More Photos and Video of Apple’s Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site Tinhte.vn has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band.


The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the side. The design features more distinct ridging that does not extend to the edge of the band, and it features the same cowhide logo and “Natural Leather” wording that’s on the original Leather Loop.


While the current version of the Leather Loop fastens with a loop-style closure similar to the Sport Loop, the new model attaches to the wrist magnetically. Tinhte.vn‘s bands are all 44mm, but the images shared yesterday suggest there may also be a 40mm version in the works. The current Leather Loop is limited to the larger watches.


The bands appear to feature waterproofing properties that make them suitable for a wider range of activities than the current Leather Loop bands, and they also have a sportier, more casual look to them.


There is a possibility that Apple will sell these bands alongside the existing Leather Loop options as a new band type, but given the similarities between the designs, the new bands could also be a full replacement for the current Leather Loop.


There’s no word on when these new bands might launch, but given that they appear to be finished, we could perhaps see them as early as WWDC. Apple often refreshes Apple Watch band colors alongside major events, so it would not be unusual to see a summer release of a new band option.


Alternatively, Apple could save these new bands for release alongside the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 models in the fall.

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Apple Could Be Planning Redesigned Leather Loop Apple Watch Band

Apple is working on a redesigned version of the Leather Loop band that could be as soon as next month, according to leaked information shared today on Reddit and by 9to5Mac.


The updated bands appear to have more distinct ridges that do not extend to the edge of the band and for some colors, accent edging in a different color. The photos shared on Reddit depict the bands in brown with two colors of accent edging, red, orange, black, and blue. Rather than fastening with a loop, the redesigned version uses magnets to close.


It’s not clear why Apple would redesign the existing Leather Loop band, which has been available since the launch of the original Apple Watch in 2015. The new models could offer improved breathability, better water resistance, or both, and Apple could perhaps expand availability to smaller ‌Apple Watch‌ models.

Current Leather Loop bands only fit the 44mm ‌Apple Watch‌, and the leaked images seem to depict two sizes. There’s also a possibility that the Leather Loop bands will continue to exist and that these bands are something else, as they don’t have a loop design.


The person who shared the images on Reddit says they’re from a local shop in Vietnam that called the bands “experimental units for the next generation of ‌Apple Watch‌.” 9to5Mac says that it was also contacted by a tipster with similar images and that source said the new ‌Apple Watch‌ bands could be unveiled as soon as next month, perhaps during Apple’s WWDC announcements and product releases.


Apple often refreshes ‌Apple Watch‌ band colors alongside major events, so it would not be unusual for new band colors and options to come out in the summer.


There’s no word on when these bands will come out nor is it clear if these are actually Apple-designed bands or if they’re a faked version, so we’ll have to wait to see if Apple actually ends up releasing them.

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Apple Releases watchOS 6.2.5 With ECG App in Saudi Arabia, New Pride Watch Faces

Comparing the 13-Inch MacBook Pro to the MacBook Air and iPad Pro

In the last two months, Apple has refreshed the 13-inch MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, all of which have similarities in performance and functionality.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest video, we went hands-on with all three of Apple’s new machines for a detailed performance comparison to give MacRumors readers some…

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Apple Watch Gets Two New Pride Sport Bands, Including Nike Edition

Apple today announced it has released two new Pride-themed Sport Bands for the Apple Watch, including a Nike edition. Both of the bands will be available starting today on Apple.com and at select Apple Store locations that are open.


The bands can be paired with new matching Pride watch faces coming in watchOS 6.2.5, which remains in beta testing.

Through this effort, Apple and Nike said they are proud to support LGBTQ advocacy organizations worldwide, including GLSEN, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Gender Spectrum, The National Center for Transgender Equality, and ILGA World, which brings together more than 1,500 member organizations in more than 150 countries and regions.

Last year’s Pride band was a nylon Sport Loop.

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of watchOS 6.2.5 to Developers

Apple Goes on Cloud Computing Hiring Spree

Apple has hired multiple well-known software engineers with cloud computing expertise in recent months, according to a report from tech site Protocol.
The range of employees Apple has hired has created “a stir” in the “tight-knit cloud community,” and is a sign that Apple is perhaps planning to build serious cloud infrastructure to compete with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Employees…

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Rumor Claims watchOS 7 Will Have ‘Mental Health Capabilities’ to Detect Panic Attacks

Apple’s next-generation Apple Watch and watchOS 7 will focus on new mental health capabilities, according to leaker Jon Prosser who recently spoke on the Geared Up podcast. The mention of new ‌Apple Watch‌ features comes towards the end of the podcast.


The next-generation version of the ‌Apple Watch‌, the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6, has been rumored to include a blood oxygen sensor, which Prosser says Apple will take advantage of to implement new mental health-related features, such as detecting panic attacks.

What their biggest focus on is right now and I hope it comes this year, it might come next year, but I hope it’s coming to WWDC is mental health capabilities. Where they can take the oxygen levels in your blood with your heart rate and determine if you’re hyperventilating.

They can identify a panic attack before it happens and warn you on your watch. Especially if you’re driving, they’ll ask you to pull over and they’ll offer breathing exercises once you get pulled over.

Prosser says that while he hopes the feature is released this year, “it might come next year.” He also says he hopes for a WWDC unveiling, but if the new feature relies on a blood oxygen sensor in an unreleased version of the ‌Apple Watch‌, it’s not likely Apple will unveil the capability until the fall when new ‌Apple Watch‌ models that support it are released.

There is, however, a possibility that it will be revealed at WWDC if older ‌Apple Watch‌ models have a latent ability to detect blood oxygen level, which is not clear at this time, or if the feature does not involve blood oxygen monitoring.

The panic attack detecting rumor was first shared by EverythingApplePro and leaker Max Weinbach back in April, who said that the ‌Apple Watch‌ will also be able to determine when a user is experiencing high levels of stress. Weinbach and EverythingApplePro did not suggest the feature would rely on blood oxygen monitoring, however, and said that it would be available on the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 4 or later.

Hints that blood oxygen tracking capabilities are coming to a future version of the ‌Apple Watch‌ were found in a leaked version of iOS 14. Blood oxygen monitoring is an important feature because a drop in blood oxygen levels can suggest a serious respiratory or cardiac problem that requires immediate medical attention.

Multiple prior rumors from Bloomberg and other sources have also indicated that the next-generation ‌Apple Watch‌ and watchOS 7 will include sleep tracking features, allowing the ‌Apple Watch‌ to measure sleep quality, length, and other metrics.

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Apple Watch Continues to Dominate Global Smartwatch Market in Q1 2020

Strong online sales ensured a growth in worldwide smartwatch shipments in the first three months of this year, despite the impact of the global health crisis, according to a new report by Strategy Analytics.


Shipments grew 20 percent year on year in the first quarter, reaching 13.7 million units, up from 11.4 million units in the previous quarter. Apple Watch retained its dominant top spot with 55 percent market share, following by Samsung, with Garmin rising to third place.

In Q1 2020, 7.6 million ‌Apple Watch‌ units shipped, a 23 percent increase from the 6.2 million shipped in the same quarter a year ago. ‌Apple Watch‌’s market share was up marginally from 54 percent to 55 percent.

Samsung shipped 1.9 million smartwatch units, up from 1.7 million last year, but its market share declined from 15 percent to 14 percent, due to a combination of the health crisis in South Korea and strong competition from Garmin and other rivals.

Garmin shipped 1.1 million units, compared to 800,000 units a year ago. That’s a 38 percent increase year on year and a growth in Garmin’s market share from 7 to 8 percent.

Strategy Analytics predicts a slowdown in growth in the second quarter of 2020, with a recovery in the second half of the year as retail stores reopen and consumers look to smartwatches to help monitor their health.

Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartwatch shipments grew 20 percent annually from 11.4 million units in Q1 2019 to 13.7 million in Q1 2020. Despite considerable headwinds from the Covid-19 scare, global demand for smartwatches continued to grow. Smartwatches are selling well through online retail channels, while many consumers have been using smartwatches to monitor their health and fitness during virus lockdown.”

Apple is expected to launch ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6 this fall with more rumored health-related features taking top billing, including blood oxygen level tracking, sleep tracking, and a new fitness app.

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Apple Seeds Fourth Beta of watchOS 6.2.5 to Developers

Apple Updates AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 2D15

Apple today released a new firmware update for the AirPods Pro, upgrading the previous firmware, version 2C54 or 2B588, to the new firmware, 2D15.
There is no word on what’s new in the refreshed firmware at this time, though there have been some complaints from AirPods Pro users about Active Noise Cancellation issues with the prior firmware.
There’s no clear cut way to upgrade the…

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Apple Watch ECG Helps Detect Case of Coronary Ischemia Missed by Hospital ECG

The single-lead ECG function on Apple Watch isn’t meant to be as informative or as sensitive as the multi-lead ECGs you might get in a doctor’s office or hospital, which use several points of contact. However, a new article in The European Heart Journal tells the story of an 80-year-old woman whose ‌Apple Watch‌ detected evidence of a heart condition that was missed by a hospital ECG (via 9to5Mac).


According to the article, the woman presented at University Medical Center Mainz, Germany, complaining of chest pain, irregular heart rhythm, and lightheadedness. When doctors at the hospital performed a 12-channel ECG, it revealed “no evidence for ischemia,” which occurs when blood flow to the heart is reduced, preventing the heart muscle from receiving enough oxygen.

However the woman then showed doctors her ‌Apple Watch‌ ECG results, which included “tracings with marked ST-segment depression.” After studying the ‌Apple Watch‌ results, doctors did indeed see evidence of myocardial ischemia, and the woman was transferred to the catheterization lab for a “left main stem stenosis and a left anterior descending/diagonal bifurcation lesion,” and treatment with coronary artery stenting.

Essentially, the ‌Apple Watch‌ ECG recordings showed evidence of a heart condition that the hospital’s specialized equipment failed to pick up, and that convinced the doctors to treat the patient, who left the hospital the next day.

The report concludes that the Apple watch may be used to reliably detect myocardial ischaemia.

The development of smart technologies paves the way for new diagnostic possibilities. In the case of the ‌Apple Watch‌, after the mobile application is installed, the records an ECG when a finger is placed on the watch’s digital crown. A 30-s tracing is stored in a PDF file that can be retrieved from the application.

Thus, the ‌Apple Watch‌ may be used not only to detect atrial fibrillation or atrioventricular-conduction disturbances but also to detect myocardial ischemia. An apple a day may keep myocardial infarction away.

You can read the full report here. Rumors regarding the ‌Apple Watch‌ Series 6, expected to launch later this year, suggest additional health-related features mental, including blood oxygen detection, sleep tracking, and stress detection.

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Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 6.2.5 to Developers

Apple today seeded the third beta of an upcoming watchOS 6.2.5 update to developers, two weeks after releasing the second beta and over a month after releasing the watchOS 6.2 update that added in-app purchases to the Apple Watch App Store.



watchOS 6.2.5 can be downloaded for free through the dedicated ‌‌‌Apple Watch‌‌‌ app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the ‌‌‌Apple Watch‌‌‌ needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it needs to be placed on a charger, and it needs to be in range of the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌.

There is no word yet on what features might be included in watchOS 6.2.5, if any, and nothing new was discovered in the first two betas, suggesting it focuses on bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

This article, “Apple Seeds Third Beta of watchOS 6.2.5 to Developers” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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