Apple Watch’s health focus took Apple by surprise

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These days Apple Watch detects far more than just your heart rate
COO Jeff Williams says that Apple more or less stumbled into its health focus.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple didn’t predict how important health-tracking tech would be to the Apple Watch, COO Jeff Williams said in an interview published over the weekend.

“It was very organic,” he said. “Most people think we had this major health initiative, well, we had some notions in the beginning but no idea where it would lead. And honestly, it’s a situation where we started pulling on threads and the more we pulled, the more we realised there’s such a huge opportunity for us to impact people with the information that’s on their wrist.”

Two great sleep-tracker apps for Apple Watch

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apple watch sleep tracking
Zzzzzz!
Photo: Danny G/Unsplash

The new Apple Watch series 5, running watchOS 6, can track just about any kind of activity. But one thing it doesn’t track is your sleep. Or at least, it doesn’t offer sleep-tracking in a native form. That’s left to third-party app makers. Today we’ll see two great apps to do just that. One is ultra-simple, and the other is super deep. Let’s take a look.

Siri will one day discuss your health problems with you

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Siri may soon be able to identify your voice and give personalized responses.
Less "What are you doing" and more "How are you doing?"
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The ability to have back-and-forth conversations about users’ health problems is one of several new abilities planned for Siri in “fall 2021,” a new report claims.

Based on leaked documents, The Guardian says that Apple is planning a host of new features for its AI assistant. These will include built-in machine translation and, intriguingly, support for a new, unspecified piece of Siri hardware.

Bill Gates lures away one of Apple’s top health experts

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Microsoft should have been Apple's biggest mobile challenger, Bill Gates says.
Dr. Andrew Trister is leaving Apple to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Photo: Statsministerens kontor/Flickr CC

One of the first employees recruited for Apple’s health team has left Apple to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Andrew Trister joined Apple in 2016, shortly after it introduced Apple Watch. Since then, Apple has heavily piloted in the direction of health-tracking. Tim Cook has said Apple’s focus on health will be its, “greatest contribution to mankind.”

iPhone could someday check your blood pressure in a snap

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Blood pressure testing
Your iPhone could soon make this hassle unnecessary.
Photo: Pexels

Researchers built a smartphone app that can check blood pressure by simply recording a short video of someone’s face, then analyzing the blood flow under the skin.

High blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stroke so making an easy at-home test for it could save huge numbers of lives.

Physician uses Apple Watch to diagnose atrial fibrillation on the go

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Apple health care
Apple Watch’s ECG is incredible.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch has proven to be a lifesaver many times over for its owners but now it’s also being used to help save people that don’t even own one.

A physician in San Diego recently shared how he used the ECG on his Apple Watch Series 4 to detect atrial fibrillation in someone while chilling at a restaurant. And it probably saved the person’s life.

Apple Watch’s new Noise app is unbelievably accurate

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Apple Watch Noise app
The new Noise app helps you maintain healthy hearing.
Photo: Apple

One of the new health features baked into watchOS 6 is a Noise app that will tell you when the environment around you is too loud. But just how accurately can a wearable device with a tiny microphone measure noise?

You’ll be surprised. A comparison with an actual decibel meter proves Apple Watch does an unbelievably good job.

Fortnite to get ‘undo purchase’ option, health bar tweaks

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fortnite
ZylTV has made $13,000 so far.
Photo: Epic Games

Epic Games has confirmed some of the changes and improvements it has planned for Fortnite following the launch of season nine.

Battle Royale players will soon see tweaks to the in-game health and shield bars that make them easier to read at a glance. It’s also going to become a lot easier to reverse accidental purchases.

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iPhone survey
I wanted a Galaxy S10, but I'm stuck with iPhone.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac