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What To Expect From Apple’s Virtual Event And How To Watch

The day is finally here, after weeks of production delays brought on by the pandemic, Apple is projected to release their new line of iPhone’s along with a whole slew of other products today, October 13th, during a virtual event that will begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Time

In terms of the iPhone 12 and other predictions for what’s to be revealed today, it’s important to note that so far these are all just predictions, however, many of them are based on professional tech blogs and workers who have made correct predictions in the past about the iPhone’s we’ve already seen on the market. 

The iPhone 12 is likely to be the first major revamp of the phone’s physical design since 2017, when Apple revealed the iPhone X which no longer had a home button and used facial recognition technology to unlock the device. Analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to investors that this event will be a “once in a decade” moment for the tech giant. 

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“We believe iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for Apple since iPhone 6 in 2014, and it will be another defining chapter in the Apple growth story looking ahead despite a softer consumer spending environment.”

The theme of this year’s event is “speed,” which could mean a variety of things, however, the biggest prediction based on the theme itself is that the next iPhone will have 5G capabilities, a faster chipset, faster display refresh rate, and more! Some individuals also believe that the new line of iPhones will have fingerprint unlocking capabilities through the power or volume buttons, for those who opt not to use the facial recognition feature.

Specifically, Apple is projected to launch the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The Mini is expected to have a 5.4 inch display and will be available in the standard 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB models. 

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The standard iPhone 12 will feature a 6.1 inch display and have the same storage capacity options as the mini. The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max will have a 6.2 inch display and their storage configuration will likely begin at 128 GB based on past Pro Max iPhone models. The iPhone 12 series is set to begin pricing at $699 with the Mini and will likely go up to $1099 for the Pro models. 

The iPhone 12 series isn’t the only thing fans are looking forward to being announced this afternoon. It’s predicted that Apple will also be releasing over-ear wireless headphones called Airpods Studio, as well as a potential upgrade to HomePod speakers as well. 

Apple might also finally give consumers AirTags, which is something they’ve been teasing for quite some time now. Airtags would work as a GPS tracking service for things like your keys, phone, laptop, or anything else you find yourself consistently using. With the help of Bluetooth technology, one can just log onto any of their devices and track down whatever object they’re looking for that they’ve tagged. 

The Apple event is online-only today due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, this also means anyone can watch it. Normally, patrons would have to wait until after the event to see all the products launched, but now, customers can simply go onto Apple’s Website at 10 a.m. PT, which is 1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST and 4 a.m. AEDT on Oct. 14.

iOS 14

New iOS 14 Features iPhone Users May Not Know About Yet 

Now that Apple has released their much anticipated iOS software update for their mobile devices, iPhone and iPad users everywhere are taking advantage of all the new features and layout changes that came with it. There’s often so many new features that come along with these annual updates that tech lovers can sometimes overlook some of them, so here’s a list of some of the more unique and unknown ones: 

Setting Your Default Email/Web Browser: After years of complaints from users that they cant change their default search engine on their device, Apple has finally decided to let them not only delete the standard ‘Mail’ and ‘Safari’ apps from their devices, but assign their own defaults as well. Users simply open settings and scroll to the bottom where it lists every installed app on your device. Find the mail or Safari app and tap on it, here’ you’ll see them listed as the “Default” browser or email app. Once there you can select and choose your own!

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Getting Rid Of App Home screens: If you’re the type of person who puts every app that they rarely use on a specific page, tucked away, now you can literally hide the entire page from your device’s main set up. Just long-press a single area of your home screen to trigger the new “edit mode,” which will then allow you to tap on the page indicator and remove the page itself. This will not delete the apps on those pages, but will instead move them into the App library where they’re more hidden. 

Searching The Emoji Keyboard: Emoji’s are arguably the most popular keyboard shortcuts available on any device, and now, users can finally search for which emoji they want at any given moment instead of having to endlessly scroll through general categories to find one. All you have to do is launch the emoji keyboard like you normally would and you’ll now find a search bar at the top of the keyboard!

Hidden Photo’s Get A Much Needed Security Update: Previously, if you were to select any number of photos to be “hidden” away from your Photos App’s main page, the photos were simply moved to a hidden folder on the app that practically anyone could go to and click on. With iOS 14, Apple has now added an option to hide the hidden album completely. Users can go into Settings, Photos and then make sure the Hidden Album is switched to “off.” Once this setting is activated, users can only access the pictures in that album if they go back into settings and turn the switch on. 

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Picture In Picture: iPhone users can finally take advantage of Picture In Picture viewing, a setting that was previously only available on the iPad. Now users can make FaceTime calls while replying to emails or text messages without that blurred “Paused” window appearing to the other users. This feature also allows for individuals to continue to watch YouTube videos or TV Shows while scrolling through social media. 

Faux Eye Contact In FaceTime: With iOS 14, users who are facetiming will be able to give their friends/family/loved ones the illusion that they’re looking right at them when they’re looking directly at their screen. It’s one of the more subtle features of the update, but nonetheless, many are excited to see how it looks to make “eye contact” with the people they’re talking to as if they were in person. 

Back Tap: A new accessibility feature now allows users to trigger certain system functions by tapping on the back of their phone. By going into Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap, users can select the amount of taps they want to use and the action they want to initiate. These actions include triggering the Control Center to appear, launching Siri, taking a screenshot, and more!

Apple Store

What Tech Experts Are Expecting From Apple’s Upcoming Announced Fall Event

The tech giant officially announced this week that they would be hosting a major event on September 15th, however, they have yet to reveal any details as to what consumers can expect to be revealed.

iPhone 11 Pro

Apple To Potentially Discontinue iPhone XR, iPhone 11 Pro After iPhone 12 Release

The iPhone 12 is currently projected to be released in October of this year. As the Keynote event gets closer and closer, many tech experts and blogs are placing their final bets for what’s to come with Apple’s newest smartphone upgrade. One of the most circulated rumors currently is reporting that Apple will discontinue the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone XR model once the 12 is finally released. 

The initial reports come from Twitter user @iAppleTimes, who’s been one of the most credible sources of information on all things Apple in the past. Recently, the user tweeted that the two iPhone models would be discontinued with iPhone 12’s launch and iPhone 11 deals would get a $150 price reduction.

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Price reduction on older generation iPhone models occurs annually with the drop of every new iPhone, typically followed by the discontinuing of whatever the oldest model is that year; last year it was the iPhone 7 Plus and everything before. So the discontinuing of two of Apple’s most recent models is quite surprising. 

It’s important to remember that even when this information comes from the most credible blog sources, we must take them with a grain of salt. While dropping these models may be surprising, it’s a newer trend that Apple’s seemed to follow. Every year they drop multiple versions of the same upgraded device, and ween out which models are most successful to continue selling. 

Last year when the iPhone 11 was launched, Apple also silently discontinued selling the iPhone XS and XS Max; this is also a part of the company’s efforts to only have a few smartphone options available at once. Since Apple also launched the iPhone SE earlier in 2020, it makes sense that they would want to discontinue newer models to keep up with the upgrades. 

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So the real question is what you should do if you’re currently in the market for a new iPhone, but don’t know if you should wait for the 12, the price-reduced 11 deals, or just go for it and pay for a new one now. If you were specifically looking to get the iPhone 11 Pro of iPhone XR, remember, this discontinuation is still simply a rumor based on Apple’s trends in the last few years, however, you may want to think about picking one up soon, just in case. 

If Apple does decide to discontinue both models, however, they won’t just pull them from the shelves without warning, and you’ll still be able to buy them online from third-party sellers. Establishments like Best Buy, or cell-service retail locations will likely have an overstock in the discontinued models that they’ll sell at a reduced price. 

Once Apple does finally launch the iPhone 12, it’s likely that all previous generation models will reduce in price as well. Third-party retailers typically also follow in these footsteps, so if you’re serious about getting a new phone as quickly as possible, try to hold out until the fall. 

Covid-19 has made it difficult for Apple to follow their usual launch schedule, hence the fall keynote presentation being delayed a month; it typically takes place in the beginning of September with the launch of the new iPhone models two weeks later. 

iPhone

iPhone 12 To Potentially Feature 5G Capability, And Other Rumors

Despite the current coronavirus pandemic, major tech companies are continuing to roll out new projects on schedule in order to create a sense of encouragement and something to look forward to for tech lovers everywhere. Apple, being the most prominent, recently held a virtual Keynote conference where they announced a multitude of new products and software. Now, fans of Apple know that next up is their September Keynote presentation where they, typically, announce the year’s newest iPhone upgrade. 

While there’s no real word on how or when this Keynote presentation will take place, based on the release of iOS 14, many tech experts are gearing up for an iPhone update right on schedule this year. Here’s some of the most anticipated/rumored features that Apple fans are predicting the company will implement in the new upgrade. 

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Disclaimer: These are all rumors/predictions based on what experts typically look for in Apple’s annual conference, none of these features have been confirmed or denied from Apple. 

Typically, the newest iPhone is announced in the beginning of September and released by the end of the month, however, based on trading discrepancies with China, the coronavirus pandemic, and exporting issues in general, experts are predicting the new iPhone will more likely be released in October. 

The iPhone 12 will possibly be cheaper than the iPhone 11, as Apple has been releasing their newer models at cheaper prices and payment plans to appeal to more audiences who miss having the two-year upgrade fee of just $200 whenever they would want a new phone. The iPhone 11 itself was $50 cheaper than it’s previous counterpart, so many are predicting Apple will continue this trend. 

The design is always what fans look forward to seeing every year, however, many are predicting that the exterior of the iPhone 12 won’t be that different from the 11. Tech rumor blogs that are in coordination with Apple factory workers in China claim that so far the only major physical difference in the 12 is a slightly thinner body, however, Apple tends to love to shock their audiences with dramatic physical changes to their devices; for example the removal of the home button and headphone jack from all iPhone models. 

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It’s also been rumored that as a means to promote wireless charging products, the new iPhone may not even have a charging port to plug into. This would further push individuals to buy the company’s wireless headphones, Airpods, as well, as many can still use plug-in headphones through an adapter that goes in the charging port. 

With the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple announced a new dark green color that was widely popular among consumers. Now, it’s rumored that the Pro version of the 12 will also include a dark navy blue shade to choose from as well. 

Many are also predicting that size wise the iPhone 12 will come with options just like the 11 and 11 Pro Max. The screen quality will also have a higher resolution and refresh rate; meaning it’ll be able to switch from screen-to-screen much easier. 

Finally, like most new phone models it’s predicted that the newest iPhone will include 5G connectivity and Apple may even release their own 5G antennas. 5G is a relatively new concept in the tech world but it’s one that all major company’s (Samsung, Google, Sony etc.) are beginning to implement into their personal devices. 

Only time will tell how valid these rumors are, however, Apple fans are notorious for their predictions/source information when it comes to device features and release dates, so it’s more of just a waiting game now.

Apple Software

Apple Announces New Software Updates With Pandemic In Mind

Apple held their annual developer presentation this week and brought a slew of new products to make users’ lives much easier while they’re stuck at home. Overall the company announced a brand new set of wearable devices, a new iOS software interface, new Mac software and so many more updates for the devices we find ourselves using even more now that most of us are still enduring statewide lockdowns amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

This event is one of the few major keynote presentations that comes from the company every year. Typically these events happen in person, but for obvious reasons this year it was purely digital. The spring developer conference that took place this week normally debuts a wide range of internal updates, which for fellow tech nerds like myself is just as exciting as a new iPhone launch, which typically occurs during Apples fall keynote conference. 

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This developer conference was no different, as one of the biggest upgrades that Apple announced was the ability to use multiple products at once with the least amount of lag or technical difficulties. The goal was to make using every device within your home as smooth of an experience as possible, especially considering the world will continue to be staying home indefinitely until this pandemic is over. 

According to Gizmodo Magazine, “the big push here was the ease with which you can use multiple products with the least amount of trouble. Apple says it has open-sourced HomeKit/the Home app to prioritize privacy and ease of use, so that when you add a smart device and set it up through the iOS 14 Home app, it’ll automatically suggest various automation options.”

If you’re a smart home fan you may already own smart bulbs that connect to your phone/Bluetooth devices, and now, Apple is rolling out a new feature with iOS 14 known as “adaptive lighting.” This will allow users that own smart bulbs to change the colors you see in specific rooms automatically based on user preference. 

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In terms of home security Apple is also stepping up their game and releasing a brand new system that will allow users to specifically designate zones of their property that they want to closely monitor while excluding all other areas. This way users will be notified right away of any activity that’s taking place in those specific areas of the home. Users can also use facial recognition features for close contacts that have been tagged in photos to allow your security system to recognize when certain family or friends arrive at your house. 

If you own an Apple HomePod, it will be able to notify you with who’s at the door, while your Apple TV can then display a video overlay of the security camera located at the door to show you a live feed. 

Apple TV in general is getting a few software updates as well which will support multi-user functionality for Apple Arcade. Apple TV will also begin supporting Xbox controllers for Apple Arcade and will provide picture-in-picture support for multi-player gaming. 

Besides that all new Apple device announcements are still projected to be made in the beginning of September as usual, but users will be able to have access to a majority of the upgrades mentioned above within the coming two months. 

What Apple Fans Are Expecting For The Next iPad Pro

Apple recently announced the launch of the next generation for the iPad Pro in March, however, Apple fanatics are already predicting what they’re expecting from the next revision. Apple is fairly cyclical when it comes to their device releases. Depending on the device they typically have a soft update of everything in the winter/beginning of spring months of the year; “soft update” meaning more internalized upgrades that help the device run better. 

Apple’s September Keynote event is when the larger upgraded devices are announced, normally,  hence why fans are already anticipating the next iPad launch, as that upgrade is likely to be a lot more extensive. 

The iPad Pro upgrade in March gave the device a brand new camera system that is similar to that on the iPhone, and a new Magic Keyboard, which is compatible with some older iPad models as well. As previously stated, the main updates to the device were internal, the Pro now has an A12Z Bionic processor and 6GB of RAM.

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One of the biggest changes that will be expected of the next generation iPad will be an improvement in the screen quality. Fans are expecting Apple to upgrade the way they use mini LED’s in the screen in order to improve the display quality and give the device a longer battery life (as it will have to work less to display more quality images). 

Right now all iPads use one large black-light screen that engulfs the entire device. Mini LED displays would be made up of smaller “dimming zones” that can be turned on and off individually depending on what’s being displayed on the screen; in terms of color and image resolution. Mini LED’s would also allow Apple to reach a wider color gradient, which is fairly impressive considering they already have such an advanced spectrum of colors for their displays. 

For the next generation of iPad Pro’s, fans are expecting that Apple will finally give 5G connectivity to the tablets. The newest generations of iPhone are expected to also adopt 5G technology, so it’s likely that Apple will implement it into all of its mobile devices at the same time. 

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On the internal side, the next iPad Pro will likely contain an A14 processor chip, which is still in its early stages of manufacturing in general. The chip, like the 5G connectivity, will also be implemented into the next generations of iPhone; as you can tell, Apple is very much a “two birds one stone” company, and it’s the reason they’ve remained so successful for so long, as they always wait to release new internal upgrades unless multiple devices can also contain those upgrades. 

As of right now it’s fairly unclear how much the next generation of iPad’s will cost, however, the addition of features such as 5G and mini-LED lights, along with an extended battery life and more powerful processor will likely increase the price. The current iPad Pro models start at $799 but can cost up to $1100 depending on the model. 

Normally, as mentioned, Apple saves its bigger launches for their September Keynote, however, thanks to Covid-19 it’s unclear as to when any sort of keynote event will be able to occur again. Fans are predicting that Apple will delay the launch of all these new upgrades, along with their other devices until the beginning of 2021, so for now, only time will tell when we’ll see all these updates actually put into fruition. 

Woman on her Smartphone

How To Make Your Smartphone Run Faster And Live Longer

All smartphone users can relate to the experience of having your phone slow down or just stop working completely after you hit the two year mark with the device. iPhone/Android users especially know the pain of having your device crack under the pressure of storing all your photos and apps, leading to a reduced battery life, and less than enjoyable experience everyday. 

We need our phones for just about everything, so if you’re a smartphone user who’s noticed that your device has become much more slow/dies a lot easier than it used too, there are a few manual changes you can make that could help extend your phone’s life and avoid making another $500+ investment. 

The most basic fix that we’ve all tried is simply restarting your device. It may seem silly, but more times than not restarting any of your smart devices can help fix any bugs/issues you may be having. Simply quit every application and clear every notification from your phone and turn it off for at least 30 seconds; this gives your phone enough time to properly shut down every application. If you have a phone that’s lacking in storage when compared to other models, doing a weekly restart of your device has been proven to help your device’s performance and battery life. 

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Another simple solution is to check if your phone is due for any sort of software/app updates. A lot of smartphones have the option to automatically update your apps every time a new version is released. This is a smart function to have turned on, because when you have to update every app manually, you can forget to do it after a while and the more those updates build up, the slower your phone will become. 

The same can be said for software updates. One of the major benefits to any sort of system update on your devices is that every update is supposed to be designed to help your phone run smoother, and with less issues. Again, depending on your settings your phone may not notify you when a software update is available, so make sure you check that and update your device frequently. 

We use our phone’s everyday, and within those phone’s we all have a solid 5-10 applications that we all cycle through daily. Other than that we have a myriad of random games we downloaded on a whim one time, a few apps for specific doctors/services we use maybe once or twice a year so we can’t get ourselves to delete the app itself, and much more. Unused applications/old text messages are the two main killers of phone storage; besides photos, obviously. 

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The settings in your phone should tell you how often you use certain applications, and how much storage each one is taking up, so make some sacrifices and delete all the apps that you haven’t touched in more than a month. You can also change your settings to automatically delete your text messages if you haven’t gone back to a specific thread of messages for a certain amount of time. For example, you can set it so that your phone will delete any texting conversation if you or the other person hasn’t contacted the other within a week, two weeks, month, etc. 

As previously stated, besides messages and applications, photos take up the most amount of storage on a phone and they do it fairly fast. When your storage is full, your phone is likely to run a lot slower and run out of battery a lot quicker. It would be beneficial to you to own some sort of external hard drive or SD card to put all your photos on once you reach a high enough number. 

Obviously you can also upload all of your cell phones pictures to your computer as well, but an external hard drive will give you that additional layer of security. Services like Google Photos also offer free unlimited storage for photos if you have a google account. The Google Photos app automatically uploads every picture you take/save onto your device and makes it accessible for you anywhere you go where you have access to the internet/ability to sign into your Google account. 

So no matter what solution you try, make sure you do the research and truly exhaust all your options before biting the bullet and buying a new phone. More times than not, the solutions are indeed as simple as they sound and will work.

iPhone SE

Apple Releases ‘Low-Price’ iPhone SE To Combat Coronavirus Demands

In China, Apple recently announced that they would be discounting pricing on all iPhone 11 models, and now with the release of their new low-price iPhone SE models as well, Apple is hoping they’re putting themselves in a better business position to recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic. 

China accounts for about 15% of Apple’s annual revenue, it’s also where a majority of their manufacturing takes place. Apple is waiting to see how their second-quarter reports look before implementing these discounts, especially considering the United States and Europe have closed down all retail business locations in general amid Covid-19 concerns. China will be the only country that will be able to reopen parts of their market to sell these products, as they’ve begun easing out of their lockdown policies.

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“Apple is better positioned than most to experience a rapid recovery in a post COVID world. We see demand as pushed out, not canceled,” analyst Amit Daryanani said.

As Daryanani stated, while consumer spending in general has slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, Apple is relatively prepared and equipped to recover. As the second-most valuable tech company in the world, experts from Apple aren’t necessarily worried, but by launching the $400 iPhone SE model, they’re definitely taking some precautionary measures. 

Apple analysts predict that they’ll see a 6% decrease in revenue from this past quarter, and an 11% decrease in general net income. To prepare for this decrease, several online Chinese retailers have discounted their iPhone 11 pricing as much as 18% off of the original price. 

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This isn’t the first time Apple has offered random and obscure online sales for their products as a means of increasing demand in times of economic distress. During the 2008 recession, Apple discounted their Macbook pricing as a means of increasing demand, which ended up increasing Apple’s revenue for that year exponentially.  

As previously mentioned, Apple announced the low-priced iPhone SE model this week, and social media has remained relatively quiet about it. The company, however, is hopeful that momentum will begin to pick up in the coming weeks, as individuals looking to purchase a new iPhone will likely want the cheapest and easiest option for acquiring it during a pandemic. 

“The cheaper iPhone SE could tempt iPhone owners to opt for a newer device, something they might have otherwise delayed in a weak economy. People want to avoid uncertainty in a downturn. Having a brand like Apple that can showcase quality and make people less worried about breakdowns or after-sales service can bring in buyers,”  said Nicole Peng, who tracks the smartphone sector at research firm Canalys.

Initial data has already proved that China’s smartphone market is recovering when compared to what it looked like when this pandemic began. Reports showed that iPhone sales in China increased by 21% last month when compared to sales from this time last year. While experts are still predicting a decrease in net income, this immediate increase in smartphone sales before the pandemic is even over is a good sign for the world’s many businesses/companies, and their economic futures after this quarantine is over.

Apple Watch on Wrist

The Apps You Need On Your Apple Watch

The Apple Watch has officially been on the market for five years now, and while the device itself was originally advertised as an “iPhone for your wrist,” the Apple Watch has truly made a name for itself as one of the best wearable fitness tracking devices out there. When the Watch first launched back in 2015, it had about 3,000 compatible applications available to download. Now, there’s over 20,000 apps, 21 of which are pre-downloaded onto the device itself.

“The watch is really about convenience. You’re not going to spend so much screen time on your watch. So I think the secret of building a good Apple Watch app is to think of it as an accessory in addition to something. Very few people use it as a standalone unless it’s for fitness or health, or some kind of monitoring.” said Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research.

So what are some of the best applications for the Apple Watch that have been able to withstand the test of time/multiple generations of Watch upgrades?

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Noise: This application is available for anyone with an Apple Watch Series 4 or later and allows users to measure the ambient sound in your surrounding environment. This application is especially useful for those with hyper-sensitive hearing, or any other type of hearing impairment. If the decibel level in your environment has risen to a point where your hearing itself may be impaired, the app can notify you. 

Cycle Tracking: No not bicycle tracking, menstrual tracking. With this application, individuals who experience menstruation are able to log details about their cycle; including flow information, and what symptoms they normally experience. Using that data the app is able to alert users when it predicts your next cycle to begin, and allows them to track where they’re at every month. 

ECG: As previously stated, the Apple Watch has really made a name for itself as one of the best wearable fitness tracking devices on the market currently. If you have a Series 4 or later, there’s an electrical heart rate sensor built into your watch that works in sync with the ECG app. This app works like a traditional heart monitoring app and tracks your heart-rate as you do various activities throughout the day. 

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Breathe: The breathe app is a reminder to stop for a few moments every day and take a breath. This is an especially great tool to use during this time of constant uncertainty and panic. You can set breath reminders everyday, or just open the app itself when you feel like you need a break. You’ll see a calming animation that encourages you to sync up your breathing with its movements for 5 minutes. During this time, you can also use the app to check your heart rate. 

Remote: If you have an Apple TV, you can use your watch as a second remote using the remote application. If you already have an iPhone or iPad, you may be familiar with this application as it’s available for both those devices as well. 

Walkie-Talkie: The Walkie-Talkie app is definitely one of the most popular Apple Watch apps that has been around since the very beginning. This app allows you to use your watch like a real walkie-talkie for you and any other individual who also has the app. You simply press and hold the button to speak, and then you can listen to it back before sending it on its way, it’s basically like sending voice messages, but you’ll feel much more like James Bond. 

Voice Memos: Speaking of voice messages and memos, this application is perfect for the individual on the go who’s constantly being inspired by the outside world. Instead of taking out your phone and opening up a note to quickly jot down, simply record your memo into your Apple Watch, and it will save the recording across all of your iCloud devices.