| Cult of Mac

Apple Watch Ultra gets Day 1 bug-fix update

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Apple Watch Ultra
After buyers unbox the Apple Watch Ultra on Friday they can install an new watchOS version.
Photo: Apple

When the Apple Watch Ultra launches September 23 there’ll be a software update waiting for it. Apple on Thursday released watchOS 9.0.1 specifically to fix bugs in the new wearable.

Other Apple Watch models are expected to get their own update in the near future.

Apple Watch Ultra review roundup: Not just for extremophiles

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Apple Watch Ultra review roundup: For extremophiles
The Apple Watch Ultra is for those looking for adventure.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of the Apple Watch Ultra praise the rugged smartwatch’s large display, its new Action button and its longer battery life. But a debate brews about whether the wearable is too big — there seems to be no agreement on this.

Anyone considering whether Apple’s sports-oriented smartwatch is right for them should read on. As the reviewers point out, this isn’t just for fans of outdoor adventure.

Why we’re Ultra excited about iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island [The CultCast]

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Far Out event discussion Apple podcast The CultCast: Apple Watch Ultra and the Dynamic Island stole the show at the Far Out event.
Apple Watch Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island steal the show at Apple's Far Out event.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: We can’t figure out which is more exciting, the brawny new Apple Watch Ultra or the brainy new Dynamic Island. Will the rugged new smartwatch prove too big for Erfon’s skinny wrists? Or does its bold size and styling elevate it to “big enough” status?

Also on The CultCast:

  • iPhone 14 Pro is a no-brainer, thanks to a killer camera and the aforementioned Dynamic Island.
  • The “normie” iPhone 14 looks … pretty normal.
  • What is up with Apple’s iPhone color palette? Can we please get something a little edgier?!?

Brace yourself for our breathless reactions to Apple’s Far Out event — which was actually pretty far out!

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

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How watchOS 9’s Low Power Mode boosts Apple Watch battery life

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watchOS 9 demo
watchOS 9 will introduce a new Low Power Mode to double your Apple Watch's battery life.
Image: Apple

Apple is introducing a new Low Power Mode in watchOS 9 to boost your Apple Watch’s battery life further. The company claims the new mode will double the Series 8’s battery life to 36 hours, and let the new Apple Watch Ultra last up to 2.5 days.

You will have to sacrifice some of the advanced features of your wearable to get the longer runtime, though.

Apple’s Far Out event packs plenty of surprises

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Apple's Far Out Event delivered plenty of hardware and some solid surprises.
Apple's Far Out Event delivered plenty of hardware and some solid surprises.
Image: Cult of Mac/Apple

Apple definitely over-delivered with Wednesday’s Far Out event. The rumor mill’s constant churn of leaks and speculation gave us a solid framework for our expectations, but Cupertino’s hardware and software wizards still whipped out a few surprises.

Here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone 14 lineup, second-gen AirPods Pro and the 2022 Apple Watch models — including that hot new Ultra version for extreme athletes (and couch potatoes with solid credit ratings).

BAM! Crash detection smashes into iPhone 14

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BAM! Crash detection smashes into iPhone 14
Both iPhone 14 series and the new Apple Watch models will call for help if you've been in a car wreck.
Photo: Apple

If you’re in a severe car accident, your iPhone 14 will be able to tell and it can contact emergency services if you’re unconscious.

The feature will also be incorporated into the most recent Apple Watch models.

Yes, those hot new Apple Watch Ultra bands work with older models (sorta)

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Three new bands — Trail Loop, Alpine Loop and Ocean Band — offer unique design features that provide a secure and comfortable fit for every adventure.
Three new Apple Watch Ultra bands -- Trail Loop, Alpine Loop and Ocean Band -- are ready to tackle any adventure.
Photo: Apple

The three Apple Watch Ultra bands unveiled Wednesday look suitably rugged for the new smartwatch designed for extreme athletes. And if you want to inject a little bit of the Ultra’s rugged sensibility into your regular old Apple Watch, you’re in luck … kinda sorta maybe.

The new $99 bands fit some regular Apple Watches, according to Apple’s website. However, a caveat from Cupertino makes it seem like an Ultra band on a Series 7 or 8 watch might not look as seamless as usual.

Apple Watch Ultra is a big, bulky, beautiful beast

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The age of Ultra. Apple Watch Ultra.
The age of Ultra. Apple Watch Ultra.
Photo: Apple

Apple took the wraps off Apple Watch Ultra — describing the sports-oriented smartwatch as the most rugged and capable Apple Watch yet — during Wednesday’s Far Out event. Big, bulky and beautiful, it delivered on everything the rumor mill predicted and more.

Apple Watch Ultra is huge, with a bulky exterior, chunky buttons and a massive display. It boasts a tougher case, designed to withstand knocks from extreme sports, and a battery that can last the distance for endurance races. It features a new Depth Gauge app for scuba and free divers, improved GPS for running and cycling, a redesigned compass app for exploring, and even an 86-decibel siren to let people know if you get lost. Like the new Apple Watch Series 8 models, the Ultra comes with a temperature sensor.

Retailing at $799, Apple Watch Ultra is the Apple Watch that hardcore fitness fans have long been craving. But will its quirky, uncompromising looks catch on with mainstream audiences? Or is the Ultra destined to occupy a niche in the lineup?