The Apple Watch wants to alter your behavior – The Verge

This lack of depth in behavioral research shows in the Watch’s reward design. It’s not just that the Watch doesn’t take into account the recent stuff — the old stuff Skinner produced isn’t reflected, either — but Apple hasn’t participated in the kinds of verification studies that might give someone confidence in their approach to fitness. As long as Apple isn’t making a specific health claim, it doesn’t have to verify its device is accurate with the FDA. Only a few studies exist on fitness trackers’ accuracy, Patel says, which makes it challenging for both patients and doctors to trust a smartwatch’s data. And the rewards aren’t set up in the ways we know are most effective. The Watch is ultimately a weak tool. It might be effective for some people, but there’s a lot of behavioral research out there that suggests it could be much more effective for many more people.

This is an interesting point. The Apple Watch is not in any way “scientific;” it’s based on some simple ideas that won’t confuse people, and that are easy to put into practice. And that can be easily displayed.

Look at the three activity rings. Tim Cook famously said, “Sitting is the new cancer,” which, among the verbal mistakes he has made ranks pretty high on the list. He could have said “Sitting is the new smoking,” which would have made sense; an activity has effects that can then translate into disease. But claiming that sitting was, in and of itself, a disease, is truly foolish.

So there’s the stand ring. You have to get up and move around for a minute or so each hour to make it progress. It’s not that hard. But, if you’re in a wheelchair, or otherwise disabled, you can’t remove the stand ring. You can turn off stand reminders, but that’s all.

The activity ring? It’s set to 30 minutes; no more, no less. For some, 30 minutes might be a lot; for others, it’s hardly anything. It should be adjustable, as the move ring (the one that represents calories).

Of course, you’ll notice, as did the author of this article, that the move ring will count calories even when you’re not moving, not doing any activity. I notice that, when I lie in bed reading in the evening, or watch something on TV, it increments even if I’m not moving.

And these goals aren’t even logical over time.

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Apple Watch Security and Privacy Tips

If you use an Apple Watch, you know that it’s linked to your iPhone (at least most of the time). It has access to much of the data that’s on your iPhone — your contacts, calendars, emails, messages, and more. While the way the Apple Watch connects to the iPhone over the air is clever, there is still a possibility that if your watch is lost or stolen someone could access some of your personal data.

In this article, we’ll cover the security and privacy settings that affect the Apple Watch, and also explain how to make sure your data on it stays safe.

Read the rest of the article on The Mac Security Blog.

Apple Watch: Third Time’s the Charm

The Apple Watch has always been a three-pronged device: its main features are telling the time, tracking activity, and communicating. With the recent release of the Apple Watch 3, Apple has put the emphasis on communication, adding cellular features, so the wrist computer can be a standalone communications device.

Read the rest of my review of the Apple Watch Series 3 on the Mac Security Blog.

Stream Apple Music to Your Apple Watch

Apple has released watchOS 4.1, which adds some essential features to music listening on the Apple Watch. This notably allows you to stream music from Apple Music and your iCloud Music Library, even over cellular. And you can also access Apple Music Radio from your wrist computer, and stream radio stations.

To stream music, go to the Music app, then Library. You’ll find your playlists, albums, artists, and more. Tap one to start playing.

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You can also try asking Siri to play music; you can specify a song, artist, album, or genre. As always with Siri, your success rates may vary.

To play Apple Music Radio, open the new Radio app, and tap an existing station, or tap Stations.

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You probably are worried about battery life, if you’re planning to stream from your Apple Watch. Apple has given the following estimates:

  • Up to 10 hours playback from Apple Watch storage
  • Up to 7 hours streaming playlist with LTE
  • Up to 5 hours streaming live radio with LTE

I don’t know why live radio would use more of the battery, bit it’s probably the way the data is sent. If you stream a playlist, the watch downloads the entire song when you start playing, and can then stop downloading data, which probably reduces the amount of battery power needed. For live radio, the connection is permanent as long as you’re listening. But it’s still a good idea to sync music via the Watch app to your Apple Watch if you want to be able to listen to specific music, since it will make your battery last longer.

So now you really can leave your iPhone behind when you go for a walk, ride, or run.

How to Use Theater Mode on the Apple Watch

Apple’s watchOS includes Theater Mode, a way to stop annoying people in a cinema or theater when you look at your watch. When this is active, raising your wrist does not cause the watch’s display to light up. So if you raise your hand to take a drink, scratch yourself, or cross your arms, your Apple Watch won’t illuminate your neighbors.

Here’s how to set it up.

Swipe up to display Control Center, then scroll up a bit to see the Theater Mode button (the comedy/tragedy faces).

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Tap that button; it turns orange.

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Press the digital crown to go back to your watch face; you’ll see a small Theater Mode icon at the top.

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If you raise your wrist, you’ll need to tap to see the watch face. However, there’s a neat way to check the time without tapping, and without annoying others too much. Just turn the digital crown a bit; this fades the watch face in from black. Here’s an example of my watch face after I’ve turned the crown a small amount (the more you turn, the brighter it gets):

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To deactivate Theater Mode, go back to Control Center and tap the orange button.

There’s another way to use your watch without annoying people in dark places, which I’ve been using for quite some time. I go to the theater often, and I immediately found that the Apple Watch was too bright. So I created this watch face:

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This is the Modular face, with no complications, in the darkest color I could find. It looks a bit darker on the watch than in the above screenshot, and if you turn down the brightness as well, you can make it almost totally unobtrusive. So when I go to the theater, I just swipe to this watch face. In the dark, it’s easy for me to see the time, but the light is subtle enough that it doesn’t bother others.