CardioBot Apple Watch Heart Rate Tracker

CardioBot is a powerful app for iOS and watchOS that taps into the data collected by your Apple Watch to provide a comprehensive overview of your health. A new version of the app adds iOS 14 home screen widgets for blood oxygen statistics, new workout features, and more.

This new version of CardioBot includes  new home screen widgets for iOS 14: blood oxygen, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and a small version of the heart rate summary.  When you add these widgets to your iOS 14 home screen, you can monitor your Apple Watch health data at a glance.

There are also new compilations for your Apple Watch faces: blood oxygen, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability.

The latest version of CardioBot has a new workout screen in the app that shows more details on your heart rate during a workout.  An attractive features is that it will even send you a haptic feedback notification on your Apple Watch whenever your heart rate zone changes.

Full details for the latest version of CardioBot are:

  • Blood oxygen widget added.
  • Resting HR widget added.
  • HRV widget added.
  • Small Heart Rate summary widget added.
  • Blood oxygen complications added.
  • Resting HR complication added.
  • HRV complication added.
  • Heart Rate summary complication redesigned.
  • Start workout button fixed.
  • Heart points goal limit changed.

CardioBot is available on the App Store as a free download with an in-app subscription.     [The information above is an extract from 9TO5Mac]

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Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Dock Charges iPhone, Apple Watch and Air Pods

Belkin 3-in-1 Wireless Dock

Belkin is known for its range of accessories for Apple devices. It has recently launched the Boost Charge 3-in-1 Wireless Charger, which can charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once.

Priced at $110, Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Charger is more affordable than most other 3-in-1 wireless chargers on the market, making it an attractive option.

Available in either black or white, the 3-in-1 Wireless Charger from Belkin is made from a plastic material. It’s not the best quality charger out there because of the all-plastic build, however unless you are seeking a robust item most users will be quite happy with it..

There’s an upright wireless charging interface that can accommodate an ‌iPhone‌, an ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck, and behind that, a small circular divot for the ‌AirPods‌ or AirPods Pro case.  Many other 3-in-1 wireless chargers have enough space for charging two iPhones at once.  The Belkin charges is designed specifically for a single ‌iPhone‌ and ‌AirPods‌, which is something to be noted.

With the ‌AirPods‌ charging space located right behind the watch, care needs to be taken  that the  ‌Apple Watch‌ does not knock the ‌AirPods‌ out of position or .  Taking into account the layout of the charging docks  care must be taken to position things correctly.  The ergonomics of the design is far from ideal and  crowding is likely to be an issue for anyone who has a loop-style band.

The upright charging space for the ‌iPhone‌ is nice because it makes it easy to put the ‌iPhone‌ down and go, with no need to position it or make sure it’s in the right spot to initiate charging, something that’s often an issue with a typical flat wireless charger.

As for the ‌Apple Watch‌ charging puck, it’s fine. It charges the ‌Apple Watch‌ in Nightstand Mode like many other charging options on the market. There are small LEDs on the front and side of the charger that let you know when it’s powered on and charging something, and a single power cord sticks out from the back. These lights can’t be disabled and could be a bit irritating at night.

This is a 7.5W wireless charger so it charges iPhones at the maximum speed possible, which is not super fast. It’s great for charging overnight or when you just need a bit of juice, but it’s not the best solution when you need power quick.

Summary

A lot of the 3-in-1 wireless charging options on the market are priced at around $150, so it’s nice to have a name brand option that’s more affordable and reliably charges the ‌iPhone‌, ‌Apple Watch‌, and ‌AirPods‌ all at once.

At $110 this is still a lot more than individual charging options for the three devices, so it’s still somewhat of a luxury.  The Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Charger is not the best looking option, but it occupies a small footprint and the price tag is lower than the competition.  It is a bit of a hassle to make sure the ‌Apple Watch‌ and ‌AirPods‌ are lined up at times when using a loop-style band, but this should be seen as a minor inconvenience relative to the advantages listed.

This is an abridged article which first appeared in MacRumors.com  “Belkin’s 3-in-1 Wireless Dock Charges iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods Affordably

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Gmail App’s Dark Mode for iPad and iPhone

Has Gmail App’s Dark Mode Finally been Perfected for iPhone and iPad?

The image above lets you see what “Dark Mode is about.

After many false starts and software with problems of functionality, Google appears to have mastered the long-awaited “dark mode” for Gmail.

This functionality is for Apple iPad and iPhone.

Version 6.0.200519 of Gmail, which propagated through the App Store overnight, includes the following release notes:

” You can now switch between dark or light theme after upgrading to iOS 13.

You can use the system theme set by default.

Google first announced dark mode for its Gmail app in September 2019.

Progress since then has been patchy on iOS.

Problems such as users managing to activate dark mode in the app, only to find that it vanishes when they close the iPad or iPhone and restart it.

Some potential users haven’t been able to access the feature at all.

The recent update should hopefully bring to an end months of waiting for a significant number of users.

To enable dark mode in Gmail on ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌, update the app on your device, then follow these steps.

  1. Launch the Gmail app.
  2. Tap the Menu icon (the three lines) in the top-left corner of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and tap Settings.
  4. Tap Theme. (If you don’t see the option, try force-quitting and then relaunching the app.)
  5. Select Light, Dark, or System default.

The latter option makes Gmail’s theme default to your device’s system settings. This default option is useful if you’ve set the appearance of IOS to change automatically depending on the time of day.

Note that if your device is running iOS 11 or iOS 12, you’ll see a Dark theme toggle instead of a Theme submenu in the Settings screen.

 

This edited article, first appeared in full on MacRumors.com

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Apple’s Foldable iPhone – Rumour or Reality?

iPhone Prototype Allegedly Features Separate Display Panels Connected by a Hinge

 

Samsung has already brought to the market a foldable smart phone the “Galaxy Z Phone 5G”.

It is too early to comment on how successful the Samsung product will be in the market.

 

APPLE is working on a foldable iPhone prototype.

Reportedly it will feature two separate display panels that are connected by a hinge.

The Samsung Z Phone has a single display across the fold.

Though the ‌iPhone‌ features two separate displays connected by a hinge, it is claimed that the panels look “fairly continuous and seamless.”

 

SAMSUNG’S Galaxy Fold

Samsung’s foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, is designed as a single display with a fold in the middle that allows it to open and close.

 

Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Duo

It is reported that Apple’s prototype looks similar to Microsoft’s Surface Neo and Surface Duo

The Microsoft phones are foldable dual display devices that feature two displays connected with a hinge.

 

There is no indicative time scale of when Apple might develop a foldable ‌iPhone‌.

However, there have been rumours about work on such a device dating back to 2016.

Patents for such a device have been filed.

It’s not clear if the foldable ‌iPhone‌ will ever move out of a prototyping stage, but it doesn’t look like a foldable device is launching in the near future.

 

Perhaps Apple will await to see how the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G progresses in the market and how dependable and durable it turns out to be when in the hands of users.   This could be a “wait and see situation”.  It will also let provide Apple with additional time to further develop their product.

 

This abridged article is taken from MacRumors.comApple’s Foldable iPhone Prototype Allegedly Features Separate Display Panels Connected by Hinge

 

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The Power of Apps on “IOS” or “ANDROID” Phones

Apps IOS

What is an App?

“Apps” enable you to do things quicker on your Phone and access Programs in a shorter time period without going through a number of additional steps to open a program.

“App” is short for Application and is a program you install on your phone to perform a specific task.

Some Apps come pre-installed on your phone, such as calendar, alarms, emails apps.  However, most Apps you may want to use will have to be downloaded from an App Store.  There is a separate store for Apple Apps and Android Apps, due to the fact they are two separate operating systems.

Apps for IPHONES and iPads

On either of these devices there will be an “App Icon”.  Tap on the App Icon store and you will be taken to the store and a reasonably easy to follow means of selecting what you require.

Your main source of finding preferred Apps will be the search button.  When you search for an APP to address a challenge you may have, then frequently there may be a choice of Apps.  Details will be provided for each App and often a rating system.  However many applications have a single unique App i.e. say a Banking Service.

Once you have decided on an App you want , tap “Get” to download it (or the price in the event it is a paid for App).  If it is a paid App you will have to enter your Apple ID password or use “finger print recognition” as ID.  When the App is fully downloaded you will be able to see the App on the screen.  When you tap on it it will Open and you will be able to use the features provided.

Apps for ANDROID PHONES and Tablets

To get an Android App you will need to go to the App for “Google Play Store” on your Home Screen or your App Drawer.  At the bottom of the screen select Apps and this will enable you to see the featured Apps or do a search using the “search bar” at the top of the App Screen.

To download the App tap “Install” if the App is Free or Price if a paid App.  If a paid App your will have to enter your Google Account details or use your finger print if this is set up on your machine.  When the App is installed tap Open or go to the App Drawer to access it.

Apps Android

Some Popular Apps to Try (most of which are Free)

Translation Services

Radio Apps – most radio stations have their own App.

Skype – make telephone calls.

Zoom – for video calls.

What’s App – for group communication mostly by text but also video.

Satnav – Google Maps can be downloaded and use for mapping journeys etc in real time.

Banking and Credit Card Apps for the Accounts you have with the relevant Banks.

There are literally thousands of Apps both free and paid.

Happy searching and using!

Google Becomes Pro-Active in Covid 19 Mapping

Google - Covid 19 Maps

Google Rolls Out Covid 19 Driving Route Alerts for IOS and Android Operating Systems

Google has launched several new transit features to Google Maps on iOS (read Apple hardware) and Android (read Galaxy, Microsoft etc).  Their aim is  to help users travel safely as lockdown measures gradually ease in some countries following the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest version of Google Maps alerts users whose travel will be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, including requirements like wearing a mask on public transport and whether a chosen route has checkpoints. The update was detailed in a Google blog post:

Getting from A to B can be more complicated these days. Because of COVID-19, it’s increasingly important to know how crowded a train station might be at a particular time or whether the bus is running on a limited schedule. Having this information before and during your trip is critical for both essential workers who need to safely navigate to work and will become more important for everyone as countries around the world begin to reopen.

Users of public transport will get crowd-sourced information on traffic being experienced by services.  Drivers will receive alerts about checkpoints and restrictions on their route.

Google says the transit alerts are rolling out in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and the U.S. where it has information from local transit agencies, with more coming soon.

In addition, users navigating to medical facilities or COVID-19 testing centres will get alerts reminding them to verify eligibility and facility guidelines to avoid being turned away or causing additional strain on the local healthcare system.

Starting this week, alerts for medical facilities will be available in Indonesia, Israel, the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.S., while testing centre alerts will also be available in the U.S. Alerts are based on authoritative data from local, state, and federal governments or from their websites.

Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free.

This modified article, first appeared on MacRumors.com

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The best camera phone in 2020

The best camera phones take photos and video that can compete with traditional cameras.

The best camera phones use the latest technology and are often capable of delivering better results than the a ‘dedicated’ camera. As screens get larger, camera phone sensors get more advanced and chipsets get more powerful, it can be challenging to keep up to date with of latest and best mobile phones.  A list of the best can be accessed  for you right here.

The best camera phones don’t just deliver a lot of  power – they also consist of a package of convenience, with numerous apps at your fingertips. However, one of the most impressive aspects of these handsets is their megapixel count. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has an impressive 108MP sensor, 8K video and a 100x digital zoom – specs that traditional cameras just haven’t achieved yet.

The S20 Ultra isn’t an outlier. Powerful sensors are becoming the norm for flagship phones.  While phones aren’t yet able to beat the best DSLRs or the best mirrorless cameras for image quality, the technology is moving so quickly that it almost feels like it’s only a matter of time.

The most significant advantage that camera phones hold over cameras is how small they are in comparison. Even the best compact cameras can still prove annoyingly bulky, but folding phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and the Motorola Razr are making massive strides in compact technology.

A present and future aspect of camera phones is the advent of 5G, with 5G phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the OnePlus Nord hitting the market this year. It will be interesting  to see what the upcoming iPhone 12 brings to the table when it’s finally released this year.

Smartphone technology moves quickly, so this list is constantly changing. As we move towards the end of 2020, 5G is set to become the next big thing, so make sure to check out the best 5G phone for photography guide if you live somewhere with 5G infrastructure.

This article is an abridged version of Digital Camera World review.

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Can you match Apple or Samsung Technology with Belkin’s New Speaker/Charger?

Belkin Speaker Charger

Belkin provides a range of iPhone accessories that include wireless chargers

A latest product pairs wireless charging functionality with a home speaker.

The SoundForm Elite Smart Speaker and Wireless Charger, which is priced at $300, was released in May.  It is a niche product because of its price point, it may fill a void for those who are looking for devices that have a range of functions.

It has a rounded body shape with an angled top area that’s designed to fit a smartphone for wireless charging purposes. Any size ‌iPhone‌ will fit and work here.

There was concern that the speaker would look unfinished without a smartphone charging on it, but the angled smartphone charging platform looks like a deliberate design decision. The speaker is covered in a mesh fabric, but it’s clothlike and has give, so it almost feels more like a sleeve than a part of the speaker.

The speaker is available in either black or white.  There are touch controls on the top for activating Bluetooth, changing the volume, playing/pausing music, or turning off the microphone (and thus preventing Google Assistant from listening). The icons are also a little bit light in colour.

A small light on the wireless charging pad lets you know when your smartphone is charging, and there are a series of LEDs on the front that shine through the fabric cover to give you a visual on when Google Assistant is interacting with you.

This is a smart speaker, and setting it up requires the Google Home app on an ‌iPhone‌ or Android smartphone. If you are not a Google user (i.e. your kit is Apple and Apps are from the Apple Store) then this will be a problem.  You need to ne aware of this issue as it is likely to prove problematic unless you are persistent and have technical “know how”.

With Google Assistant, the speaker can play on request  when asked from these linked services: YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer, with a default able to be set in the Google Home app. You will note Apple Music is not on this list.  If you are an Apple Music user then check out the possibilities and challenges of connecting to this.

Google Assistant  in addition to playing music, provides services such as answering queries, translating, providing weather information, adjusting volume, controlling linked smart home products, providing daily news, setting timers, setting up music routines, broadcasting voice messages, and more.

The quality of the output from the SoundForm Elite is of high quality and unless you are very “sound sensitive” most listeners will be pleased with the sound quality.  The sound is loud enough that it’s able to fill a normal sized room with high quality sound even at high volume.

Bottom Line

If you’re in Apple’s ecosystem and use ‌Apple Music‌ and Siri, the Belkin SoundForm Elite Hi-Fi Smart Speaker and Wireless Charger isn’t going to be worth the purchase because it’s just not set up for Apple’s devices and services. It doesn’t work with ‌Apple Music‌ except over Bluetooth, there is no ‌AirPlay‌ 2 support, and it isn’t HomeKit compatible.

If you have a mix of Apple and Android devices and also have a Google Home setup, it’s a different story. In that situation, it’s a solid speaker that offers high-quality Devialet sound at a reasonable price, and provides all the bells and whistles you get with Google Assistant integration. And to top it all off, there’s a handy wireless charger, making the speaker a versatile and useful desktop companion.

Note: Information above is an extract of an Article on MacRumors.com

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Are Apple Mac Computers going to become ARM Macs ?

Apple Mac Air

Apple are Expected to Announce ARM-Based Mac Plans at WWDC

This would mean the moving away from Intel to ARM.

Apple plans to announce its upcoming shift to ARM-based Macs at its virtual WWDC event later this month.  This will  give developers several months to prepare for the transition, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

The report claims that the first ARM-based Macs will be released in 2021, adding that Apple plans to eventually transition its entire lineup of Mac notebooks and desktops to the custom-designed processors. This lines up with a timeframe shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said Apple plans to release several ARM-based Macs starting next year.

ARM-based Macs are expected to have several advantages over existing Intel-based Macs, including faster performance and reduced power consumption.

Gurman reiterates that Apple is developing at least three Mac processors, with the first based on the A14 chip in upcoming iPhone 12 models. TSMC is expected to manufacture the Mac processors based on its advanced 5nm process.

Apple’s first Mac processor is expected to have 12 cores, including eight high-performance cores and at least four energy-efficient cores. Apple is said to be exploring Mac processors with more than 12 cores for further in the future, with the company apparently designing a second generation of Mac processors based on the A15 chip.

Apple has promised a virtual keynote, where it is expected to introduce iOS 14 and other new software, and seemingly its ARM-based Mac plans too.

This article, “Apple Expected to Announce ARM-Based Mac Plans at WWDC, Transition Away From Intel to Begin in 2021” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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iPhone or iPad Aesthetic Wallpaper

What is iPhone or iPad Aesthetic Wallpaper?

Apple iPad Wallpaper

A wallpaper is a window to your iPhone or iPad. It’s the first thing you see when you look at the opening screen on your iPhone or iPad. Something we tend to do dozens, or hundreds of times a day. Maybe you’re happy with a the standard opening screen and if so, that is fine. But what if you want a little more variety or are seeking to project your own personality onto the screen up from time? How do you go about changing the wallpaper on your iPhone or iPad? Read on to find out.

iPad aesthetic wallpaper

10 Different Ways to Change iPhone or iPad Wallpaper

Before we begin, please note that the steps below and the screenshots are for iOS 13. iOS 13 is currently available in Public Beta and it will be available as an update to all users in September.

Please note this is an abridged report of full and detailed instructions taken from iphonehacks.com

1. Set A Stock Wallpaper From Settings

Apple iPad aesthetic Wallpaper

 

You can quickly switch to a different wallpaper that Apple provides using Settings. Apple has a great set of stock wallpapers, especially if you’re using an iPhone X and higher, and iOS 13. You’ll see a great collection of colourful and dark wallpapers, along with Live Photos and Dynamic wallpapers. For example, iOS 13 users can use four new wallpapers that changed based on Light mode and Dark mode.

 

Go to Settings -> Wallpaper -> Choose New Wallpaper to get started. Here you’ll find three categories: Dynamic, Stills, and Live. You’ll also see all your photos below, but we’ll get to that in the next section. Go to a section, tap on a wallpaper to select and preview it. Tap on Set and then choose if you want to set the wallpaper on the Lock screen, Home screen, or both. And that’s it, your wallpaper has been changed.

2. Set Your Own Photo as Wallpaper

3. Use a Wallpaper App

4. Set Live Photos as Wallpaper

5. Download Wallpapers From Web

6. Edit and Crop Your Own Wallpapers

7. Manage and Sync Wallpaper Collection Using Files

8. Change Wallpaper Daily Using Shortcuts

9. Set Wallpaper From Online Source Using Shortcuts

10. Set a GIF as a Wallpaper

I have not detailed all items on numbers 1 to 10 above but by clicking on the links you will be taken to the Web Site with detailed instructions.

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