Apple Watch gets price drop and a bunch of new bands

No Apple Watch 2 from Cupertino but there's a small watchOS update
Apple Watch gets price drop and new bands

As we suspected, there's no Apple Watch 2 but the regular 'ol Apple Watch price has been dropped from $349 to $299.

This slightly lower cost puts it squarely in line with the latest Moto 360 watch and Samsung Gear S2, which should entice iPhone owners who've stayed away.

There's also several new Apple Watch bands that you can choose from. CEO Tim Cook said more than a third of Watch wearers change their straps after purchasing the wrist-ware.

He then went on to announce new Woven Nylon bands made from colorful materials that are crafted in four-layers, new Sport Bands, more Leather band colors and a Space Black Milanese Loop.

It's not the new Apple Watch smart straps we were hoping for, but it's better than nothing - at least for now. Perhaps we'll get an updated smartwatch or even watchOS 3 later in the year during Apple's fall event.

Essential reading: The best smartwatches on sale now

In the meantime, we'll have to make do with the watchOS 2.2 update that's been released alongside iOS 9.3.

You'll no longer have to endure the annoying Apple Watch pairing process - update 2.2 lets you pair multiple watches to one phone. No, you can't use two Apple Watches at once, rather it's easier to switch between watches.

Maps have also been upgraded on the wearable. The app will now launch a menu screen with big shortcut buttons providing directions to saved work and address locations. A 'My Location' button takes you to a map view where Force Touching it will bring up Search, Contacts, Transit along with Nearby which will show places around you in various categories like food or shopping.

There's also an increase in frequency of background heart rate measurements when you're stationary.

Lastly, more language support has been added.

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away

Apple is also jumping deeper in the health rabbit hole with the release of CareKit. A follow up to last year's ResearchKit, CareKit is an open source platform that will allow developers to create health care apps.

The first one showcased at the Cupertino event was made focuses on Parkinson's disease. Another app can be used for people during post-surgery as a means to monitor their recovery.

Other features include tracking medications, physical therapy exercises, recording symptoms like monitoring temperature and photographing wounds to note progression.

Check out: Our comprehensive guide to the Apple Watch

The iPhone and Apple Watch sensors can also be incorporated to automatically track activities. For example, using the accelerometer and gyroscope in the iPhone to manage range of motion which can be sent to doctors who can update a dashboard through Care Card.

Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer said about the platform, "We believe that giving individuals the tools to understand what is happening with their health is incredibly powerful, and apps designed using CareKit make this a reality by empowering people to take a more active role in their care."

The app's framework will be available in April.

1 Comment

  • adrianacusco says:

    I got an Hermes Apple Watch for Christmas and it broke after less than 3 months of use. I took it to the store for repair. Did;t get an email confirmation or a courtesy call about the repair. I called for 2 weeks and 2 days ago they just told me that I have to wait 6 months to get it repaired and sent back. So disappointed! I thought Hermes was a luxury brand and I trusted Apple with all my techs. DON'T BUY! IT'S A RIP OFF!

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