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How to customize and swap Apple Watch faces


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Switching to a new watch face is almost too easy.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is making it a lot easier and faster to switch up the look of your Apple Watch thanks to some new features in watchOS 3.

Starting this fall, Apple is adding a bunch of new faces that can be customized like never before. All the faces can be added via the Watch app for iPhone, and there’s so many great options you’ll be swapping all the time.

Here’s how to do it:

Download the Apple Watch face Tim Cook uses


Image of Tim Cook with his Apple Watch highlighted.
There’s just enough detail in this photo to go from.
Photo: Apple

How does Tim Cook customize his Apple Watch face? During his recent tour of India, people zoomed in on this picture of him meeting with developers to dissect his choice of watch face and complications.

I’ll break down Cook’s watch and show you how to download it yourself.

After all, the Apple Watch is celebrating eight years since its release on this very day in 2015. What better way to mark the occasion than with a celebratory new watch face?

Sail through Apple Watch setup with these handy tips


The Apple Watch is gorgeous (and comfy, too).
Your Apple Watch setup will be a breeze with these handy tips.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

You’ve got your Apple Watch, you lucky devil. Now it’s time to tweak it to make it as personal as possible with these Apple Watch setup tips.

Although Apple walks you through many of the basic steps, there are plenty of choices to be made before you’ll be able to squeeze maximum utility and joy out of your sleek, stylish smartwatch.

Cult of Mac’s roundup shows you exactly how to make the most out of your new favorite gadget.

How to use watchOS 3: Tips, tricks and hidden tweaks


Breathe app in watchOS 3
The new Breathe app in watchOS 3 turns Apple Watch into a meditation machine.
Photo: Apple

Your Apple Watch Series 1 or Series 2 has arrived! Introduced at Apple’s keynote last week, the third version of the Apple Watch does a heck of a lot more than tell time and Cult of Mac has some tips to help you make the most of its myriad new features.

Mastering the various features is a bit of a learning curve on this highly advanced wearable operating system, but we’ve rounded up a cheat-sheet of tips and tricks to try out with the fitness, graphics, games and media features.

What’s your favorite new watchOS 3 feature?

The Best iWatch Prototypes



Fans across the globe have already embraced the idea that Apple will most likely release a smartwatch, but the biggest question everyone has is, what will it look like?

Artists and designers have been trying to imagine the design of the iWatch for a few years now and while no one has really blown us away with a perfect concept, we have seen some timely ideas that Apple will probably implement. To get a better idea of how the iWatch will look, function and feel, take a look at these six concepts.

Esben Oxholm iWatch


When design engineer Esben Oxholm created his iWatch concept he decided to make it as simple as possible. It features a black metal and rubber wristband. The display is shiny while the body is matte. And it has the rumored curved display. Apple’s iWatch probably won’t be as circular, but the minimalist look that Oxholm achieves will also be Apple’s aim as everything about the watch will defer to the screen.

Oxholm’s concept is probably the closest to what the iWatch will actually look like, though we imagine that Apple’s watch will be more oval in shape rather than a perfect circle. This concept almost looks like a bulked-up Nike Fuelband, which isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board, after all.

MacUser iWatchiwatch2

Created by Dutch 3D modeler Martin Hajek, this MacUser iWatch concept tries to embrace traditional elements of watches while updating the technology of the watchface. In truth, Martin’s concept looks like a miniaturized iPhone strapped to some leather, but it gets a time out because of the UI.

The iWatch will have a touchscreen display, however, no one is going to want to interact with the display for extended periods of time. Our fingers are too tiny to hit the small X’s on this iWatch’s screen. The iWatch will be used to display information, but it won’t be used to interact with that info. Your iPhone will do all of the heavy lifting, while the iWatch acts as a secondary display to alert you of the most important information throughout the day.

ADR Studios iWatch

iWatch concept design by ADR Studios.

ADR Studios has made a couple of iWatch concepts, but this is their best one yet. The size of this concept iWatch is pretty small so it won’t feel like you’re wearing a computer on your wrist. Apple’s design team is obsessed with having the thinnest, lightest and smallest devices on the planet, so even though Apple will try to cram as many features into the iWatch as possible, it will also want to make a very small device. The actual face of the iWatch will probably be somewhere around this size unless Apple works out a curved display for it.

The UI for ADR Studios’ concept is one of the most on point we’ve seen so far. Notice that there is a small icon indicating that the iWatch is tethered to an iPhone. The ‘Slide to Unlock’ feature probably won’t be as big as it’s portrayed here, where it eats up half the screen. The iWatch display will take advantage of all available screen real estate even when it’s locked, so expect there to be bigger font for the time and a more elegant solution for unlocking.

Nikolai Lamm iWatch


One thing that a lot of iWatch concept artists haven’t taken into account is the user interface. Most assume that the UI will be a watered-down version of  iOS, but Nikolai Lamm offers a different take. Rather than interacting with your iWatch the same way you do an iPhone, it might actually be closer to the controls of the iPod classic.

Lamm’s spiral interface is based off an Apple UI patent for iTunes and would appeal to people who want the look of a classic watch that interacts with an iPhone. The circular finger movements required to interact with Lamm’s iWatch would compliment the design of the hardware and you would only need to touch your device when you want to adjust notification settings for certain apps, while everything else is controlled from your iPhone.

The display of the real Apple iWatch probably won’t be circular like this, but you should expect some new UI from Apple as the iWatch will be a completely new device with new functions not yet in iOS.

Just Design Things iWatch


With the sixth-generation iPod Nano, Apple embraced the idea of the iWatch and offered multiple clock faces and wrist bands to convert your iPod Nano into a watch. Expect the real iWatch to come with similar features.

The concept from Just Design Things for the iWatch has swappable wristbands and clock faces so that users can customize their look. Even if the iWatch doesn’t offer changeable Swatch-like wristbands, Apple will at least offer it in multiple colors. The display of this concept looks too heavy and bulky to be worn comfortably as a wristwatch though, so we think it’s more likely that the display will be built right into the band to make it more comfortable for everyday use.

ItswithaKay iWatch


For this iWatch concept, artist itswithaKay modeled the watch after Nike’s Amp watch and added some iOS elements. It sounds too simple to be plausible, but we already know that Jony Ive and his design team requested a number of sport watches from Nike to study.

The iWatch has to have a durable design. Unlike the iPhone or iPad, the iWatch must take a licking and keep on ticking, so a thick rubberized band will help resist some of the wear and tear. Also take note of the tapered band on this concept. It allows enough width for a display while also being comfortable for the wearer. The display will probably be a bit bigger than in this concept, the UI will be different along with the clasp in the back too, but the physical outline of the iWatch will be pretty similar to what you see here.

The BlackBerry Z10: A Promising Start, But Don’t Switch Yet [Review]



BlackBerry — previously Research in Motion — launched the new BlackBerry Z10 last week, the first smartphone to run the company’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system. Originally set to launch in late 2012, the Z10 has been a long time coming for BlackBerry fans, and it’s a hugely important milestone for the Canadian company.

Many see this as BlackBerry’s last hope of survival in today’s cutthroat smartphone market. It’s been rapidly losing market share to Android and iOS devices over the past five years, and it hasn’t evolved quick enough to put up any sort of a fight. But it’s better later than never.

BlackBerry 10’s here now, and with the help of the Z10 — and later the Q10 — it’s going to be trying to persuade you to give up your iPhone or Android-powered smartphone in favor of a brand new platform. But is it good enough?

I’m a long-time iOS user who recently made the switch to Android, and I’ve been really curious to see if the Z10 is any good. I’ve been using the device almost exclusively since its release; here’s Cult Of Android’s review.