jobs were a remarkable double act. Jobs would announce the products, and then Schiller would stride in to perform the demos.

Fortunately, Schiller’s not gone for good. In his new role as an Apple Fellow, he will still keep an eye on the App Store and Apple Events. But I wanted to take this opportunity to remember the man, the legend, that is Phil Schiller. Here are the top 10 reasons why I’ll miss him.

How to get back in shape after lockdown with Apple Watch

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Time to dust off your Apple Watch and start closing those rings again
Time to dust off your Apple Watch and start closing those rings again.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you’ve let your fitness slide during the lockdown, you’re not alone. The Activity app’s constant nagging to close your rings is not very helpful when all the gyms are closed and you’re stuck at home.

Skipping workouts for a few months is understandable under the circumstances, but you don’t want to become a permanent couch potato. So now that we’re all adjusting to the “new normal,” it’s the ideal time to dust off your Apple Watch and get back in shape.

watchOS 7 adds new workouts, sleep tracking, shareable watch faces and handwashing

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watchOS 7 introduces new complications and watch face sharing
watchOS 7 introduces new complications and watch face sharing
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2020 Cupertino revealed Monday what it has up its sleeve for Apple Watch when the next iteration of watchOS debuts this fall.

Thanks to rumors and leaked betas over the past few months, we already expected many of the Apple Watch features showcased during the WWDC 2020 keynote, like watch face sharing and sleep tracking. But Apple still unleashed some surprises, including a redesigned and renamed Activity app. There’s even an automatic handwashing-detection feature that could help people keep COVID-19 and other nasties at bay.

HealthKit needs a health check at WWDC

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HealthKit on iCloud: Apple needs to step up its Health game.
Apple needs to step up its Health game.
Photo: Julia Ballew/Unsplash CC

As a fitness writer and app developer, there’s just one thing I’m hoping to see at WWDC next week: a major upgrade to HealthKit.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Apple’s health-tracking framework is great, but there’s so much more it could do. Moving HealthKit to iCloud would finally set Apple Watch free from its iPhone dependency, launch a brand-new Apple subscription service, enable users to access health and fitness data on all their devices, create a whole new class of TV fitness apps, and much, much more.