Spotify comes to Wear OS with stand-alone app, Spotify Connect support

Spotify standalone Wear OS app on three Fossil smartwatch screens.

Enlarge (credit: Spotify/Fossil)

Wear OS gains a popular new app today that many have been waiting for, as Spotify announced that it’s bringing a stand-alone wearable app to Google’s smartwatch platform.

Spotify’s stand-alone app lets you browse and control music from your wrist. It seems to be a lighter version of Spotify’s mobile app, allowing you to browse your tracks and playlists and quickly save songs to your library. You can also control playback from your wrist—it appears similar to Wear OS’ native music controls, just built into a dedicated Spotify app.

The Wear OS app also integrates with Spotify Connect, the company’s method of connecting and controlling playback on Bluetooth devices. Now from your wrist, you can manage connections between Bluetooth speakers, laptops, and other devices and quickly change the playback source.

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Graphic 7 minute audio of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder again linked to journalist’s Apple Watch

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As reports elaborate on details of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing in Turkey, the Apple Watch keeps getting brought up, despite the odds being against it having been used as the recorder. Manipulation of the contentious reports has spread, even involving a previous report by AppleInsider being altered and hosted elsewhere intended to influence social media, and Google search results.

Developers Show What They Could Make if Apple Opened Up Watch Face Development

Last week we linked to Marco Arment’s article critiquing Apple’s watch faces and calling for Apple to open up watch face design and development to third parties. By the next day, Steve Troughton-Smith had an Xcode project up and running that uses SpriteKit to simulate custom watch faces. Troughton-Smith posted pictures of the watch faces he created on Twitter, which drew a lot of interest from other developers.

Troughton-Smith uploaded his watch face project to GitHub, and in the days that followed, developers, including David Smith, who’s been making Apple Watch apps for his health and fitness apps since the Series 0 was introduced, began playing with Troughton-Smith’s code. Writing about the experience on his website Smith said:

There is something delightful about solving a problem that is superficially so simple and constrained. The constraint leads to lots of opportunities for creative thinking. Ultimately you just need Continue reading “Developers Show What They Could Make if Apple Opened Up Watch Face Development”

Apple Watch to be used to treat U.S. hip and knee patients

Apple Watch just found yet another way to be useful, with prosthetic limb specialist Zimmer Biomet providing 10,000 knee or hip replacement patients with the providers mymobility app designed to capture data about their problems.

How the Apple Watch helps

This is part of a multi-year study across people waiting for hip or knee replacement surgery, a report on Reuters said.

Apple Watches will gather a patient’s health data including heart rate, steps taken and standing hours and share it with the Zimmer Biomet app.

The specialists will then be able to use this information to monitor a patient’s condition and to figure out how well patients are doing – are they following prescribed medical, diet of physiotherapy regimes ahead of or post-surgery?

There are three big problems the tech may help solve:

Apple to Donate 1,000 Apple Watches to Eating Disorder Study

Apple is donating 1,000 Apple Watches to a new study that aims to track biological changes in people with eating disorders (via CNBC).

The University of North Carolina’s medical school will conduct the study, which is called BEGIN (or the Binge Eating Genetics Initiative), to better understand overeating disorders in which people eat large amounts of food uncontrollably in a small period of time.



People who purge or engage in excessive bouts of exercise following the binge are usually diagnosed with bulimia nervosa. The study will enroll 1,000 participants of ages 18 or older who have experience with either binge eating disorder or bulimia nervosa.

Each participant will be given a free Apple Watch, courtesy of Apple, so that researchers can monitor their heart rate to see if there are any spikes prior to binge eating episodes.

Enrolled participants will also sign up with a mobile app

Continue reading “Apple to Donate 1,000 Apple Watches to Eating Disorder Study”

Apple Watch Face Legibility

In a post on Marco.org, Overcast developer Marco Arment critiques the design of many of the current Apple Watch faces. Using a variety of analog watches as references, Arment highlights the design elements that make them legible, few of which are followed by Apple’s faces:

Across a wide variety of brands, styles, and price points, a few key design principles are clear:

  • The hour markers for 12 (and often 3/6/9) are more prominent.
  • The hour indices are much larger than the minute markings.
  • The hour hands nearly touch the hour indices.

These all improve legibility by making it as fast and easy as possible to know which hour is being indicated (and minimize the chance of an off-by-one error), first by orienting your eyes to the current rotation with the 12 marker, then by minimizing the distance between the hour hand and the indices it’s between.

Arment Continue reading “Apple Watch Face Legibility”

Fantastical’s New Shortcuts, Complications, and Notification Actions

Fantastical was updated last week to version 2.10, which brought support for some of the key features of iOS 12 and watchOS 5 – namely Siri shortcuts and complications for the Infograph watch faces. I want to highlight some of the changes in this release and how they fit my usage of Reminders as my main task management system.

Continue reading “Fantastical’s New Shortcuts, Complications, and Notification Actions”

Hands-On With the New Nike+ Apple Watch Series 4

Today is the official launch date of the new Nike+ Apple Watch Series 4 models, which were available for pre-order on September 14 alongside other Apple Watch Series 4 models, but had a later release timeline.

We got our hands on one of the new Nike+ Apple Watches this morning to show off the custom watch faces and the new reflective bands that Apple has designed.

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Design wise, the Nike+ Apple Watches are identical to Apple’s standard aluminum Apple Watch Series 4 models, with aluminum casings and Ion-X glass covering the display.

Nike+ Apple Watches are also priced the same and come in 40 and 44mm size options, but colors are limited to silver and space gray aluminum.

There are two perforated Sport Bands and two new Sport Loops made with a reflective fabric, which is a new option this year.

Continue reading “Hands-On With the New Nike+ Apple Watch Series 4”

Daily Dictionary’s New Watch App Showcases the Latest watchOS Capabilities

Developer Benjamin Mayo released an update this week to his new word of the day app, Daily Dictionary. Version 1.2 adds an Apple Watch app, making it easy and convenient to view each day’s featured word from your wrist.

Daily Dictionary’s Watch app is noteworthy for employing two capabilities recently added to the Watch: complications for the Series 4’s Infograph faces, and a custom UI for notifications. For complications, you can use a smaller option containing the app’s logo which serves as a launcher, or you can select a larger complication that includes the logo alongside the word of the day itself. If you’d like it to, the larger complication can also display the current date, saving you the need for a separate date complication elsewhere on the face.

One of the ways Daily Dictionary can provide its featured word each day is through a push notification, and if Continue reading “Daily Dictionary’s New Watch App Showcases the Latest watchOS Capabilities”