tvOS 11.3 for Apple TV now available with AirPlay & frame rate matching improvements

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Aside from dropping iOS 11.3, Apple today also released tvOS 11.3 for Apple TV…. Read the rest of this post here


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Apple Watch heart rate, activity data key in Australian murder case

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Activity data recovered from an Apple Watch will be reportedly become key evidence for the prosecution in an Australian murder trial.
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tvOS 11.3 for Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K now available, adds frame rate matching to fourth-gen

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Apple has released tvOS 11.3 for both Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K. For Apple TV 4 users, the new update includes frame rate matching features that were previously only available on Apple TV 4K. Read on to see changes discovered (and removed) during the beta period:

more…

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Kuo: MacBook Shipments Will Grow at a Higher Rate This Year Than iPhone and iPad

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Reputed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims in his latest note that Apple’s MacBook line will grow at a higher rate than its iPad and iPhone lineup. Continue reading
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The HeartMonitor app tracks your heart rate continuously without starting an active workout

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Due to power concerns, Apple Watch does not monitor your heart rates continually…. Read the rest of this post here


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Best External Heart Rate Monitors for iPhone and Apple Watch

What external heart rate monitor should you get for your Apple Watch or iPhone?

The Apple Watch has an excellent oximeter-based heart rate monitor for tracking your day and basic workouts, but it’s not perfect for more endurance or weight-based activities.

For one thing, that monitoring comes at the expense of battery life: The smartwatch’s health sensors account for a large majority of battery drain; as such, Apple limits how often the sensor records data, even during workouts. At rest, you’ll get heart rate data every ten minutes; during a workout, you’re likely to get recordings every 10 seconds to a minute.

The wrist-based monitor can also get tripped up if you tend to do a lot of exercises involving wrist bending or quick movement — the oximeter works by measuring the movement of your blood using light, and when you flex your wrist, you can momentarily change that circulation, leading to erroneous heart readings. (If you’ve ever seen an Apple Watch reading of “65bpm” or lower or a grey number when you’re in the middle of a high-intensity workout, that’s likely what has happened.)

If you’re worried about your Apple Watch’s battery life during a lengthy workout (like a marathon, for instance), or you’d like more consistent and quick readings, consider pairing it to an external heart rate monitor: These Bluetooth accessories often run off quick charges or watch batteries and offer faster readings from a location with better circulation (like the chest or upper arm). And if you don’t have an Apple Watch at all, you can use external monitors with your iPhone to get valuable heart rate data.

We’ve tested several Bluetooth heart rate monitors, and here are our favorites.

Scosche Rhythm+ monitor armband

If you’re looking to get better heart monitoring without going full in on the chest strap look, Scosche offers a forearm-monitoring option in the Rhythm+ armband. The water-resistant (IP67) device connects to an adjustable neoprene strap; while you can wear it anywhere on your arm, Scosche recommends the forearm. (I did my primary tests with it in that location, as well.) It uses an 8-hour rechargeable battery, so you can plug it in after workouts like you might with an Apple Watch.

Both the small grey tracker and strap are slim and stylish, given that you’ll likely be wearing them in a visible location on your arm. You can slip a shirt on over the Rhythm+ if you want to hide it, but it’s a nice enough looking tracker to leave it visible. It does look a little goofy when both the Apple Watch and tracker are on the same arm, but until we have magical nanobot implants, such is our connected device lifestyle.

In practice, it’s significantly more comfortable than wearing a chest strap during heavy-duty workouts, while being about as accurate: The Rhythm+ uses green and yellow oximeter sensors (described as “PerformTek biometric sensor technology”) to get a more precise look at your heart rate than the Apple Watch’s green sensors alone, and records data much more frequently.

I wore the Rhythm+ for a week to my regular skating practices and weight training sessions; from those workouts, it proved significantly more accurate than my usual Apple Watch tracking. (I used Bluetooth to connect to the Rhythm, but it also offers ANT+ support for cyclists.) My only concern with the Rhythm+ was occasional tightness when doing arm-related exercises: Although the neoprene strap flexes slightly, it’s not really designed to deal with major forearm or bicep flexion.

Unlike many of the other chest strap options, Scosche doesn’t offer a dedicated app for viewing your recorded heart rate data; instead, you can look at it in Apple’s Activity or Health apps, or download a third-party option like Cardiogram. You can grab this monitor off Amazon for around $ 80.

See at Amazon


Polar H10 Heart Rate Monitor

Even before the smartwatch age, Polar was a household name in the fitness monitoring industry, and for good reason: The company’s technology has long provided accurate and speedy fitness tracking for athletes.

After a few years of offering Bluetooth users the aging H7 chest strap, the company has created a new tracker for iPhone and Apple Watch users: the H10 heart rate monitor. The water-resistant neoprene chest strap is slimmer and more comfortable than its predecessor, all the while still running off a single CR 2025 watch battery. Unlike the Rhythm’s oximeter, the H10 offers electrode-based heart monitoring — it’s more accurate, but requires more body contact.

The H10 connects to your iPhone or Apple Watch using Bluetooth LE; to initially sync it, however, you’ll need one of the company’s dedicated apps. I used Polar Beat; it’s not my favorite app (and requires an in-app purchase if you want to see your heart rate/fat burn breakdown), but it does the trick. Your heart tracking will also log in Apple’s Health app after you connect it, allowing you to take your fitness data elsewhere. And if you’re not near a connected device, the H10 has a small amount of onboard storage, allowing you log a workout even without your devices present.

Polar’s H10 was by far the most accurate of the fitness trackers I tried, but it does come at the expense of having to wear a chest strap. During a run or weight training session, this shouldn’t bother you, but full-contact sports might be a bit much: For me, anything strapped to my chest in derby is a potential bruising hazard — and I’ve seen enough cracked sternums to want to avoid that fate at all costs.

You can pick up both the H7 or the H10 from Amazon starting around $ 63, though I’d recommend spending the extra $ 10 to get the H10. The slimmer form-factor definitely makes a difference in comfort, and the heart rate tracking regularly appeared more consistent — with fewer random dips — than its predecessor.

Polar H7 – See at Amazon

Polar H10 – See at Amazon

Wahoo TICKR X heart rate monitor

If you’ve looked at connected fitness options in the Apple Store recently, you might have stumbled across Wahoo’s TICKR line — the electrode-based neoprene chest strap works very similarly to Polar’s sensor, offering up to 16 hours of offline tracking, water resistance, a specialty app called RunFit for tracking your workouts, and a few additional analytics.

The biggest difference between the TICKR X and the Polar H10 is in these little additional options, largely for runners: The TICKR lets you track your stride, ground contact time, and vertical oscillation. It’s also less water resistant, offering protection up to 5 feet versus the Polar’s 30.

In my tests, I found the TICKR X slightly less reliable than the Polar H10, largely thanks to its RunFit app, which occasionally caused the TICKR to malfunction — there were several instances during a workout where it claimed my heart rate was up in the 170s (it was not). I also noticed occasional misfires on account of the vertical oscillation tracker — during Wahoo’s 7 Minute Workout, it refused to log multiple exercises and reps on account of not seeing the movement. That said, the TICKR does have a friendlier look to both the workout app and overall experience; it markets itself as a Bluetooth chest strap for beginners, rather than Polar’s fitness experts.

If you’re not interested in those extra features, you can also save a good chunk of change by going for Wahoo’s regular TICKR model: It skips out on running analytics sensors, rep counting, and built-in memory in favor of a focused heart monitor. Check out the TICKR for about $ 50 and the TICKR X for $ 79.

TICKR – See at Amazon

TICKR X – See at Amazon


Heart rate monitors on the horizon

There are three heart rate monitors I haven’t tested yet, but are on my list to test soon:

  • Polar OH1: Released in September 2017 for $ 99, Polar’s OH1 is an optical heart rate sensor designed to be worn around the arm, like the Rhythm+. It offers 12 hours of battery life, up to 200 hours of memory, and is water-resistant up to 30m — good for most swimming workouts.
  • Scosche Rhythm24: The successor to Scosche’s Rhythm+ upgrades the monitor with a new design, 24-hour battery life, multiple training and use modes, heart rate variability mode, an LED battery indicator, and on-board data recording like Polar’s monitors.
  • Wahoo TICKRFIT: An armband heart rate monitor from the makers of the TICKR line, the TICKRFIT will be out in March of 2018 and offers a rechargeable 30+ hour battery and IP70 water resistance (up to 5 feet, or “splash proof”).

What’s your pick?

Do you have a heart rate monitor you prefer that you’ve been using with your Apple Watch or iPhone? Let me know!

Updated February 2018: These are the still best external heart monitors on the market for your Apple Watch, though we’ve added some interesting options we’re planning to test soon.

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Electra beta 11-3 released with an improved jailbreak success rate

Another update to CoolStar’s Electra jailbreak tool for iOS 11.0-11.1.2 is now available. Beta 11-3 brings improvements that should significantly improve the success rate of jailbreaking with Electra.

The following changelog comes directly from the official Electra website:… Read the rest of this post here


Electra beta 11-3 released with an improved jailbreak success rate” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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New Study Suggests Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Can Detect Early Signs of Diabetes

Cardiogram, a company that offers an app able to break down heart rate data collected by the Apple Watch, today shared the results of a new study that suggests the Apple Watch can be used to detect the signs of diabetes.

Cardiogram researchers teamed up with the University of California, San Francisco and used the Cardiogram DeepHeart neural network to determine that heart rate data collected from the Apple Watch was 85 percent accurate at distinguishing between people with diabetes and people without diabetes.


For the study, Cardiogram used more than 200 million sensor measurements from 14,011 participants using an Apple Watch or Android Wear device and the Cardiogram app, aggregating data that included heart rate, step count, and other activity.

Prediabetes is a condition that often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed because traditional methods of detection require glucose-sensing hardware. Detection via the Apple Watch and an AI-based algorithm like Cardiogram’s DeepHeart has the potential to alert users that there’s an issue so they can then follow up with a medical professional.

According to Cardiogram, its study is the first large-scale study that demonstrates how an ordinary heart rate sensor, like the one in the Apple Watch and other devices like the Fitbit, can detect early signs of diabetes. Because the pancreas is connected to the heart through the nervous system, the heart rate variability changes when a person begins experiencing diabetes symptoms.

Over the course of the last year, Cardiogram and UCSF have teamed up to do a lot of research into the potential for wrist-worn heart rate sensors to detect serious health conditions. Previous studies have shown the Apple Watch heart rate sensor’s ability to detect conditions that include hypertension, sleep apnea, and atrial fibrillation.

While there’s still a long way to go before research proves whether the Apple Watch can officially detect early health problems, Cardiogram plans to implement new features to incorporate DeepHeart directly into the Cardiogram app in the future, which will allow users to be alerted if early signs of disease are detected.

Apple has also launched its own study in partnership with Stanford to determine whether the heart rate sensor in the Apple Watch can be used to detect abnormal heart rhythms and common heart conditions.

You can sign up to participate in the Apple Heart Study by downloading and installing the Apple Heart Study app and wearing the Apple Watch on a regular basis. If the Apple Watch detects an irregular heart rhythm, you’ll be contacted by researchers and may be asked to wear an ePatch monitor.

You can also participate in Cardiogram’s studies by installing the Cardiogram app and signing up to join the mRhythm study.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 4
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Will Your Mobile UX get Sacked by Bounce Rate Measurability in 2018?

There are always new challenges in the mobile world and as mobile usage continues to dominate almost every business vertical (both native mobile-web), having a testing strategy that can be modified to incorporate new use cases and interfaces is crucial.

Over the next few months I will dive into some of the hot topics and trends in the Digital sphere to look at the horizon. Today we will be talking about the Mobile UX and bounce rate.

Mobile UX will be redefined with measurable bounce rate

“Bounce Rate” is defined as “the percentage of visitors to a particular website/App who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Bounce rate is a measurable indicator for engagement and stickiness in almost any digital platform – just not on those pieces of hardware we use the most: Smartphones. Decreasing bounce rate keeps UX experts and other digital leaders busy at all times, as they enhance and optimize the position of page components, customize landing page experience and fitting the digital products to the tastes, interests and behavior of their audience.

Since the dawn of mobile, these smart machines still provide the same lame experience: you use an app and leave your smartphone aside (allowing the screen to be locked). Then, you come back a few hours later and unlock the phone – and the first thing you see is still the last app you were using.

In an age of ‘everything is implementing AI/ML practices’, the apps/screens displayed on smartphones screen still suffer from the poor limitation where they cannot be customized according to the user’s needs or condition.

What is means for you: The Apps you really need, when you need them

Why is bounce rate measurement over smartphones so important? Because smartphones are becoming really smart… in other words: Smartphones will soon actually open and close your apps only when you need/use to consume them. But how is that even possible?

The natural evolution of this pattern might be into the smartphones’ display. As just mentioned, smartphones already know which apps users typically use and when, where the users are when using a specific app and more. Analyzing these patterns should allow the smartphone to know what users want and smartly serve it to the them on any given device unlock.

Ok, I get it. Smartphones are getting smarter & Bounce rate on smartphones will be measurable. What does it have to do with me?

The big deal here is around the ability to distinguish between a bounce from a page/app that was initiated by the smartphone or the user. This is a whole new granular level of bounce rate analysis that will create a new and accurate perspective about UX.

Smartphone initiated bounce (where the page/app are closed) reasons may include:

  1. Incoming call
  2. Popup in the page/app
  3. Device is locked (after a “session” is expired)
  4. User analyzed usage pattern indicates the it can be closed

User initiated bounce (where user intentionally closed the app/page) reasons may include:

  1. Broken UX – there is a functional/UI issue that prevents the user to complete the action in the first page/flow. (example: how many apps’ UI were corrupted with iPhone X???)
  2. User was redirected without true need to view the page/app or opened it by mistake.
  3. User is being distracted by something else (text message, etc.)

This new reality will put a big mirror in front of digital enterprises with regards to their true mobile UX. Smartphone bounce rate (which was not really discussed during the last decade) will become center stage and increase attention on the smallest details of UX that need to be continuously tested.

How to plan my testing to accommodate the different usage patterns?

New questions around environment conditions and user types should be addressed constantly. Digital Enterprises should strive for segmenting their main user groups & interfaces, naming those profiles as Personas which resemble their main characteristics.

 

 

Below are the main questions that will help creating these personas:

  1. Where is the app being used? (one/many location) is it being used in a static mode / while walking or maybe during driving? (impacts on which sensors are also used on the device: GPS, Accelerometer, Gyro).
  2. What are the network conditions used (WiFi, 2.5G/3G/4G, Airplane mode)?
  3. Are there any app decencies (any specific app that triggers the use or running in the background)?
  4. What is the main screen orientation of the usage? Are there any changes of the orientation during an average flow?
  5. Which user interfaces are being used (chatbots, physical proximity-based features, biometric authentication such as Touch ID or Facial Recognition, etc.)
  6. Types of Media being consumed (Video, audio, other)


Summary
:

Mobile services consumption is facing a new challenging future. In the near future, we are expected to see a booming focus on measuring and reducing smartphone bounce rate.

which reinforces the need to increase test coverage and test against clear personas.

In my next article I will dive into how testing should be more focused on location intelligence.

Click here to learn more about persona’s and how to test mobile apps under real user conditions

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Android Oreo adoption rate climbs to 0.7%, Nougat hits 26.3%

Google is out with Android distribution numbers for the month of December and the Oreo adoption now hit rate to 0.7%, which also includes the recently rolled out Android 8.1 Oreo as well.  The Oreo adoption is now 0.7% which is 0.2% increase from last month. The Nougat (Android 7.0 and Android 7.1 Nougat) adoption rate has now jumped to 26.3% from 23.3% in November which is a steady growth. Android 6.0 Marshmallow adoption rate has again fallen and is now at 28.6% down from 29.7%. The Lollipop operating system adoption now stands at 25.1%, which is again down from 26.3%. The KitKat OS now stands at 12.8% down from 13.4% which is a fairly decent downfall. Though the operating system is now outdated, Jellybean is currently at 5.6% down from 5.9%. Gingerbread and Ice cream sandwich constantly are at 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. Like always all the data is collected before the 7-day period ending on January 8th, 2017, according to Google. Source
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