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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?

Apple unveils Watch Series 8 with new body temp sensor, focus on women’s health

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Apple Watch Series 8
The Apple Watch Series 8 focuses on women's health with a new body temperature sensor that can detect ovulation.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple just unveiled the Watch Series 8 with a focus on women’s health, including a body temperature sensor that can help with advanced cycle tracking.

The new watch, available to pre-order today and shipping September 16, also features car crash detection, a new low-power mode, international roaming and new faces and bands.

Pricing starts at $399 for GPS, and $499 for cellular.

How to watch Apple’s ‘Far Out’ iPhone 14 event

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How to watch Apple’s 'Far Out' iPhone 14 event live
It's a big day for iPhone and Apple Watch aficionados. Here's how to tune into today's Apple event.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Today is the day! Apple’s “Far Out” product launch event kicks off in just a few hours. The iPhone 14 series, three new Apple Watch models and more are all expected.

Just like past such events, this year’s will be streaming online, so you’ll be able to watch it in its entirety as it all unfolds. Here’s how.

What to expect at Apple’s Sept. 7 ‘Far Out’ product event [Updated]

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Far out: Apple’s Sept. 7 iPhone event is on and in person
There's a lot to look forward to on September 7 at 10 a.m.
Image: Apple

The long-anticipated Apple early fall event is just around the corner. On September 7, executives will take to the stage at Apple Park to unveil an array of new products.

Here’s everything we’re expecting at the “Far Out” event, plus the devices we’ll likely have to wait until later in the year to see.

Take a sneak peek at Apple Watch Pro with beautiful new concept images

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Take a sneak peek at Apple Watch Pro with beautiful new concept images
Behold: Apple Watch Pro!
Concept: Ian Zelbo

A recent leak of CAD renders revealed the possible design for the rumored Apple Watch Pro, a high-end smartwatch reportedly designed for extreme athletes. An artist subsequently turned those basic renders into images that show what the wearable might look like in future Apple adverts.

With Apple’s Far Out event set for Wednesday morning, we’re also hearing plenty of chatter about accessories for the company’s top-tier wrist computer, which is likely to be unveiled.

Apple Watch Pro renders reveal new physical button

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Apple Watch Pro CAD render
Apple Watch Pro could have an extra physical button.
Photo: 91Mobiles

Purported CAD renders of the Apple Watch Pro appeared online Monday, giving us a clear look at the rumored high-end wearable’s design. The renders show a new physical key on the left side of the watch.

The rugged Apple Watch variant will be aimed at athletes and endurance sports.

UPDATE: The Apple Watch Ultra was announced on September 7, and the leaked CAD drawings turned out 100% accurate. Read our preview of the smartwatch for all the details. 

Last-minute intel on iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Pro [The CultCast]

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The CultCast podcast: This is the last time you'll hear us talking about what iPhone 14 might look like.
This is the last time you'll hear us talking about what iPhone 14 might look like.
Image: Cult of Mac (iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo)

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Last-minute leaks indicate iPhone 14 Pro might not suffer the indignity of the “pillhole.” And that’s not the end of the revelations and guesswork prior to Apple’s Far Out event next Wednesday.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Soon, all your Apple devices will talk to satellites.
  • Apple Watch Pro is all about the battery life so it can keep pace with endurance athletes.
  • AI-generated art is getting really good — and really creepy!

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 livestream, embedded below.

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Apple Watch Pro will be for endurance sports, not extreme sports

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Apple Watch Pro is may be made from titanium, but it’s made for iron. Ironman.
Apple Watch Pro may be made from titanium, but it’s made for iron. Ironman, that is.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Graham Bower/Jason R. William*

When Apple Watch got a larger screen last year with the Series 7 update, most commentators just yawned. Apparently screen size isn’t everything. It’s what you do with your watch that counts.

So I was surprised to read recent rumors of an Apple Watch Pro with an even bigger screen. Supposedly, this larger model, with its tougher titanium case, will be ideal for extreme sports. But does a bigger screen really help when you’re bungee jumping? And could titanium ever be rugged enough to withstand whitewater rafting?

Something about all this doesn’t add up. Instead, I suspect Cupertino will position the Apple Watch Pro model as a wearable for endurance sports. A bigger watch means a bigger battery. And in endurance sports, you really need that extra juice.

Mountain biker paralyzed in crash said Apple Watch saved his life

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Paralyzed in the crash, Ryan McConnaughey said he'd be dead if not for the Apple Watch.
Paralyzed in the crash, Ryan McConnaughey said he'd be dead if not for the Apple Watch.
Photo: KGTV News San Diego

Mountain biker Ryan McConnaughey took his usual daily ride near San Diego only to find himself going over the handlebars in a steep section. He slammed into the ground, head-first, helmet on.

Sprawled on his back, he soon found he couldn’t move from the neck down. “I knew for sure that I needed to get medical attention as quickly as possible. My brain kind of kicked into survival mode,” he said.

With his iPhone in his backpack, he began talking to his Apple Watch.

This sick rig sports 9 Macs and 3 Apple displays [Setups]

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Can you picture needing 9 Macs, including 3 top-shelf machines?
Can you picture needing 9 Macs, including 3 top-shelf machines?
Photo: Dalvenjha@Reddit.com

Occasionally a computer setup displayed on social media makes you swoon. Usually it’s a combination of amazing gear, artful arrangement and exceptional photography, like something staged by a pro. But sometimes it’s just a sick amount of awesome Apple computers and displays.

Today’s featured setup, run by a consultant who “works for several companies,” relies on four high-spec Macs, five very-nice-but-not-exceptional Macs and three Apple Displays, including a Pro Display XDR — which goes for $5,000 or more by itself.

Does your wallet hurt yet? We just took ours to the ER.