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.

Apple Watch Series 6 could handle scuba diving

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swimmer wearing apple watch
Apple Watch is already swim-proof, but the next version could take that to new depths.
Photo: Apple

It’s not exactly going out on a limb, but respected Apple expert Ming-Chi Kuo predicts next year’s Apple Watch Series 6 will be offer better performance than the current one, and include improved wireless speeds.  Still, with the launch about likely 10 months away, it’s not surprising that only a few vague generalities can be said about Apple’s next wearable.

What’s more interesting is a mention of enhanced water resistance that raises the possibility of taking this device to the bottom of the sea.

Form AR swim goggles add Polar heart rate sensor support

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Now you can check your heart rate while you are swimming
Now you can check your heart rate while you are swimming
Photo: Form Athletica Inc.

Augmented reality swim goggles made by Form soon will add support for select Polar heart rate monitors.

With Apple Watch, you must stop swimming and raise your wrist in order to check your heart rate. But thanks to Form Swim Goggles’ built-in AR display, wearers of a Polar monitor will be able to view their heart rate in real time while swimming.

Cult of Mac Magazine: Why HomePod is actually a steal at $349, and more!

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cover
The technology packed into HomePod is what makes it so special — and unlike anything else in its price range. This story and lots more in this week's Cult of Mac Magazine.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine: Don’t make the mistake of comparing HomePod to rival smart speakers and lamenting its $349 price tag. There are good reasons why the device costs more than three times as much as an Amazon Echo — and yet is still an absolute steal.

In this week’s issue, you’ll find that story and more. Learn awesome Apple Watch tricks and tips to get the most out of your wearable. Discover how to add sketches to emails in iOS 11. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.

A swimmer’s view of Apple Watch Series 2 [Reviews]

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How to ensure you get a route map with every outdoor swim
How to ensure you get a route map with every outdoor swim
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Workout app in Apple Watch Series 2 includes two new swimming options to show off its waterproofing. This is a key differentiator over the cheaper Series 1 model, and yet very few reviewers actually took their test units for a swim. One even claimed that all the pools and beaches in New York were closed, so they couldn’t test this feature.

So I decided to take the plunge with Series 2 and find out for myself if it sinks or swims.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve tested my Apple Watch in a variety of swimming conditions, including various public pools — and even the Mediterranean sea.