Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 6.2.5 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 6.2.5 update to developers, one week after releasing the watchOS 6.2 update that added in-app purchases to the Apple Watch App Store and a day after seeding the first iOS 13.4.5 beta.


watchOS 6.2.5 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated ‌‌‌Apple Watch‌‌‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update.

To install the new software, the ‌‌‌Apple Watch‌‌‌ needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌.

There is no word yet on what features might be included in watchOS 6.2.5, if any, but we'll update this article if we find anything new.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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watchOS 7 to Include Kids Mode That Shifts Focus of Activity Rings Away From Calories Burned

Apple's upcoming watchOS 7 update is expected to include a Kids Mode that's aimed at children who have an Apple Watch for activity tracking purposes, with parents able to control and manage their children's devices.


According to code found in iOS 14 by 9to5Mac, when placed in Kids Mode, an ‌Apple Watch‌ will have different Activity Ring labels and goals than an ‌Apple Watch‌ in a normal adult mode.

While adults see Activity Rings for active calories burned (red), minutes exercised (green), and hours with standing movement (blue), an ‌Apple Watch‌ in Kids Mode will not focus on calories burned.

Instead, the red Activity Ring will track move time alongside exercise time and hours spent with some stand activity. So, for example, the ‌Apple Watch‌ will track a movement goal of 90 minutes instead of 500 active calories burned, providing children with a healthy target to achieve that does not focus on body image.

The new Kids Mode, which will include parental controls limiting access to certain ‌Apple Watch‌ features during school hours, is expected to be included in the watchOS 7 and ‌iOS 14‌ updates.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, iOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple’s Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg.


Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been previously rumored for release in 2020. Apple's software updates are also on track and are expected to be debuted in June at a digital version of WWDC.

Along with this information about Apple's product development plans, Bloomberg highlights many of the same telecommuting challenges shared earlier this morning in a report from The Information. Though work is progressing on new products, there have been some minor hardware development setbacks.

Some employees who do work that requires hands-on development are still being allowed into Apple's Silicon Valley offices, but in other parts of the world like Italy, Germany, and Asia, stricter work restrictions have prevented that from happening. Apple has put a heavy emphasis on confidentiality while employees are working from home, letting them know that it's "critical to keep confidential work confidential."

Apple has been allowing engineers to take home early versions of future devices since March, which is normally not allowed, and there is heavy oversight.
Taking home a future product requires the green light from the vice president of an employee's organization. That list of staff with future devices at their homes also is sometimes reviewed by Apple's senior vice presidents, the management team run by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.
Apple has also "clamped down" on which employees are able to take home future versions of new software, including iOS 14, which has already leaked. Employees working on ‌iOS 14‌ and other software updates must also receive approval from Apple's executive team.

Employees at Apple Park, Infinite Loop, and other Bay Area offices could be working at home through at least May 1, as the Bay Area is expected to extend its shelter in place mandate. When other offices around the world reopen will depend on local guidelines.
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Apple Watch Series 6 Could Feature Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Pulse Oximetry and Sleep Tracking Support

The upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 set to be released this fall could include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the crown of the device, according to Israeli site The Verifier, which cites "senior sources" who have worked with its staff for a "number of years" as the source of the rumor.


It's not clear how the alleged ‌Touch ID‌ fingerprint sensor would be implemented, as the Digital Crown is already used for capturing an ECG in the current ‌Apple Watch‌ models with an included electrode.

A ‌Touch ID‌ fingerprint sensor sounds like somewhat of an odd feature to add to the ‌Apple Watch‌, but it could potentially alleviate the need for a PIN when putting on the ‌Apple Watch‌ in the morning. The ‌Apple Watch‌ already unlocks when the iPhone is unlocked, but unlocking it on a standalone basis requires a numerical code to be entered.

The ‌Apple Watch‌ itself also uses skin contact as a biometric authentication option for Apple Pay payments and other functions. In the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 7, The Verifier claims that the ‌Touch ID‌ fingerprint sensor will be relocated to the display, but two drastic ‌Touch ID‌ tweaks in two years may be questionable as Apple tends to make fewer changes to ‌Apple Watch‌ hardware.

Apple's next-generation ‌Apple Watch‌ is also said to include an improved battery, broader support for LTE, and support for WiFi 6.

The Verifier also outlines some of the features coming to watchOS 7, many of which we've heard before. watchOS 7 will allegedly include a "fresh design," updates to built-in apps, and improvements to Siri, with little other information included.

Echoing other rumors, The Verifier says Apple is working on pulse ox monitoring for the ‌Apple Watch‌ and sleep tracking capabilities. Pulse oximetry support would allow the ‌Apple Watch‌ to measure the oxygen levels in the blood, making sure a person's oxygen saturation does not drop to a dangerous level, which can be indicative of a serious and immediate problem that needs to be addressed.

Sleep tracking is a feature that we've heard a lot about in recent months, with Apple expected to introduce sleep monitoring capabilities in the near future. Sleep tracking would measure metrics like time asleep and sleep quality.

According to The Verifier, watchOS 7 will be compatible with the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 3 and later, with Apple planning to drop support for the Apple Watch Series 2 and earlier.

The Verifier last week claimed that tvOS 14 will feature a new Kids Mode with content geared towards children and a Screen Time feature to measure time spent watching TV.

In the past, The Verifier has shared some questionable information that has not panned out, so it's worth viewing these rumors with some skepticism until confirmed by another source.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Releases watchOS 6.2 With App Store Support for In-App Purchases, ECG Functionality in Chile, Turkey and New Zealand

Apple today released watchOS 6.2, the sixth update to the watchOS 6 operating system that's designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. watchOS 6.2 comes a month after the release of watchOS 6.1.3, a minor update.


watchOS 6.2 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌iPhone‌‌.

The watchOS 6.2 update introduces ‌Apple Watch‌ App Store support for in-app purchases, which lets developers create and sell ‌Apple Watch‌ apps that offer in-app purchase options and subscriptions. watchOS 6.2 also brings ECG support and irregular heart rhythm notifications to Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey, plus it fixes an issue that could interrupt music playback when switching from WiFi to Bluetooth connectivity.

During the testing period, code in iOS 13.4, the companion update to watchOS 6.2, had signs of a feature called "CarKey" that will let the ‌iPhone‌ and ‌Apple Watch‌ be used in lieu of a car key to unlock NFC-cable vehicles. Based on the watchOS 6.2 release notes this feature is not included in the update, but it is at least in the works and perhaps coming soon.

Apple's full release notes for the watchOS 6.2 update are below:
watchOS 6.2 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes:
- Introduces in-app purchases for ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ apps
- Fixes an issue where music playback could pause when switching from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth connectivity
- ECG app on ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ Series 4 or later now available in Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey
- Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey
Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability/

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/HT201222


watchOS 6.2 could be one of the last major updates to the ‌watchOS 6‌ operating system as Apple begins to shift its focus to watchOS 7, which is in development ahead of a fall release. Apple is likely to preview watchOS 7 in June ahead of releasing it alongside new ‌Apple Watch‌ models later this year. Details on watchOS 7 can be found in our watchOS roundup.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Seeds watchOS 6.2 Golden Master to Developers

Apple today seeded the golden master version of an upcoming watchOS 6.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the fifth beta and a month after the release of watchOS 6.1.3 with bug fixes.


Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta 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 needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the ‌iPhone‌.

watchOS 6.2 introduces ‌Apple Watch‌ App Store support for in-app purchases, which will allow developers to create and sell ‌Apple Watch‌ apps that offer in-app purchase options and subscriptions. Apple's release notes for the update are below:
watchOS 6.2 includes new features, improvements, and bug fixes:
- Introduces in-app purchases for ‌Apple Watch‌ apps
- Fixes an issue where music playback could pause when switching from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth connectivity
- ECG app on ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4 or later now available in Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey
- Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Chile, New Zealand, and Turkey
Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: https://www.apple.com/watchos/feature-availability/

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: https://support.apple.com/HT201222
Code in iOS 13.4, the companion update to watchOS 6.2, suggests that both the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌Apple Watch‌ will in the future have a "CarKey" feature that will let them be used in lieu of a car key to unlock NFC-capable vehicles. It's not clear if this feature will be available when watchOS 6.2 launches, but it is in the works.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 6.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 6.2 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and over a month after the release of watchOS 6.1.2 with bug fixes.


Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS beta 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 needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the ‌iPhone‌.

watchOS 6.2 introduces ‌Apple Watch‌ App Store support for in-app purchases, which will allow developers to create and sell ‌Apple Watch‌ apps that offer in-app purchase options and subscriptions.

Code in iOS 13.4, the companion update to watchOS 6.2, suggests that both the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌Apple Watch‌ will in the future have a "CarKey" feature that will let them be used in lieu of a car key to unlock NFC-capable vehicles. It’s not clear if this feature will be available when watchOS 6.2 launches, but it is in the works.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Things 3.12 Update Brings Cloud Sync and Additional Requested Features to Apple Watch

Popular to-do app Things was updated to version 3.12 today and the big change in this release is that Things on Apple Watch now syncs directly with Things Cloud.


Prior to this version, the Things app on iPhone has acted as the middleman for syncing between the ‌Apple Watch‌ app and the cloud, which could occasionally lead to out-of-date data in the Things watch app.

However, Things for ‌Apple Watch‌ now syncs directly with Things Cloud, so even if you're away from your ‌iPhone‌, the watch app syncs to-dos instantly over Wi-Fi or cellular whenever they're available.

Developers Cultured Code say they have also improved the quality of watch face data, so that complications also remain synced and up-to-date. To take advantage of these changes, users need a Things Cloud account, which can be created for free.

In addition to Things Cloud, version 3.12 of the ‌Apple Watch‌ app brings more new features, including the ability to add new to-dos scheduled for Today.


In previous versions of the watch app, new to-dos could only be saved to the Inbox, but now you have the option to set Today as the default instead. To access this setting, open the watch app and force press in the main list.

The developers have also listened to feedback about the lack of an option to remove a to-do from the watch app's Today view and put it in Anytime. This can now be done by tapping Clear in the date picker.

Another welcome feature is scribble support, so you can now scribble instead of speaking text to add a new to-do or append some notes to an existing one.

Lastly, this update adds multiple watch support, so if you have a spare watch for sleep tracking you can now have the Things app on it too.

Things 3.12 is rolling out now to all users. Things 3 can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $49.99 and from the iOS App Store. The iPad version is priced at $19.99 [Direct Link] while the ‌iPhone‌ version (which includes ‌Apple Watch‌ support) is priced at $9.99. [Direct Link]

A 15-day trial of Things for Mac is available on the Cultured Code website.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Watch Series 6 and watchOS 7 to Feature Watch Face Sharing, Parental Controls and More

Along with the ability to detect blood oxygen saturation, the Apple Watch Series 6 and watchOS 7 are also expected to bring new watch faces, watch face sharing capabilities, and more.


In a new report out today that's based on code found in leaked iOS 14 snippets, 9to5Mac shares upcoming ‌Apple Watch‌ features.

  • Share Your Face - watchOS 7 will allow users to share specific watch face configurations with one another.

  • Infograph Pro Watch Face - There's a new Infograph Pro watch face that includes a tachymeter. A tachymeter can be used to compute speed based on travel time.

  • Photos Watch Faces - In watchOS 7, watch faces created from photos can be made using a shared album in addition to individual photos and groups of photos from albums.

  • Parental Controls - watchOS 7 will add features for managing an ‌Apple Watch‌ for a child with a parent's phone.

  • Schooltime - Allows parents to manage which apps and complications can be used during specific hours.

  • Control Center - Control center will feature new toggles for sleep mode and noise detection.

  • Architecture - In watchOS 7, apps are no longer based on extensions, which is a holdover from when apps required a phone app to function. That was eliminated in watchOS 6, and now in watchOS 7, apps will be not have an extension base.


‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 and watchOS 7 are expected to include a sleep tracking feature, which has been rumored many times before. The feature is allegedly confirmed within the ‌iOS 14‌ code, and a user will be able to set a personalized sleep goal in the Health app on iPhone, which will also offer up recommendations for improving sleep.

Details on watchOS 7 will be unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, but anything that also requires ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 will be hidden until the fall when new ‌Apple Watch‌ models are expected to debut.
Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Watch Blood Oxygen Monitoring Feature Found in iOS 14 Code

Apple is working on a new Apple Watch feature that detects blood oxygen levels, according to newly discovered code snippets in iOS 14 (via 9to5Mac).


Blood oxygen saturation naturally fluctuates throughout the day, but large variations can be linked to health issues. For example, 95-100 percent oxygen in the blood is considered normal, but a drop below that percentage could be a sign of a serious respiratory or cardiac problem.

At the center of Apple's new feature is a new health notification based on blood oxygen levels – when ‌Apple Watch‌ blood oxygen saturation drops below a certain threshold, the wearer is alerted, just like existing heart rate notifications.

Apple holds patents for blood oxygen monitoring, and early prototypes of the first ‌Apple Watch‌ featured sensors that measured blood oxygen monitoring among other biometrics, but many of these functions never made it into the final product because of consistency issues.

When the original ‌‌Apple Watch‌‌ was released back in 2015, iFixit actually discovered that Apple's heart sensors have the capability to monitor blood oxygen levels, but Apple has never activated it.

It remains to be seen whether the latest incarnation of the feature will rely on new hardware in the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 or if it will come as a software update as part of watchOS 7, both of which are expected to arrive this year. Rumors persist that sleep tracking will also be included in the next ‌Apple Watch‌ model.

Other smartwatch and fitness tracker makers including Google-owned Fitbit already offer blood oxygen monitoring features in some of their devices, so Apple is playing catch-up in this regard, but that could mean the company has a more advanced implementation of the feature in the works.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6, iOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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