Archive for January, 2016

Leaked iPad Air 3 case images hint at Smart Connector support, rear camera flash, and more

Apple CEO TIm Cook iPad Pro

A new leak spotted by Macoatakara that first appeared on an Alibaba site appears to hint at some potential changes coming with the iPad Air 3. Earlier this month, Mark Gurman reported that Apple announce a new version of the iPad Air at a March press event alongside new Apple Watch models. Now, a leaked case design suggests some of the potential new design changes that the iPad Air 3 could feature when it launches to the public.

The first thing you’ll notice in the image below is that there appears to be a cutout for the Smart Connector. Apple first introduced this connection with the iPad Pro, using it for a more stable and reliable connection for things like keyboards. This case leak suggests that Apple plans to add the Smart Connector to the iPad Air lineup with the March revision.

Another change is that the camera cutout on the back of the case appears to extend further down, perhaps hinting that the iPad Air 3 will gain support for rear camera flash, a feature the iPad Pro does not have. Finally, the leaked images appear to show holes for four speakers, a change that was first reported earlier this month.

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Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported last month that the iPad Air 3 would not feature support for 3D Touch due to a production error. Of course, the iPad Pro doesn’t have support for 3D Touch either.

Case leaks are something that should also be taken with a hint of skepticism, as sometimes case makers build designs off of rumored features without any confirmation from Apple itself. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see another source potentially corroborating otherwise sketchy reports.

The iPad Air 3 should launch in March alongside the iPhone 5se and new Apple Watch variants.

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Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple, case, iPad Air 3, leak, rumor

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Chance Miller

January 31st

Apple

Mac

Quick tips to speed up your home Wi-Fi and improve coverage

Home Wi-Fi Signal Tips Tricks

I can’t remember the last time I asked someone for an Ethernet cable to plug into a computer so I can get some decent Internet. Even a spotty Wi-Fi connection wouldn't drive me to do it. I’d just enable the mobile hotspot feature on my smartphone and hope for the best. But there are ways of improving your Wi-Fi connection at home without spending extra on Internet speed. In fact, paying your ISP more money is probably the last thing you should do if you want to fix your Wi-Fi.

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Chris Smith

January 31st

Uncategorized

Save on more than two dozen Schlage smart locks right now

Schlage Locks

Look, it's 2016 and just about everything in and around your house can be modernized. Your refrigerator, your dish washer, your toaster, your bed, your lamps... they can all be "smart" now and connect to each other. But you don't have to dive head first into the "Internet of Things" trend in order to benefit from modern advancements in home technology.

Here's a perfect example: Schlage offers a number of smart locks that let you gain entry to your home without the need for a key, and more than two dozen of them are on sale right now on Amazon.

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Maren Estrada

January 31st

Uncategorized

Apple asks FCC to recognize Made For iPhone hearing aids to encourage accessibility innovation

Screen Shot 2016-01-30 at 12.03.40 PM

Apple recently has filed a new document with the Federal Communications Commission in which it argues that Made for iPhone, or MFi, accessories should be acknowledged by the organization as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance. Recently, the FCC has proposed that all phones and consumer wireless devices must be compatible with hearing aids.

In response to the new proposal from the FCC, Apple says that all products that fall under its MFi hearing aid standards already comply with the FCC’s hearing aid compliance regulations. Apple argues that Made for iPhone hearing aids are already available to consumers everywhere, thus making them a valid alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement (via MacReports).

In its FCC filing, Apple touts that its MFi hearing aid platform offers a better experience than traditional hearing aids, while noting that recognizing the platform as an alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement would further the development of new and improved ways to better  handset accessibility:

Apple is driven to make its devices truly accessible, and believes that consumers with hearing loss deserve a better experience than what traditional hearing aid compatibility technologies offer today. iPhones comply with existing HAC rules. But as the Commission has recognized, Apple has also invested heavily to improve accessibility by developing a new hearing aid platform that relies on Bluetooth® technology.

Apple believes that this Made for iPhone (“MFi”) hearing aid platform represents a substantial improvement to consumers over devices that are deemed accessible by today’s HAC rules. In order to encourage innovators to develop new and better ways to improve handset accessibility, the Commission’s rules should recognize solutions such as the MFi hearing aid platform as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance.

Finally, Apple notes that the FCC should focus in the future on “qualitative assessments” rather than its current interface-based assessments to “create meaningful solutions.” You can read the full FCC filling from Apple here.

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Filed under: iOS Tagged: Apple, FCC, hearing aids, MFi

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Chance Miller

January 30th

Apple

Mac

Jeremy’s 5: Enblue’s W3iPro Kit, Olloclip’s Studio, AAXA’s P5, Apple Innovation + Apple VR

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Welcome to the latest edition of Jeremy’s 5, my latest roundup of 5 interesting little things that aren’t big enough for full articles, but are still worth sharing with you.

This week, I’m looking at Enblue’s iPad Pro upgrade kit for an excellent multi-device dock, Olloclip’s Studio accessory bundle for iPhone photographers, AAXA’s P5 video projector, Apple innovation/execution in 2016, and the likelihood of an Apple virtual reality solution in the near future…

1. Enblue’s W3iPro Upgrade Stability Kit for iPad Pro. Last August, I reviewed and loved the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch dock Premium One W3. To increase W3’s appeal to iPad Pro owners, developer Enblue has come up with a $49 glass base that attaches to the bottom of the W3, primarily “to increase the stability.” I’ve been testing the W3iPro Kit over the last week, and although I would certainly not call it necessary for the iPad Pro, it’s nice.

w3kit

Measuring 9.05″ by 7.08″ by 0.31″, it includes an acrylic recess in the front to hold an Apple Pencil, screws to attach the glass to the W3 base, and a larger rear support bar for the iPad Pro. I happen to use my W3 on a glass-covered nightstand, where it blends in even more than it might with other surfaces. It feels solid, looks nice, and adds a little more stability to the W3, though if you use the microsuction tape on W3’s bottom, the base unit is totally safe with even the large iPad Pro. Consider the W3iPro Kit largely for the cosmetics and Apple Pencil holder.

studio-3

2. Olloclip’s Studio for iPhone 6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus. Earlier this month, I wrote about the CES debut of Olloclip’s Studio ($90) — a brand new iPhone case bundled with a collection of camera accessories. I’ve had one in hand for a few days, and as a photographer, I like it, though I’m anxious to see Olloclip expand its own camera accessory collection to make Studio as powerful as possible. Olloclip already makes iPhone lens attachments, which work perfectly with Studio; now it could and probably should get into selling LED lamps and tripods, as well.

studio-1

Studio begins with Olloclip’s latest iPhone case in your choice of 6/6s or 6 Plus/6s Plus sizes. It’s clearly the very best case Olloclip has ever made, with ease-of-use and protection that are nearly up to par with a Speck CandyShell. The package also includes a nicely designed, useful finger/hand stabilizer grip, a so-so kickstand, easy-to-use vertical and horizontal tripod thread attachments, a basic wriststrap, and two coldshoe adapters that conceivably would let you mount a self-powered external LED fill-in lamp or flash system. Each of the accessories slides effortlessly onto a rear rail system to securely attach to the case, and you can use at least two at a time.

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I would call Studio a no-brainer if you want to use your iPhone often with a tripod or existing coldshoe accessory — it makes attachment and detachment of these common camera accessories as seamless as adding or removing an Olloclip lens. The fact that you don’t have to compromise on iPhone case quality or coverage when adding these accessories is fantastic, as well. But if you don’t already have a compatible lighting accessory or tripod, you might find the $90 entry price for the case to be steep; you can get Olloclip’s last-gen lens-ready case for only $30. I’m optimistic that Studio will grow in value over time: Olloclip has done a great job of building out its past accessory options, and I expect that Studio will be well-supported as well.

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3. AAXA’s P5. Last year, I had the opportunity to review two different AAXA pico video projectors — the $300 ST200 and the $450 P700 — both of which were decidedly more impressive at creating large, high-resolution video projections than smaller pocket-sized projectors such as Sony’s MP-CL1. This month, AAXA is shipping P5 ($400 MSRP, $352 online), a tweener model that offers twice the ST200’s power for only a small price premium. It’s a thick rounded-off square shape that occupies around 2/3 the physical volume of P700, a size that I’d call convenient but not hugely more convenient than P700. (The photo above makes it look comparatively smaller than it actually is.)

aaxap5-2

The P5 has a 300 Lumen DLP projector inside (twice the ST200’s brightness and a little under half the P700’s) while otherwise offering highly similar specs to the P700. P5’s native resolution is 1280×720, with two hours of promised battery life, now with the ability to easily swap batteries for extended play times. AAXA has kept the ports, controls, and menus highly similar, notably including a manual focus knob, keystoning and volume buttons, and a full-sized HDMI input. You give up a bit of speaker power and brightness versus the P700, but the difference isn’t night-and-day — P5 is bright enough to create up to a 100″ diagonal video projection in dim lighting conditions, with plenty of color at smaller screen sizes. It’s like an excellent featherweight boxer compared with the solid middleweight P700.

aaxap5-3

Normally, I’d give the P5 a full review, but in all honesty, it’s just a smaller version of the P700 with the same basic accessory bundle, pros, and cons — including the really-should-be-replaced tripod pack-in. The only major difference is that you’re paying less for less power, and going from an iPad mini footprint down to 2/3 of the size. Pick the model that best matches your budget, bearing in mind that while the P700 is a better overall performer, the P5 delivers slightly better value for its lower price.

4. Quick Thought #1 – For 2016, Apple Needs To Focus On Both Execution And Innovation. Some pundits have opined that Apple just needs to spend 2016 focusing on getting its house in order — improving the Apple TV’s, Apple Watch’s, and iPad Pro’s not-quite-finished software. Others have said that Apple desperately needs to come up with some major innovations to make its now leveled-off product lines exciting again. Who’s right?

I’ve had a lot of time to think about these topics over the past month, and my conclusion is that Apple needs to deliver heavily on both innovation and execution this year. Although it will make billions of dollars in 2016 no matter what it does, its long-term health now depends on a return to past form, when its events used to be exciting and “finished” products shipped in non-beta form. I can’t help but feel that the iPhone, iPad, and Mac have become stale. They’re all great devices, but they haven’t delivered industry-stunning breakthroughs in years. What new features they get seem not to work properly or impressively for at least a year, if not longer, and old features (hey, Siri) have become riddled with incredibly annoying issues. Another year of the same-old, same-old won’t be good for Apple, so I’m hoping to see some bona-fide excitement rather than more incrementalism throughout 2016.

5. Apple VR: I’m Not Holding My Breath. Following the lead of Oculus, Sony, Valve, Samsung and others, Apple is reportedly exploring virtual reality products — a category that has been under development for over 20 years by other companies. Yet apart from scattered patents and reports of secretive development, we’ve seen relatively few signs that Apple is actually planning to release anything in the VR category any time soon, or that it has something major to bring to the category Oculus has largely defined (but stands to lose to Sony over unrealistic pricing).

Based on what I’ve been reading, I seriously doubt that we’ll see any Apple-branded VR hardware for at least 2 years, probably longer. The company appears to be in the middle of staffing up for the project, rather than substantially finished with it, which would be necessary for near-term production. History suggests that it will let other companies trailblaze the category, only releasing dedicated hardware if and when the dust has settled. It certainly could release (or, via the App Store, embrace) a Samsung Gear VR-like “mount your iPhone on your face” enclosure earlier than that, but given the pace and apparent priorities of the company’s designers, I’d be surprised to see even an Apple-branded VR accessory for at least a year.

It’s never wise to rule Apple out — even when it’s sitting on the sidelines — but I can’t help but wonder whether other companies will spend the next year or two continuing to lock down the key technologies that make VR truly user-friendly. VR has been touted as the next frontier of computing for most of my adult life, but because the concept/medium/format literally depended on yet-to-be-perfected head tracking, display, and control technologies, it has made little to no impact on mainstream society. That looks set to change over the next couple of years, but while other companies have clearly invested in solving VR’s hardware and software challenges, Apple’s been focused on developing watches, cable boxes, and cars.

Is Apple missing out on something big with VR? Or won’t anyone care about it 2-3 years from now? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts below.

More From This Author

Check out more of my reviews, How-To guides and editorials for 9to5Mac here! I’ve published a lot of different topics of interest to Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users, as well as a personal gift guide for Apple fans, a great gift guide for iPhone users, a detailed gift guide for Mac users, and a separate gift guide for Apple photographers.

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Filed under: iOS Devices, Opinion, Tech Industry

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Jeremy Horwitz

January 30th

Apple

Mac

Downcast for iPhone adds CarPlay integration for enhanced podcast playback

CarPlay-Hyundai-Elantra-2017

There’s a new podcast app option for CarPlay fans out today: Downcast. The popular iOS and Mac podcast player updated today to add CarPlay integration, enhanced VoiceOver features, scrubber improvements, and lots of battery life and bug fix improvements.

Downcast wrote a bit on the app blog to talk about what to expect from the CarPlay integration:

Customization

CarPlay is meant to be safe and easy to use. To ensure that, Apple has limited customization of the UI. This is why you’ll find that most audio apps on CarPlay are quite similar. I can’t change the font, move labels around, add additional labels, or customize the now playing screen. These things just aren’t possible at this time, and that’s probably a good thing.

Limited List Items

Downcast limits lists in CarPlay to a maximum of 100 items. This is an arbitrary decision meant to control performance and improve safety. If this creates a problem for you, I suggest creating a playlist on your iPhone with appropriate episode inclusion settings to make a manageable list.

Downcast also limits lists in CarPlay to include only ready-to-play episodes. That includes those that are marked for streaming, are downloaded, or queued for downloading.

For the uninitiated, CarPlay is an infotainment feature in cars that lets supported iPhone apps project and control information on built-in screens.

Pro tip: you can remove Apple’s Podcasts app from the CarPlay Home screen and move Downcast to the front page by disabling Podcasts in the Restrictions section in the Settings app on iOS (as long as it’s the next alphabetical CarPlay app installed).

Downcast is available for iPhone plus Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. The podcast player is currently $2.99 for iOS/watch OS, and $7.99 on OS X. CarPlay integration is a free update to existing Downcast for iPhone customers. Find more apps with CarPlay integration here.

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Filed under: Apps Tagged: CarPlay, CarPlay apps, Downcast, Podcast, Podcasts

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Zac Hall

January 29th

Apple

Mac

Downcast for iPhone adds CarPlay integration for enhanced podcast playback

CarPlay-Hyundai-Elantra-2017

There’s a new podcast app option for CarPlay fans out today: Downcast. The popular iOS and Mac podcast player updated today to add CarPlay integration, enhanced VoiceOver features, scrubber improvements, and lots of battery life and bug fix improvements.

Downcast wrote a bit on the app blog to talk about what to expect from the CarPlay integration:

Customization

CarPlay is meant to be safe and easy to use. To ensure that, Apple has limited customization of the UI. This is why you’ll find that most audio apps on CarPlay are quite similar. I can’t change the font, move labels around, add additional labels, or customize the now playing screen. These things just aren’t possible at this time, and that’s probably a good thing.

Limited List Items

Downcast limits lists in CarPlay to a maximum of 100 items. This is an arbitrary decision meant to control performance and improve safety. If this creates a problem for you, I suggest creating a playlist on your iPhone with appropriate episode inclusion settings to make a manageable list.

Downcast also limits lists in CarPlay to include only ready-to-play episodes. That includes those that are marked for streaming, are downloaded, or queued for downloading.

For the uninitiated, CarPlay is an infotainment feature in cars that lets supported iPhone apps project and control information on built-in screens.

Pro tip: you can remove Apple’s Podcasts app from the CarPlay Home screen and move Downcast to the front page by disabling Podcasts in the Restrictions section in the Settings app on iOS (as long as it’s the next alphabetical CarPlay app installed).

Downcast is available for iPhone plus Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. The podcast player is currently $2.99 for iOS/watch OS, and $7.99 on OS X. CarPlay integration is a free update to existing Downcast for iPhone customers. Find more apps with CarPlay integration here.

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Filed under: Apps Tagged: CarPlay, CarPlay apps, Downcast, Podcast, Podcasts

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Zac Hall

January 29th

Apple

Mac

Speck’s CandyShell Clear lets users choose the right time to upgrade their iPhone

Speck-candyshell

Apple’s Q1 2016 earnings results were historic in more ways than one. While Apple’s revenue during the holiday quarter was an all-time record for the company, Apple did indicate that iPhone unit sales would drop year-over-year for the first time next quarter. “We do think that iPhone units will decline in the quarter,” Cook told investors on this week’s call, though observers are quick to point out that this may not be a negative outcome. This simply raises the question: why?

Perhaps users are holding out for the iPhone 7 after the comparatively minor iPhone 6s launch was Apple’s sole-iPhone debut in 2015. Another possibility, however, is that people are holding on to their older devices longer because protective case accessories allow iPhones to last longer.

Indeed, Cook did tell investors on the call that the existing iPhone 5s “continues to do quite well” and that 60% of active iPhone users are using models older than the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which were launched in the fall of 2014. That means that only 40% of iPhone users are working with the latest form-factor found with the 6 and 6s lines.

With all that in mind, cases such as its the CandyShell Clear from Speck Products contribute to older models lasting longer, giving consumers a way to stretch their dollars until their next upgrade. Speck created a case packed with protective features and a slim design to help consumers get the most out of their iPhone. The following are the features of the CandyShell Clear that help it stand out from the competition:

  • Completely clear iPhone 6 case with two layers of next-generation clear material that resists UV yellowing.
  • Military-grade drop protection. Certified to meet or exceed MIL-STD-810G drop test standards.
  • Patented one-piece, multi-layer design. Patented design provides two layers of protection. Exterior polycarbonate layer disperses impact while interior TPE layer absorbs shock.
  • Patented raised bezel screen protection. Bezel rises above screen to guard glass from direct drops onto phone face and prevents screen from scratching when laying flat.
  • Precision-engineered slim fit. CandyShell Clear protects iPhone 6 without adding unnecessary bulk.
  • Perimeter port and camera protection. TPE liner protects ports from drops without compromising sound or photo quality.
  • Lab-tested durability. Durability testing against extreme temperatures, cracks, and abrasions.
  • Responsive button protection. Rubberized covers shield volume and power buttons while keeping them fully accessible.

Critically, using a case gives users a position of power to dictate when they can want to update, allowing users to wait until the next model instead of having to upgrade mid-cycle due to a broken device. Even with the exciting iPhone 7 launch this fall, users may be inclined to hold on to their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus if their phone keeps working properly thanks to a protective case.

While many readers are early adopters who will spring to purchase an iPhone 7 regardless of the condition of their current smartphone, there is a large percentage of the market that is clearly content with using an older iPhone model so-long as it continues to properly function. With cases such as Speck’s CandyShell Clear, this may continue to be the situation for years to come, and these types of protective cases also ensure that it’s the user, not potential damage, who indicates the right time to upgrade.

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Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: best protective case, clear case, iPhone 5se, iPhone 7, protective, shell, Speck, Upgrade

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Sponsored Post

January 29th

Apple

Mac

Apple reportedly building secret research team to develop virtual and augmented reality tech

During this week’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook answered a question on virtual reality by saying “I don’t think VR is a niche…It’s really cool and has some interesting applications.” It looks like Cook’s statements have some background to them. According to a new Financial Times report, Apple had reportedly been prototyping VR headsets in the past under Steve Jobs in the mid-2000s, but the project was eventually abandoned once the technology was found to still be immature. With new acquisitions and a dedicated VR team, the effort is said to be once again a new focus.

Apple has been going on a hiring spree in the world of virtual reality as of 2013 with their acquisition of PrimeSense. Reportedly the VR/AR research unit at Apple has hundreds of staff from multiple previous acquisitions including past employees from Microsoft’s HoloLens team as well as Lytro.

With their latest acquisition reportedly being Flyby Media, a company that worked with Google in developing some of the 3D positioning software for Project Tango, it looks like Apple is reinvigorated to taking this new direction seriously.

This has been an interesting two-weeks behind Apple’s VR news as Doug Bowman, a top virtual and augmented reality researcher, was recently hired by Apple to help expedite the efforts for the platform. Although Apple’s Jony Ive told the New Yorker that the face was the “wrong place” to put technology, the secret research unit at Apple is said to have been building prototypes of possible headset configurations in the past several months.

In regards to the face being the wrong location for the technology, it’s worth noting that Apple was also hiring hardware engineers to work on display and projection systems for VR environments. Although consumer VR has relied on headsets in the past few years, there’s no reason pieces of these technologies can’t be brought to other environments that implement VR in smaller ways. A year ago Apple was also reported to have been developing a 3D iPhone display.

The report goes on to claim that Apple is moving foward by building out the secret VR/AR team at the company. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac’s Chance Miller opined about the state of VR and how Apple should increase its role in the space. Now it looks like that may actually be a reality. You can read the full report here.

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Filed under: iOS Devices, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple, AR, Augmented reality, Doug bowman, Flyby Media, iOS, Jonathan Ive, Lytro, Microsoft, Project Tango, Tim Cook, Virtual reality, vr

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Greg Barbosa

January 29th

Apple

Mac

How-To: Automate weight logging w/ the Health app using Siri, Workflow, or a smart scale

iPhone on table showing Health app screen listing out steps, weight, and water

When news came out that Apple was working on a dedicated Health dashboard app, which would offer a way to take healthcare monitoring mobile, I was extremely excited. I had been recently diagnosed with traumatic arthritis in my knees and I needed a better all-in-one system to track my steps, weight, and BMI. None of the other apps on the market at the time seemed to do any one of those three especially well. Apple’s Health app has since become my go-to app for everything I wanted to log and more. It’s not perfect, but it’s a built-in dashboard with tie-ins to plenty of iOS apps.

Within a few weeks of using Health, I soon realized I wanted a better way to automate inputting data into the system. I eventually came to a methodology that worked great for me and decided it was time to share three of the different ways you can automate quickly logging your weight into the Health app.

Workflow

Before I decided to make the plunge into purchasing a smart scale, I knew I wanted to start taking advantage of automating my weight tracking immediately. Many of the other apps that existed out there made the steps to get in and actually log weight just too cumbersome and complicated for what I really needed. This is where Workflow delivered for me.

Workflow (currently $2.99), released a little over a year ago, is an Automator-like tool for iOS. You’re are able to combine different actions together to create something akin to small apps, a workflow. When Workflow was first released, I knew I would be able to use this to log my weight without having to rely on an expensive smart scale. If you’d like to get started using the workflow I created, open this link on your iPhone after installing Workflow.

Showing Workflow automation tool for Log My Weight workflow

For this particular workflow, I only needed two actions: ‘Ask for Input’ and ‘Log Health Sample’. Once they were added in, I then changed the workflow’s settings so that it was set to a ‘Today Widget‘ and ‘Apple Watch‘ workflow. From there, every morning I would wake up, walk to my basic bathroom scale (an older version of the Sunbeam Easy Read Dial scale), and then log my weight directly from Notification Center or my Apple Watch.

Logging weight using Log My Weight workflow from the Notification Center

Siri

Want a less robust but free automation solution? A bit of a hidden feature of Siri in iOS 9 is the ability to be reminded of whatever is currently in context in any given supported app. For example, I could be looking at an iMessage thread, activate Siri, and say “Remind me about this in 15 minutes.” It would then create the reminder for me as expected, but it also includes a direct link back to that Messages thread.

Looking at my current weight data within the Health app's weight section Telling Siri to remind me every morning about logging my weight at 8:30 AM

This becomes especially useful for remembering to actually log your weight. The biggest problem I had at the start of my whole weight-logging experiment was that I frequently forgot to log it every morning. The more data you log, the more interesting trends will be. To mitigate this, I opened the weight section under the Health app and told Siri “Remind me of this every day at 8:30 AM”. Now when the reminder comes in the morning, I can just launch directly into the Health app from the reminder and input my weight in the correct section.

For those that have configured weight-logging using the Workflow app from above, using Siri here is also a great way to bring it one step closer to full automation since you can build them both together.

How To: Log Weight (Siri - Workflow)

Smart Scale

After nearly a year of logging my weight using a mix of these automation methods, I eventually decided it was time to upgrade this process and get a smart scale. I wanted to get a more precise read-out of my weight changes than just relying on a basic scale.

Apple has listed the Withings Smart Body Analyzer under its health accessories for the a long time, and with good reason too. Although our primary focus is on weight logging, the Withings scale includes a cornucopia of other features including air quality monitoring and heart rate measurements. The most attractive part of this scale for me was the fact that it also supported logging multiple family members, up to eight different users. It’s a great way to get the whole family more aware of their health in general. Another popular alternative smart scale is the Fitbit Aria which has the advantage of integrating directly into the Fitbit ecosystem, while the Withings solution speaks to Apple’s Health app using HealthKit.

Using the power of Workflow, Siri, and a smart scale, it becomes extremely easy to start recording health data and monitoring what it means for your well-being. With all these methods mixed together, I am now logging three major health points. With the smart scale I log my weight and BMI, and with Siri and Workflow, I am logging my caffeine and water intake as well.

How are you using the Health app in your day-to-day life? What tools and accessories are you using to make logging the data more useful? I’m always looking for new ideas, so let us know in the comments below!

Workflow is available for $2.99 in the App Store and is compatible with iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch (Health is only available on the iPod touch and iPhone). The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is available now for $99.99 in black or $149.99 in white, and the Fitbit Aria is available for $119. For those looking for just a basic (non-smart) scale take a look at the Etekcity Digital Body Weight Bathroom scale ($18.48), the BalanceFrom High Accuracy Premium Digital Bathroom Scale ($18.95), or the EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale ($24.95).

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Filed under: How-To, Apple Watch, Apps, iOS, iOS Devices, Tips and Tricks Tagged: Apple watch, Automation, Health, Healthbook, HealthKit, iOS, iOS 9, iPad, iPhone, Notification Center, Siri, Withings, Workflow

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Greg Barbosa

January 29th

Apple

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