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WatchOS 9: Sleep Stages, Heart Rate Zones, More Coming to Apple Watch

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WatchOS 9: Sleep Stages, Heart Rate Zones, More Coming to Apple Watch

This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

WatchOS 9, the next major software upgrade for the Apple Watch, will bring many new ways to track your health. Apple previewed the update on Monday during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, where it showcased new fitness features for runners, better sleep tracking, an app for tracking medications and new watch faces. 

The announcement shows Apple’s focus on health and fitness as key selling points for the Apple Watch. The new sleep tracking and running metrics should help Apple close the gap in capability between its smartwatches and rival devices from companies like Fitbit, Samsung, Garmin and Oura. The update will debut in the fall for the Apple Watch Series 4 and higher. A developer preview is available immediately, while a public beta will launch next month. 

http://www.cnet.com/


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With WatchOS 9, the Apple Watch will gain new metrics intended to help runners better understand their performance and reduce risk of injury. These include vertical oscillation, stride length and ground contact time. A new workout view will let you see more information at a glance, such as segments, splits and elevation. 

Heart rate zones will give you deeper insight into the intensity of your workout in WatchOS 9. And a new multisport workout option will let triathletes easily switch between run, bike and swim tracking. Apple is adding a custom exercise option, too, that permits an interval workout that incorporates rest. 

Apple is also improving its sleep analysis by bringing Sleep Stages to its smartwatches. As the name implies, Sleep Stages will tell you how much time you spent in REM, core and deep sleep. Fitness trackers from Fitbit, Samsung and other companies have previously offered this feature, so this addition should bring the Apple Watch up to speed.

Read moreYour Apple Watch Will Soon Actually Track Your Sleep

WatchOS 9 will bring some improvements to atrial fibrillation detection. The Apple Watch will now be able to provide more context with a new feature called AFib history, which tracks frequency and other trends related to the heart condition. 

A new Medications app is coming to WatchOS 9. The app is meant to make it easier to log medicine and set regular reminders to take specific medicine and vitamins, even without an Apple Watch. You’ll be able to add medications by scanning a label or typing in the name manually. The app will show information about medication interactions too.

The update will bring four new watch faces and support for six new keyboard languages. The new watch faces are called Lunar, Playtime, Metropolitan and Astronomy. Other features include less distracting notifications when the Apple Watch is in use, new Quick Actions for answering calls or taking a photo with a double-pinch gesture and a redesigned dock that prioritizes apps currently in use. 

New software updates for Apple’s major products are usually the centerpiece of WWDC. Apple uses its opening keynote as an opportunity to drum up excitement for new features and updates before the software arrives later in the year. Although most of the conference is taking place virtually this year, Apple hosted a special event for developers and students on Monday at its Apple Park campus.

Apple has maintained its leading position in the smartwatch industry. Apple accounted for 36.1% of smartwatch shipments in the first quarter of 2022, representing an increase from 35.9% in the same period last year, according to Counterpoint Research. Apple snagged 28.9% of basic watch and smartwatch shipments in the first quarter of 2022, according to a report from research firm Canalys

http://www.cnet.com/


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To find out more about Apple’s major announcements at WWDC, check out everything we’ve learned about iOS 16 and MacOS Ventura.

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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