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Apple readies Transit subway, train + bus guides for iOS...

Yesterday, 02:38 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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Having originally planned to add a new transit directions feature to Maps last year, only to pull the feature before WWDC 2014, Apple now hopes to launch its Transit service with iOS 9, according to sources. Apple currently plans to debut bus, subway, and train route navigation as the central upgrade to the Maps app in iOS 9 at WWDC, using a user interface similar to the one intended for last fall’s launch, as depicted in the screenshots above…

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The Transit directions service would allow iPhone users to navigate mass transit via the official Apple Maps application for the first time since Apple removed Google as iOS’s official provider of map data. Sources said last year that the transit functionality for Maps includes larger icons for users to more quickly spot airports, subway stations, and train stations within the Maps app. In addition to the main functionality, there is also a trip planning feature for transit, and a new Transit view alongside the existing Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite/Flyover views.

Due to personnel issues, data inconsistencies, and coverage for only a small subset of Apple’s major markets, Apple decided to pull transit functionality from iOS 8 very late into development, sources indicate. The feature was apparently present in internal iOS 8 betas well into the summer of 2014, despite the lack of an announcement at last year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Since that time, however, Apple has refined the data, added new cities, and developed a new push notifications system that will notify users as new cities gain support.

In addition to refining its transit mapping service, Apple has also been making headway on its indoor mapping project. Apple intends to update iOS Maps to help users navigate major buildings, offices, and landmarks. While the feature may not go live this year, sources tell us that Apple is already mapping out its own offices in Cupertino. The company has let loose autonomous robots with iBeacon sensors, similar in size to iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaners, to collect data for its indoor mapping project. This comes in addition to its new van-based project to map out high-resolution street view footage.

Yesterday, we reported that iOS 9 will also include the new San Francisco font from the Apple Watch and potentially a new Home app to control HomeKit devices.


Filed under: AAPL Company, iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: app, Apple Maps, Apple watch, Eddy Cue, embark, flyover, Google Maps, indoor mapping, indoor maps, Mac OS X, mapping, Scott Forstall, transit directions, wifislam 380671 380671 380671 380671 380671 380671 380671 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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What to know before you buy the Apple Watch w/ Milanese L...

Yesterday, 05:01 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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I decided on the Apple Watch with stainless steel Milanese Loop band for a few reasons, but not before considering the benefits and drawbacks of Apple’s entire collection of straps and bands for Apple Watch. Budget will in many cases guide your decision, but going for the Milanese Loop was a no-brainer for me. There are a few downsides of the band compared to others, however.

Here are a few observations I’ve made after wearing it for the last couple weeks, including little talked about pros and cons you’ll want to consider before purchasing the Milanese Loop for yourself.

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1. It looks a bit different than in Apple’s press shots. I was a bit surprised that the link of the Milanese Loop doesn’t look like it does in a lot of Apple’s press shots, especially its overall presence once on the wrirst. To be fair, it looks closer to the shots Apple has on the product’s purchase page, but this is what it looks like in reality compared to Apple’s closeup shots that are used in some of the Apple Watch’s most prominent imagery:

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You can see that the way the link looks close up in Apple’s renders is quite different than how the band looks in the real world from a normal viewing distance.

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2. It won’t discolor or deform. It’s the only band that is truly resistant to scratches, deformation and discoloring, making it the most durable option among all the bands. Discoloration and deformation is a fact of life for those other materials and something Apple is warning about for its rubber and leather bands. The pricier stainless steel Link Bracelet is also not impervious to damage or wear and tear; like all link bands, it will get scratched and scuffed quite easily (also an issue Apple is anticipating and thus won’t be covering under warranty).

The Milanese Loop, however, with its busy, tightly weaved stainless steel mesh pattern, does an excellent job of resisting and hiding scratches. It also, like all stainless steel bands, won’t have any issue with discoloration, deformation or damage due to sweat and lotions.

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3. Pulling hairs. I did experience the tiny links of the band catching and pulling out hairs on my wrist from time to time, which likely won’t be an issue with the other bands.

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4. It becomes loose throughout the day. If you’ve ever researched watches with similar stainless steel mesh bands, you’ve probably heard complaints that they often come lose throughout the day with regular use. Apple Watch’s Milanese Loop has the same problem, and Apple’s magnetic closure, while making the watch super easy to get on and off quickly, doesn’t help. I found myself adjusting the strap to make it tighter several times throughout the day, especially during any physical activity.

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5. It’s not super comfortable. The stainless steel is definitely not the most comfortable watch band in the world, and with the band coming loose throughout the day, I wouldn’t recommend it for workouts or much physical activity. I’ll be switching to a black Sport band for fitness or long periods of activity (once it arrives).

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6. Breathability. One upside of the design in terms of comfort is breathability. Unlike any of Apple’s other straps, the weaved mesh of the Milanese Loop actually allows a bit of air to pass through, allowing you to stay cool and avoid sweating that is common with leather and solid stainless steel bands, for example.

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Should you buy it?

Even considering the pros and cons above, I’m still extremely happy with my decision. The durability, premium look of the stainless steel, and the price point relative to the other Apple Watch model options — it’s $300 less than the stainless steel link band — definitely outweigh the downsides of the band and of the other Apple Watch models.

If you are heavy into fitness and plan on using the Apple Watch for mostly workouts and physical activity, grabbing an extra Sport band like I did might be necessary to avoid the downsides that the Milanese Loop has in those areas. But if that isn’t in the budget, then the Sport band is probably the go-to option for athletes.

And just in case you’re curious, this is what the Milanese Loop band looks like on the Sport model:

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Filed under: Apple Watch, Reviews Tagged: Apple watch, breathability, comfortable, fitness, loose, magnetic closure, milanese loop, review, sport, Stainless steel 380816 380816 380816 380816 380816 380816 380816 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Artist Richard Prince cashes in on others Instagram photos

Yesterday, 07:13 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Instagram users, adjust your privacy setting and remember the name Richard Prince. Should he request to follow you, he could one day “appropriate” your pictures and make thousands of dollars off you. Prince featured 38 screenshots from his Instagram feed<span class="ellipsis">…</span><div class="read-more"><a href="http://www.cultofmac...m-photos/">Readmore ›</a></div><img width='1' height='1' src='http://cultofmac.com.feedsportal.com/c/33797/f/606249/s/4687faae/sc/15/mf.gif' border='0'/><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/a2.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/228765833939/u/3/f/606249/c/33797/s/4687faae/sc/15/a2t.img" border="0"/>

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Apple Store app on iOS updated w/ support for Touch ID...

Yesterday, 10:39 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
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After being updated with support for Apple Watch last month, the Apple Store app on iOS has been updated today with a pair of highly requested features. With today’s update, which bumps the app to version 3.3, users can now use Touch ID to view orders, access EasyPay receipts, and make reservations at retail locations.

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In addition to Touch ID integration, today’s update also adds support for two-step verification. This functionality appears to only apply when you place an order, however. Apple launched two-step verification more than two years ago, so it’s definitely nice to see the feature make its way to the Apple Store app on iOS.

Touch ID integration works as you would expect it to. The first time you launch the app after updating and try to view one of the protected sections, you’ll be prompted to enter your password. From there on out, however, you’ll have the ability to use Touch ID for tracking order status, viewing EasyPay receipts, and making in-store reservations.

Version 3.3 of the Apple Store app is available now for free.


Filed under: Apps, iOS Tagged: app, App Update, Apple Store, Touch ID, two-step verification, update, Updates 380945 380945 380945 380945 380945 380945 380945 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Apple Store App for iOS Updated Touch ID Support, Two-Ste...

Yesterday, 10:38 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple today updated its Apple Store app for iOS to version 3.3, adding additional security and convenience features to the app. There's now a "Touch ID" option in the Account section of the app that allows users to enable Touch ID for viewing orders, accessing EasyPay receipts, and making reservations at an Apple Store.

Previously, these sections of the app required an Apple ID password to be input whenever they were accessed, but now the app will ask for Touch ID verification in lieu of a password when Touch ID is toggled on. Before the update, Touch ID usage was limited to Apple Pay for making purchases, but with the expanded Touch ID capabilities, accessing various sections of the app to get order information is much quicker.

applestoretouchid.jpgAccessing features like EasyPay Receipts before update on left, after on right
Today's update also adds support for two-step verification within the Apple Store app.
What's New in Version 3.3
- Use Touch ID to view orders, access EasyPay receipts, and make reservations at an Apple Store.
- Support for two-step verification, giving you extra security for your Apple ID.
Apple's Apple Store app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]mf.gif


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Debunk: That’s not an iPhone 6C with Touch ID, new iPhone...

Yesterday, 06:37 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
<p><img title="Debunk: That’s not an iPhone 6C with Touch ID, new iPhones unlikely for August" class="aligncenter wp-image-380741 size-large" src="https://9to5mac.file...ng?w=704&h=217"alt="" width="704" height="217" /></p>
<p class="p1">No, that’s not an iPhone 6C with Touch ID, and Apple isn’t planning new iPhones for August…<span id="more-380898"></span><div class="inlinead"><a href="http://rss.buysellad...96&c=377099585"target="_blank"><img src="http://rss.buysellads.com/img.php?z=1288305&k=0d0633b70e3c2bda246a715efcc79f88&a=1432241696&c=377099585" border="0" alt="" /></a></div></p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">There is a lot of speculation right now that Apple might have leaked an upcoming device on the webpage for its new <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2...-ipads/">iPhoneLightning Dock</a>, while <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/21/kgi-iphones-august-september/" target="_blank">another report claims</a> the company has new iPhones on tap for debut in August. Bad news: both aren’t true.</span></p>
<p class="p1">The iPhone image showed what appeared to be an iPhone 5c with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor not yet included in the device (pictured above). That led to a long list of sites reporting that this might be the first look at a next-generation iPhone 5c model, but it’s not.</p>
<p class="p1">Sources confirmed that the image was <a href="http://9to5mac.com/c...hotoshop-fail/"target="_blank">just an incorrect render</a>, and that it doesn’t reflect any plans Apple may or may not have for an upcoming device. Although we have seen upcoming product images slip out in materials from tech companies before, rest assured that this is not one of those times.</p>
<p class="p1"><span class="s1">And the same sources had something to say about that <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2...ust-september/"target="_blank">rumored August introduction for new iPhones</a>. It’s not currently in the cards, and not something Apple is planning, so at this point it’s unlikely we’ll see new iPhones before the fall.</span></p><br />Filed under: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/category/aapl-company/'>AAPL Company</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/category/ios-devices/'>iOS Devices</a> Tagged: <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/august/'>August</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/debunk/'>Debunk</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/iphone/'>iPhone</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/iphone-5c/'>iPhone 5C</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/iphone-6c/'>iPhone 6c</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/iphone-lightning-dock/'>iPhone Lightning Dock</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/iphones/'>iPhones</a>, <a href='http://9to5mac.com/tag/touch-id/'>Touch ID</a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gocomments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/comments/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godelicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/delicious/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gofacebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/facebook/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gotwitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/twitter/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/gostumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/stumble/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/godigg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/digg/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/goreddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/"><img alt="" border="0" src="http://feeds.wordpress.com/1.0/reddit/9to5mac.wordpress.com/380898/" /></a> <img alt="" border="0" src="http://pixel.wp.com/b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&post=380898&subd=9to5mac&ref=&feed=1" width="1" height="1" /><p>Visit <a href="http://9to5mac.com">9to5Mac</a> to find more special coverage of <a href="http://9to5mac.com/category/aapl-company/">AAPL Company</a>, <a href="http://9to5mac.com/category/ios-devices/">iOS Devices</a>, and <a href="http://9to5mac.com/tag/iphone/">iPhone</a>.</p><p>What do you think? <strong><a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/05/21/debunk-iphone-6c-touch-id-iphones-august/#comments">Discuss "Debunk: That’s not an iPhone 6C with Touch ID, new iPhones unlikely for&nbsp;August" with our community.</a></strong></p>

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AT&T plans to drop two year contracts through third-p...

Yesterday, 10:30 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News

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We’ve confirmed that AT&T’s plans to stop offering two-year contracts through third-party retailers will also extend to Apple.

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Droid-Life first reported that AT&T was planning to drop its two-year contracts through third-party retailers starting June 1, and we’ve confirmed with several sources that the move will also kick in at Apple retail.

AT&T will continue offering phones on two-year contracts in its retail stores and through its website, but it will instead be pushing its no-contract AT&T Next installment plans through Apple and other third-party retailers like Walmart.

Apple is already well prepared for the transition, as the company started offering iPhones on AT&T Next plans through its retail stores and online last summer. Apple is also preparing retail employees for the change, according to sources.

AT&T wouldn’t comment directly on the news, but it said “Customers love AT&T Next, and we are continuing to focus on it as the preferred way that customers want to shop. We have 2 year plans available for those customers who choose them.”

The original report from Droid-Life claimed some third-party retailers would still technically be able to sign-up customers on a two-year contract, but that option means you won’t walk out of the store with the device and it will instead ship out from AT&T days later (essentially the same as ordering from AT&T online). It’s unclear if Apple will have that option once the transition is complete. Otherwise, AT&T Next monthly installment plans will be the only option for those signing up or upgrading at Apple and other third-party retailers. 


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple Store, AT&T, AT&T Next, installment plans, iPhone, retail, Subsidy, two-year contract 380934 380934 380934 380934 380934 380934 380934 b.gif?host=9to5mac.com&blog=22754319&pos

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Game devs keep it casual as they jump from console to mobile

Yesterday, 09:34 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Console game developers are trying to break into mobile, and they’re using casual genres to start with. When gamers hear about Insomniac Games, they might think of classic platform games like Ratchet and Clank, first-person shooters like Resistance: Fall ofmf.gif


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New 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro Lives Up to Apple's Cl...

Yesterday, 09:08 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
Apple's new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, unveiled on Tuesday, didn't include a processor upgrade due to Broadwell delays, but it did get a Force Touch trackpad and one other major improvement -- new PCIe-based flash storage that Apple says is 2.5 times faster than the flash storage in previous-generation machines, with throughput up to 2GB/s.

In benchmark testing conducted by French site MacGeneration [Google Translate], the entry-level 2.2GHz 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 256GB of storage lived up to Apple's claims, demonstrating impressive read/write speeds that topped out at 2GB/s and 1.25GB/s, respectively, in QuickBench 4.0.

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Those read/write speeds far exceed the read/write speeds achieved by the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Air, which also received faster flash storage that doubles the speeds available in previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Air machines. The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro's performance is similar to the 13-inch MacBook Air.

At speeds that reach 2GB/s throughput, the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has the fastest storage of any of Apple's notebooks. It took 14 seconds to transfer an 8.76GB file to the machine, compared to 32 seconds for the slower Retina MacBook. With small files, read/write speeds exceed a gigabyte per second.

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Like the 2015 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and 13-inch MacBook Air, the revamped 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro uses a solid state drive manufactured by Samsung. As noted by MacGeneration, it does not use the faster NVM Express SSD protocol that the 13-inch model was updated to, suggesting future machines could see even greater performance improvements with a swap to the next-generation protocol and with continued leaps in SSD technology.

Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro is available from the online Apple Store at prices that start at $1,999. The notebooks continue to use Haswell processors, but should see performance boosts due to the faster solid state drives.mf.gif


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Activité Pop Review: Hands-On With Withings' Simple a...

Yesterday, 08:27 PM

Posted By x-bot in iDevice News
The Apple Watch is fantastic because it lets you receive notifications, communicate with friends, access apps from your iPhone, and record a wealth of activity-related data, but it's also a device that requires a heavy amount of interaction. <br/> <br/> It demands that you look at your wrist when you receive a notification, it taps you on the arm when you're not standing up every hour, and it often reminds you about your fitness goals. It needs to be charged every night and it has to be taken off with every shower, so in short, it's not a device you can slap on your wrist and forget about. <br/> <br/> For that reason alone, not even taking cost into account, the Apple Watch is not a device that's suitable for everyone. There are many people who may prefer smart devices and activity trackers that require far less interaction and our Withings Activité Pop review is aimed at those people. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors...pplewatch2.jpg"alt="popnexttoapplewatch2" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451617" /> <br/> The Activité Pop is almost the exact opposite of the Apple Watch. Where the Apple Watch commands your attention, the Pop unobtrusively integrates itself into your life -- you don't need to charge it, it's waterproof so it can be worn at all times and never removed, and you only need to glance at it when you want to know the time or your progress towards your daily movement goal. <br/> <br/> <h2>Design</h2> <br/> The Activité Pop has a gender neutral design that harkens back to the simple plastic analog Swatch watches that were popular in the 80s and 90s. It's a modern take on a classic watch with clean lines and colors that fit a range of tastes: Bright Azure, Shark Grey, and Wild Sand. The Pop is monochrome -- watch faces match watch bands. <br/> <br/> With the blue watch, for example, the face and band are both blue, giving it an understated look that's not going to draw attention to your wrist. The available colors are benign enough to match most outfits, and the tasteful design doesn't stick out at the gym or at the office. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/activitepopface.jpg" alt="activitepopface" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451618" /> <br/> I have a small wrist (137mm or about 5.4 inches) and the Pop fit well (if a bit loose) on the second-to-last wrist band hole. The watch face did not look overly large on my wrist, nor did it look too small on someone with a larger wrist. I found it to be similar in size (33mm) to the 38mm Apple Watch, but slightly wider and shorter due to the round face. <br/> <!--more--> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/poponwristcloseup.jpg" alt="poponwristcloseup" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451622" /> <br/> The band is made from a supple silicone that's as pliable as the fluoroelastomer of the Apple Watch Sport, but not quite as soft. Inside, the silicone of the band is ridged, a design that seems to give it more stretch and flexibility. The watch casing is stainless steel with mineral glass covering the dial, and combined, the face and the band are light enough to be unnoticeable, even on a small wrist. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/activitepopridgedband.jpg" alt="activitepopridgedband" width="800" height="217" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451624" /> <br/> Compared to a standard watch, the watch face is thicker to accommodate both a regular watch battery and activity tracking components, but the thickness doesn't change the aesthetic and it isn't a hinderance on the wrist. Speaking of that battery, it will last for up to eight months. You never need to charge the Pop, a major benefit compared to many other activity trackers on the market that need regular charging. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/popbandcloseup.jpg" alt="popbandcloseup" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451621" /> <br/> After receiving the Pop, I put it on and I haven't taken it off since except to take pictures for the review. It's larger than competing activity tracking bands like the Jawbone UP or the Fitbit Flex, but it's comfortable enough to wear all the time, even when sleeping, showering, and exercising. I don't typically wear anything on my wrists, and the Activité Pop has been easy to adjust to. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/popapplewatchwrist.jpg" alt="popapplewatchwrist" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451619" /> <br/> I only experienced a slight amount of irritation to my wrist after sleeping on it with the Pop on, and after taking a shower when the band got somewhat damp underneath. The Pop is completely waterproof, so you can wear it swimming, in the shower, at the beach, or anywhere that it might get wet. <br/> <br/> <h2>Activity Tracking</h2> <br/> Wearing the Activité Pop on one wrist and the Apple Watch on another wrist for a week made me appreciate the unobtrusiveness of the Pop. While the Apple Watch sends me movement reminders on a regular basis and nags me to get up out of my chair on the hour, the Pop quietly tracks my movement during the day. <br/> <br/> There's a small dial on the watch face that measures progress towards a daily activity goal (which is customizable), but aside from that, all activity information is conveyed through the iPhone. The Pop connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth (setting it up and connecting it is a super simple process) and sends information to the accompanying <em>Withings Health Mate</em> iOS app whenever the iPhone and the Pop are near one another. <br/> <br/> I haven't minded opening up my iPhone to see detailed information on my movement and calories burned each day, but several of the available activity trackers on the market do offer displays that have the information right on the wrist, so the lack of a display is definitely a downside if you want to avoid having to check your iPhone on a regular basis. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/activitepopbiggerwrist.jpg" alt="activitepopbiggerwrist" width="800" height="530" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451625" /> <br/> At the top, front and center, the app displays steps taken each day and progress towards your movement goal. Tapping on that section of the app gives a more in-depth look, offering times you were active, distance traveled, calories burned, and a look at any exercise you did. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/withingsactivitytracking.jpg" alt="withingsactivitytracking" width="800" height="708" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451635" /> <br/> The Pop can automatically detect when you're active, determining your activity based on movement. If you go for a run, for example, it can tell you're moving faster and will record that movement as a run. This function isn't super sophisticated -- it doesn't know when you're doing yoga or cycling, but it's useful for walking and running. In a future update, it'll also be able to track swimming. <br/> <br/> You can get weekly overviews of activity in the app, and it will give you sad faces or smiley faces when you miss movement goals or beat them, along with tips to add more movement to your day. Detailed longer term tracking is not included, which is a downside. For people aiming to lose weight, there's a section for adding weight measurements (it integrates with the Withings line of connected scales if you have one of those), but calorie counting and food logging isn't available. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/withingsweeklysummary.jpg" alt="withingsweeklysummary" width="800" height="708" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451636" /> <br/> Like most of the activity trackers on the market, the Pop includes an accelerometer to track steps taken and uses the information to estimate calories burned and time spent exercising. Accurate movement tracking is something most people want from an activity tracker and this is one area where I had a slight problem with the Pop I reviewed. <br/> <br/> No wrist-worn activity tracker is going to estimate steps taken with 100 percent accuracy because we move our wrists on such a frequent basis even when immobile, but the Pop's movement estimates seemed on the low side, so I did some walk and run tests to compare it to other devices. <br/> <br/> During a five minute walk test comparing the Pop to a Jawbone UP and the Apple Watch, the Pop measured 475 steps, the Jawbone measured 583, and the Apple Watch measured 571. All three trackers were worn on the same wrist. <br/> <br/> In a five minute jog test, the Pop measured 903 steps, the Jawbone UP measured 997, and the Apple Watch measured 1,015. Results were similar in repeated activity tests, with the Pop measuring slightly fewer steps than the Apple Watch and the Jawbone UP. <br/> <br/> In office simulations that measured activity while sitting at a desk and getting up a few times for various tasks, the Pop was more accurate. Over two hours, it measured 97 steps, while the Apple Watch counted 102 and the Jawbone UP counted 88. <br/> <br/> Daily results between the Pop and the Apple Watch differed by a few hundred steps, but over the course of a day, the Pop's activity tracking capabilities are not so far off that it makes a huge difference when estimating daily activity level. If it's measuring 10,000 steps or whatever your daily movement goal is (you can customize this goal in the app), you're almost certainly hitting that amount of activity. <br/> <br/> <h2>Sleep Tracking</h2> <br/> Along with activity tracking, sleep tracking is another major feature of the Activité Pop. If you wear the watch while sleeping, it will monitor how often you get up and your light and deep sleep cycles, based on movement. As I mentioned before, the Pop is comfortable enough to wear at night, though it can be uncomfortable if you're a side sleeper that lays on an arm as I am. <br/> <br/> I monitored my sleep for several nights with the Activité Pop and a Jawbone UP to compare and contrast the two, and in my experience, the Pop's sleep tracking capabilities were inaccurate. The Pop was not very good at tracking the "falling asleep" phase, telling me that I fell asleep within two minutes every single night for three weeks straight, and while I wish I was such a solid sleeper, I'm not. <br/> <br/> The Pop wasn't sensitive enough to be able to determine when I got into bed. So during the falling asleep process, where I was tossing and turning to get comfortable, the Pop thought that I was still up and awake and did not begin monitoring my sleep habits until I was completely still. It actually takes me between 10 and 30 minutes to fall asleep each night, and for comparison's sake, the Jawbone UP was much better at accurately determining when I got into bed and when I fell asleep each night. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/withingsjawbonesleeptracking.jpg" alt="withingsjawbonesleeptracking" width="800" height="708" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451637" /><center><em>Sleep metrics from the Pop on the left, UP on the right</em></center> <br/> The difference between the two? The UP has a physical button to switch between sleep/wake mode, so you tell it when you get into bed. The Pop detects sleep automatically and its ability to determine when you're sleeping and awake is inadequate. <br/> <br/> It was also unable to tell when I woke up. I tend to wake up and transition to sitting at a desk to check email and messages in the mornings, leading the Pop to think I was still asleep. <br/> <br/> The Pop did accurately track the times when I got up for water during the night, and its movement tracking while I was asleep was similar to the data I got from the Jawbone UP. It's hard to tell whether the deep/light sleep times provided are correct, because I didn't feel noticeably different between a night when it said I got a just over an hour of deep sleep and a night where it registered five hours of deep sleep. <br/> <br/> Outside of a laboratory with sleep tracking equipment, there's no way to determine the accuracy of deep/light sleep data from any of the activity trackers. Even if the data provided by the Pop is correct, I'm not sure there's much I or anyone else could do with it. Knowing that I slept for 7 hours and potentially got 2:30 hours of deep sleep isn't information I can use in any way. <br/> <br/> <h2>Other Features</h2> <br/> Along with tracking sleep and activity, the Pop has a few other notable features worth pointing out. Since it connects to your iPhone, the time updates on a regular basis to match the iPhone's time, so it's able to adjust between time zones automatically. It readjusts a few times per day so the time is always accurate. <br/> <br/> It's also able to update through the iPhone, so Withings can deliver firmware updates on a regular basis to improve the function of the Pop. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/activitepopprimeimage.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451634" /> <br/> Through the app, it's possible to set an alarm on the Pop to wake you up in the mornings. When the alarm goes off, the Pop will vibrate 12 times, and unfortunately, there's no way to snooze or to turn it off. I don't need much help getting up in the mornings, so the inability to shut it off was frustrating. On the plus side, setting the alarm made the sleep tracking more accurate, as it knows you're awake once the alarm goes off. There's also a neat feature related to the alarm -- if you tap on the watch face, the hands will circle around to let you know what time it's set for. One other downside to be aware of: you can only set one alarm. <br/> <br/> The app also has an option to connect with friends for a "weekly step challenge" to motivate yourself to walk more. Connecting with friends adds a leaderboard that ranks who walks the most and it lets you sent messages to cheer friends on or taunt them. Not everyone will find this feature useful, but for those who are motivated by their social circle, it's nice to have. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/withingsinviteyourfriends.jpg" alt="withingsinviteyourfriends" width="800" height="708" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451638" /> <br/> The best feature in the app may be an surprisingly accurate tool for measuring heart rate through the iPhone's camera. Tapping the "+" button lets you enter weight, heart rate, or blood pressure, and if you choose heart rate, the app will instruct you to place your finger over the camera. <br/> <br/> Holding a finger over both the camera and the flash (which turns on automatically) lets the flash illuminate your finger so the iPhone camera can see blood flow, measuring heart rate. In comparison to both a Polar heart rate monitor and the Apple Watch, the app's measurements were almost always spot on, or close to it, as long as my finger was in the right position. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/heartratemonitoring.jpg" alt="heartratemonitoring" width="800" height="708" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451639" /> <br/> It's also worth noting that there's an Apple Watch app that accompanies the <em>Health Mate</em> app for the iPhone, though people are unlikely to be wearing both an Apple Watch and a Pop. It displays steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep. A Glance view also displays activity. <br/> <br/> <h2>Battery and Maintenance</h2> <br/> The Pop uses a standard CR2025 cell battery so it doesn't ever need to be charged, and in a world where we regularly have to charge several devices on a nightly basis, a watch that doesn't need recharging is refreshing. A single battery lasts for approximately eight months, at which point you'll need to replace it. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/activitepopbackaluminum.jpg" alt="activitepopbackaluminum" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451627" /> <br/> A CR2025 battery costs $5 on Amazon for a pack of 5, so the additional price of replacing the battery is negligible. You'll know to change the battery when the Pop no longer vibrates when the reset button is pressed or when the hands stop moving. Replacing it requires a small tool that ships with the watch, so you'll want to put that in a safe place. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/batterytool.jpg" alt="batterytool" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451628" /> <br/> Since it's waterproof, you can clean the Pop with soap and water if it gets dirty, and if you want to replace the band, Withings <a href="http://www.withings.com/us/pop-bands.htm">sells additional bands</a>. The come in a range of colors like Orange, Plum, and Teal for $39.99. <br/> <br/> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <br/> The Activité Pop is one of the most attractive activity trackers available on the market, setting itself apart from the average band with a classic watch face and a simple design that transitions easily from gym to office. <br/> <br/> In my testing, the Pop didn't seem to be as accurate as the Apple Watch and the Jawbone UP when measuring steps taken and distance traveled, but when it comes to activity tracking, most of us are aiming for an overall picture of health rather than a dead accurate step/sleep count, and the Pop delivers on that front. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/popinthebox.jpg" alt="popinthebox" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451629" /> <br/> Wearing the Activité Pop, you're going to get an overall idea of how much movement you're getting, how often you're exercising, whether you're losing weight, and whether you're getting enough sleep, which makes it just as useful as any other tracker on the market. Basic step tracking, sleep tracking, and exercise tracking is all most of us need to be motivated to add more movement to our lives. <br/> <br/> As a caveat, if you need accurate sleep tracking capabilities rather than an overall idea of how long you've slept, the Pop is not the band to buy. It was inaccurate for me and a quick Internet search suggests other people also found it to be inaccurate. <br/> <br/> <img src="http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2015/05/popnexttoapplewatch.jpg" alt="popnexttoapplewatch" width="800" height="600" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-451631" /> <br/> The Pop is not going to fit the needs of serious athletes who need heart rate monitoring, GPS, and other premium features, but for casual use, the Pop is one of the better choices you can make because you don't need to charge it, it requires no interaction, it's waterproof, and it has an app that's attractive and easy to use. It's more expensive than some competing products, but if it fits your aesthetic, it may be worth the extra money. <br/> <br/> Though it looks like a watch, the Activité Pop is not a smartwatch. It's an activity tracker that tells the time, and that's okay, because there are many people out there who simply don't need the complex interactions and notifications that devices like the Apple Watch deliver. <br/> <br/> <b>Pros:</b> <br/> <ul> <br/> <li>8 month battery life</li> <br/> <li>Simple, stylish design</li> <br/> <li>Waterproof</li> <br/> <li>Accurate heart rate monitoring through app</li> <br/> <li>Comfortable strap</li> <br/> </ul> <br/> <b>Cons:</b> <br/> <ul> <br/> <li>No display for quick info</li> <br/> <li>Basic tracking only</li> <br/> <li>Sleep tracking is inaccurate</li> <br/> <li>Underestimates steps taken/distance traveled at times</li> <br/> <li>Pricier than competing products</li> <br/> <li>No snooze for alarm</li> <br/> </ul> <br/> <h2>How to Buy</h2> <br/> The Activité Pop can be purchased from the <a href="http://www2.withings.com/us/en/store/details/activite-pop">Withings website</a> for $149.<img width='1' height='1' src='http://rss.feedsportal.com/c/35070/f/648326/s/46888f97/sc/28/mf.gif' border='0'/><br clear='all'/><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"/></a><br/><br/><a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/a2.htm"><img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/a2.img" border="0"/></a><br/><a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/ach.htm"><img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/ach.img" border="0"/></a><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/a2t.img" border="0"/><img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/228857897795/u/49/f/648326/c/35070/s/46888f97/sc/28/a2t2.img" border="0"/><div class="feedflare">
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