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Apple Watch Series 6 launches with Blood Oxygen Sensor

And a few other improvements

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If you ask most tech reviewers, the Apple Watch is the consensus best smartwatch right now. Such a distinction doesn’t stop the company from making it even better with the Apple Watch Series 6.

Blood Oxygen

New to the Apple Watch Series 6 is the addition of blood oxygen or SpO2 sensor. It’s a feature that’s been a staple into some smart bands and other smartwatches since 2019. It also plays a key part in our battle against COVID-19. Doctors say you should be concerned if SpO2 levels drop below 92-93 percent. 

The Blood Oxygen sensor employs four clusters of green, red, and infrared LEDs. This compensates for natural variations in the skin and improve accuracy This is also aided by four photodiodes on the back crystal of Apple Watch, to measure light reflected back from blood.

Apple Watch then uses an advanced custom algorithm built into the Blood Oxygen app, which is designed to measure blood oxygen between 70 percent and 100 percent. On-demand measurements can be taken while the user is still, and periodic background measurements occur when they are inactive, including during sleep.

All data will be visible in the Health app, and the user will be able to track trends over time to see how their blood oxygen level changes.

Most importantly, Apple will work closely with investigators at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network. It is one of the largest health research organizations in North America. This will help the company better understand how blood oxygen measurements and other Apple Watch metrics can help with management of heart failure.

Improved performance

The Apple Watch Series 6 is running a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic chip. This means it’ll run 20% faster than the previous generation while maintaining the same promise of an 18-hour battery life.

It also has the U1 chip and Ultra Wideband antennas for short-range wireless location. This supports features like next-generation digital car keys. Other improvements include faster charging and longer battery life for tracking certain workouts like indoor and outdoor runs.

The Always-On Retina display is now 2.5 times brighter than the Series 5 outdoors. Users can now also access Notification Center and Control Center with their wrists down.

There’s also a n always-on altimeter. It allows for detection of small elevation changes above ground level, up and down to the measurement of one foot, and can be shown as a new watch face complication or workout metric.

Apple Watch Collection

Of course, it’s not Apple Watch without new colors, designs, and straps to choose from.

For the first time, a new blue color joins the silver, space gray, and gold aluminum case options, along with a (PRODUCT)RED Apple Watch with exclusive matching bright red bands.

Stainless steel models are now available in graphite — a rich gray-black hue with a striking high-shine finish — and an updated classic yellow gold color. Apple Watch Edition is available in natural and space black titanium.

There are also three new band styles: Solo Loop, Braided Solo Loop, and Leather Link wraps.

watchOS 7

The new hardware will be accompanied by watchOS 7. There are new watch face options, new health and fitness features, sleep tracking, automatic hand washing detection, and new workout types.

Also new is Family Setup. It extends Apple Watch to the entire family by allowing kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone to benefit from all it has to offer.

Pricing and availability

  • Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) starts at $399 and Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) starts at $499.
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 27 other countries and regions.
  • Apple Watch Series 6 (GPS + Cellular) is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and 21 other countries and regions.
  • Apple Watch Nike is available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18, in the US, Puerto Rico, and more than 27 other countries and regions. For more information, visit apple.com/apple-watch-nike or nike.com/applewatch.
  • New Apple Watch bands are available to order today from apple.com and in the Apple Store app, with availability beginning Friday, September 18. Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop in (PRODUCT)RED will be available in late October. Solo Loop and Braided Solo Loop are compatible with Apple Watch Series 4 and later.
  • watchOS 7 will be available for Apple Watch Series 3 and later on September 16, and requires iPhone 6s or later running iOS 14. Not all features are available on all devices.

Apps

Oceanic+ turns the Apple Watch Ultra into a dive computer

Available now

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The Apple Watch has come a long way. From its humble beginnings in a sweaty gym, Apple’s iconic wearable can now go deep underwater. Released earlier this year, the rugged Apple Watch Ultra promised unparalleled durability designed to withstand extreme conditions. Adding to this durability, the Apple Watch Ultra now has the new Oceanic+, a new app that turns the smartwatch into an operational diving computer.

Built through a partnership between Apple and Huish Outdoors, Oceanic+ melds the ease of use of an Apple Watch and the technical complexity of a diving computer. “People who know how to use an Apple Watch already know how to use this dive computer,” said Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors.

The app will display much-needed information for divers in a timely fashion. Before a dive, users can set surface time, depth, and gas. The app can then calculate their No Deco time, an essential feature for planning a dive. Divers can see this information even when they are underwater.

Further, after a dive, the app automatically collates and summarizes information to give users feedback regarding their dive including GPS entry and exit locations.

Users can easily operate the app even underwater using the Action button and the crown. Plus, the watch’s strong haptic feedback provides users with vibrations that can be felt even underwater. With limited sound underwater, haptic feedback becomes a necessary tool to alert divers of any important information as they come.

The Oceanic+ app is now available through the App Store. Most of the common functionalities are available through the free basic plan. However, more premium features — like decompression tracking, tissue loading, and a location planner — are locked behind a US$ 9.99 per month subscription.

SEE ALSO: Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and Review (Part 1)

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Over 5.4 million Twitter accounts have just been exposed

Beware of any fishy emails

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According to new owner Elon Musk, Twitter is enjoying record-breaking numbers as of late. If the billionaire’s claim is true, it’s time to beef up your Twitter account’s security. A leak stemming from earlier this year has exposed and exploited over 5 million accounts.

Back in July, the platform confirmed the leak but claimed that none were exploited. An API vulnerability reportedly caused the leak. Now, according to BleepingComputer, Twitter isn’t out of the woods yet.

Though the vulnerability has already been patched, the 5.4 million users affected by the leak have just had their private information leaked on a hacker forum. These details include both phone numbers and email addresses — information that isn’t usually readily available on the platform. The list of affected users even include celebrities and companies.

Thankfully, the leak doesn’t give outright access to an affected user’s account. However, it gives malicious parties some information to work with. Needless to say, if you receive any suspicious emails, take a gander before clicking any links, especially those that ask for your password or any other sensitive information. Also, it might be a good idea to beef up your security with two-factor authentication, just in case.

That said, 5.4 million users is just a drop in the bucket for a massive platform like Twitter. Though it’s not impossible, it’s more likely that your individual account is safe from any of the current chaos. Still, keep your accounts safe.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is working on encrypted DMs and video calling

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Galaxy S23 leaks in FCC filing

Battery revealed

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Though it seems like a long time from now, January and February are just around the corner. As always, the beginning months of 2023 will start off the releases for next year’s smartphones. As such, it’s time to take a look at what’s coming for 2023. Right on time, the Galaxy S23 series has recently popped up in an FCC listing, spoiling a few details about the upcoming flagship.

Via MySmartPrice, the Galaxy S23 5G and Galaxy S23 Plus have made their way to America’s Federal Communications Commission. Naturally, the official listing reveals a few details ahead of the flagship’s official launch early next year.

Specifically, the Galaxy S23 will sport a 3900mAh battery. Meanwhile, the S23 Plus will have a larger 4700mAh battery. The transition from the regular variant to the middle tier is a big one, pushing the latter by almost 1000mAh. Unfortunately, the third model — supposedly the Ultra — has not made an appearance, leaving the most premium one in the dark.

Ahead of the launch, the upcoming flagship has already had some of its spec list spoiled. For example, Qualcomm has confirmed that the series will exclusively use Snapdragon chips, instead of a balance with Exynos chips.

Thankfully, the wait isn’t long for more details. Samsung is reportedly scheduled to launch the series in early February.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm: Galaxy S23 series will not use Exynos at all

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