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After a year with Apple Watch, it’s time for a frank appraisal


Apple Watches
Time flies when you're having fun.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

I’ve decided to take a step back and take a good, hard look at what I’ve been wearing on my wrist for an entire year. It feels like it was just yesterday the Apple Watch was revealed to the public, and everyone wanted one.

Has it become an essential bit of kit on my wrist, or is it another gadget for the junk drawer, left to gather dust?

Here’s my take on the year I’ve spent with Apple’s magical wrist computer.

Apple reveals how long its devices typically last


How long do you keep your Apple devices?
Photo: Cult of Mac/Ken Marshall CC

How many years do you use your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV or Mac before shutting it down for the last time and sending it to the big Apple Store in the sky?

While Apple products are typically far more solid and long-lasting than those made by rivals, the company offers a clue in a newly released document concerning Apple and its commitment to the environment.

Apple Watch Hermès straps to be sold separately in new colors


Apple's most fashion-conscious bands yet.
Photo: Apple

Apple is about to introduce new color options and buying options to its celebrated Apple Watch Hermès collection — allowing customers to, for the first time ever, purchase the bands separately.

The new color options are available in the Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff configurations, and come in Bleu Paon (green), Bleu Saphir (blue), Blanc (white), and Feu (orange) colors.

iPhone and iPad Pro go small, Apple Watch pivots and iOS 9.3 is a must-try


Size does matter, in fact.
Size does matter, in fact.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Once again, Apple has refreshed its iPhone and iPad line with some better (albeit smaller) iOS devices, the iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

If you’re looking for all the details on these two new gadgets, or just want to know which is the right iPad or iPhone for you, be sure to grab this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, which also includes all the cool things you can do with iOS 9.3, a look at Cupertino’s new Apple Watch pivot, and a deeper dive on the keynote itself.

Here are this week’s top stories.

How to update the software on your Apple TV


Apple TV's new app could give us the interface we've dreamed of.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The fourth-generation Apple TV is ready for a new update to tvOS (9.2), bringing Siri dictation to the whole system, including search, user names and passwords. It’s also got a new Folder system like iOS does, which will let you organize your Home screen to your heart’s content, and it will support Apple wireless keyboards and your iCloud Photo Library on the big screen.

If you want to update your Apple TV right now and get all these great new features, just follow the directions below.

Apple Watch will stay ahead in smartwatch race, but look out for Android Wear!


Apple Watch will continue to lead, but don't expect its current lead to stay the same.
Photo: Apple
Apple Watch will continue to lead, but don't expect its current lead to stay the same. Photo: Apple
Apple Watch will continue to lead, but don’t expect its current lead to stay the same. Photo: Apple

In terms of marketshare, the Apple Watch’s watchOS compared to Google’s Android Wear is likely to follow a similar trajectory to iOS and Android.

In other words, while Apple is dominating right now in smartwatch shipments, that balance promises to shift somewhat over the coming years as new low-cost competitors enter the market.

How to warm up and cool down with your Apple Watch


Doing a warm-up before your workout and a cool-down afterwards can reduce your risk of injury
Warming up before your workout and cooling down afterward can reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

When you start a workout, Apple Watch only gives you a three-second countdown. There’s no time for a warmup first. And when you’re done, the Workout app does not prompt you to cool down either.

That is very different from the treadmills and bikes you find in most gyms, which ease you gently into your workout and steadily lower your pace at the end.

Apple Watch may not (yet) support the warmup and cool-down phases of a workout, but that does not mean you should skip them. These Apple Watch fitness tips will help you get the most out of your workouts.

Public testers can now download latest iOS and OS X betas


iOS 9.3 beta 4 is out now for testers.
Photo: Apple

The latest batch of betas from Apple have just been made available to public testers one day after their initial release to developers.

Members of Apple’s Beta Tester Program can install iOS 9.3 beta 4 on their devices. The update adds a bunch of new feature like Night Shift mode, Touch ID-secured Notes, as well as a ton of bug fixes. Users can download the beta directly from Apple’s website, or install it over-the-air if the previous beta is already installed.

OS X 10.11.4 beta 4 has also been released to public testers. For a round up of new features to expect in iOS 9.3, check out our two-minute video below:

Everything that’s new in iOS 9.3 beta 4


iOS 9.3 Beta 4

Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

iOS 9.3 inched one step closer to its public launch yesterday with the developer release of beta 4, which brings a handful of new features to iPhones and iPads along with a couple of bug fixes.

iOS 9.3 beta 4 doesn’t contain any huge new features or a graphics overhaul, but it polishes up what is already a solid operating system. In today’s video, Cult of Mac will show you all the best new features iOS 9.3 beta 4 has to offer in under two minutes.

Check it out: