Some Apple Watch Series 3 Repairs Can Now Qualify for Series 4 Replacement

Apple has informed its retail staff that it will substitute some Apple Watch Series 3 repairs with the Apple Watch Series 4, due to low inventory on the older model. The announcement was spotted by an internal memo delivered to staff and Authorized Service Providers, seen by 9to5Mac.


Now, customers looking for a repair or replacement of the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS and cellular, can instead receive the stainless steel Series 4 model with GPS and cellular. The change is said to apply to Apple retail stores and ASPs globally, but it's unclear at this time if the Series 4 upgrades are a permanent solution to the Series 3 shortages.

Apple's new repair/replacement upgrade for the Apple Watch is the latest of several instances of the company substituting Apple Watch repairs with newer models. This began in January, when the company announced that some first-generation Apple Watches and Apple Watch Series 1 could qualify for Series 2 replacements, due to supply constraints on repair parts for the older models. Then, earlier in May, Apple confirmed that repairs of certain Apple Watch Series 2 models will be fulfilled with equivalent Series 3 models due to temporary shortages of unspecified Series 2 parts.

To initiate a repair, head to the Get Support page on Apple's website and book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. As usual, it's not guaranteed that all locations will acknowledge existence of this internal policy, especially given that there is no definitive end date, so your mileage may vary.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Some Apple Watch Series 3 Repairs Can Now Qualify for Series 4 Replacement" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 5.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.3 update to developers, just a couple of days after releasing watchOS 5.2.1, an update that expanded ECG availability and introduced new pride watch faces.

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.

It's not yet clear what features will be introduced in the watchOS 5.3 update, but as 5.x software, it could introduce new features and notable changes, and it's also likely to focus on bug fixes and other under-the-hood performance improvements.

Should we find new features in the watchOS 5.3 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Seeds First Beta of watchOS 5.3 to Developers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Releases watchOS 5.2.1 With ECG Functionality for Additional European Countries

Apple today released watchOS 5.2.1, the sixth update to the watchOS 5 operating system that runs on modern Apple Watch models. watchOS 5.2.1 comes more than a month after the release of watchOS 5.2, an update that added AirPods 2 support.

watchOS 5.2.1 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 5.2.1 update is minor in scale and focuses on performance improvements and bug fixes discovered since the release of watchOS 5.2. There were no changes discovered during the watchOS 5.2.1 beta testing period, and according to Apple's release notes, the update makes the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notifications available in Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland, and Slovakia.
This update includes new features, improvements and bug fixes:

- ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 now available in Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland and Slovakia
- Irregular heart rhythm notifications now available in Croatia, Czech Republic, Iceland, Poland and Slovakia
- Fixes an issue where the numbers on the Explorer face would not appear for some users
Work on watchOS 5 is set to wind down over the course of the next month as Apple transitions to watchOS 6, which is expected to be unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Releases watchOS 5.2.1 With ECG Functionality for Additional European Countries" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and over a month after the release of the watchOS 5.2 update, which introduced AirPods 2 support and expanded the ECG feature to Europe.

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.

It's not yet clear what features will be introduced in the watchOS 5.2.1 update, but as 5.x.x software, it's likely to focus on bug fixes and other under-the-hood performance improvements rather than significant feature updates.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Some Apple Watch Series 2 Repairs May Qualify for Series 3 Replacement Until Further Notice

Until further notice, repairs of 38mm aluminum Apple Watch Series 2 models will be fulfilled with equivalent Series 3 models due to a temporary shortage of unspecified parts, according to an internal document shared with Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers today.


The internal document, obtained by MacRumors, reminds technicians that Series 3 models require an iPhone compatible with watchOS 4 or later. Apple instructs technicians to notify iPhone 5 and iPhone 5c customers of their option to upgrade their iPhone to resolve this incompatibility.

If a customer is unable to accept the substitute Series 3 model, Apple says they can contact Apple support to request a refund.

Apple has offered similar Apple Watch repair substitutions in the past due to parts shortages, providing some lucky customers with an upgrade to a newer generation of the device at a fraction of the brand new price, but we obviously do not recommend abusing this temporary good-will policy.

To initiate a repair, head to the Get Support page on Apple's website and book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. We cannot guarantee that all locations will acknowledge existence of this internal policy, especially given it has no firm end date, so your mileage may vary.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Tag: GSX
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Some Apple Watch Series 2 Repairs May Qualify for Series 3 Replacement Until Further Notice" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Bloomberg: Apple Watch to Get Standalone App Store, iOS 13 Will Have All-New Sleep Mode, and More

Less than a month ahead of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has outlined his expectations for iOS 13, macOS 10.15, watchOS 6, and more. We've provided a summary below.


iOS 13

  • Dark Mode that can be toggled in Control Center
  • A new systemwide Sleep Mode that can be toggled in Control Center to turn on Do Not Disturb, darken the Lock Screen, and mute all notifications
  • A revamped Messages app with a WhatsApp-like feature that enables users to set a profile picture and display name, and choose who sees it, and a dedicated menu for Animoji and Memoji stickers
  • A revamped Maps app will make it easier to set frequent locations, like home or work addresses, and then navigate there. Improved grouping of frequent locations with ability to add photos.
  • A revamped Reminders app with four default sections laid out in a grid: tasks to be done today, all tasks, scheduled tasks, and flagged tasks
  • A revamped Books app with updated progress tracker and new rewards system
  • A revamped Health app with an improved view of daily activity, more comprehensive menstrual cycle tracking, and more
  • A revamped Mail app with ability to mute individual threads, block incoming email from certain contacts, and simpler folder management
  • New default swipe-based keyboard option like SwiftKey
  • New feature that will let users use their iPad as an external display for a Mac, complete with support for Apple Pencil, notifications, and more, as previously reported by 9to5Mac
  • A combined Find My iPhone and Find My Friends app, and possibly a Tile-like tag for tracking devices, as previously reported by 9to5Mac
  • User interface tweaks, including a new animation when launching the multitasking pane and closing apps and tweaks to the home screen on iPad
  • iPad is getting some unique features, including an updated interface for multi-tasking, tweaks to the home screen, and the ability to cycle through different versions of the same app
  • A more comprehensive Accessibility menu on the main page of the Settings app with improved hearing aid support and more
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes

macOS 10.15

  • Marzipan: iPhone and iPad apps can be easily ported to the Mac with new SDK that simplifies the cross-platform development process. This is said to be the first step in a plan to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps into a single package that can run on any of those devices by 2021.
  • Apple Music, Podcasts, and merged Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps
  • Screen Time on Mac
  • iMessage stickers and effects
  • Siri Shortcuts integration

watchOS 6

  • A dedicated App Store app on the Apple Watch itself
  • Voice Memos, Calculator, and Books apps
  • "Dose" and "Cycles" apps for pill reminders and menstrual cycle tracking respectively
  • Animoji and Memoji sticker support in sync with iPhone
  • New watch faces, including one with a custom "gradient" design and at least two "X-Large" versions with very large font; new complications for audiobooks, battery life of hearing aids, and more
Apple is also said to be planning to let the HomePod respond to multiple users in a future software update tied to iOS 13.

As usual, Gurman notes that some of Apple's plans could change between now and WWDC, so some features may end up being slightly different than described, kept internal, or axed entirely.

Looking ahead, Apple is said to be already working on iOS 14 with support for 5G and new AR functionality on 2020 iPhones.

Gurman's full WWDC 2019 preview is a worthwhile read.

Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Bloomberg: Apple Watch to Get Standalone App Store, iOS 13 Will Have All-New Sleep Mode, and More" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Watch Continues to Dominate With Estimated 1 in 3 Share of Smartwatch Sales Last Quarter

Apple Watch remained the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin last quarter, with an estimated 35.8 percent market share during the January-March period, according to Counterpoint Research. In other words, one in every three smartwatches shipped last quarter was an Apple Watch.


Samsung was a distant second with an estimated 11.1 percent market share last quarter, although that is up from 7.2 percent one year prior.

Apple Watch shipments increased 49 percent last quarter year-over-year, according to Counterpoint Research, but no specific numbers were provided. Apple has never disclosed Apple Watch sales, but its "Wearables, Home, and Accessories" category set a new March quarter revenue record of $5.1 billion.


Counterpoint Research's latest Consumer Lens survey found that ECG functionality on Series 4 models is the Apple Watch's most desirable feature. Apple recently expanded the ECG app to 19 European countries and Hong Kong.

While estimates can vary, it is clear that the Apple Watch continues to dominate the smartwatch market as it celebrates its fourth anniversary.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Watch Continues to Dominate With Estimated 1 in 3 Share of Smartwatch Sales Last Quarter" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2.1 update to developers, one week after seeding the third beta and a month after the release of the watchOS 5.2 update, which introduced AirPods 2 support and expanded the ECG feature to Europe.

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.

It's not yet clear what features will be introduced in the watchOS 5.2.1 update, but as 5.x.x software, it's likely to focus on bug fixes and other under-the-hood performance improvements rather than significant feature updates.

No changes were found in the first three watchOS 5.2.1 betas, but should we find new features in the fourth watchOS 5.2.1 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

The Apple Watch Launched Four Years Ago Today

On April 24, 2015, the original Apple Watch launched in nine countries around the world. Four years later and we are now on the fourth iteration of the wearable device, the Apple Watch Series 4. Over the years Apple has worked on improving Apple Watch with a better and bigger display, water resistance, additional health and fitness features, and more.

Apple Watch (first generation)

As usual for Apple products, rumors about an Apple wearable device began ramping up in the years before the official Apple Watch launch. In 2013, Apple filed a trademark for an "iWatch," despite the fact that the device would eventually be known as the Apple Watch. Apple did the same thing for the iPad, seeking to secure rights for the "iSlate" trademark while also secretly filing trademarks for the official "iPad" name.

As the launch neared, multiple reports suggested that Apple was facing battery life, screen, and manufacturing issues while developing the Apple Watch. Battery life was an ongoing issue for Apple when it was creating Apple Watch, since the company's goal was reportedly to create a device that would last for at least four to five days. This never came to pass, and even the brand new Apple Watch Series 4 requires daily charging, although many people do get around two days of life at times.

Apple Watch Edition

At an event in September 2014 Apple finally unveiled the Apple Watch, and then waited until a March 2015 event to set an April 24 launch date for the wearable device. On that day, the Apple Watch launched in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan, priced starting at $349 for a 38mm Sport and $399 for a 42mm Sport. Prices increased to between $549 and $1,099 for the stainless steel Apple Watch models, and then to as much as $17,000 for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition.

A few Apple Watch bands available at launch

Apple Watch Launch Day Stories At launch, Apple advertised the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory, with the high-end Edition, the Hermés collection (launched September 2015), and similarly expensive first-party bands, like the Link Bracelet ($500+) and Modern Buckle ($250). The Apple Watch was successful, but the company really hit its stride with the smartwatch once it began encouraging fitness features of the device, like when it partnered with Nike for the Apple Watch Nike+ in 2016. Apple has now discontinued the Apple Watch Edition, lowered the price of some of the more expensive bands, and placed the Apple Watch as a more direct competitor to fitness wearables like the Fitbit.

The Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+

Today, the Apple Watch has grown to become the global smartwatch leader, comprising half of the market in 2018. In total, Apple held 51 percent of the global smartwatch marketshare last year, down from 67 percent in 2017. Despite the drop, Apple remains the "clear market leader" in the U.S. smartwatch market according to the NPD Group. On an earnings call for the first quarter of 2019, Apple CEO Tim Cook described the company's wearables revenue (including products like Apple Watch and AirPods) as "approaching the size of a Fortune 200 company."

As to what's coming this year, the Apple Watch Series 5 might feature a new ceramic casing design when it launches in September 2019. Next year, Apple may add a sleep tracking app to the Apple Watch, encouraging users to wear their Apple Watch while they sleep to track sleep quality and other metrics. The feature is in testing with Apple employees and if the project proves successful, it could be added to the Apple Watch Series 6, accompanied with a low power mode so as to not impact battery life.

Apple Watch Series 4 saw the first major form factor change

In the future, Apple is reportedly looking to launch an Apple Watch that lacks physical buttons and instead adopts support for touch and swipe-based gestures along the sides of the casing. Other future Apple Watch additions include placing hardware into the Apple Watch band, blood glucose monitoring, and an Apple Watch with a microLED screen. The Apple Watch may be the first device to receive an Apple-designed microLED display, but the technology is still a "couple of years" from reaching consumers.

If you're interested in reading more about the Apple Watch, be sure to visit our Apple Watch Roundup.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "The Apple Watch Launched Four Years Ago Today" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 5.2.1 update to developers, two weeks after seeding the second beta and almost a month after the release of the watchOS 5.2 update, which introduced AirPods 2 support and expanded the ECG feature to Europe.

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.

It's not yet clear what features will be introduced in the watchOS 5.2.1 update, but as 5.x.x software, it's likely to focus on bug fixes and other under-the-hood performance improvements.

No changes were found in the first two watchOS 5.2.1 betas, but should we find new features in the third watchOS 5.2.1 beta, we'll update this post with details.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, "Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 5.2.1 to Developers" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums