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Apple’s watchOS 4 brings Siri watch face, smart activity coaching and more

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Kevin Lynch watchOS 4 Keynote

Apple announced watchOS 4, the fourth major update to Apple Watch’s watchOS, at WWDC 2017 in San Jose. The update makes Apple Watch smarter, bringing more intelligence and fitness features to the wearable. Siri watch face, smart Activity coaching, and a new music experience are among the new features coming to Apple Watch with watchOS 4 this fall.

A smarter coach and workout partner. Better in tune with your taste in music. And an even more proactive all-day assistant. With watchOS 4, Apple Watch is dialed in to you like never before.

watchOS 4 brings the all-new Siri watch face. Coming in with a cool new Siri icon, the Siri watch face on watchOS 4 dynamically updates the information on the screen based on the time the day, daily routines and data extracted from the apps you use, with each rise of the wrist.

Apple watchOS4

The software update, which is currently available to developers in preview mode, improves the Activity app feature also for which it has been much loved. The Activity app now delivers intelligent coaching, with tailored encouragement and suggestions regarding their day-to-day activity. There’s also unique Monthly Challenges deigned for users, which is solely based on the activity of the users. The Siri watch face and Activity both are powered by machine learning.

The Music app on your wrist has been redesigned to the personal level. It now automatically syncs your New Music Mix, Favorites Mix and most listened to music. With AirPods and watchOS 4 on your Apple Watch, you should have better workouts on the go. Not to forget that the feature will require an Apple Music subscription to work.

The Workout app on the Apple Watch Operating System now includes auto-sets for pool swim workouts and new motion and heart-rate algorithms for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. You can easily combine multiple workouts to measure all the data at once.

Apple also announced GymKit, allowing users to pair their Apple Watch directly to treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steepers with a tap, and seamlessly sync data — including calories, distance, speed, floods climbed, incline and pace — across the smartwatch and GymKit-enabled devices from global manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Technogym.

We love Siri, and Toy Story, too. The new watchOS comes with new Toy Story and Kaleidoscope watch faces, along with the Siri watch face. It brings Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear to the Apple Watch, while the Kaleidoscope watch face escorts mesmerizing patterns. Watch faces aside, Apple also introduced new Apple Watch summer bands. The offering includes vibrant Sports Bands, a bright yellow Classic Buckle and Nike Sport Band. Apple is also offering a Pride Edition Woven Nylon in rainbow stripe.

Interestingly, Apple has brought Person to Person Payments with Apple Pay to watchOS 4 on Apple Watch. With watchOS 4 on board, you can make and receive payments quickly, easily and securely with friends and family with Apple Pay within Messages or using Siri. The money is received in the new Apple Pay Cash account, and can be used instantly to send to someone or while making purchases using Apple Pay in stores and apps. In addition, you can also transfer the money to their bank account. The feature will be available in the US on iPone SE, iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and later and Apple Watch.

The watchOS 4 update will be available this fall as a free update to Apple Watch; the developer preview is now available to developers enrolled in Apple Developer Program.

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Apps & Software

Android 8.0 Oreo Open Beta Now Available For OnePlus 3/3T

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Android 8.0 Oreo

OnePlus has released Android 8.0 Oreo Beta as part of its Open Beta program. The Open Beta program from OnePlus is similar to Apple’s Public Beta program, allowing users to test the phone’s software before it launches to the public. Let’s welcome the first Open Beta build of Android 8.0 Oreo for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. And yes the name, OxygenOS!

As long as you’re comfortable encountering a few bugs in the system, you can install and use the Open Beta based on Oreo for the OnePlus 3/3T. Following is the changelog of the software that comes along Android 8.0.

Android 8.0 Oreo Changeling (Open Beta)

  • System changes
    • Update to Android O (8.0)
      • Added Picture in Picture
      • Added Auto-fill
      • Added Smart text selection
      • New Quick Settings design
      • September security patch
  • Launcher changes
    • Added Notification dots in Launcher
    • Added OnePlus account login for access to Shot on OnePlus
      • Now able to upload photos directly to Shot on OnePlus through wallpapers

OnePlus has already highlighted some common known issues prevailing with this build of Android 8.0 Oreo Open Beta.

Known issues with Android 8.0 Oreo (Open Beta)

  • Fingerprint actions may be slower than you are used to.
  • Shortcut to access Google Photos is unavailable
  • Some stability issues with NFC and bluetooth
  • Performance and compatibility of 3rd party apps will continue to be optimized

If you’re already enrolled into the OnePlus Open Beta program, you should see the update prompting from the Settings app. Else, you can follow the installation instructions to get into the Open Beta.

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Apple releases iOS 11.0.3 with bug fixes

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iOS 11 Icon

Apple has released iOS 11.0.3 today, almost a month after the official release of iOS 11. The software update for iPhone fixes bugs discovered since the push of iOS 11.0.2 past week.

The previous two versions of iOS 11 focused on bug fixes and security improvements, and the third one is no different, either. Apple’s iOS 11.0.3 software release fixes an issue dealing with audio and haptic feedback on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, whereas on iPhone 6s the update addresses an unresponsive display issue. Official release notes for iOS 11.0.3 follows below.

iOS 11.0.3 for iPhone

  • Fixes an issue where audio and haptic feedback would not work on some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices
  • Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 6s displays because they were not services with genuine Apple parts

“Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use Apple parts. See support.apple.com for more information,” notes Apple.

Apple is also testing iOS 11.1 among developers and public beta testers, and will be dropping off the public stable build by the end of the month. The upcoming iPhone X is likely to ship with iOS 11.1 on board when it launches next month. Anyways, you can grab today’s update through Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone, as you always do.

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Pixelmator 3.7 brings full support for macOS High Sierra

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Pixelmator for Mac

Pixelmator for Mac has been recently updated to fully support macOS High Sierra. The update to version 3.7, codenamed Mount Whitney, brings a lot of changes to the table, including the ability to launch Pixelmator from the Photos app, support for the new iPhone-shot HEIF images, and Continuity features like Handoff and iCloud.

“People love using Pixelmator on the Mac, and one of the biggest reasons is its extensive integration with macOS,” said Saulius Dailide, one of the founders of the Pixelmator Team. “And with Pixelmator 3.7 Mount Whitney, we think users are really going to love the much more seamless experience of launching Pixelmator right from the Photos app and automatically saving changes back to the same image in the Photos library.”

Pixelmator now makes it possible to drag and drop images from Safari and Photos directly into Pixelmator documents, along with improved support for Photoshop images. In addition, you can now launch the photo-editing app right from Photos and save your edits back to the original image in the iCloud Photos library seamlessly. Simply right click on a photo and select ‘Edit with Pixelmator.’

Bug fixes and improvements follow after the break…

  • The Pixelmator extensions for the Photos app would quit unexpectedly on certain newer Mac computers. Fixed.
  • The Quick Selection Tool’s live preview would appear in the lower left corner of the image. It’s back to where it should be.
  • The Pixelmator Change Type of Images Automator action would not convert files to PSD. Fixed.
  • Rulers would sometimes disappear when editing text. Fixed.
  • Improvements to the Repair Tool algorithm make the Repair Tool faster and more accurate.

Pixelmator for Mac is available on the Mac App Store for just $30.

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