Apple Watch’s Latest Activity Challenge Starts Tomorrow, Earn a ‘Heart Month’ Award and iMessage Stickers

February is Heart Month, aimed at promoting cardiovascular health, and Apple is taking part with a new Activity Challenge that tasks Apple Watch users with closing their Exercise ring in the Activity app for seven consecutive days. The challenge kicks off tomorrow, February 8, and runs through February 14.


Those who successfully complete the Activity Challenge will receive a special heart-themed award and iMessage stickers, as shared by Kyle Seth Gray on Twitter.

Activity Challenges are often tied to special occasions or holidays throughout the year, such as Earth Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and New Year's. Achievements can be tracked in the Activity app under the Awards tab.



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Apple Postpones ‘Close Your Rings’ Employee Challenge Due to Coronavirus and Store Closures

Every year in February, Apple hosts a company wide fitness challenge for all of its employees at its corporate and retail offices around the world.

Employees are tasked with closing all three of their Apple Watch Activity rings every day during the month, and those that are successful earn a reward.


Apple's 2020 challenge, which is in February because February is Heart Month, has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak in China and Apple's subsequent store closures. At this time, Apple has closed all stores, corporate offices, and contact centers in China in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus that has now been declared a global health emergency.

Apple earlier this week sent out the following email to employees, letting them know about the delay:
The Close Your Rings Challenge is one of those rare opportunities to bring team members and colleagues from around the world together with a common purpose to close our rings, earn some points, and have fun. With a number of our offices and stores closed in China right now and some of our team members unable to participate, we've decided to postpone the 2020 Close Your Rings Challenge. At this time, our Challenge will be removed from the Challenges app.

We'll update everyone as soon as we have a new date when we can all focus together in closing our rings!
Apple's retail and corporate locations in China are set to reopen on February 9, so the challenge could be reinstated sometime around then, though Apple may choose to wait even longer as it's unlikely concerns about the virus will have abated by then.

The 2020 challenge will reward employees who complete it with a t-shirt that says "2020" in an ‌Apple Watch‌ Activity Ring-style font.


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Apple Launching New Internal Activity Challenge for Employees

Starting in February, Apple is hosting its annual company wide fitness challenge for all of its employees, tasking them with closing all three Apple Watch Activity rings every day of the month.

Employees who successfully finish the challenge will be rewarded with a t-shirt that says "2020" in a logo with ‌Apple Watch‌ Activity-style rings, as shared by an Apple employee.


The employees who complete the challenge every day will earn a "gold" ranking and will receive a gold pin along with their t-shirt, and there are also silver and bronze rewards accompanied by silver and bronze pins.

Apple in 2018 and 2019 hosted similar challenges offering employees Activity-themed ‌Apple Watch‌ bands as prizes.

Apple's February fitness challenge is internal only and is limited to Apple employees, but Apple also regularly hosts public fitness challenges, though these do not come with physical rewards.


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Apple Watch Owners Challenged to Earn Thanksgiving Day Activity Achievement

Apple is celebrating Thanksgiving this year by urging U.S. Apple Watch owners to bag a special achievement by recording a minimum walking or running distance on Thursday, November 28.


As with past holidays, ‌Apple Watch‌ owners can earn an exclusive badge and an iMessage sticker if they complete the challenge.

To earn the turkey-themed badge and sticker, ‌Apple Watch‌ wearers must clock up a 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) walk, run, or wheelchair workout. Apple's Thanksgiving Day challenge was first spotted by Kyle Seth Gray, who shared his discovery on Twitter.

To record the activity, wearers need to use Apple's stock Workout app or a third-party app that feeds data to Apple's HealthKit. An ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ user's history of achievements can be viewed any time via the Achievements tab on the iOS Activity app.

Apple first challenged ‌Apple Watch‌ owners to get out on Thanksgiving Day in 2016, and then again in 2017, but no challenge was forthcoming in 2018.

Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday, so the challenge obviously won't show up for ‌Apple Watch‌ users set to other regions. The last special activity challenge Apple promoted occurred on Monday for Veterans Day.

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Apple Honors Veterans Day With Website Banner, Activity Challenge on Apple Watch, and More

Today is Veterans Day in the United States and, as usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook has thanked veterans around the world for their service.


Apple is also showing its support for Veterans Day with a short message on its website: "Here's to the brave ones. We're proud to honor America's veterans and service members this Veterans Day and every day."


As noted by Kyle Seth Gray, Apple Watch users can earn a special Veterans Day badge in the Activity app today by completing any workout for 11 minutes or longer. The annual Activity Challenge, limited to the United States, also awards users with a Veterans Day sticker for use in the Messages app.


Last, Apple has highlighted how iPhone app Healium AR is helping veterans manage anxiety. The augmented reality app was created by former TV journalist Sarah Hill, who is profiled in the Apple Newsroom story.

November 11 also marks similar Remembrance Day or Armistice Day commemorations in many other countries.


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Apple Launches New Yoga Day Activity Challenge

Apple today kicked off a new Activity Challenge, this one celebrating the International Day of Yoga. To earn the award, you'll have to complete a yoga workout that lasts 15 minutes or more at any time today. Apple holds these challenges for many different holidays and events throughout the year, but this is the first time it has marked the International Day of Yoga.


In order to be sure that your workout is counted towards the Activity Challenge, you'll need to use any app that adds yoga workouts to Apple's Health app. The first-party Workout app for Apple Watch offers Yoga tracking as well. Once completed, you'll gain the award in the Activity app, under the Limited Edition awards section, as well as a set of stickers that can be used in Messages.

Apple has hosted a few Activity Challenges so far in 2019, including one for Earth Day, one for Heart Month, and one that was exclusive to Apple employees. Each challenge always tasks the user with completing an exercise of some sort in a given time frame, and the rewards typically offer stickers for Messages and a new badge in the Activity app.

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Apple Kicking Off New Apple Watch Fitness Challenge on Earth Day

Apple's next Activity Challenge for Apple Watch owners will take place on Earth Day, which falls on Monday, April 22. Apple Watch users will be able to earn the Earth Day 2019 badge by doing any workout for 30 minutes or more.

Details on the upcoming challenge were shared this afternoon on Twitter by Kyle Seth Gray, who also shared images of the achievement badge and accompanying iMessage sticker those who complete the challenge will receive.


Apple hosts Activity Challenges for major holidays and well-known events, and for the past several years, there's been an Earth Day Challenge. Goals in both 2017 and 2018 were the same as the 2019 goal -- complete a 30 minute workout.

Apple often celebrates Earth Day in a variety of ways, and Apple retail employees are likely to don green shirts in honor of the environment-focused event. Apple retail stores are also likely to be updated with green leaf accents on their logos, something that Apple does on Earth Day each year.

Apple has done two other Activity Challenges this year to celebrate International Women's Day in March and Heart Month in February.


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Apple Promotes Heart Health With Activity Challenge and Apple Store Events Throughout February

In recognition of Heart Month, Apple today announced it will offer an Activity Challenge on Apple Watch and heart health events at Apple Stores in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York throughout February.


Apple Watch users who close their exercise ring in the Activity app for seven days in a row between February 8 and February 14 will earn a special badge and iMessage stickers on Valentine's Day.

The special Today at Apple sessions will include:
  • San Francisco: Apple Union Square on February 11 at 6 p.m. with Dr. Sumbul Desai, Jeanette Jenkins, and Julz Arney
  • New York: Apple Williamsburg on February 21 at 4:30 p.m. with Dr. Sumbul Desai, Jeanette Jenkins, and Jay Blahnik
  • Chicago: Apple Michigan Avenue on February 27 at 6 p.m. with Dr. Sumbul Desai, Nancy Brown, Jeanette Jenkins, and Craig Bolton
"Apple Watch users have told us since the beginning it has motivated them with everything from Activity Sharing to Challenges to all of the different workouts available all right from the wrist," said Jay Blahnik, Apple's senior director of fitness for health technologies.

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Apple Hosting Employee Activity Challenge in February With Exclusive Sport Loop as Reward

Like it did last year, Apple in February will host an internal activity challenge for its employees around the world, tasking them with closing all three Apple Watch Activity rings every day for the month (via WatchGeneration).

Image via WatchGeneration

Those who complete this challenge will receive an exclusive Black Sport Loop, which has colored details on the plastic attachments that connect to the Apple Watch case, and on the end of the velcro band. The blue, red, and green colors on the band represent the Stand, Move, and Workout Activity rings on Apple Watch.

Last year, employees received a Woven Nylon band as a reward for the February challenge, which had a hint of the Activity ring's blue/green/red color scheme on the band fastener. In total, the 2019 challenge is the third one that Apple has offered its employees, beginning in 2017 with pins and t-shirts offered as rewards for employees who closed all three Activity rings every day in February.

The company has hosted other Apple Watch-related challenges as well, including a mindfulness-related event that tasked employees with meditating for a specific amount of time per day for 25 days. Those who met the goal received a T-shirt that displayed the Breathe app's blue and green logo.

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Missing Some Activity Awards on iOS 12? Apple Says They’ll Be Restored in a Future Software Update

If you updated your iPhone to iOS 12 this week and noticed that some Activity Challenge awards are missing, you're not alone.


In a new support document, Apple has acknowledged that five limited edition awards may be temporarily unavailable in the Activity app after updating to iOS 12, presumably due to a minor software bug of some kind.

They include:
  • Thanksgiving Day Challenge 2016
  • Mother's Day Challenge 2017
  • Veterans Day Challenge 2017
  • Thanksgiving Day Challenge 2017
  • China National Fitness Day 2018
Apple is aware of this issue and will address it in an upcoming software update, according to the support document.

MacRumors has been affected by this issue on at least one of our iPhones, with a few awards missing on both iOS 12 and the first beta of iOS 12.1, seeded to registered Apple developers earlier today. There's a chance the awards could be restored in a subsequent beta version of iOS 12.1 in the days to come.

Of note, the Mother's Day Challenge award was still visible on another one of our iPhones running Monday's publicly released version of iOS 12, so it appears that not everyone is affected to begin with.

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