Best Apple Watch accessories for smartwatch fans [2017 Gift Guide]

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Apple Watch gift guide
Great gift ideas for any Apple Watch wearer.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Gift Guide 2017Treat the Apple Watch lover in your life to some sweet gifts this holiday season.

Cult of Mac can help you pick out the finest accessories money can buy for Apple Watch fanatics. We have everything from swanky straps to chic charging stands in our best Apple Watch accessories roundup.

How a dev’s lies caused a panic on eve of Apple Watch debut

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Belle Gibson was profiled on many TV shows, largely thanks to Apple's promotion.
Photo: Sunrise

Apple found itself in an awkward situation prior to the launch of the Apple Watch, when one of its star developers was exposed as a fraud who had lied about her health condition to become famous.

An article published in the Australian newspaper The Age reveals just how close Apple was to wellness blogger and developer Belle Gibson — and how the company was ultimately forced to make the call to drop her just before its important Apple Watch went on sale in 2015, after the true story came out.

Apple launching special Thanksgiving challenge for Apple Watch users

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Get in shape with your new Apple Watch
If you run 5k this Thursday, Apple will let you brag about it.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Ahead of Thanksgiving on Thursday, Apple is launching its Apple Watch Activity Challenge for customers in the United States.

U.S.-based Apple Watch users who rack up a 5K workout this Thursday, November 23, will be rewarded with the 2017 Thanksgiving Activity badge and iMessage sticker.

Undercover smartwatch blends new tech with classic styling

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A classic watch design, with all the modern trimmings.
Photo: NYSW

Do you want a smartwatch that works with your iPhone, but aren’t ready to give up on the classic stylings of an analog timepiece in favor of an Apple Watch?

If so, you may be interested to hear about New York Standard Watch’s (NYSW) newly launched series of semi-smart watches, blending classic design with digital functionality.

Apple Watch 3 shipments reached new highs last quarter

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apple watch
The Apple Watch is going from strength to strength.
Photo: Apple

Apple has yet to reveal exactly how many Apple Watches it has manufactured and sold, but according to market research firm Canalys the shipments figure is likely to have been 3.9 million units in Q3 2017.

That’s its strongest quarter so far in 2017, and enough that Apple retook the wearable device lead — with rivals Xiaomi and Fitbit shipping 3.6 million and 3.5 million bands, respectively.

There are two new ways the Apple Watch could help save your life

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Apple Watch can help diagnose sleep apnea and high blood pressure
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch may be a useful tool for detecting potentially fatal medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure) and sleep apnea (a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing while a person is asleep), claims a new study.

Carried out by the health startup Cardiogram and the University of California San Francisco, the study illustrates that the Apple Watch can detect hypertension with 82 percent, and hypertension with an impressive 90 percent.

Apple drops big batch of new beta updates

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iOS 11
iOS 11.2 brings Apple TV support to Control Center.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Developers received a bunch of new beta software updates from Apple today that included the third beta of iOS 11.2 and macOS 10.13.3 beta 3 as well.

The new betas contain a number of bug fixes and performance improvements as Apple prepares to launch Apple Pay cash and other new additions to the public later this year.

Best List: The iconic Speidel Twist-O-Flex bracelet for Apple Watch [Review]

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speidel
Speidel's classic Twist-O-Flex bracelet is now available in Satin Black for Apple Watch.
Photo: Courtesy of Speidel

Update: We ran this review of Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex, and now are excited to announced a new color option for this special strap: Satin Black.

Best List: Speidel Twist-O-Flex stainless steel Apple Watch band

My grandfather, who fought in World War II, wore a beautiful mechanical watch. It had an eye-catching expansion band — a stainless steel link bracelet that stretched like elastic. He always took it off to play cricket, and I remember it dangled loosely around my skinny kid’s wrist when I tried it on. He loved that watch, and so did I.

Now I’m wearing a similar expansion bracelet on my Apple Watch courtesy of Speidel, the storied watch-band maker from Providence, Rhode Island. Introduced in the late 1950s, Speidel’s Twist-O-Flex Stainless bracelets are some of the most iconic bands in all of watchmaking. Now they’re available in three finishes for the Apple Watch.