Today in Apple history: It’s time for Apple Watch

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Get your Apple Watch ready for the new iPhone.
The Apple Watch is the first major new product launch of the post-Steve Jobs era.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

April 24: Today in Apple history: Apple Watch launch date April 24, 2015: It’s time for the official release of the Apple Watch, the wearable device Tim Cook describes as the “next chapter in Apple history.”

Fans, having endured a seven-month wait since the device’s unveiling at a keynote the previous September, can finally strap an Apple Watch onto their wrists. Behind the scenes, however, the Apple Watch launch is a moment long in the making.

Save 25% on Apple Watch charm necklaces for Mom [Mother’s Day Sale]

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bucardo
Wear your Apple Watch in a unique way with the brand-new Silver Tassel Charm Necklace by Bucardo.
Photo: Bucardo

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and we’ve got a great gift idea that’s as perfectly unique as mom — luxury brand Bucardo’s stunning Charm Necklaces for Apple Watch.

Here, fashion meets functionality. In wearing these well-crafted charm necklaces, the Apple Watch is still clearly visible, incorporating itself into a cool piece of jewelry. It’s unique yet timeless — just like mom. Save 25 percent through Mother’s Day, May 13 in our Watch Store

Time runs out for Apple Watch pop-up shop experiment

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apple watch
Tokyo store is the last of Apple's three Apple Watch pop-up shops.
Photo: Apple

Apple is closing the last of its remaining Apple Watch pop-up shops. Based in Tokyo, the last of the mini-stores is located in Shinjuku’s high-end Isetan department store. It will shut its door next month.

A message outside the store reads, “This is a notice that Apple Watch at Isetan Shinjuku will close as of Sunday, May 13. Thank you very much for your continuous patronage.”

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.

Smart lock lets you unlock your home with Apple Watch

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Apple Watch August lock
It’s all thanks to the August Smart Lock.
Photo: August

If you’re forever losing your keys, why bother using them at all? Now you can unlock your doors using your Apple Watch, thanks to the August Smart Lock.

It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to get into your home, and you don’t even need your iPhone.

Best Apple Watch chargers, stands and cases for Series 3 [Updated]

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studio
Power up your Apple Watch Series 3 in style with our top picks for best chargers and stands.
Photo: Studio Proper

From pocket-size, portable chargers to sleek, modernist stands and cases, Cult of Mac Watch Store has your Apple Watch Series 3 charging needs covered.

We’ve rounded up our favorite stands and docks for Apple Watch Series 3 from some of the best brands on the market — Nomad, Zens, Twelve South, Just Mobile and more. Plus, a number of new brands including Amber and Proper. Whether you’re on holiday, on the go, at work or at home, we’ve got a charging solution to fit your needs. Check out our great lineup below.

Apple Watch could finally get support for third-party faces

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Apple Watch
Will Apple finally deliver one of our most-requested features for watchOS?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

A watchOS update could finally add support for third-party Apple Watch faces soon.

Apple Watch fans have been calling for third-party face support since the device made its debut three years ago. A note discovered in the latest watchOS code suggests developers may soon get permission to build the custom faces we badly crave.

Swollen batteries in Apple Watch 2 get free repairs

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Apple Watch battery
An overcharged Apple Watch battery can begin to swell up. If this happens, it needs to be replaced.
Photo: iFixIt

The battery in an Apple Watch 2 can fail, and even swell up. This is a rare problem, but Apple will fix the watch if it occurs.

Swelling is a problem that has long plagued lithium-ion batteries from laptops, phones, and other electronics. The only fix is a replacement of the battery.

Cult of Mac Magazine: How Apple Watch could shape up for fitness, and more!

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Apple has been hard at work getting its Workout and Activity apps into shape, with major upgrades rolling out every year. WWDC 2018 should be no exception, but will these Apple Watch fitness features show up?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

In this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine: When it comes to fitness apps on Apple Watch, sometimes it feels like Cupertino is running before it can walk. Fancy new features like Heart Rate Recovery are very welcome, but a few of the basics remain missing.

Apple could make major strides when it releases watchOS 5. So in the second of three posts about the future of watchOS, I’ll focus on five essential fitness features I’m hoping we’ll see at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

You’ll find that story and more in this issue. Get your free subscription to Cult of Mac Magazine from iTunes. Or read on for this week’s top stories.