watchOS 6.2.8 brings digital car keys to Apple Watch

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watchOS 6.2.8 is out now!
Digital car key support in watchOS 6.2.8 has the potential to make Apple Watch much more useful.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Starting Wednesday, an Apple Watch can be used to unlock a car, replacing the key, thanks to the release of watchOS 6.2.8. But it’s early days yet for this feature, as it doesn’t yet have wide support.

In addition, this software update enables people in a handful of additional countries to take advantage of the ECG in Apple’s wearable.

watchOS 6.2 arrives with in-app purchases and ECG support for 3 new countries

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Apple Watch likely will gain new health-related features.
Apple Watch ECG functionality just got unlocked for more people.
Photo: Apple

Apple pushed out a big software update to Apple Watch wearers today that expands ECG functionality on the Series 4 and Series 5 to users in Chile, Turkey and New Zealand.

watchOS 6.2 was released to the public today alongside iOS 13.4, iPadOS 13.4 and macOS Catalina 10.15.4. The new watchOS update also adds a couple of new features, including the ability to make in-app purchases for Apple Watch apps.

Cardiologist sues Apple over its heart-reading Apple Watch tech

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Apple Watch alerts user of irregular heart rhythms in sleep
Apple Watch's atrial fibrillation tech may have helped save lives.
Photo: Apple

A New York University cardiologist has filed a lawsuit against Apple, relating to its atrial fibrillation-detecting heart-reading tech for Apple Watch.

Apple Watch’s heart-reading tech has been hailed as a major breakthrough. Its ability to alert users of irregular heartbeats has been validated by experts from Stanford University. The problem? That according to Dr. Joseph Wiesel, it’s infringing on his patented work.

Huge study confirms Apple Watch ECG accurately detects AFib

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Apple Watch Meidcare
Doctors found that if your Apple Watch ECG indicates you have a heart problem, you almost certainly do.
Photo: Apple

The electrocardiogram built into recent Apple Watch models isn’t likely to give wearers false notifications that they have atrial fibrillation, a potentially dangerous heart condition. A clean bill of health for this wearable’s ECG is the conclusion of a study involving over 400,000 participants that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Apple hires another top cardiologist to boost health initiatives

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Apple health care
Apple Watch’s heart-monitoring capabilities could see future improvements thanks to prominent cardiologists hired by Apple.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Dr. David Tsay recently joined Apple, apparently to bring new features to devices like the Apple Watch that monitor the wearer’s heart. He’s an expert in the field, and also just left a position as Associate Chief Transformation Officer for NewYork-Presbyterian Innovation Center.

This is the second prominent cardiologist brought onboard in two years.

Fitbit hopes to copy Apple Watch’s ECG

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Fitbit Ionic takes on Apple Watch
Fitbit’s offerings have become more sophisticated as they try to catch up to Apple Watch.
Photo: Fitbit

A highlight of the Apple Watch is the ability to tell if the wearer has a heart problem called atrial fibrillation, and rival wearable-maker Fitbit is working to add AFib detection to its smart watches.

What to expect from Apple’s innovation-focused iPhone event

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Apple 2019 Fall press event invitation
Apple is promising tons of innovation.
Photo: Apple

A whole lot of innovation is in the offing for Apple’s biggest hardware event of the year. CEO Tim Cook recently promised that Apple will unleash its strongest product lineup ever, and next week’s “By Innovation Only” event could be just the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks to a glut of leaked info, we have a pretty solid idea about what new hardware to expect during the event. iPhones obviously will steal the spotlight, but Apple might unleash a few surprises as well.

This is what we think we’ll see during the 2019 iPhone keynote, which starts at 10 a.m. Pacific on September 10. Apple will live-stream it from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in Cupertino, California.

Apple health team struggles to find a focus

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Apple health care
Apple's health-tracking features have been a game changer.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Tensions have been rising inside Apple’s health team over the last year or so, according to a new report that reveals some of the top employees from the division have left the company.

While healthcare has become one of Apple’s biggest focuses recently, the report claims the health team has seen a number of leadership changes and internal disagreements leading some employees to be disillusioned with the group’s culture.

watchOS 5.3 restores Walkie-Talkie, expands ECG

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The Apple Watch Walkie Talkie app is a great way to chat with family and friends.
Apple restored the Walkie-Talkie function with a watchOS update.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple brought the Walkie-Talkie app back online today with a watchOS update after disabling it earlier this month with an undisclosed vulnerability that might have allowed eavesdropping.

The release of watchOS 5.3 also brings the ECG app for users in Canada and Singapore.

Samsung’s new wearable steals Apple Watch 4’s hottest features

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Apple Watch Meidcare
That includes a life-saving ECG app.
Photo: Apple

Samsung’s newest wearable will steal some of Apple Watch Series 4’s hottest features. The upcoming Galaxy Watch Active 2 is expected to get an ECG app as well as fall detection.

The device will be capable of detecting atrial fibrillation — a common heart condition — and of sharing heart data with physicians and other health professionals, a new report claims.