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.

How to perfect your push-ups with Apple Watch and iPhone

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Log push-ups effortlessly with iPhone and Apple Watch
Log push-ups effortlessly with iPhone and Apple Watch
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The push-up is one of the world’s most hated exercises. In the movies, Marine Corps drill instructors shout: “Drop down and give me 40” as a punishment.

But the push-up doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. It’s actually a versatile, effective and enjoyable exercise. Better still, you can do it anywhere, anytime, without any special equipment. Which makes it an indispensable part of any quarantine home workout routine.

Here’s how your iPhone and Apple Watch can help you give your push-ups a push in the right direction.

Remember: Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise activity. Don’t exercise if you feel any discomfort, nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath.

Why it’s taking so long for apps to add Dark Mode

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Has your favorite app embraced the dark side yet?
Has your favorite app embraced the dark side yet?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

This week, I finally got around to adding Dark Mode support to Reps & Sets, the iPhone bodybuilding app I develop as a side hustle. That’s almost a year after Apple first announced the feature at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

What took me so long? Supporting Dark Mode is not as simple as it seems. It’s not just indie devs like me who have struggled with it, either. WhatsApp only recently added Dark Mode support, and Facebook is still beta-testing it.

So if you’re waiting for your favorite app to switch to the dark side, here’s why it might be taking so long.

20 Apple Watch home workouts you can do during lockdown

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No excuses! You could be doing one of these workouts right now.
No excuses! You could be doing one of these workouts right now.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch supports a huge selection of workout types, but most of the popular ones, like running and swimming, you probably can’t do right now thanks to the coronavirus lockdown. Fortunately, if you delve a little deeper, you’ll find plenty of Apple Watch home workouts you can choose from that require little or no special equipment.

So why not take the opportunity to master a whole new kind of exercise? Here are 20 Apple Watch indoor workout options you can do at home right now.

How to get six-pack abs at home with Apple Watch

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Our essential guide to building rock-hard abs (with a little help from Apple Watch).
Our essential guide to building rock-hard abs (with a little help from Apple Watch).
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your fitness doesn’t need to suffer just because you’re stuck indoors during the coronavirus quarantine. In fact, now is the ideal time to start working on your six-pack. The lockdown won’t last forever. If you put in the work now, you’ll be looking like a ripped ex-con by the time we’re all allowed out again.

This post covers everything you need to know to build rock-hard abs. We’ll dispel a couple of myths that stop you from blasting your belly fat. And, in the video, I’ll show you the two essential types of core exercise you need to know.

How to do an effective home workout with no gym equipment

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Stay healthy and strong with these essential home workout tips. You can do these home workouts without any gym equipment.
Stay healthy and stay strong with our essential home workout tips.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, staying home is a great choice for everyone’s health right now. But it’s not ideal for your fitness. Your Apple Watch will soon start grumbling if you just sit around indoors and don’t close your rings. So what should you do?

Stay in shape while you’re stuck indoors with Apple TV fitness apps

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Can't get to the gym? Let your Apple TV bring the gym to you.
Can't get to the gym? Let your Apple TV bring the gym to you.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

You don’t need to go to the gym for a great workout. If you’re stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak, you can still work on your summer beach bod. If you’re itching to exercise indoors, you can get started — and maximize your gains — using Apple TV fitness apps.

Ever since Jane Fonda pulled on a leotard and leg warmers in the 1980s, people have been getting sweaty in front of their televisions. Now, Apple TV fitness apps bring home workouts bang up-to-date, with interactive programs tailored to users’ individual abilities and goals.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make like Jane and feel the burn.

How to fix Apple Watch duplicate workouts

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Seeing double? Fixing duplicate Activity app workouts is easier than you think.
Seeing double? Fixing duplicate workouts is easier than you think.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Health app on your iPhone acts as a central repository for all your workout data. Not just activity from your Apple Watch, but from third-party apps, too.

That’s great, because it gives you the freedom to use any workout app you want, safe in the knowledge that it will still contribute to your Activity rings. But this flexibility can cause problems. When you use multiple apps or third-party devices, it can cause duplicate workouts. So let’s take a look at how Apple handles these duplicates, what impact they have on your Activity Rings, and how you can fix the problem.

Why you shouldn’t skip leg day (and how Apple Watch can help)

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If you want to get in shape, definitely don't skip leg day
Don't skip leg day or you'll regret it.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Bodybuilders have given us more than their fair share of memes. Who can forget “sun’s out guns out” or “do you even lift, bro?” and one of the all-time weightlifting classics, “Don’t skip leg day.” But unless you’re a dedicated gym rat, you might be wondering what exactly “leg day” is and why you shouldn’t skip it.

Let’s take a closer look at leg day — and how Apple Watch and various apps can help you build great “wheels” (bodybuilder talk for “legs”).