Alexa will now take your questions on Apple Watch

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Alexa App
Voice in a Can lets you talk to Alexa on your Apple Watch.
Photo: Atadore/Apple App Store

Amazon has not launched an Alexa app for watchOS, but new third-party software lets you sideline Siri on your Apple Watch should you prefer the voice of Alexa.

The app, Voice in a Can, will also work on iPhone and iPad, though the voice assistant won’t do all the things it does on the Amazon Echo.

iPhone dependence is killing Apple Watch. Here’s how Cupertino could fix it.

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It’s time to cut the cable and set Apple Watch free
It’s time to cut the cable and set Apple Watch free
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

For activity tracking, fitness and notifications, Apple Watch is pretty awesome, and these days, that’s all most people use it for. Which is a shame.

When it launched back in 2015, Apple had a much bigger vision: a wearable computing platform supporting a rich and varied ecosystem of apps. Like an iPhone strapped to your wrist. But the reality has turned out to be rather different. Instagram is just the latest of a series of high profile apps to desert the platform. So what’s up?

I believe Apple Watch’s dependence on iPhone is holding it back, and the time has come for Cupertino to set its smartwatch free. In this, the third and final part of my wish list of watchOS 5 features, I’ll focus on how I hope Apple will improve setup, apps and iCloud to create a badass stand-alone device.

Why Apple Watch apps are dying off in droves

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timestand
People would rather look at Instagram on a Mac than an Apple Watch.
Photo: Just Mobile

Apple Watch sells very well, but apparently not strongly enough for some companies. A deadline requiring developers to base their apps on newer versions of watchOS just passed, and some businesses choose to pull their software rather than update it.

Instagram garnered the most attention, but there are surely other examples. 

Pokémon GO finally gets an Apple Watch app

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News of an Apple partnership with Nintendo and Pokémon Go for the Apple Watch seemed to draw the most excitement from Apple fans on Twitter.
We got a glimpse of Pokémon GO for the Apple Watch during the iPhone 7 event.
Photo: Apple

Pokémon GO is finally ready for Apple Watch. The iOS game, one of 2016’s biggest breakout hits, got an update today that includes the long-awaited Apple Watch app.

According to the game’s maker, Pokémon GO is a perfect match for Apple’s wearable.

Why freemium apps suck for everyone (and how Apple is killing paid apps)

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Only one of the top 200 grossing apps is a paid app
Paid apps are an endangered species: Only one of the 200 top-grossing apps on the App Store is a paid download.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I work on an iPhone app called Reps & Sets as a hobby project in my spare time. This week, my partner and I came to the conclusion that there is no future for our app as a paid download, so we have reluctantly decided to make it free.

This was an incredibly tough call, because we have invested literally thousands of hours in developing our app over the years. Giving all that hard work away for free is heartbreaking. But we didn’t feel we had much choice.

How to find your moment of zen with Apple’s Breathe app

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

Apple Watch wearers will soon find it easier to reach relaxation, thanks to the new Breathe app included in watchOS 3.

Every week, the Breathe app provides Apple Watch wearers with a summary of how well they performed the most essential human task for staying alive. If you suck at breathing, don’t worry. Breathe will turn you into a zen master in no time.

To start a breathing exercise follow these steps.

Put your fitness to the ultimate test with Apple Watch

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Get set to test yourself to the limit with your Apple Watch.
Get set to test yourself to the limit with your Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you want to get in shape, the best way to get started is with some fitness testing. That might sound challenging, but luckily your Apple Watch is all you need to test yourself to the limit.

Fitness tests enable you to establish a baseline so you can see how your physical condition improves over time. And if you are already a fitness fanatic, regular testing enables you to identify areas of weakness and optimize your training program. Here’s how to make the Apple Watch a part of your essential fitness testing.

How watchOS 3 could fix Apple Watch and end ‘wrist rage’

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Does your Apple Watch give you wrist-rage?
Does your Apple Watch give you wrist rage? If so, watchOS 3 might help.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

My biggest gripe with my Apple Watch is not the sluggish hardware, the lack of GPS nor the dependance on my iPhone. These are all problems to be sure. But it is the bad user interface design that often drives me so mad that my force-taps turn into force-thumps of frustration.

With an update to the Apple Watch operating system expected at the Worldwide Developers Conference next month, here’s my top 10 list of interface improvements I’d like to see in the upcoming watchOS 3. These essential changes would spare my wrist from future incidents of wrist rage.

New rule for Apple Watch apps could end lag

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Apple Watch by fancycrave1
Nobody's made a "You Are Dying" app yet, so we'll have to keep checking manually.
Photo: fancycrave1/Pixabay. Licensed through CC0 1.0

Cupertino is about to crack down on non-native Apple Watch apps.

The company posted a new requirement on its developer site that says that in the near future, all new apps must run natively on the device and originate in the watchOS 2 development kit. This new policy could finally get us some Apple Watch apps that work as well as we’d like them to.

You know, instead of some of the ones we have no, which kind of don’t.