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How to turn on low heart rate notifications on Apple Watch

September 20, 2018
Apple Watch heart rate sensor on Series 4 model
Your Apple Watch helps you look after your heart. The wearable can ping you when your heart frequency has exceeded or fallen below a specified threshold. An earlier tutorial explained how enabling alerts for when your heart rate is above a chosen beats per minute (BPM) threshold can potentially save lives. In this step-by-step tutorial, you’re going to learn how to toggle on low heart rate notifications that can help protect the health of your cardiovascular system.
Alerts for low heart rates first appeared in the watchOS 5 software that released on September 17, 2018. Before you can take advantage of this exciting capability, please make sure that your Apple wearable device is running at least the watchOS 5 software or newer by going to My Watch → General → Software Update in the companion Watch app on your paired iPhone.
The feature requires any Apple Watch Series 1 model or later.

About low heart rate

Your heart rate frequency is not supposed to be on the high side if you haven’t moved at all for a few minutes. Likewise, your heart rate rhythm should remain below a certain BPM value while you appear to have been inactive for a period of 10 minutes. If repeated frequently, too low or too high BPM may point to serious health complications.
Apple Watch Heart Rate app on Series 4 model
Low heart frequency when resting, and especially right after waking up, is generally a good sign because it means you aren’t tired and your heart is in good condition. The heart rhythm that appears to be too low might indicate your heart is not pumping enough blood to the system. And that, boys and girls, can be a sign of something… serious.
And now your Apple Watch Series 2 or newer can detect it.

Enabling low heart rate alerts on Apple Watch

Off by default, these low heart rate alerts must be toggled on manually via your iPhone.
1) On your paired iPhone with iOS 12 or newer, open the companion Watch app.
2) Tap the My Watch tab.
3) Choose Heart Rate from the list.
4) Hit Low Heart Rate, then choose a desired BPM threshold.
Apple Watch heart rate notification setting for low frequency
You can choose between the following presets:
  • Off
  • 40 BPM
  • 45 BPM
  • 50 BPM
For most people, the default threshold is about 40 BPM.
Now the watch will intermittently analyze your heart rhythms in the background and send you a wrist notification if the heart frequency falls below the chosen threshold.
Apple Watch heart rate notification for low frequency rhythm
It will do so only when you appear to have been inactive for at least 10 minutes. The watch will kindly offer to turn on these life-saving heart rate notifications when you first open the Heart Rate app.
As for elevated heart rate notifications (High Heart Rate), most people with no heart condition should select a threshold value between 100 BPM and 120 BPM, depending on their age, fitness level, whether they smoke or not, and so forth.
Keep in mind that Apple Watch is meant to be a health accessory, not a true medical device.

Measuring your BPM

You can check your heart rate any time using the built-in Heart Rate app, or one of the many specialized third-party apps dedicated to heart monitoring, like HeartWatch, Heart Monitor and Heart Analyzer. I also use Apple’s Heart Rate complication for starting a session right from my watch face. Plus, the Heart Rate app is a permanent fixture in my Dock.
Apple Watch optical heart rate sensor on Series 4 lets you take an ECG reading of your heart's activity
If you own a Series 4 watch that sports a new electrical heart rate sensor that can take an electrocardiogram on the go, you can even receive a heart rhythm classification: whether your heart is beating in a normal pattern, if there are signs of Atrial Fibrillation, a heart condition that could lead to major health complications, and more.
Apple Watch Series 4 and the Heart Rate app plus the Health app on iPhone XS
As a quick reminder, your Apple Watch uses an optical heart rate sensor built into the back crystal. It was designed to measure your heart rate continuously during the workout, plus for three minutes after the workout ends, and determine your workout recovery rate. It takes background readings throughout the day when you’re still, and periodically when walking.
The optical sensor supports a range of 30–210 BPM. You can control which third-party apps have access to your health data from the Health app under the Sources tab.

Why Apple isn’t releasing the iPhone Xr until October

September 15, 2018
Have you wondered why the iPhone Xr won’t be arriving in stores until Oct. 26? Although Apple isn’t giving the reason (and probably won’t), others have. It seems the device’s new Liquid Retina LCD display could be to blame, according to The Verge.
In 2017, Apple released the LCD iPhone 8/8 Plus in September, while keeping the more expensive OLED iPhone X at bay until early November. This year, Apple took the opposite approach. While the flagship iPhone Xs/Xs Max arrives in stores next Friday, Sept. 21, the company’s less expensive iPhone Xr won’t get released until late October.
Back in June, a report from the South Korean publication The Bell said development of the LCD was two months behind schedule. It said suppliers Japan Display and LG Display needed more time than expected to secure yields. In late July, Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, a noted Apple analyst, said the device’s near bezel-free design would be the reason for the delay.
Interestingly, the problem with LCD might not be a hardware issue.
As Ryan Reith, IDC’s vice president of research on mobile devices told The Verge, “Everything we’ve been hearing, it’s been an issue on the software side. There’s a lot of software involved with the LCD screen, as it’s the first [LCD display] with a notch and full screen.”
Meanwhile, Canalys senior analyst Ben Stanton said to The Verge, “Apple would not delay the launch of iPhone XR for any reason other than the device is not ready to be shipped at adequate volume.” He continued, “The constraint with the device is around the new LCD display, which has bottlenecked production.”
I’m reasonably confident that whatever the reason, the iPhone Xr delay won’t cause Apple any problems, in the short-term or otherwise. The handset will still arrive for the all-important holiday shopping season, which, coupled with the iPhone Xs/Xx Max, could make Apple’s first quarter of the fiscal year 2019 one for the record books.
As a reminder, pre-orders for the 6.1-inch iPhone Xr begin on Friday, Oct. 19.
Which iPhone are you buying this year? Let us know in the comments below.

How does Instagram rank story viewers + how to use it to take advantage of it!

September 15, 2018
Since Instagram launched Stories in August 2016, the Facebook-owned company has been steadily increasing in popularity, mostly at the expense of Snapchat. In early 2017, Instagram Stories overtook Snapchat in terms of audience size.
Instagram uses the Story viewer order to help creators gauge the level of interest each viewer has in their content. This helps the site effectively facilitate interactions between creators and their viewers. 
One of the early differentiators between Instagram and Snapchat was Instagram’s heavy reliance on algorithmic ranking. In June 2016, the Instagram feed moved to an algorithmic model (it was previously chronological) and the order of Instagram stories at the top of the app is based on engagement data from Instagram and Facebook.
Most social platforms are built on proprietary algorithms that aren’t 100 percent transparent to users (not to mention advertisers). Consider the entire practice of “search engine optimization” (SEO) for example, which essentially involves reverse-architecting Google’s mysterious algorithm to attain higher organic search rankings.
Within Instagram, one area in particular that has been met with public intrigue has been the order of viewers within one’s Instagram Stories.
The list of viewers is not chronological, but it also doesn’t seem to be rooted in “activity” data—that is, public interactions like likes, tags and comments—alone. This has led some users to launch their own tests to determine which other factors might be in play.
In an exhaustive Reddit thread, several users have put forth the hypothesis that our top-ranked story viewers are, at least partially, the people who view our profiles and photos the most, without necessarily engaging the with the content. In other words, our stalkers rank highest.
To test the theory, the Reddit users created dummy accounts and made frequent visits to their other handle from that account without liking or commenting on anything. The testers claim that this behavior helped push the test alias up in the ranking, thereby confirming the theory that our top story viewers correlate with our top stalkers.
It’s most likely that Instagram weighs several factors in the ranking, including public activity, messaging, interactions within Stories and, yes, profile views, too. We reached out to Instagram for comment and here’s what Paige Thelen of their tech communications team said:
“Similar to the feed, stories are ordered based on which moments you’ll care about most. The order is determined based on a number of signals, including: 1) the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content; 2) timeliness of the posts; and 3) your relationships to the person posting. The technology is powered by machine learning, which is adaptive to your behavior and improves over time.”
In a follow-up email, Thelen confirmed the Redditors’ suspicion: “Profile visits are considered, as well as likes and comments.”
Regardless of what goes into the secret sauce, the algorithm and its (sometimes mysterious) relevance to our lives seem to be driving the app’s stickiness—even if we don’t always know why the people or content within the app are prioritized the way they are. Per a Harvard study, social networks are both physically and psychologically addictive, so it’s reasonable to believe that platforms like Instagram are optimizing interfaces and features that trick our brains into wanting to check and engage more and more.
To better understand how the Instagram Story views order algorithm works, some users on the Instagram Subreddit experimented with the feature. These tests revealed that the site actually uses two different ordering schemes based on the number of views:
  • If a Story has been viewed by 50 people or less, the views list is arranged in a reverse chronological order.
  • Once the number of views goes past 50 Instagram switches to its more complex sorting algorithm.
  • This more complex order organizes viewers based on their level of interaction with the user.

Understanding how viewer relevance is determined

  • A viewer’s level of activity
  • The frequency of profile visits
  • Viewer interaction with a creator’s account with likes, comments, etc
  • Messages sent by the viewer to the Story poster
These two sorting systems, which are not officially confirmed by Instagram, work together to show the most relevant people on the top of the viewers list.
Of the two sorting systems, users are more interested in the second one, since this reveals audiences interest levels in their content. Instagram uses a variety of factors to determine this level of interest:
Each factor is given a specific weight that adds up to determine a particular person’s position on the Story views order. Of these factors, the testers determined that profile views have the largest influence. The tests showed that frequently visiting a user’s profile will put a particular viewer in a high position on the list without any other engagement.
The various tests also revealed that Instagram uses engagement data from Facebook for determining Stories view order. Since Facebook owns Instagram, this does not come as a surprise. However, how much this engagement data influences the viewing order is unclear.

Taking advantage of the Instagram Stories views order

The order serves as a useful tool for creators to determine who among their audiences are most interested in their content. To fully take advantage of this info, they need to have a good strategy for interacting with these people:
  1. Determine who the most engaged users are by tracking them when they show up as having viewed a story.
  2. Tagging them in content related to stories they’ve viewed.
  3. Engaging them in conversations on Instagram in both private and public messages.
The point of this strategy is to bring your account to the top of their mind when they log in. This will help you move them down your sales pipeline, or to your website, more often.

Engaging lower ranked viewers

Capturing the interest of the people from the bottom of their Instagram Stories views order list is also vital for creators. Moving people up the list will indicate their growing interest, and will help creators deliver more content to them

Interacting with Story viewers

Proactively engaging with the Stories and accounts of viewers will also encourage them to visit a creator’s profile more often:
  1. When commenting on the viewers’ posts, creators should do more than just drop a link. They should focus on talking about the viewer’s content and how this relates to their own.
  2. This will encourage viewers to visit their profiles and increase these viewers’ positions in the Instagram Stories views order.
  3. Creators can take this idea further and engage their viewers on Facebook and Whatsapp. Since these three applications are under the same ownership, it is easy to share content among them.
  4. WhatsApp, in particular, is useful for engaging Instagram viewers on a more personal level.
These engagements will contribute significantly in moving people up the Instagram Stories view order, and show that Instagram is a two-way street.

Get more views by using the Instagram Story views order

The Instagram Story views order is a surprisingly handy metric that creators can use to gauge viewer interest in their content, and find out who is doing the engaging. Creators can take advantage of it by:
  • Knowing how the views order is determined: Creators should be familiar with the algorithm that is used in sorting their viewers list, and the factors that impact the listing.
  • Engaging viewers correctly: They should use the list as a guide on who to engage first among their viewers and get them to interact even more, especially when that person is an Instagram influencer on the rise.
  • Getting more viewers interested: Creators should strive to push lower ranked viewers to the top of their lists by leading them to more of their Instagram content.
These steps will help creators attract even more views to their Stories, make their account a focal point for many of their followers, and drive traffic to their pages..

Apple’s first-look video showcases iPhone Xs video recording improvements

September 14, 2018
iPhone Xs camera demo
Apple’s official YouTube channel yesterday released a first-look video offering a glimpse of camera and computational photography improvements made possible by the nearly 10x faster Neural engine in its industry-first 7-nanometer A12 Bionic system-on-a-chip.
Apple says that software advances stemming from an upgraded Neural engine, which is an ultra-fast coprocessor inside the A12 Bionic chip dedicated solely to machine learning tasks, permit iPhone Xs owners to shoot the highest quality video of any smartphone with increased dynamic range, contrast and more.
To demonstrate the handset’s camera chops, Appel created this video in which they shoot mesmerizing scenes of water, fire, metal and light using 4K video capture, Slo-mo and Time-lapse shooting modes.
The scenes you’re seeing were shot on an iPhone Xs by Donghoon J. and Sean S.
iPhone Xs’s camera improvements mostly revolve around software and computational photography improvements stemming from machine learning advances and the A12 Bionic chip. In terms of hardware improvements in the camera department, the new iPhones have a larger and faster sensor that features bigger, deeper pixels.
iPhone Xs dual-camera closeup
Combined together, the hardware and software advances bring enhanced low-light performance and video stabilization. And thanks to as many as four built-in microphones, the new iPhones now record view with stereo sound.
iPhone X was the first commercially available smartphone to bring a silky smooth 4K video capture at sixty frames per second.

Apple discontinues iPhone X, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, and Apple Watch Edition

September 14, 2018
On Wednesday, Apple introduced three new iPhones and a fourth-generation Apple Watch. At the same time, it said goodbye to older products, including the last iPhones with a headphone jack. 
The iPhone lineup now includes the iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs, and iPhones Xr, plus the iPhone 8/8 Plus, and iPhone 7/7 Plus. Gone is the 2017 iPhone X, 2016 iPhone SE, and 2015 iPhone 6s/6s Plus. The last two on the list shipped with a headphone jack.
With the change, the least expensive iPhone is the 32GB iPhone 7 for $449, while the most costly model is the 512GB iPhone Xs Max for $1,449.
Meanwhile, Apple has quietly killed its Apple Watch Edition lineup. First launched in 2015 with at least one 18-carat gold model going for $17,000, the Apple Watch Edition lineup included just two models in 2017. The Apple Series 3 models were made of ceramic and available in space gray and white for $1,249.
This year’s Apple Watch Series 4 models all have ceramic and sapphire crystal on the back.

Starting March 2019, iPhone & Watch apps must support Xs Max and Series 4 hardware

September 14, 2018
To increase support for the latest screen sizes and technologies, Apple will soon stop accepting iPhone apps that don’t take full advantage the native display resolution of iPhone Xs Max. Likewise, Apple Watch apps must support the new Apple Watch Series 4 hardware.
Apple has communicated these updates in a pair of posts yesterday on its developer portal. The posts invite members of the paid Apple Developer Program to submit their apps and app updates to the improved App Store and the all-new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave.
Starting March 2019, all new apps and app updates for iPhone, including universal apps, will need to be built with the iOS 12 SDK and support iPhone XS Max. All new apps and app updates for Apple Watch will need to be built with the watchOS 5 SDK and support Apple Watch Series 4.
Thanks to its larger display with rounded corners and more pixels, Series 4 can show more content and display more information. That’s especially true when you consider vivid detail achieved via new complication types on the Infograph and Infograph Modular faces.
Apple’s page dedicated to third-party Apple Watch software development includes all of the assets, materials, tutorials and documents needed to get ready for the new watchOS 5 features. Likewise, Apple is providing necessary assets to help developers take their iPhone apps to the next level with iOS 12 and the new iPhone Xs Max screen resolution.
As an developer video explains, apps that take full advantage of adaptive UI layouts and safe area insets should look nice on the Max with minimal effort on the developer’s part. Any app built against iOS 11 or later should run full-screen display mode on iPhone X, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone Xr.
As of April 2018, all new iOS apps, including universal apps, must be optimized for iPhone X.
In July 2018, Apple told developers that updates to existing iPhone and iPad apps submitted for approval needed to support iOS 11 and the Super Retina display or they would get rejected.
In the past two years, Apple has been more stringent with developers when it comes to supporting its latest technologies and form factors. I wish Apple adopted such a no-compromise stance earlier as that would have kept many rarely updated apps or abandoned wares out of the App Store shelves.
Rendering via EverythingApplePro

iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max adopt improved IP68 water resistance

September 14, 2018
Apple’s new flagship handsets, the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, pack momentous hardware upgrades to the microchips and silicon inside, but they also feature improved resistance to water.
Taking the stage at the September 12th event, Apple’s own Phil Schiller revealed how the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max each feature a robust IP68 water resistance rating, which is good for 2 meters for up to 30 minutes.
This new water resistance rating is a welcomed departure from the IP67 water resistance rating provided byt the last-gen iPhone X. That said, you needn’t worry if you drop your shiny new iPhone Xs or iPhone Xs Max in a pool or accidentally soak it with your drink while at dinner.
Although we never recommend intentionally dropping your electronic devices into hazardously wet situations, the additional water resistance is certainly helpful for those accidental mishaps that would otherwise result in expensive repairs on non-resistant devices.
Are you happy to see this improved water resistance? Let us know in the comments below.

Apple Watch Series 4 tech specs

September 14, 2018
At the September 12th special event, Apple unveiled three new iPhones and a snazzy redesigned Apple Watch called the Series 4. Not only does it have a refreshed look and feel, but it comes with a slew of new features and works with all the old Apple Watch wrist straps you might have laying around.
In this piece, we’ll outline the Apple Watch Series 4 tech specs for your viewing pleasure:
  • Apple Watch Series 4 GPS + Cellular (44 mm case and 40 mm case)
    • Gold, space black, or silver stainless steel finish
    • Gold, space gray, or silver aluminum finish
  • Apple Watch Series 3 GPS (44 mm case and 40 mm case)
    • Space gray, or silver aluminum finish
  • Apple Watch Nike+ available in silver and space gray aluminum
  • Apple Watch Hermès available in polished stainless steel
Case Weight:
  • GPS + Cellular
    • Aluminum 40 mm = 30.1 g
    • Aluminum 44 mm = 36.7 g
    • Stainless steel 40 mm = 39.8 g
    • Stainless steel 44 mm = 47.9 g
  • GPS
    • Aluminum 40 mm = 30.1 g
    • Aluminum 44 mm = 36.7 g
  • 10.7 mm thin
  • 2x faster S4 chip with 64-bit dual-core processor
  • W3 Apple wireless chip
  • GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Water-resistant up to 50 meters
  • Electrical heart sensor
  • Improved accelerometer (32 g-forces)
  • Improved gyroscope
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Storage capacity 16GB
  • All ceramic and sapphire crystal back
  • GPS + Cellular model:
    • LTE and UMTS
    • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
    • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS model:
    • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz)
    • Bluetooth 5.0
  • LTPO OLED Retina display with Force Touch
  • 1000 nits brightness
  • 324 by 394 pixels (40 mm) with 759 sq mm display area
  • 368 by 448 pixels (44 mm) with 977 sq mm display area
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Up to 18 hours
  • Magnetic charging cable
  • USB power adapter
Apple Watch Series 4 is the first significant redesign of the Apple Watch since its conception, and it provides a 30% larger display in just a slightly-wider package. Worthy of note, the Apple Watch Series 4 is 0.07 mm thinner than its predecessor, but contains heaps of new technology.
In our opinion, this is a significant leap from the previous generation. That said, if you were thinking about upgrading, then go for it!
What are your thoughts about the all-new Apple Watch Series 4? Let us know in the comments section below.

Apple adds new Fire, Vapor, Water and Liquid Metal faces to Apple Watch

September 14, 2018
Soon after the completion of its “Gather round” event, Apple released the GM version of watchOS 5. The new update for Apple Watch revealed four of the new watch faces that the company revealed during the Apple Watch Series 4 presentation. That’s right, these new watch faces are also coming to older Apple Watches, albeit with one important caveat.
First, here are the watch faces:
All of these watch faces are fully functional and move as you turn your wrists. On the Apple Watch Series 4, these watch faces will take up the entire screen. As you can see above, on the current models, the action is limited to a circle in the middle of the screen.
Apple’s expected to release watchOS 5 to the general public on Monday, Sept. 17. You can pre-order the Apple Watch Series 4 beginning tomorrow, Sept. 14.

Potentially bad news for Spotify as EU approves Apple’s planned acquisition of Shazam

September 09, 2018
As expected, the European Union antitrust regulators have officially approved Apple’s planned acquisition of Shazam, the British music discovery app, for a reported $400 million.
Following its initial assessment of the acquisition, EU regulators have conducted their own investigation after initially appearing worried that the deal might hurt competition. Yesterday, the investigation concluded that the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple would not harm or reduce competition in the digital music streaming market.
“After thoroughly analyzing Shazam’s user and music data, we found the acquisition by Apple would not reduce competition in the digital music streaming market,” said Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, in a prepared statement.
She took the stance that access to Shazam’s data would not materially increase Apple’s ability to target music lovers. Any conduct aimed at making users switch “would only have a negligible impact” without shutting Apple’s rivals out of the market.
“Data is key in the digital economy. We must therefore carefully review transactions which lead to the acquisition of important sets of data, including potentially commercially sensitive ones,” Vestager added. I beg to differ. While the deal won’t reduce choice for the consumer, Apple’s targeting ability will improve by virtue of merging Shazam and Apple Music data, that much is certain.
Shazam is all about songs people like but don’t recall the names of. Apple Music, on the other hand, is about the tunes we already know and love. Merging the two data sets will give Apple better knowledge of our musical tastes.
The iPhone maker announced the deal last December.
Shazam can also recognize content based on images taken with the app
“Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users,” Apple said at the time. “We have exciting plans in store and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement.”
Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular iOS apps. The media identification app is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms.
Apple’s been using Shazam’s backend since iOS 8 to have Siri identify songs playing around the user (“Hey Siri, what’s this song?”). Shazam apps continue to be offered across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iMessage and Mac. The software supports Apple Music and includes augmented reality features for finding content based on pictures captured with the app.