Apple Watch may help find your watch, track your sleep, and monitor your blood sugar

Apple Watch soldier
The Apple Watch may be the undisputed king of smartwatches, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect — a particularly big annoyance we encountered in our review were third-party app slowdowns and crashes. Thankfully, 9to5Mac reports that a forthcoming update should remedy those issues and others with enhancements to fitness and health tracking, a new watch-finding app, and a range of other fixes aimed at stability.

As Apple works towards the release of tools later this year for native, hardware-accelerated Apple Watch apps, a source tells 9to5Mac that Apple will open complications — the tiny date, weather, and battery life widgets on watch faces — to third-party tinkering. According to the report, the Cupertino-based company’s been working with Twitter on an unread tweet counter icon.

It’s unclear exactly to what degree users will be able to customize complications and just how they’ll go about obtaining new ones. Right now, the Apple Watch lacks a storefront for watch faces and limits the degree to which complications can be changed — it’s implausible that, at least initially, getting new complications will require downloading entirely new watch faces.

The addition of “Find My Watch” looks to address the glaring absence of watch-finding functionality. Just like the app Google recently introduced on Android Wear, Find My Watch will let users lock, wipe, and track their wearable. Intriguingly, though, it goes a few steps further than comparable implementations — a feature known as “Smart Leashing” will notify users if their Apple Watch loses connectivity with a paired iPhone. It’ll also somehow rely on Wi-Fi to pinpoint its location, although that functionality might debut with a second-generation Apple Watch — it reportedly requires a wireless chip more capable than the one found in current-generation models, 9to5Mac says.

Separately, Apple’s beefing up the watch’s wellness capabilities. The company’s been experimenting with arrhythmia detection features that would notify a wearer in the event of an irregular heartbeat, but for now has put those functions on hold over liability and regulatory concerns. (The FDA published guidelines in January suggesting smartwatches that diagnose and treat illness would be subject to increased scrutiny).

Apple also planned to add oxygen-saturation tracking and blood-sugar monitoring, but opted to incubate the necessary sensors for a future model. In lieu of those, though, sources tell 9to5Mac a future update will bring blood-pressure monitoring and sleep tracking to the Apple Watch.

Sadly, a timeline for the aforementioned updates is nonexistent, but considering the close proximity of WDDC, a preview of a few of the new features — and if we’re especially lucky, a release date or developer preview — isn’t entirely unlikely.

Product Review

Apple brought ECG tracking to consumers. Withings is making it affordable

The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $400, and the highlight function is the electrocardiogram, which has the potential to save lives. Withings’ new Move ECG has the same capability but at a fraction of the cost.

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.

Alphabet’s health watch monitors your heart health, is approved by the FDA

A health monitoring watch being developed by Alphabet, Google's parent company, has received clearance from the FDA as a medical device. This means that the device has been found to be safe and can legally be sold in the U.S.

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.