Form’s AR swim goggles blow Apple Watch out of the water [Review]

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Will AR swim goggles replace Apple Watch in the pool?
Will AR swim goggles replace Apple Watch in the pool?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Fitness tech startup Form launches its first product today: augmented reality swimming goggles.

You might think AR sounds like a bit of a gimmick for swimmers. I certainly did. My Apple Watch already does a pretty good job of logging my swimming workouts, so I didn’t see the need for yet another gadget.

But after testing a pair of Form Swim Goggles for the past month, I’m so impressed that I’ll never use my Apple Watch in the pool again.

10 hidden Activity app features that will take your fitness to the next level

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Discover the secrets of the Apple Activity app.
Discover the secrets of the Activity app.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At first glance, the iPhone Activity app seems pretty simple. It’s basically just a calendar to keep track of your daily Activity Rings. But if you know where to look, you’ll find a surprising number of pro features buried beneath that slick, simple interface.

So check out our top 10 iPhone Activity app tips and discover some indispensable stats that will help take your fitness to the next level.

Start swimming with Apple Watch [Cult of Mac Magazine]

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What are you waiting for? Time to jump in and start swimming with Apple Watch!
What are you waiting for? Time to jump in!
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

A trip to the pool — with your Apple Watch on your wrist — is the perfect way to burn off those Thanksgiving carbs. Our quick guide to swimming with Apple Watch will give you key pointers to maximize your watery workout.

If you’re not into that, you’ll still find plenty of Apple news, how-tos and reviews in this week’s issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Grab your free subscription on iTunes now. Or, if you like, read on for the week’s best posts — plus your last chance to win an iPhone XR!

How to start swimming with Apple Watch

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Apple Watch Series 4 loves getting wet
Apple Watch Series 4 loves getting wet.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

While many of us learn to swim at school, plenty of people never return to the pool as an adult. If that sounds familiar, but your shiny new Apple Watch Series 4 is tempting you to dip your toe in the water again, this guide to swimming with Apple Watch is for you.

We’ll take a look at what equipment you’ll need, how to use your watch for swimming, how to structure your workouts for maximum fitness gains, and how to track your progress in Apple’s Activity app.

Let’s dive in and start swimming with Apple Watch.

Top 10 tips for swimming with Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch touchscreen is disabled in waterproof mode, so how do you finish your workout?
How to use your Apple Watch in the swimming pool when you’re soaking.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your Apple Watch loves getting wet (provided you own a Series 2 or 3). But when you start a swimming workout, the waterproof mode kicks in automatically, which means the Apple Watch touchscreen stops working. So how are you supposed to use it?

Swimming with Apple Watch certainly takes a bit of getting used to. But if you check out our top 10 tips before you dive in, you’ll discover your smartwatch is almost as indispensable in the pool as your Speedo. Almost.

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.

iPhone 8 may have even higher waterproof rating

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iPhone 7
The next iPhone will be great at swimming.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple may be planning to make its next iPhone even more waterproof, according to the newest rumor out of Asia.

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 is currently the only smartphone with a device boasting a IP68 rating, but Apple allegedly plans to catch up this year with an iPhone that can can be submerged just as deep.

Apple sends it off the high-dive in new iPhone 7 ad

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Taking your iPhone to the pool is no longer a risk.
Taking your iPhone to the pool is no longer a risk.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s new ad for the iPhone 7 will have you missing the warmth of summer.

The funny new ad shows off the iPhone 7’s new stereo speakers and waterproofing in a scene that follows an old man at the pool. Titled “Dive.” the ad leads up to a dramatic conclusion when the old man reaches the high dive while blasting tunes.

Check out the new iPhone 7 ad, which debuted on Apple’s YouTube channel today:

A swimmer’s view of Apple Watch Series 2 [Reviews]

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How to ensure you get a route map with every outdoor swim
How to ensure you get a route map with every outdoor swim
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The Workout app in Apple Watch Series 2 includes two new swimming options to show off its waterproofing. This is a key differentiator over the cheaper Series 1 model, and yet very few reviewers actually took their test units for a swim. One even claimed that all the pools and beaches in New York were closed, so they couldn’t test this feature.

So I decided to take the plunge with Series 2 and find out for myself if it sinks or swims.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve tested my Apple Watch in a variety of swimming conditions, including various public pools — and even the Mediterranean sea.

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.”