Apple seeds third ‘bug fix’ betas of next iOS and macOS versions to everyone

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There are new iOS 12 beta versions for developers and the public, as the same is true for macOS Mojave.
New betas are out for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
Photo: Apple

Apple just released the third beta versions of iOS 12.1.3 and macOS Mojave 10.14.3 to developers and the public. The same is true for a new tvOS 12.1.2 beta. Only developers got access to the new watchOS 5.1.3 beta introduced today, though.

But don’t get your hopes up for exciting new features.

No, watchOS 5.1 doesn’t add ECG to Apple Watch Series 4

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Apple Watch ECG
Apple says the ECG app is still "coming later this year" to Apple Watch Series 4.
Photo: Apple

Apple just released watchOS 5.1, an update that brings new features to this wearable. But one of these is not the software needed for Apple Watch Series 4 users to take an electrocardiogram. Other sites are incorrectly reporting that the ECG app is part of this update.

iOS 12.1 gets fourth beta, along with tvOS and watchOS

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Now the public can try out the new betas, too.
iOS 12.1 beta 4 is just one of the pre-release versions Apple released to developers today, covering a range of devices.
Photo: Apple

Apple has settled into a steady pace of seeding to developers betas of its operating systems. Near the beginning of each week, expect updated pre-release versions of iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1. Today is the fourth round.

These include some hotly-anticipated features, but leave Apple Watch Series 4 users up on the air.

Taking the new Apple Watch Series 4 on vacation [Review]

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Mickey Mouse Disney Apple Watch Series 4
The Apple Watch Series 4 made a vacation to Disney World more convenient.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

In 2015, I purchased my wife a stainless steel Apple Watch (series 0) for her birthday. Since then, she’s used it to track hundreds of workouts, reply to thousands of texts, and triage countless notifications. She’s also told me nearly every day for the past year that she hates it and it never works right.

While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, she has a point. The original Apple Watch is slow and unresponsive. Plus, some features have become frustratingly unreliable (looking at you, Siri).

This year, we decided to upgrade her Apple Watch in time for our family vacation to Disney World. It was the perfect opportunity to test Apple’s magical wrist communicator at the most magical place on Earth.

No Apple Watch ECG app in watchOS 5.1 beta 3

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Apple Watch ECG
watchOS 5.1 shows no sign of getting the Apple Watch ECG application so many people are waiting for.
Photo: Apple

There’s bad news for Apple Watch Series 4 users: the third beta of watchOS 5.1 is out and it still lacks an ECG application. The hardware to take an electrocardiogram is built into Apple’s latest wearable but the software is still MIA.

There’s also a new beta of tvOS 12.1 today, along with iOS 12.1 beta 3. The latest macOS 10.14.1 pre-release version came out yesterday.

GPS workout maps prove far more accurate on Apple Watch Series 4

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We took Apple Watch Series 4 to the running track for the ultimate test of GPS accuracy
We took Apple Watch Series 4 to the running track for the ultimate test of GPS accuracy
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is pretty awesome at doing a lot of things. But mapping workouts isn’t one of them. At least, not until now. Back in 2016, I was pretty disappointed with the maps I got from my Apple Watch Series 2 (the first model that came with built-in GPS). When I tested it at my local running track, the maps it generated looked like random scribbles.

Fast-forward to today, and things look a whole lot better. Last week, I repeated that test with a shiny new Apple Watch Series 4 and got some very interesting results.

watchOS 5.0.1 kills Apple Watch charging bug

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apple watch
Anyone running watch OS 5 should update to watchOS 5.0.1, as it fixes a serious potential problem.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch just got a major operating system upgrade last week and there’s already a “bug fix” update.

Most of the issues watchOS 5.0.1 deals with seem fairly minor, but at least one of them is important enough to rush out this update.

How to use the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch

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What a lovely set of talkies walkie.
What a lovely set of talkies walkie.
Photo: Joe Haupt/Flickr CC

One of watchOS 5’s greatest features is the Walkie-Talkie app. If you know other Apple Watch owners, you can just talk into your wrist, like in a 1950s secret agent TV show, and chat to them. It’s way better than having to make a phone call, because the chat is pushed.

Imagine that you’re on vacation camping, or on a bike trip across country, or working in a large (but fairly quiet) job site. You can talk to people as if they are there next to you. And in one way, this is better than a real walkie-talkie: Because it doesn’t use radio, there’s no limit to distance. You can chat to people on the other end of town, or the other side of the world.

Let’s see how to use the Apple Watch Walkie-Talkie app.

Apple Watch fall detection might get you arrested

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fall detection
If you're doing something illegal, you could take a fall for slipping up.
Photo: Apple

An Apple Watch Series 4 can detect if you’ve fallen and automatically call 911 to get your injuries tended to. Or get you arrested, depending on the circumstances.

That’s the warning of privacy watchdogs, who point out that 911 calls invite in more than just emergency medical personnel.