iPhone Life Magazine - - News - BY TODD BERN­HARD

This year, I was ex­cited to see Ap­ple de­but the Ap­ple Watch Series 4 (as well as a se­lec­tion of new iPhones) at its an­nual Septem­ber event. The Ap­ple Watch has come a long way since its ini­tial re­lease in 2015. Last year, Ap­ple added cel­lu­lar and GPS ca­pa­bil­i­ties, as well as a wa­ter-re­sis­tant de­sign (an ad­di­tion that mo­ti­vated many of us to up­grade). This year, I was happy to see fur­ther im­prove­ments to an al­ready in­cred­i­ble de­vice. With the Series 4, the com­pany fo­cused less on dra­matic new fea­tures and in­stead on en­hance­ments such as a 64-bit cen­tral pro­cess­ing unit (CPU), big­ger dis­play, smaller bezel, thin­ner chas­sis, louder speaker, and bet­ter sen­sors. But that doesn't mean the Series 4 isn't a dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent watch. Thanks to a built-in elec­tro­car­dio­gram (ECG) sen­sor, this gad­get is a health­care provider's dream—and one that fits on your wrist.


Along with the usual hard­ware im­prove­ments we've come to ex­pect from newer de­vices (e.g. a faster pro­cesser) Ap­ple added a num­ber of en­hance­ments con­nected to health and safety. The new watch fea­tures an en­hanced ac­celerom­e­ter and gy­ro­scope, mak­ing the watch pre­cise enough to de­tect falls. If the watch de­tects a fall, it can then dial 911 and share your lo­ca­tion (don't worry, it only does this if it de­tects you are im­mo­bile for more than a minute af­ter your fall). The Ap­ple Watch can also take an ECG read­ing us­ing sen­sors on the back of the watch as well as sen­sors in the Dig­i­tal Crown. If the watch de­tects a low heart rate, or ir­reg­u­lar rhythm (atrial fib­ril­la­tion), it will then send you an alert no­ti­fy­ing you of the ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. Ap­ple even earned clear­ance from the FDA (first of its kind) and had the head of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion, Dr. Ivor Ben­jamin, on stage to en­dorse the watch.


Com­pared to pre­vi­ous mod­els, the new Ap­ple Watch also has a more than 30 per­cent larger screen, thanks to a smaller bezel and a slightly taller frame, but the new watches are also thin­ner, so they take up less vol­ume over­all and lay flat­ter to your writst. And although new bands will be avail­able for the new watch, your old Ap­ple Watch bands will still fit the newer mod­els as well.

More con­tent is dis­played on your watch face with watchOS 5. The larger screen can ac­com­mo­date more com­pli­ca­tions (the tra­di­tional time­piece term for ex­tra in­for­ma­tion be­yond the time). One com­pli­ca­tion I liked is the op­tion to add pho­tos of your fa­vorite con­tacts right on your watch face so you can tap them to con­nect. Ap­ple will sup­port third-party app con­tent, in­clud­ing graph­ics, di­rectly on the watch face, such as flight board­ing in­for­ma­tion, stock scores, and heart rate.

The Fu­ture

Just as Ap­ple's iPhones are get­ting larger, so is its Ap­ple Watch. As users de­pend more on these de­vices, the abil­ity to view more con­tent be­comes more im­por­tant. In both the case of the new iPhone mod­els and the Ap­ple Watch Series 4, Ap­ple has man­aged to add more screen real es­tate while re­duc­ing the bezel, so the ex­tra screen size doesn't add sig­nif­i­cantly to the over­all size of the de­vice.

The en­hance­ments to the Ap­ple Watch are wel­come and could make car­ry­ing around an iPhone less im­por­tant over time. A cel­lu­lar-con­nected Ap­ple Watch with a larger screen is now more in­de­pen­dent and more use­ful than ever be­fore, not only for your ev­ery­day com­mu­ni­ca­tion but also for your health.

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