Series 4 makes me fall in love with Apple Watch all over again

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apple watch
Cupertino’s latest shiny wearable is really giving me the feels.
Photo: Apple

Can Apple Watch Series 4’s fall-detection feature tell when you have fallen in love? I hope so, because I’ve really fallen for it. Big-time. I haven’t felt this way about an Apple Watch since my first love, the original model, was announced back in 2014.

It’s not just the sleek new design. Nor the spacious new screen. It’s not even the breakthrough new health features. It’s when you combine them all together. It defies all logic and reason that Cupertino managed to cram so much awesomeness into such a tiny, beautiful package.

I can’t wait to strap an Apple Watch Series 4 onto my wrist next Friday and take it for a run. But until then, here are my first thoughts on this exciting new direction for Apple Watch.

Nike unveils new Apple Watch with ‘bone and black’ band

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Say hello to the new Nike Apple Watch.
Say hello to the new Nike Apple Watch.
Photo: Nike

Apple’s partnership with Nike has birthed a fresh new look for the Apple Watch Series 2 aimed at runners with a passion for style.

Nike unveiled its new twist on Apple’s iconic wearable today, dubbed the Apple Watch NikeLab. Nothing is new on the watch as far as hardware upgrades go, but the new “bone on black” band is so gorgeous fitness freaks will probably be lining up to get it on their wrists.

It’s time for Apple Watch to get serious about fitness

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Here's how Apple could improve watchOS 4 for fitness buffs.
Here's how watchOS 4 could improve Apple Watch for fitness buffs.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple puts fitness front and center in its advertising for Apple Watch Series 2, even going so far as to claim the device is a “superior sports watch.” But in reality, it is not a sports watch at all. It’s a smartwatch. And that’s a massively important distinction.

Sports watches, like the TomTom Runner or Garmin Forerunner, are cheaper and more reliable at logging workouts, while smartwatches are jacks of all trades, which usually means they are masters of none. Or at least, not masters of fitness.

The sad fact is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, it’s mostly the software that is letting Apple Watch down. That’s why I’m hoping that with its next major software update, Apple will finally get its smartwatch into shape for fitness fans. Here’s what I want to see in watchOS 4, which Apple will likely unveil at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Apple Watch Nike+ launches in 41 countries on October 28

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
You have to buy a Nike+ watch to get the band.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

New Macs aren’t the only new products on the horizon for Apple this week.

Apple revealed today that the Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in over 41 countries starting Friday. More countries will get supply during the weekend. But if you want to buy a Nike+ band for the Apple Watch you already own, you’re out of luck.

Apple Watch Series 2 review: A tick closer to perfection

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apple watch series 2
Trade-in that old Apple Watch for money off at the Apple Store.
Photo: Ste Smith/CultofMac

I finally have a reason to stop cheating on my Apple Watch.

For the past 16 months, Apple’s wearable and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship. The Apple Watch looks great. It helps me stay fit. It tells the time really well. But it hasn’t been the complete wrist solution I need.

With the Apple Watch Series 2, a lot of the compromises of Apple’s first-gen smartwatch have finally been fixed. You can get GPS without carrying your iPhone. The new Apple Watch is water-friendly. And it’s built for speed. But with the new, less-expensive Apple Watch Series 1 getting some of the same features, is the Series 2 seriously worth the upgrade?

While working on this Apple Watch Series 2 review, I’ve been wearing the new device everywhere I go ever since it came out Friday. The short answer is, “hell yes.”

Is Apple Watch Series 2 a good option for runners?

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Apple Watch Nike+
There's more to a great running watch than GPS, but it's a good place to start.
Photo: Apple

With the addition of GPS, you might imagine Apple Watch is now a credible runner’s watch. Not so fast.

It may have made a big splash with swimmers, but to appeal to runners, there are more issues that Apple needs to address. Like a screen that stays on while you are running, and controls that still work when you get really sweaty.

Why did Nike ruin its beautiful running app?

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Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

All hell broke loose last week when Nike relaunched its much loved Nike+ Running app with a new offering called “Nike+ Run Club.” Plagued with bugs, sluggish performance and missing features, this update has infuriated some of Nike’s most loyal users, including me. Nike+ Running used to have an impressive 4.5 star rating on the App Store. Since the update, this has plummeted to just 1.5 stars. And Nike’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are now flooded with gripes.

So what happened? How could a single update turn one of the best iPhone running apps into one of the worst?

Fitness apps obsess over running, but is it really good for you?

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To run, or not to run? That is the question.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Millions of people go running with their iPhone or Apple Watch every day. Logging runs is one of the main features of just about every fitness gadget on the market.

So should you join the sweaty masses and start using a running app? Not so fast. Not everyone is suited to running, and it won’t develop all aspects of your fitness. Plus, there are loads of other kinds of exercise you could be doing instead. What makes running so special?

Apple Watch is getting better at fitness tracking, but it still sucks for running

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Activity app rocks. Workout app sucks.
Activity app rocks. Workout app sucks.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At WWDC this week, Apple all but confirmed that Apple Watch is really just a health gadget. Tim Cook described it offhandedly as a “device for a healthy life,” and most of the watchOS 3 segment of the keynote was devoted to health and fitness.

This focus on health makes sense. As an activity tracker, Apple Watch is arguably the best on the market, and watchOS 3 will make it even better. Apple’s wearable is ideal if you are simply looking to live a healthier day. But, despite some minor improvements, Apple Watch still sucks if you are into running.