Graham Bower, author at Cult of Mac

How to keep menstrual cycle-tracking data private on iPhone

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Is your cycle tracking data secure?
Is your cycle-tracking data secure?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The iPhone Health app’s Cycle Tracking feature provides a simple solution for logging menstrual cycles. If you menstruate, it’s an effective way to monitor your overall health and estimate when you’re most likely to get pregnant.

Given the personal nature of Cycle Tracking data, you need to be sure that it’s stored securely, away from prying eyes. The good news is, Apple’s security for health and fitness data is very robust. There are just a few things you need to know to ensure your data is safe.

Exclusive mockups: Apple Watch Explorer Edition looks rugged and sporty

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A sporty new Apple Watch model could debut this fall
A sporty new Apple Watch model could debut this fall
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Rumors of an Apple Watch Explorer Edition started last year, when Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple was working on ruggedized smartwatch designed specifically for athletes. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, from TF International Securities, added fuel to the fire last December, claiming that an “extreme sports version” could debut in 2022.

This month at WWDC, Apple’s focus on new fitness features for watchOS 9 lent further credence to these rumors. As a fitness-fanatic myself, all this hype has got me pretty excited. It inspired me to create these Photoshop mockups, exclusively for Cult of Mac, to explore exactly what the Explorer Edition might look like.

How to master the Siri Remote scroll wheel

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Does the Siri Remote have you going around in circles?
Does the Siri Remote have you going around in circles?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

When Apple TV 4K launched last year, it had fans salivating. But not for the sharper picture or faster processor. It was the new Siri Remote that caught everyone’s eye. Had Cupertino finally made a TV remote control that didn’t suck?

With its iPod-style scroll wheel, the second-generation Siri Remote promised to make scrolling through content effortless. In reality, the scroll wheel turned out to be hard to use, and lacked support from third-party apps like YouTube.

But don’t throw your remote at the TV just yet. When you get the hang of its quirks, the Siri Remote scroll wheel works surprisingly well. And you can use it with loads of essential apps, including Netflix, HBO Max and, of course, Apple TV+.

watchOS 9 brings massive upgrade to Workout app and other health improvements

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Runners get some much-needed love in watchOS 9
Runners get some much-needed love in watchOS 9.
Photo: Apple

WWDC22 - Brought to you by CleanMyMac XApple revealed what it has up its sleeve for Apple Watch during its WWDC22 keynote Monday. watchOS 9 includes some fun new watch faces and various other minor additions. But the Workout app really stole the show with a host of welcome new features.

Apple is taking on fitness specialists like Garmin with prosumer experiences such as Heart Rate Zone training, Running Form Metrics, Custom Workouts and Kickboard Detection for swimmers. Could this newfound interest in elite fitness suggest a rugged Explorer Edition Apple Watch will debut in the fall?

How to take stunning selfies with the Apple Watch Camera Remote app

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The Camera Remote app with raise your selfie game
The Camera Remote app will take your selfies to a whole new level.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Everyone knows Apple Watch is an excellent health and fitness companion. But did you know it’s also handy for taking selfies? That’s thanks to Apple Watch’s best kept secret: the Camera Remote app.

This indispensable watch app will raise your selfie game, enabling you to take more flattering shots, with better compositions, more interesting poses and much, much more.

I use it all the time to take photos for Cult of Mac, and I’ve learned a few tricks along the way. So here’s my definitive guide to taking better selfies with Apple Watch.

Why you’re wrong about Apple Watch Series 7

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Have you been too hard on Apple Watch Series 7?
Have you been too hard on Apple Watch Series 7?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Six months after its launch, people are still griping about Apple Watch Series 7. Even our own Lewis and Erfon recently agreed on The CultCast that Series 7 wasn’t worth the upgrade.

Many have moaned that it lacks new features, with some even suggesting it was a last-minute rush-job on Cupertino’s part. Personally, I don’t believe a word of it. I love my Series 7 and I think the haters have got it all wrong. Here’s why.

The radical evolution of watchOS and what it tells us about Apple’s future

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I've seen the future and it's Apple Watch: The radical evolution of watchOS and what it tells us about Apple’s future.
I've seen the future and it's Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Unveiled at a special event way back in 2014, the first Apple Watch looked similar to the wearable we know and love today. But looks can be deceiving. Take the Digital Crown and Side Button, for example. Their design may not have changed, but their functionality is now very different.

Apple Watch went through a radical evolution over the past eight years. What started out as an “intimate way to connect and communicate,” has become primarily a health and fitness device.

This pivot is uncharacteristic of Apple. Products like iPod, iPhone and iPad launched with a clear vision and remained true to it. The Apple Watch’s evolution suggests a shift in Cupertino’s approach to new products, and provides tantalizing clues to the future of the company’s rumored next platform launch: realityOS.

The Mac is back, with its best lineup in years

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The Mac lineup has never looked better.
The Mac lineup has never looked better.
Photo: Apple

In 2010, Steve Jobs proudly proclaimed Apple had become a “mobile device company.” Tim Cook went further, dismissing anything that wasn’t a mobile device as a “hobby project.” It sounded like the Mac’s days were numbered. At Cult of Mac, we even ran a story on how to replace your Mac with an iPad.

How things have changed. With Tuesday’s launch of the Mac Studio, Apple completed the best Mac lineup we’ve seen in more than a decade. The new M1 Ultra chip offers unprecedented desktop performance. And longtime Mac fans will welcome the return of Apple’s Studio Display monitors.

The Mac is most definitely back. So what happened? Why did Cupertino fall out of love with the Mac, and what prompted the change of heart?

How to use Apple Watch blood oxygen sensor, and what it’s good for

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The Blood Oxygen app is not for medical use. So what exactly is it for?
The Blood Oxygen app is not for medical use. So what exactly is it for?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

The blood oxygen sensor featured in Apple Watch Series 6 and 7 is “not intended for medical use,” Apple says. That seems odd, considering that low blood oxygen is a serious medical condition. If the watch’s monitor is not for medical use, then what exactly is it for?

In this post, we’ll look at what blood oxygen is, how Apple Watch measures it, how the device compares to medical-grade alternatives, and what you can actually use it for.

How to make your New Year’s resolution stick with Apple Fitness+

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Make 2022 the year you achieve your fitness goals
Make 2022 the year you achieve your fitness goals.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If your New Year’s resolution is to get in shape in 2022, Apple Fitness+ provides the perfect solution. Tightly integrated with Apple Watch, it offers hundreds of excellent video workouts you can do at home right now. But the question is, will you?

As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Subscribing to Fitness+ is all very well, but it’ll be a waste of money if you lose interest after a week.

Unfortunately, sticking to a New Year’s resolution isn’t easy. That’s probably why almost 50% of them fail in the first year.

If you want to smash your fitness goals in 2022, you need to start by getting your head in the right place. And that’s where well-formed outcomes can help. They are goals that meet certain essential criteria identified by psychologists in the 1980s using a technique called neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP.

Well-formed outcomes provide a framework that can massively increase your chances of achieving your goal. And all you need to do to turn your resolution into a well-formed outcome is ask yourself these six questions.