‘Apple Watch Connected’ Program Will Offer Rewards for Working Out at Participating Gyms

Apple today announced the launch of a new Apple Watch Connected program that should benefit both gyms and gym-goers.

The program will reward gym-goers for using an Apple Watch to track their workouts, with incentives varying by gym. At participating Crunch Fitness locations, for example, members can earn up to $4 off the cost of their membership per week if they meet certain activity goals, according to CNBC.


In return, gyms could attract new customers who wear an Apple Watch and see increased loyalty from existing members.

It is free for gyms to join the Apple Watch Connected program, so long as they meet the requirements, including having iPhone and Apple Watch apps to track workouts, offering rewards and incentives, and accepting Apple Pay. Apple also encourages gyms to offer GymKit-enabled equipment for improved Apple Watch syncing.

Four gym chains are rolling out support for the program in the United States starting today, including Basecamp Fitness, Crunch Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, and the YMCA, according to CNBC:
Basecamp will launch Apple Watch Connected to all of its clubs over the next year. YMCA will start with its greater Twin Cities locations this week followed by 22 additional YMCA branches in the coming weeks before expanding further. Crunch Fitness is launching Apple Watch Connected in two Manhattan gyms this week with more coming. Finally, Orange Theory will deploy it in all U.S. facilities in 2020, starting with two Manhattan locations on Thursday.
Last month, Orangetheory Fitness announced that it would begin rolling out Apple Watch support to its gyms in the first quarter of 2020. The gym chain created a small accessory called the OTbeat Link that attaches to an Apple Watch band, allowing the Apple Watch to sync with the chain's heart rate monitoring system.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Tag: GymKit
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 6.1.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 6.1.2 update to developers, one week after releasing the second beta and more than a month after releasing the watchOS 6.1.1 update 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.

There's no word yet on what features are included in the watchOS 6.1.2 beta, and there were no new features discovered in the first two betas, but we'll update this article should anything new be found in the third beta.

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

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Apple Seeds Second Beta of watchOS 6.1.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the second beta of an upcoming watchOS 6.1.2 update to developers, almost a month after releasing the first beta and over a month after releasing the watchOS 6.1.1 update 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.

There's no word yet on what features are included in the watchOS 6.1.2 beta, and there were no new features discovered in the first beta, but we'll update this article should anything new be found in the second beta.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Kuo: AirPods Pro, Apple Watch Series 6, and iPod Touch Getting New Suppliers in 2020

Apple will be making several changes to the suppliers of its products in 2020, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


For starters, Kuo expects Chinese company Goertek to begin assembly of AirPods Pro in the first half of the year. The addition of a second supplier alongside Luxshare Precision should help improve supply of the popular earphones, which continue to face multi-week shipping estimates on Apple.com.

Luxshare itself will replace Quanta Computer as the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of S-series chips for the new Apple Watch in 2020, aka Series 6 models if Apple sticks with its naming trend, Kuo added.

And last, Kuo expects Chinese manufacturer BYD Electronic to replace Quanta Computer the sole assembler of the iPod touch in 2020, as well as obtain at least 10-20 percent of non-cellular iPad orders. Naturally, if this goes well, the company is expected to receive an even larger percentage of orders in 2021 and beyond.

Kuo outlined these details in a research note with investment firm TF International Securities, seen by MacRumors.


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Apple Watch Series 5 in (PRODUCT)RED Could Launch in 2020

Apple may be planning to expand its Apple Watch Series 5 lineup with a new (PRODUCT)RED model at some point next year, according to evidence uncovered by French blog WatchGeneration.

Apple Watch Series 5 in (PRODUCT)RED concept by MacRumors/Ryan Barrieau

The report claims the unreleased Apple Watch briefly appeared in an unspecified Apple database, adding that it would likely be an aluminum model with a similar red finish as the iPod touch. The new color would be offered alongside existing silver, space gray, and gold aluminum casing options.

It is unclear exactly when the new Apple Watch model could be released, but the spring is a possibility. Apple introduced (PRODUCT)RED versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in March 2017 and April 2018, respectively.

Apple donates a portion of proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED product that it sells to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, raising more than $220 million since 2006. Apple sells a wide range of (PRODUCT)RED products, ranging from iPhone and iPad cases to Beats headphones and speakers.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Useful Tips, Tricks, and Walkthroughs for New Apple Watch Owners

If you got a new Apple Watch for the holidays, this is the article for you. We've collected all of our Apple Watch-related how tos and guides to help you learn the ins and outs of your new wrist-worn device.

Even if you've had an Apple Watch before, the newest Series 4 and Series 5 models have updated features like ECG functionality that lets you take a quick electrocardiogram right from the wrist, and with the Apple Watch Series 5 specifically, there's a new always on display.


Below, we've organized our Apple Watch-related how tos into quick access categories, so browse through to see if there's something new to learn.

For Beginners

Useful watchOS Tips

Hidden Features

Advanced Tricks

Apple Music and Apple Watch

Using Apple Watch with AirPods

Must-Watch Videos


We've created a selection of useful videos that highlight tips, tricks, and other information that's useful if you're a new Apple Watch owner. Make sure to check them out!






More Info


Do you have useful Apple Watch tips and tricks that we've missed in our how tos and that new Apple Watch owners should know? Make sure to share them in the comments!

If you want to know more about the Apple Watch Series 5 and watchOS, the operating system that runs on the Apple Watch, make sure to check out our Apple Watch Series 5 and watchOS 6 roundups.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Satechi Launches Apple Watch Charger With Detachable USB-C Cable

Satechi today introduced a new Apple Watch charger with a detachable USB-C cable, making it quite versatile.

The charger is equipped with a USB-C connector that can be plugged directly into USB-C devices like recent MacBook and iPad Pro models. Or, if some distance is needed, the charger can be paired with the included female-to-male USB-C cable and then plugged into devices, docks, battery packs, and so forth.



The charger, certified by Apple, is compatible with all Apple Watch models and sizes. It is available now in Space Gray for $44.99 on Satechi's website. From today through December 26, Satechi is offering customers 20 percent off when entering the code GIFTSATECHI at checkout.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Satechi and may receive a commission from sales, which helps to keep the site running.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Tag: Satechi
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 6.1.2 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 6.1.2 update to developers, one week after releasing the watchOS 6.1.1 update 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.

There's no word yet on what features are included in the watchOS 6.1.2 beta, but if we find anything new after downloading the software, we'll update this article.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Apple Watch With Cellular Officially Launches in New Zealand

Last week, Apple started taking pre-orders for Apple Watch models with cellular connectivity in New Zealand. Those orders are now arriving into the hands of customers, and New Zealand carrier Spark is taking its service for LTE models of ‌Apple Watch‌ live.


Apple is selling Series 3 and Series 5 models with Wi-Fi and Cellular through its online store in New Zealand, with pricing starting at NZ$549 for Series 3 models and NZ$929 for Series 5 models.

Spark is currently the only carrier that offers service for the Apple Watch in New Zealand. For $12.99 a month, Spark's wearable plan lets you share your iPhone plan's minutes and texts and get unlimited data on the Watch. And until June 6, 2020, Spark is offering the first three months free.

Other carriers in New Zealand like Vodafone NZ and 2degrees say they're working to bring eSIM support to customers in New Zealand, but haven't offered a roadmap or any fixed dates indicating when that might happen.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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Orangetheory Fitness Rolling Out Apple Watch Support in Early 2020

Orangetheory Fitness today announced that it will begin rolling out Apple Watch support to its gyms in the first quarter of 2020, eliminating the need to use one of the company's armbands or chest straps for heart rate tracking.


The fitness chain has created a small accessory called the OTbeat Link that attaches to an Apple Watch band, allowing the Apple Watch to sync with the Orangetheory Fitness in-studio heart rate monitoring system. There will also be a new Orangetheory Fitness app for the Apple Watch to accompany the OTbeat Link.

"Now, not only will members be able to view metrics in real time in class with an Apple Watch, they'll also be able to see their Orangetheory Fitness workouts afterward in the Activity app," explains Orangetheory Fitness.

"Apple Watch is designed to help people live a better day by being more active," said Apple fitness director Jay Blahnik. "With workout tracking, Apple Pay and a new membership program, we are thrilled Orangetheory Fitness is integrating Apple Watch into a comprehensive experience for their customers."

Orangetheory Fitness has also developed two new iOS apps called OTassist and OTcoach for improved interactions between staff, coaches, and members.

The new OTbeat Link accessory will be priced at $129 on Apple.com and elsewhere.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)

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