Like it did on Thanksgiving, Apple today has begun notifying Apple Watch owners of a soon-to-launch Activity challenge, hoping to encourage users to get moving and work out in the new year. To earn the achievement, Apple Watch owners will have to close all three Activity rings each day for an entire week in January.
The challenge should become visible for all Apple Watch wearers within the Activity app at midnight local time on December 28. Similar to the Thanksgiving Achievement, if users complete the new challenge they'll gain access to "special stickers" in iMessages.
A new section on Apple's website markets the Apple Watch as choice for corporate "wellness" programs, taking aim at a segment largely dominated by Fitbit.
The minisite touts existing partnerships with companies like Aetna, IBM, and Lockton, as well as the Watch having "wellness solutions your employees already know and love," like Lose It!, Virgin Pulse, and Vitality. It positions the Watch as a "holistic" option, able to help not just with activity tracking but areas like nutrition, breathing, and mindfulness.
The company is also selling the Watch on its ability to keep people locked into the working world, thanks to built-in apps like Calendar and Messages, and third-party options like HoursTracker.
The site lastly guides businesses through how to integrate the Watch, for example noting that while businesses under 100 workers can arrange a deal through an Apple store, organizations over that limit have to email the company's Corporate Wellness unit directly.
Apple has been selling the Watch to businesses for some time, but the minisite may signal an intensified effort. Fitbit could be a difficult rival to unseat —the company has been in the wearables market for longer, and its fitness trackers are universally cheaper, costing less than $200 even for the more watch-like Blaze.
Apple today released a new software update for the Apple Watch, upgrading watchOS 3.1 to watchOS 3.1.1. The watchOS 3.1.1 update comes more than two months after thewatchOS 3 was provided to the public in September and marks the second update to the operating system. watchOS 3.1.1 has been in testing since October 31.
watchOS 3.1.1 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General -> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. An iPhone running iOS 10 or later is required to download the new software, but it is available for all Apple Watch models.
No major outward-facing changes were discovered in watchOS 3.1.1 during the beta testing period, suggesting it focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements. watchOS 3.1.1 does support the new Unicode 9 emoji that have been introduced in iOS 10.2 and it includes a new feature for changing the skin tone of emoji. A full list of bug fixes is below:
- Fixes an issue that could prevent contact names from appearing in the Messages app and notifications
- Fixes an issue that could impact ability to respond to notifications
- Resolves an issue where the Stocks complication may not update on the watch face
- Fixes an issue that may prevent the Activity rings from displaying on the Activity watch faces
- Fixes an issue that prevented the dials on an analog watch face from appearing after changing the temperature unit in the Weather app
- Resolves an issue that could cause the Maps app to stay launched after navigation has ended
- Resolves an issue where the...
Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 3.1.1 update to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the third watchOS 3.1.1 beta and a month after releasing watchOS 3.1, the first update to the watchOS 3 operating system.
watchOS 3.1.1 can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update. To install the update, the Apple Watch must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone. watchOS 3.1.1 requires an iPhone running iOS 10 to install.
As a minor 3.1.x update, watchOS 3.1.1 seems to focus on under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements, with no outward-facing changes discovered in the first three watchOS 3.1.1 betas. We'll update this post should any new features be discovered in the fourth watchOS 3.1.1 beta.
watchOS 3 completely overhauls the interface on the Apple Watch, introducing a dedicated app dock, instant launch apps, new watch faces, and new complication options. There are new Activity sharing features, a "Breathe" app guides users through deep breathing sessions to cut down on stress, and an SOS feature can automatically call emergency service.