Apple Releases WatchOS 2.0.1 Update for Apple Watch With Multiple Bug Fixes

Apple today released a new software update for the Apple Watch, upgrading watchOS 2 to version 2.0.1. The update comes one month after Apple first released watchOS 2 to the public with new features like Nightstand mode, native apps, new watch faces, and more.

The 2.0.1 update 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 must have 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it must be in range of the iPhone.

This update contains new emoji characters, performance improvements, and bug fixes, including:

– Fixes an issue that could cause software updates to stall
– Fixes issues that were impacting battery performance
– Resolves an issue that prevented a managed iPhone from syncing iOS Calendar events to Apple Watch
– Addresses an issue that could prevent location information from properly updating
– Fixes an issue that could cause Digital Touch to send from an email address instead of a phone number
– Addresses an issue that could cause instability when using a Live Photo as a watch face
– Resolves an issue that allows the sensors to stay on indefinitely when using Siri to measure heart rate

The watchOS 2.0.1 update includes a whole slew of bug fixes, as listed above, and it also includes support for the new emoji also made available in OS X with 10.11.1 El Capitan and iOS with iOS 9.1.



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Twelve South’s New ‘Forté’ Apple Watch Stand Launching in Apple Stores

Twelve South today announced a new Apple Watch stand, called the Forté, that will let users display the wearable device in both portrait and Nightstand modes. The company built the new stand to mirror the aesthetic of the Apple Watch, with a chrome arm that holds the device at a 40 degree angle designed to easily read its screen on a bedside table. The bottom of the stand is also wrapped in leather, which Twelve South ensures will protect each Apple Watch band from scratching.

Like most other Apple Watch charging docks, the Forté requires users to use the MagSafe charger shipped with the Apple Watch to be able to charge the device. Twelve South also mentioned that users can rest an iPhone underneath the Apple Watch as a dual-action dock, but will of course need to provide their own Lightning charging cable to do so. Overall, the company called the new dock „the first full-featured Apple Watch stand worthy of the Apple Store.“

„From the shape and standards, to fit and finish, Forté is the first full-featured stand that you can find in Apple Store. The simplicity of Forté directly reflects the beautiful Apple timepiece, whether it’s placed bedside or on your bathroom vanity. We are thrilled to work with Apple Store to bring this incredible stand exclusively to Apple Store customers this Holiday season.”

The $59.99 Forté Apple Watch dock is available in all Apple Store locations in the United States and Canada starting today, with a plan to roll out its availability in other regions „in the coming weeks.“ Those interested can also, of course, buy the charging cradle directly from Twelve South’s official website.



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Nomad Review: The Pod is an Apple Watch Stand Made for Off-the-Grid Travel With its Built-In Battery

The Nomad Pod, with its built-in battery, is one of a small selection of Apple Watch stands able to offer functionality beyond simply holding the Apple Watch charger in a more accessible position. Priced at $60, the Pod is a compact, modern-looking Apple Watch stand that’s small enough to fit in a backpack or bag and able to keep the Apple Watch’s battery full when traveling away from the grid for a few days.

I’ve been testing the Pod for several weeks now to see how it stacks up against other Apple Watch docking options on the market, both as a travel companion and as a stand at home on my desk.

Setup and Design

The circular Pod is made up of two pieces: a plastic and aluminum base that holds the Apple Watch charger and cord in place, and an aluminum faceplate that snaps on over the base to hide the cord from view. The Pod is made from brushed aluminum in Silver or Space Gray that matches Apple’s MacBook, iPhone, and iPad lineups, and its minimal design will let it fit into almost any decor.

Size wise, the Pod fits into the palm of a hand and is quite similar to a hockey puck both in diameter and thickness. It can potentially fit in a generously sized pants pocket or a jacket pocket, but its thickness and round shape makes that less than comfortable. At one side, there’s a micro-USB port to charge the Pod itself, a button that activates the Pod’s charging function, and a 4-LED indicator for displaying battery life. It also ships with a Nomad-branded micro-USB cable.

The Pod’s setup instructions are overly simple, but setting up the Pod isn’t difficult. You can start by placing the Apple Watch charger in the cutout in the Pod, or by plugging the USB end into the Pod’s USB port. I recommend starting from the back, plugging the USB side in first. It’s a little tricky to get it lined up right, but it didn’t take me more than a few seconds to get it plugged in.

Once the USB side of the Apple Watch charging cable is in place, the next step is to wrap the cord around the outside of the Pod until there’s little enough cord left that the Apple Watch charger can be put in place through one of nine grooves. The Pod ships with a foam insert, which needs to be used with the stainless steel Apple Watch charger because it’s slightly thinner than the plastic charger the Apple Watch Sport ships with. That will make sure the Apple Watch charger sits flush with the Pod when the aluminum cover is in place.

With a 1m Apple Watch charger, winding up the cable around the base is no problem, but things are tricker with the longer 2m cord. With the longer cord, it needs to be wound very tightly or the aluminum cover won’t fit properly. For that reason, I’d recommend using this with a 1m Apple Watch charger. With either variety, 1m or 2m, setting up the Pod is a lot easier than the other battery-equipped Apple Watch dock I reviewed, the Boostcase Bloc. Since set up is relatively easy, it’s also not that much of a hassle to take the Apple Watch charger out when necessary.

Once the cord is wound up, the aluminum top piece of the Pod fits over the bottom part, hiding the cord from view for a neat, clean look. The cover snaps into place magnetically with two magnets, so it’s not going to come apart in a backpack, and at the bottom, there’s a rubber pad to hold it in place on a desk.

Due to the shape of the Pod, it’s only going to work well with open-loop bands like the Apple Watch Sport. It’s possible to use it with closed-loop bands like the Milanese Loop, but why spend the money on a stand that’s going to require it to be opened flat when there are so many others on the market? For most users, the hassle of having to fully open a closed-loop band to use with the Pod isn’t going to be worth it.

The Pod is not compatible with Nightstand Mode in iOS 9 because the Apple Watch needs to be flat to charge. That’s going to be a deal breaker for some users, but not everyone is going to want to use Nightstand Mode.

For charging, the Apple Watch sits atop the Pod, with the bottom lined up with the embedded Apple Watch charger. It’s simple to put the Apple Watch in the right position, and with the foam insert, my stainless steel Apple Watch had no problems charging on the Pod.

Battery Life

The Pod has an 1,800 mAh battery built in, which Nomad advertises as long enough to „get through a long weekend.“ That seemed about right in my testing. With the 38mm Apple Watch with a 205mAh battery, I got just over three full charges both times that I tested the Pod with a fully-charged Pod and an Apple Watch that had its battery drained.

The 42mm Apple Watch has a larger battery so the Pod may not give that device a full three charges, but most of us probably aren’t draining our Apple Watches entirely on a day-by-day basis.

With passthrough charging, both the Pod dock and the Apple Watch can be charged simultaneously using the aforementioned mini Nomad micro-USB dongle. The micro-USB dongle is somewhat useful when traveling to charge through a MacBook, but for home use, a longer micro-USB cable would have been preferable.

Without a longer micro-USB cable, there’s no way to charge the Pod while it’s placed on a desk or a nightstand. It needs to be removed from the desktop and charged via MacBook or a USB charger plugged into an outlet, a task that I found to be a hassle. I used a self-supplied micro-USB cable so it could sit on my desk and I unplugged it and moved it around as necessary for charging on the go.

The Pod’s wind-up design is nice because it hides the Apple Watch cable, but you’re still going to have to deal with a micro-USB cord or fuss with charging it through the included micro-USB dongle.

When charging an Apple Watch with the Pod when it isn’t plugged in, it’s important to make sure to press the button on the side of the Pod to activate it. Without the button press, it’s not going to charge the Apple Watch, something that I discovered after waking up to a dead device.

Bottom Line

The ultimate portable travel charger for the Apple Watch is the Apple Watch charging cable all on its own. It’s light, takes up little space, and when most of us travel, we have access to something to plug it into. That said, for someone who often goes camping or takes short trips where there is no access to power, the Nomad Pod’s built-in battery will keep the Apple Watch at full power.

For a lot of users, the Nomad Pod is not going to be a better solution than the Apple Watch charger paired with a higher-capacity standalone battery pack, because such a setup is a lot more versatile since it can be used to charge other devices. But for someone who wants portability, a built-in battery, and doesn’t want to hassle with a loose 1m or 2m cable, the Pod is a good solution.

Having the Apple Watch cord out of sight is a plus, but the Pod itself still needs to be charged, so you’re just exchanging one cable for another. The Pod’s micro-USB dongle is arguably less convenient to use than the Apple Watch cord plugged directly into a wall, but someone who likes the look of a cordless desktop might not mind charging the Pod every couple of days.

I would not recommend the Pod for Apple Watch owners who use it primarily with a closed-loop band like the Milanese Loop, because having to open up the band each night and close it again in the morning is an extra, unnecessary step when there are other stands and other portable charging options available. I would also not recommend it to anyone looking to use Apple’s Nightstand Mode, because it’s incompatible.

Pros:

Built-in battery
Clean, cordless look
Solid construction
Simple set up
Portable

Cons:

Micro-USB dongle is too short
Micro-USB dongle is easy to lose
No Nightstand Mode
Not easily compatible with closed-loop bands
1,800 mAh battery only works for 3 charges

How to Buy

The Pod can be purchased from the Nomad website for $59.95. It’s also available in Best Buy retail stores, but it’s better to buy from Nomad directly as the Pod is priced at $70 from Best Buy.



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Pad & Quill Debuts Traveler Case for iPhone 6/6s, Timber Nightstand for Apple Watch

Pad & Quill has unveiled a new Traveler bumper-wallet case for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus alongside a new Timber Nightstand for Apple Watch. Pad & Quill’s existing lineup of wallet cases, including the Valet Sleeve and The Luxury Pocket Book, are also compatible with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

The new Traveler case is handcrafted from American full grain leather, with an orange hand stitched accent, camera aperture opening, parachute grade stitching and two pockets on the back for holding cash and up to 6-8 credit cards or IDs. The cases ship in late September for $79.95 in Dark Chocolate or Whiskey Brown.

The new Timber Nightstand docks the Apple Watch in landscape orientation for Nightstand Mode on watchOS 2, and also has a slot for keys, extra watch bands or other jewelry. The nightstand, handcrafted from a single piece of hardwood, ships in 7-10 business days for $89.95 (American Cherry) or $119.95 (American Walnut).



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Apple Seeds WatchOS 2 Golden Master to Developers

Apple today seeded the golden master (GM) version of watchOS 2 to developers, which is the version of watchOS 2 that will be released to the public on September 16 alongside iOS 9.

watchOS 2 requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.

Today’s golden master release follows five developer betas of watchOS 2, which were seeded to developers from June 8 to August 6, when the fifth and final beta was released.

watchOS 2 is the first major update to watchOS, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 2 introduces several new features developers can use to improve their apps, including more efficient native apps that run on the watch itself instead of the iPhone. The new software also allows developers to access the Taptic Engine and sensors like the heart rate monitor, microphone, and accelerometer.

Thanks to the new tools for developers, Apple Watch apps will be more complex, full-featured, and faster. Other features in watchOS 2 include photo and time-lapse watch faces, third-party Complications, a longer screen activation time, Time Travel, and a Nightstand mode that’s activated when the Apple Watch is charging.



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watchOS 2 Launching September 16 for Apple Watch

Apple today at its „Hey Siri“ media event announced that watchOS 2 will be released to the public on September 16 for the Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition.

watchOS 2 was announced last June at WWDC and features native third-party apps, third-party complications, new watch faces, a landscape Nightstand alarm clock mode, Activation Lock, FaceTime audio calls, new health and fitness achievements, an improved Siri experience, expanded hardware access for developers and more.

This story is developing. Refresh for the latest updates from Apple’s September 2015 media event or follow our live blog.



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Apple Seeds Fifth WatchOS 2 Beta to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth watchOS 2 beta to developers for testing purposes, more than two weeks after seeding the fourth watchOS 2 beta and nearly two months after announcing the new operating system update at its 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.

watchOS 2 requires the iOS 9 beta to be installed and can be downloaded over-the-air using the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update. Caution should be used when installing this beta, as downgrading the software on the Apple Watch is not possible without help from Apple [PDF].

watchOS 2 is the first major update to watchOS, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. watchOS 2 introduces several new features that developers can use to improve their Apple Watch apps, including native apps that run on the watch itself instead of the iPhone. The software also allows developers to access the Taptic Engine and other sensors like the heart rate monitor, the microphone, and the accelerometer for the first time.

With the new tools for developers, Apple Watch apps will be more complex and full-featured. Other features in watchOS 2 include new watch faces (photo albums and time-lapse), third-party Complications, Time Travel, and a Nightstand mode that’s activated when the watch is charging, displaying the time.

watchOS 2 is currently only available to registered developers who have also installed iOS 9 on their iPhones. Apple plans to release the software to the public in the fall.



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Apple Seeds Fourth WatchOS 2 Beta to Developers

Apple today seeded the fourth watchOS 2 beta to developers, two weeks after seeding the third watchOS 2 beta and more than a month after announcing the new operating system update at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

watchOS 2 requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.

watchOS 2 is the first major update to the first version of watchOS, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. The new software brings many new features that Apple Watch developers can take advantage of, including native apps that run on the Apple Watch itself instead of the iPhone. It also allows developers to access the Taptic Engine and a number of other sensors in the Apple Watch, including the heart rate monitor, the microphone, and the accelerometer.

Along with these features for developers, which will lead to much more complex and full-featured third-party Apple Watch apps, the update introduces new watch faces (photo albums and time-lapse), third-party Complications, Time Travel for viewing upcoming events in a watch face Complication, and a Nightstand mode that’s activated when the watch is charging, displaying the time.

watchOS 2 is currently only available to registered developers who have also installed iOS 9 on their iPhones. Apple plans to release the software to the public in the fall.



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Duet Review: A Premium Two-in-One Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone [iOS Blog]

Given that the Apple Watch has an advertised 18-hours battery life based on mixed usage, chances are that you will be taking off the wrist-worn device each night to charge. Naturally, accessory makers have been quick to jump on the opportunity to create a wide variety of Apple Watch stands for docking the watch on your bedside table or elsewhere. Ahead, we take a closer look at one of them.

Antsy Labs has risen to the challenge with a Kickstarter project for Duet, a two-in-one stand for docking the Apple Watch and iPhone together. The stand is machined from a solid block of aluminum, in silver, space gray or gold, giving it considerable weight and a sleek design that closely matches the look of the MacBook, iPad, iPhone and other anodized aluminum Apple products.

I received a prototype unit of the Duet that I have been testing over the past week, and my first impressions are mostly favorable. Given that the Duet unit I received was part of a limited production run for members of the press, the stand has a few imperfections that will not be found on the final product. In particular, there are a few minor scuffs on the stand, and the finish isn’t as shiny as the unit that will ship to customers.

First and foremost, Duet’s built-in magnets allow you to attach the Apple Watch stand to the symmetrical iPhone dock or separate both pieces and charge your Apple Watch and iPhone separately. This multipurpose functionality is a major selling point for the stand, given that many Apple Watch and iPhone standalone stands and docks are available for considerably less than Duet’s future $99 price tag.

Duet has an aesthetically pleasing design that both looks and feels premium, and smartly placed cutouts along the stand’s arm and pedestal hide the Lightning connector and Apple Watch charging cables for a clean setup. The stand is quite heavy, and has suction pads on the bottom, allowing for one-handed removal of an iPhone or Apple Watch without the entire stand sliding or moving on most surfaces.

At the same time, one major concern I have about the Duet’s design is the lack of rubber inserts — like the Twelve South HiRise — to protect the Apple Watch against possible wear and tear. I just spent close to $750 on my stainless steel Apple Watch and shouldn’t have to be worried about scratching it or the charging puck, but I found myself worried more often than not. The potential for metal-on-metal contact was the Duet’s biggest downfall in my testing, although the Apple Watch does not physically touch the stand.

Overall, the Duet has a premium design and delivers multipurpose functionality as a two-in-one stand for Apple Watch and iPhone. The stand earns a favorable recommendation, but the lack of rubber inserts where the Apple Watch is positioned and expensive price tag are off-putting enough for me to suggest looking into alternatives as well. ElevationLab’s NightStand, for example, is a silicone Apple Watch stand that costs just $30.

Duet is available for a $79 pledge on Kickstarter, where it has already exceeded its $25,000 funding goal, and will retail for $99 after the campaign ends. The stand is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with or without a case. Antsy Labs plans to start shipping Duet to customers in July, but is striving to begin deliveries even sooner. Kickstarter rewards will be shipped towards August.





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